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Deadline August 1 for Arts Council Grants

One of the most important things the Cabarrus Arts Council does is to support arts organizations and groups organizing arts projects through our grants program. The deadline to apply 2016-17 grants is August 1.

Grants are available in three categories:  Organization Support, Project Assistance and Arts Education.  The grants are partially funded by Grassroots Funds from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency.

Organization Support Grants are available to arts organizations that are nonprofit, have a mission that focuses solely on the arts, are located in Cabarrus County and provide at least 75% of their programs in the county. The goal of these grants is to stabilize and strengthen organizations that bring high-quality arts activities to our community.  Five organizations received support grants this year:  NC Music Hall of Fame, Old Courthouse Theatre, Piedmont Choral Society, Piedmont Prime Time Community Band and Southern Piedmont Woodturners.

Project Assistance Grants are available to nonprofit organizations to support programs of artistic merit that have community or statewide impact.  The goal of these grants is to help organizations develop arts programs that involve and serve the community and that reach beyond the organization’s usual scope.  Religious organizations and internal programs at colleges and libraries are not eligible.  The arts council awarded five Project Assistance Grants this year: Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Union Street Live concert series and Spring into Arts Festival; Harrisburg, Rockin’ the ‘Burg concert series; Kannapolis Parks and Recreation Department, summer concert series, Thursdays on Main and Stories Under the Stars; Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, Interlude music program; and Multicultural Student Union, dance program for youth.

Arts Education Grants are available to public and private preschool, elementary, middle and high schools in Cabarrus County to bring artists into the school setting.  The purpose of these grants is to supplement school curriculum and to awaken students’ intellectual and creative curiosity.  Priority will be given to residency programs and to schools that are hosting artists they have not used before.  R. Brown McAllister received a grant this year for a three-day residency conducted by Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. Harrisburg Elementary School received a grant for activities built around “Global Tales” and Mount Pleasant Middle School was awarded funds to support the “Learning Through Drama” program at the school.

A panel of community volunteers will meet in September and make recommendations about the grants to the arts council’s Board of Directors. Grants will be awarded in October.  Applications are available online. For more information, call 704-920-ARTS (2787).

Kathy Mattea and The Drifters Headline Blockbuster 2016-17 Davis Theatre season

Tickets go on sale July 1 for all performances in the star-studded 2016-17 Davis Theatre season.

The flagship On Stage at the Davis series will open Sept. 25, with performances by Grammy Award-winning singer Kathy Mattea who is known for hits such as “18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses”; followed by the 2015 IBMA “Vocal Group of the Year” Balsam Range, Oct. 22; The Kruger Brothers, who play folk music fused with classical, Jan. 7; genre-bending cellist Ben Sollee, Feb. 11; and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member The Drifters, March 11. Embassy Suites Concord is the Gold Sponsor of On Stage at the Davis.

Three local favorites also will return: Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Band, Dec. 1 and May 4; Jim Avett, Feb. 2; and Jeff Little Trio, April 7.

Tickets may be purchased beginning July 1 any time online and at the Davis Theatre Box Office Monday-Friday, 10 a.m-4 p.m., in person or by phone, 704-920-2753. There is a 7% discount for people who buy tickets to all five of the performances in the On Stage at the Davis series.

Here are short descriptions of the performances:

The Acoustic Living Room, Songs and Stories with Kathy Mattea featuring Bill Cooley
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, two pefomrances: 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $40

Grammy Award-winning singer Kathy Mattea and longtime collaborator guitarist Bill Cooley share a musically rich partnership. The duo welcomes you into “The Acoustic Living Room” to share songs and stories near and dear to their hearts, including Kathy’s beloved classics such as “18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses” and “Where’ve You Been?” You’ll see why her 17 albums have garnered multiple CMA, ACM, and Grammy Awards. A rare opportunity to see this artist in a venue the size of the Davis!  www.Mattea.com

Balsam Range, Bluegrass – Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, 8 p.m., $35

From deep in the Appalachians where the Great Smokey Mountains meet the Blue Ridge, five friends came together to form Balsam Range in 2007. They already had long solo careers with Grammy and IBMA awards and collaborations with performers such as Doc Watson and Rusty Skaggs under their belts. Their unique backgrounds and skills quickly led to hits, such as “Trains I Missed.” The 2014 and 2015 IBMA “Vocal Group of the Year” blends bluegrass, folk, gospel and jazz into a new American acoustic music experience. www.BalsamRange.com

The Kruger Brothers, Folk and Classical Fusion, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, 8 p.m., $30

