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Grammy Winner Paula Cole at the Davis October 2

The 2015-16 On Stage at the Davis series will kick off Friday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m. with probably the biggest performer the theatre has presented in its eight-year history: singer-songwriter Paula Cole.

Tickets are $44 and may be purchased 24 hours a day at online and Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the box office, in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753.

Grammy winner Cole is best known for her Billboard top 10 hit song, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” Her song “I Don’t Want to Wait” was used as the theme for the television show Dawson’s Creek. She won a Grammy for Best New Artist and has been nominated for six others, including Best Producer, the first woman solely nominated.

Her songs have also been used in several other television shows, ranging from Charmed to Big Brother to The Simpsons. Movie credits include Sweet November, August Rush, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Scary Movie.

Cole is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee School of Music where she is now a voice professor. She got a record contract offer from a jazz label at the beginning of her career but turned it down in favor of continuing to write her own songs. Her touring and collaboration with Peter Gabriel on his “Secret World Live” put her on the music map, and then she gave up the spotlight to stay home and raise her daughter for seven years. Now she performs concerts on the weekends, then goes home to be mom.

She has recorded seven studio albums, including “7,” which was released earlier this year. . “Intuitively I feel I’m not going to be doing the same thing now,” she said. “I’m moving into a different time of my life, standing on a mountaintop with some wisdom; looking down at my life as a whole. There are songs here that were crystallized by my past – but there are songs that reflect my future – a glimpse that I’m headed on an unknown road to my unknown fate.

Cole’s music is difficult to categorize. She is known for complex music rooted in jazz, rock and soul combined with superior musicianship as well as a close relationship with her fans and exceptional live shows. Find out more about her and listen to her beautiful songs at

‘Build It’ Family Day September 26

The arts council’s new Family Days feature fun and creative activities for children in The Galleries and Davis Theatre and opportunities for anyone to visit The Galleries on a weekend.

The first Family Day is Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 am-2 pm. Sponsored by Vulcan Materials Company, the day will be centered on building.  Children will have the opportunity to visit four “creation stations” where they will construct roads, buildings, fences and public art.

Each Family Day will be different and may include creative art projects in The Galleries, a performance or movie in the Davis Theatre and even activities on the front lawn of the Cabarrus County Historic Courthouse.

Children also will be able to do activities related to the current exhibition, including the “I Spy,” art work scavenger hunt, “Art Box” craft projects and “Think About It” guided questionnaires.

People may visit any time between 10 am and 2 pm. Family Days are either free or low cost, depending on the activities planned for that day, which will be announced well in advance of the event

The Listening Room and Art on Tap Kick-off This Week!

The Cabarrus Arts Council has two big events this week, The Listening Room on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. and the Art-on-Tap kick-off party on Friday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m.

The Listening Room, the arts council’s version of an open mic night, is hosted by local musician David Domingo on the second Thursday of each month, September-April.   The line-up includes the Fuzzbucket Music Company singing group; three singer-songwriters, Arsena Shroeder, Daniel Arthur Gurley and Jordan Minor; a singer, Meredith Bradley; two poets, Shane Manier and Luvleeh Poetiklocks; and radio theatre by Andy Rassler.  Tickets are just $5 at the door, and all seats are general admission.

Art on Tap, the arts council’s membership group for young adults, will kick-off its second year with a party at Red Hill, upstairs at 21 Union St., S, Concord. Art on Tap members, prospective members and guests are invited to enjoy food, drinks, music and fun activities as they learn about the group’s activities for the year and other arts council programs. The party is free for Art on Tap members and $20 for guests. For more information about Art on Tap, click, call 704-920-2787 or email

Movies Returning to the Davis Theatre in August

The Cabarrus Arts Council’s new Flicks at the Davis series will bring four cult classic films from the 1980s and 1990s back to the big screen.

The line-up is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Friday, Aug. 28, 8 p.m.; National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Thursday, Nov. 19, 8 p.m.; The Princess Bride, Friday, Jan. 29, 8 p.m.; Dirty Dancing, Friday, April 8, 8 p.m. The films were chosen by members of Art on Tap, the arts council’s membership group for young adults. Art on Tap will sponsor an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” contest in conjunction with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

The films will be shown in the Davis Theatre, which is located at 65 Union St. S, Concord, in the Cabarrus County Historic Courthouse. Admission is $5 at the door, and seating is first-come, first-served.

Here are descriptions of the films:

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – High school student Ferris Bueller wants a day off from school and has developed an incredibly sophisticated plan to pull it off. Directed by John Hughes, this comedy stars Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Cindy Pickett and Jennifer Grey, and features Charlie Sheen and Ben Stein. Rated PG-13.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a disaster. The comedy classic stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, Diane Ladd, E.G. Marshall and Randy Quaid. Rated PG-13.

The Big Lebowski – “The Dude” Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it. Directed by the Coen Brothers, the crime comedy stars Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, David Huddleson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Tara Reid. Rated R.

Dirty Dancing – Spending the summer in a holiday camp with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor Johnny Castle. Romantic drama stars Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes Jack Weston, Jane Brucker and Kelly Bishop. Rated PG-13.

Three of the films are on Art Walk nights, enabling movie-goers to enjoy a full evening of the arts. For more information about the films, call 704-920-2787.

Photographs by Sonia Handelman Meyer on Display at The Galleries August 17-October 10

The Galleries’ first-ever solo exhibition, which will feature photographs by Sonia Handelman Meyer, will be on display Aug. 17-Oct. 10. Meyer, who is 95, plans to attend special events, including Art Walk and Collectors Circle, during the exhibition.

Meyer captured images at a crucial time in American history. The Great Depression was over and soldiers were returning from victories in World War II, but many people were still hungry, jobless and homeless. As a member of the New York Photo League, Meyer brought awareness to the plight of immigrants, minorities and the poor as the she photographed the city in the 1940s. Her amazing eye and unimposing persona allowed her to take pictures that pull the viewer in and give us a better understanding of the social, political, and personal struggles of the period.

“The way in which Sonia documents such a tumultuous time in American history is quite remarkable,” said Rebecca Collins, Cabarrus Arts Council Visual Arts Director and curator of the exhibition. “Her photographs depict subjects in harsh urban environments however it is the theme of the human condition that resounds with the viewer. The faces of immigrants and children are hauntingly beautiful and poignant — one can relate to their struggles and triumphs even 70 years after they were captured in photographs.”

The famed New York Photo League was instrumental in bringing fine art photography to the United States, according to Collins. The league offered its members a forum for serious photography, including classes, workshops, a darkroom and exhibitions. Meyer’s connection with the cooperative of photographers began with a beginner’s class in 1942 and included what she called “eye-heart-soul opening” workshops.

Meyer and fellow league photographer Morris Huberland took still photographs at the nation’s first integrated hospital, Sydenham Hospital in Harlem for a fund raising film. She photographed an anti-lynching rally in Madison Square Park, a Jehovah’s Witness convention at Yankees Stadium, the first publicity photos for The Weavers folk group, on Coney Island and at the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society. Mostly, she photographed people going about living their lives in Spanish Harlem, Greenwich Village and Midtown Manhattan, especially children.

Meyer said that she often snapped one, maybe two, photos and moved on without the subject ever realizing his image had been captured. She used photography as a way to overcome her fear of walking the city streets as a young woman, and she saw things that she might have overlooked had she not held a camera.

After the photo league closed in the early 1950s, Meyer turned her attention to marriage and then a family. Her prints and negatives were packed away in boxes, and her work was not shown again until 1978, when three images were included in the International Center of Photography’s exhibition, This Was the Photo League.

In 2002 she moved to Charlotte to be near her son, Joe, and his family. A few years earlier, Joe had showed some of his mother’s work to Lili Geer, who was at that time an art history professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Geer assigned a student to work with Meyer on cataloging her work.

In 2007 Carolyn DeMerritt, a photographer whose work has also been shown at The Galleries, organized an exhibition, appropriately called Into the Light, for Hodges Taylor Gallery in Charlotte. Many more exhibitions have followed at the Mint Museum, Wachovia Center and Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte; Taylor Bercier Fine Art, New Orleans; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL; Higher Pictures Gallery and The Jewish Museum, New York City; Fairhope Unitarian Fellowship, Fair Hope, AL; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; and Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL.