Originally from Switzerland, brothers Jens and Uwe Kruger began playing North American folk music at an early age and were particularly inspired by Flat and Scruggs, Bill Monroe and Doc Watson. After getting a recording contract and radio show, they teamed up with American bass player Joel Landsberg to form a trio that has played together for more than 30 years. A MerleFest favorite, their incomparable sound fuses folk and classical music. www.KrugerBrothers.com

Ben Sollee, Genre-Bending Cellist, Saturday, Feb. 11, 8 p.m., $25

Ben Sollee is a genre-bending cellist, composer and storyteller. After a Lincoln Center show, The New York Times wrote: “meticulous, fluent arrangements continually morphed from one thing to another. Appalachian mountain music gave way to the blues, and one song was appended with a fragment from a Bach cello suite, beautifully played.” Sollee is known for inventive arrangements and combining his classical training with bluegrass and pop. www.BenSollee.com

The Drifters, Doo-wop, R&B/Soul, Saturday, March 11, 8 p.m., $44

“Up on the Roof.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “This Magic Moment.” “There Goes My Baby.” “Dance with Me.” “Spanish Harlem.” “Stand by Me.” “On Broadway.” The Drifters’ 50-song hit list is packed with doo-wop and R&B/soul songs you know and love. The iconic band was in the first class of inductees into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and is one of the best-selling bands of all time with 214 million singles and 114 million albums. The band’s phenomenal current line-up continues the legacy!  This performance is sponsored by Hilbish Ford. www.Thedrifters.co.uk

Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Holiday Show, Thursday, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., $16

Get in the holiday spirit with a festive bluegrass show hosted by Jeff Whittington, a North Carolina Banjo Champion who was a staff musician on the syndicated Arthur Smith Show. He will be joined by John Culbreath, a South Carolina Banjo Champion, on fiddle; Pete Corum, who was in the movie Cottonpatch Gospel, on bass; Mike Wood, whose first major show was Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Festival, on guitar; and Jason Wood, who has played with bluegrass legend Curly Seckler, on mandolin. There will be an additional non-holiday show on Thursday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m.

Jim Avett, Folk and Country, Thursday, Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m., $20
Thursday, February 2, 7:30 pm, $20
Jim Avett grew up in a home surrounded by music. He never quit playing, but for 35 years he put providing for his family first. Since retiring, he has made up for lost time with a coast to coast touring and a handful of CDs. He plays folk, country and gospel songs and his original ballads that tell stories. See where Scott and Seth of The Avett Brothers got their first inspiration!  www.JimAvett.com

Jeff Little Trio, Appalachian music, Friday, April 7, 7:30 p.m., $25
Jeff Little makes piano his lead instrument, rare in Appalachian or Americana music. His distinctive two-handed style, much influenced by the mountain flat-picked guitar tradition, is breathtaking in its speed, precision and clarity. He is joined by Steve Lewis, a two-time National Banjo Champion and MerleFest Guitar Champion, and Josh Scott, a highly sought after bassist. Back at the Davis by popular demand! www.JeffLittle.net

For more information, visit the websites listed with the performers or call the arts council at 704-920-2753.

Fun-Filled Family Day Saturday, June 25

Children will have the opportunity to make their own artwork, play movement games and see a performance at Family Day on Saturday, June 25, 10 am-2 pm, at the arts council.

Sponsored by Carolinas HealthCare System, this Family Day will focus on promoting healthy lifestyles. There will be activities in The Galleries, Davis Theatre and, weather permitting, on the front lawn of the Historic Courthouse. Here’s the schedule:

The Galleries and front lawn, 10 am-2 pm

  • See the Unresolved exhibition and try fun related activities including the “I Spy” artwork scavenger hunt.
  • Make your own artwork at four creation stations

Davis Theatre

  • 11-11:30 am, Dancer and educator Edie Barnhardt will lead movement games on the stage.
  • Noon and 1 pm, Interactive performance by Old Courthouse Theatre’s CabCo Pretenders children’s theatre.

Family Day is free. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 704-920-2787.

Thank You for Supporting the Breakfast for the Arts!

The Cabarrus Arts Council would like to thank the almost 700 people who attended the 15th annual Breakfast for the Arts on Friday, May 27.

They enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast as they were immersed in the arts. The Northwest Cabarrus High School Jazz Band played morning music, the Jackson Park Elementary School Chorus sang, youth from the Multicultural Community Student Union danced and the CabCo Pretenders performed. Shane Manier did live speed painting throughout the program.

Karen Wells, executive director of ARTS North Carolina, talked about the benefits of arts programs. Four local people talked about how the arts had affected their lives: Andrea Sowle, artist and owner of Sundae Art Gallery; Morgan Hunkele, a junior at Northwest Cabarrus High School; and Jocelyn and Caleb Smilie, participants in the Art Lab program at The Galleries. David Whisenant of WBTV kept the program moving as emcee.

The program also included remarks from Noelle Rhodes Scott, arts council President and CEO; an invocation by Rev. Donald Anthony; a welcome from Keith Gehl, arts council Vice President; and an invitation to make a donation to the council by Kelly Propst and William C. Dusch.

Breakfast guests also had the opportunity to see a selection of photographs from the PhotoVoice project in which teens photographed things that made them feel safe and unsafe in their communities.  The project was a partnership among Carolinas HealthCare System, Cabarrus Health Alliance, Healthy Cabarrus, Sundae Art Gallery and the arts council.

The arts council is also grateful for 2016 Breakfast for the Arts Sustaining Sponsor Publix Super Market Charities and Embassy Suites Charlotte-Concord, which donated much of the cost of the event.

 

You Are Invited to the Breakfast for the Arts Friday, May 27

The Cabarrus Arts Council’s 2016 Breakfast for the Arts will be held Friday, May 27.

The annual event will be at the Embassy Suites Hotel.  Registration will begin at 7 am with the one-hour program starting at 7:30 am.

The breakfast is a fundraiser for the arts council.  While it is free, you can expect to be invited to give a donation. The program will include entertainment by local students, inspirational talks by people whose lives have been affected by the arts, a free hot breakfast and lots of fun. Everything is packed into one carefully planned and entertaining hour.

The arts council looks at the breakfast as both a very essential fundraiser and a public relations event that offers the opportunity to tell the community about our current and upcoming programs.

In the early years of the Breakfast for the Arts, the event moved to a different location every year as it outgrew venues.  The first one was at the old Philip Morris USA plant.  It then moved to Hotel Concord, then Cabarrus Family Medicine’s Copperfield Room.  The last stop before Embassy Suites was the First Assembly Village.

The event is free, but reservations are required for admission; reserve your seat by calling 704-920-2787 or emailing Natasha@CabarrusArtsCouncil.org.  If you’ve already accepted an invitation from one of our table hosts, you don’t need to RSVP again.

 

2016-17 Davis Theatre Tickets on Sale July 1

Tickets for all performances in the diverse, star-packed 2016-17 Davis Theatre season go on sale July 1.

The flagship On Stage at the Davis series will open Sept. 25, with performances by Grammy Award-winning singer Kathy Mattea who is known for hits such as “18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses”; followed by the 2015 IBMA “Vocal Group of the Year” Balsam Range, Oct. 22; The Kruger Brothers, who play folk music fused with classical, Jan. 7; genre-bending cellist Ben Sollee, Feb. 11; and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member The Drifters, March 11. Embassy Suites Concord is the Gold Sponsor of On Stage at the Davis.

Three local favorites also will return: Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Band, Dec. 1 and May 4; Jim Avett, Feb. 2; and Jeff Little Trio, April 7.

Tickets for all performances go on sale Friday, July 1. Tickets may be purchased online and at the Davis Theatre Box Office Monday-Friday, 10 a.m-4 p.m., in person or by phone, 704-920-2753. There is a 7% discount for people who buy tickets to all five of the performances in the On Stage at the Davis series.

Here are short descriptions of the performances:

The Acoustic Living Room, Songs and Stories with Kathy Mattea featuring Bill Cooley
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, two pefomrances: 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $40

Grammy Award-winning singer Kathy Mattea and longtime collaborator guitarist Bill Cooley share a musically rich partnership. The duo welcomes you into “The Acoustic Living Room” to share songs and stories near and dear to their hearts, including Kathy’s beloved classics such as “18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses” and “Where’ve You Been?” You’ll see why her 17 albums have garnered multiple CMA, ACM, and Grammy Awards. A rare opportunity to see this artist in a venue the size of the Davis!

Balsam Range, Bluegrass – Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, 8 p.m., $35

From deep in the Appalachians where the Great Smokey Mountains meet the Blue Ridge, five friends came together to form Balsam Range in 2007. They already had long solo careers with Grammy and IBMA awards and collaborations with performers such as Doc Watson and Rusty Skaggs under their belts. Their unique backgrounds and skills quickly led to hits, such as “Trains I Missed.” The 2014 and 2015 IBMA “Vocal Group of the Year” blends bluegrass, folk, gospel and jazz into a new American acoustic music experience.