The Galleries’ exhibition, titled simply Sonia Handelman Meyer, includes more than 40 photographs which will be spread among the four galleries. Meyer plans to attend Collectors Circle on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 5:30-7 p.m., and Art Walk on Friday, Aug. 28, 6-9 p.m. Collectors Circle will provide the opportunity to further explore Meyer’s work and the New York Photo League. Art will feature the opening reception for the exhibition as well as visual art displays and entertainment all over downtown Concord.

The Galleries are located in the Historic Cabarrus County Courthouse at 65 Union St. S, Concord. They are open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tours and exhibition-related activities for children are available. Admission and activities are free. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 704-920-2787.

Apply for Arts Council Grants by August 3

The deadline for community organizations and schools to apply for Cabarrus Arts Council grants is August 3.

Funding for the grants includes Grassroots Funds from the North Carolina Arts Council. The Cabarrus Arts Council has been the Designated County Partner for receiving and distributing these funds, which are dispersed across the state on a per-capita basis, since 1982.

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. Six organizations received support grants this year: Cabarrus Art Guild, 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 six Project Assistance Grants this year: Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Union Street Live concert series and Spring into Arts Festival; Town of Harrisburg, Rockin the Burg concert series; City of Kannapolis, summer recreation series; Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, Interlude music program; Logan Community Day Care Association, music lessons for children; and Multicultural Student Union, North Carolina African drumming program for 60 young people.

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.

A panel of community volunteers will meet in September and make recommendations for funding to the arts council’s Board of Directors. Grants will be awarded in October. For applications or more information, click or call 704-920-ARTS (2787).


‘Perpetual Insight’ on View Through July 24 at The Galleries

An exhibition featuring a subjective exploration of nature, beauty and visual perception will be on display through July 24 at The Galleries.

Perpetual Insight includes includes drawings, paintings, photographs, ceramics and mixed media by nine artists:  Erin Anfinson, Nicole Aquillano, Hannah Celeste Dean, Alex Garbarino, Amy Gross, Lisa Krannichfeld, Cindy Steiler, Christopher Thomas and Justin Webb.

Click for more information about each artist.


2015-16 Davis Theatre Tickets Now on Sale

The 2015-16 Davis Theatre season includes six performances in the flagship On Stage at the Davis series, a holiday show and the return of two local favorites.

On Stage at the Davis will open with Grammy winner Paula Cole on Oct. 2, followed by Shana Tucker, chambersoul and cello, on Nov. 7; Eric Bibb, blues, on Jan. 16; Mountain Heart, Americana, on Feb. 19; Della Mae, roots, on March 12; and Barrage 8, sonic strings, on April 10. There also will be a holiday bluegrass show by the Claire Lynch Band on Dec. 5, three evenings of the Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Show and a performance by Concord singer-songwriter Jim Avett.

Here are short descriptions of the performances:

Paula Cole – season opener, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, 8 p.m., $44
Singer/songwriter Paula Cole has been nominated seven times for a Grammy Award, winning Best New Artist. She has had two top 20 hit songs, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone” and the Dawson’s Creek television show theme “I Don’t Want to Wait.” Her music is complex and rooted in jazz, rock and soul combined with superior musicianship.

Shana Tucker – Chambersoul, cello and songs, Saturday, Nov. 8 p.m., 2015, $34
This cellist-singer-songwriter’s music is an instantly captivating platter of acoustic pop and soulful, jazz-influenced contemporary folk. Balancing mainstage performances in theatres and festivals across the United States with being featured cellist and mezzo-soprano in Cirque du Soleil’s KA in Las Vegas, she is a true rising star.

Eric Bibb – blues, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, 8 p.m., $34
A four-decade career, 35 albums, countless radio and television shows and non-stop touring have given blues guitar master Eric Bibb a world view that’s tempered by curiosity and compassion, and the ability to see himself in other peoples’ shoes. He has toured all over the world and been nominated for a Grammy as well as four Blues Music Awards.