The Kruger Brothers, Folk and Classical Fusion, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, 8 p.m., $30

Originally from Switzerland, brothers Jens and Uwe Kruger began playing North American folk music at an early age and were particularly inspired by Flat and Scruggs, Bill Monroe and Doc Watson. After getting a recording contract and radio show, they teamed up with American bass player Joel Landsberg to form a trio that has played together for more than 30 years. A MerleFest favorite, their incomparable sound fuses folk and classical music.

Ben Sollee, Genre-Bending Cellist, Saturday, Feb. 11, 8 p.m., $25

Ben Sollee is a genre-bending cellist, composer and storyteller. After a Lincoln Center show, The New York Times wrote: “meticulous, fluent arrangements continually morphed from one thing to another. Appalachian mountain music gave way to the blues, and one song was appended with a fragment from a Bach cello suite, beautifully played.” Sollee is known for inventive arrangements and combining his classical training with bluegrass and pop.

The Drifters, Doo-wop, R&B/Soul, Saturday, March 11, 8 p.m., $44

“Up on the Roof.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “This Magic Moment.” “There Goes My Baby.” “Dance with Me.” “Spanish Harlem.” “Stand by Me.” “On Broadway.” The Drifters’ 50-song hit list is packed with doo-wop and R&B/soul songs you know and love. The iconic band was in the first class of inductees into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and is one of the best-selling bands of all time with 214 million singles and 114 million albums. The band’s phenomenal current line-up continues the legacy!  This performance is sponsored by Hilbish Ford.

Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Holiday Show, Thursday, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., $16

Get in the holiday spirit with a festive bluegrass show hosted by Jeff Whittington, a North Carolina Banjo Champion who was a staff musician on the syndicated Arthur Smith Show. He will be joined by John Culbreath, a South Carolina Banjo Champion, on fiddle; Pete Corum, who was in the movie Cottonpatch Gospel, on bass; Mike Wood, whose first major show was Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Festival, on guitar; and Jason Wood, who has played with bluegrass legend Curly Seckler, on mandolin. There will be an additional non-holiday show on Thursday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m.

Jim Avett, Folk and Country, Thursday, Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m., $20
Thursday, February 2, 7:30 pm, $20
Jim Avett grew up in a home surrounded by music. He never quit playing, but for 35 years he put providing for his family first. Since retiring, he has made up for lost time with a coast to coast touring and a handful of CDs. He plays folk, country and gospel songs and his original ballads that tell stories. See where Scott and Seth of The Avett Brothers got their first inspiration!

Jeff Little Trio, Appalachian music, Friday, April 7, 7:30 p.m., $25
Jeff Little makes piano his lead instrument, rare in Appalachian or Americana music. His distinctive two-handed style, much influenced by the mountain flat-picked guitar tradition, is breathtaking in its speed, precision and clarity. He is joined by Steve Lewis, a two-time National Banjo Champion and MerleFest Guitar Champion, and Josh Scott, a highly sought after bassist. Back at the Davis by popular demand!

For more information, visit the websites listed with the performers or call the arts council at 704-920-2753.

Meet Two Artists Saturday, May 21

Meet artists Sudie Rakusin and Maureen Collins May 21 at The Galleries.

It’s the last day for the Wanderlust  exhibition and The Galleries will be open 10 am-4 pm. It will be a great opportunity to see the show on a weekend and peruse the Gift Shop as well as expose your children to fine art via hands-on activities.

Beginning at 2 pm, visitors will have the opportunity to meet exhibiting artists Sudie Rakusin and Maureen Collins.

Sudie will take visitors on a personal stroll through The Galleries and into her world. Hear about the inspiration behind her 3-dimensional paintings & papier-mâché sculptures while viewing her art. Visitor questions and conversation welcome!

Maureen will create one of her incredible Fairy Gardens as visitors watch.

 

 

Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Show at the Davis Theatre Thursday, April 28

Local favorite Jeff Whittington will be bringing his bluegrass band back to the Davis Theatre on Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m.

The Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Show is an evening of traditional bluegrass featuring a quintet of outstanding musicians: Whittington, Pete Corum, John Culbreath, Mike Wood and Jason Wood.

Whittington performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage and was a staff musician with the Arthur Smith Show.  He has been featured on commercials and movie soundtracks.  A former North Carolina Banjo Champion, he plays banjo, pedal steel, Dobro, and guitar with the Brand New Opry.

Culbreath has performed with such bluegrass greats as Vassar Clements and Mac Wiseman, as well as being a former SC State Banjo Champion. He plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and banjo.

Corum toured with bluegrass legend Lester Flatt’s Nashville Grass, playing at the Grand Ole Opry, on television and all over the United States and Canada, and appeared Off Broadway and in the movie Cotton Patch Gospel.  He plays bass and sings.

Mike Wood began his career at the age of 14 as guitar player for his father and renowned banjoist, Al Wood and the Smokey Mountain Boys.  His first major show was Bill Monroe’s world famous bluegrass festival in Bean Blossom, Indiana.  In the 1980s, he joined with mandolinist Herschel Sizemore to form the Country Grass.  He also sings bluegrass-gospel with his wife and family band, The Wood Family Tradition.

Jason Wood, Mike Wood’s son, began playing guitar when he was 7, began playing bass with his grandfather’s band when he was 13 and took up his main instrument, the left-handed mandolin, at 17.  He toured with Constant Change and recorded “The Song of the Mountain” with bluegrass legend Curly Seckler. He also has played with Audie Blaylock and Redline and The Band.

On performance night, the doors to the Historic Cabarrus Courthouse will open at 6:30 pm to give patrons the opportunity to see the Sonia Handelman Meyer photography exhibition in The Galleries buy concessions.  The Davis Theatre will open at 7 pm.

Tickets are $16 and are available any time online and Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the box office in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753. All seats are reserved. The Davis Theatre is located at 65 Union St. S, Concord, in the Historic Cabarrus County Courthouse.

 

Take a Closer Look at Wanderlust on Thursday, April 21

If you love art, you will want to be at The Galleries Thursday, April 21, for the free event, A Closer Look: Behind the Creative Process.

The event for all art lovers will begin at 5:30 pm and include a behind-the-scenes look at The Galleries’ Wanderlust exhibition and the opportunity to meet two of the exhibiting artists, Gayle Stott Lowry and Susan Edmonson. The artists will talk about where they get ideas for their work and demonstrate some of their techniques.

Lowry is known for her light-infused architectural and landscape paintings. Her work in Wanderlust is primarily architectural paintings from her travels to Italy, Spain, Mexico and Cuba. Travel, in fact, has provided the impetus for the East Carolina University graduate’s growth as both a person and an artist throughout her adult life.

“I have relished any opportunity to leave my familiar surroundings and experience life in another part of the world,” she said.  “There I see with clarity of vision and partake of the diversity and richness of another culture, another landscape, another life.  Delving into this unfamiliar environment challenges me, poses questions and removes my certainty. It places me in context with all other living things, illuminating the beauty and mystery of existence.

“Interpreting these experiences through my paintings helps me relive these transformative times in my existence as a human being on this earth at this moment in time. It deepens my appreciation for life until I can venture forth again and find myself in unknown circumstances.”

Edmonson is an award-winning fiber artist who lives in Concord. Her specialties have long been folk art, crazy quilted wearables, wall quilts and “flower doodles.” More recently, she has been creating mixed media fabric books and mini art quilts. Her work is lavished with beading and embroidery. She loves working with vintage style fabrics and colors. Her patterns have evolved from original pieces inspired by vintage quilt designs and nature.

A Queens College graduate in art and design, Edmonson is in demand as a teacher and lecturer throughout the Southeast. She has designed quilt patterns and kits for two national stores as well as her own pattern line.

Wanderlust also includes works by seven other artists: Ráed Al-Rawi, acrylic paintings; Maureen Collins, living fairy gardens; Gene Costanza, oil paintings; Jessica Gordon, oil paintings; Frank Hunter, platinum/palladium photographs; Sudie Rakusin, three-dimensional mixed media paintings; and Christie Taylor, oil paintings.

The Galleries are located at 65 Union St. S, Concord, in the Cabarrus County Historic Courthouse. Reservations for A Closer Look will be appreciated but are not required to attend. For more information or to reserve a space, call 704-920-2787.

The Listening Room Open Mic Night April 14 at the Davis Theatre

The Listening Room, Davis Theatre’s version of an open mic night, will finish its first season Thursday, April 14.

Since its inception in September, The Listening Room has featured single, duo and group musical performances in a variety of genres, radio theatre, poetry and live painting. The evening is hosted by singer-songwriter David Domingo, who works with the Cabarrus Arts Council to help choose the acts. Domingo has played on the Davis Theatre stage several times in the past two years with his Fuzzbucket Music Company and also coordinates music for the Kaleidoscope Cultural Arts Festival in Kannapolis.

One way The Listening Room differs from many open mic nights is that acts are chosen in advance and must be G-rated. In choosing performers, the arts council looks for both quality and variety. The goal is to give local artists the opportunity to perform on the Davis Theatre stage while at the same time providing a great evening of entertainment for the audience.

The guidelines for being considered as a performer may be found at here.  For more information, email listenroom@yahoo.com or call the arts council at 704-920-2787.

The Listening Room begins at 7:30 p.m. and usually ends about 9 p.m. Tickets are just $5 at the door.