Mountain Heart – Americana, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, 8 p.m., $36
Mountain Heart is an all-star band known for revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be played. Members of the band have been nominated for Grammys, Academy of Country Music and County Music Association awards and the band as a whole has won multiple International Association of Bluegrass Music Awards. They have appeared on the revered stage of the Grand Ole Opry more than 130 times.

Della Mae – roots, Saturday, March 12, 2016, 8 p.m., $36
Recently named one of Rolling Stone’s “new artists you need to know,” Boston-bred and Nashville-based Della Mae has been called a female version of The Avett Brothers. Their vibrantly original music is rooted in rock, folk and bluegrass. The Grammy-nominated band is known for high-energy live performances, timeless lyrics, outstanding musicianship and expressive harmonies.

Barrage – sonic strings, Sunday, April 10, 2016, 7 p.m., $48
This unforgettable show is the latest project from the creators of Barrage, which brought down the house at the Davis in 2008. Featuring energy, panache and stage innovation, the show features all the instruments in the modern string family with four violins, two violas, cello and double bass. The reimagining of the string octet is rich, powerful and like nothing you’ve ever heard before!

Claire Lynch Band – holiday bluegrass, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, 8 p.m., $36
Dolly Parton credits Claire Lynch with “one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today.” Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, she is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of bluegrass. She is a three-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year and has twice been nominated for a Grammy. Make this show part of your holiday season!

Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Show, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, 7:30 p.m., $16
Enjoy three toe-tapping evenings of traditional bluegrass music hosted by Jeff Whittington, a North Carolina Banjo Champion and featuring John Culbreath, fiddle; Pete Corum, bass; Mike Wood, guitar; and Jason Wood, mandolin. Additional shows on Thursdays, January 21, and April 28.

Jim Avett – folk, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, 7:30 p.m., $20
Jim Avett plays beloved country songs and original ballads and tells memorable stories. Father of Scott and Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers, he put music on the backburner to raise his family but is now in demand for listening rooms and festivals all over the country.


Collectors Circle at ClearWater Artist Studios June 24

The Galleries’ innovative new offering, Collectors Circle, is going on the road to ClearWater Artist Studios Wednesday, June 24, at 5:30 p.m., and we hope you will come with us!

“The Collectors Circle is the arts council’s diverse group of active art collectors and art lovers,” said Rebecca Collins, Visual Arts Director. “This forum is for those who enjoy learning about emerging and established artists and gaining insight into the arts councils programs and exhibitions. These events provide an inspiring and accessible environment for people to learn more about the arts and connect with people who share a common passion for art.”

This will be the fifth program of the Collectors Circle, which began last November. Participants have enjoyed meeting artists and each other, seeing artists demonstrating how they create their works and learning about collecting art for your home. Collins’ primary goal for the Collectors Circle event at ClearWater is to present an opportunity for celebrating and supporting local artists.

“Following an introduction about the innovative facility, the group will gain special access to several artist studios,” she said. “Visitors will have the chance to connect with these artists in a casual and social setting where they can learn about artistic processes.”

Sarah Gay, Manager of ClearWater Artist Studios, said that she and the artists welcomed the opportunity to host Collectors Circle.

“We love the chance to have more people to see what ClearWater is all about,” Gay said. “Several of our artists will be talking with the group that evening, giving them a chance to access the living artist as well as the work(s) of art.  To many this is the most exciting part of contemporary art- being able to get a glimpse into the artists’ psyche and creative process.  Many collectors became collectors of certain works, throughout history, because they had become friends and admirers of the artist.”

Located at 223 Crowell Dr. NW in the Gibson Village area of Concord, Clearwater Artist Studios was originally the city’s water works building and has been redeveloped into affordable artist studios.

Collectors Circle is always free, but we would appreciate your letting us know whether you’re coming by calling 704-920-2787 or emailing

Breakfast for the Arts May 22

The Cabarrus Arts Council’s 2015 Breakfast for the Arts will take place Friday, May 22, at Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center, Concord.

The fundraiser will include outstanding entertainment, inspirational talks, a free hot breakfast and lots of fun.  About 700 people are expected , and they will be immersed in the arts from the minute they arrive for the tightly packed one-hour program.

Reservations are required for admission; reserve your seat by Friday, May 15, by calling 704-920-2787 or emailing  Please help us meet our fund drive goal!