North Carolina art and culture to be feature in 3-day Step into the Arts event by PCC

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by Elizabeth Townsend

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Piedmont Community College’s (PCC) Step into the Arts event returns in 2017 with the theme: North Carolina: Our Home. Activities will Fred Motley engages audience in his storytelling during a previous Step into the Arts eventtake place over a three-day period, April 6-8, and feature a variety of art-enriched events in multiple locations.

“Step into the Arts has had a major make-over for 2017,” commented Amy Levine, Step into the Arts Chairperson and instructor of Fine Arts at PCC. “What was once a one-day event on campus, primarily aimed at school children, has morphed into a three-day festival for the entire community. From wine tasting to poetry, bluegrass to folk rock, gallery exhibits to street vendors, this festival will have something for everyone.”

April 6 events will be held on PCC’s Person County Campus from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. School groups and others in the community are invited to participate in the variety of free events, including:
• 8:30 – 9 a.m. – Person County’s 225th Anniversary Skit
• 9:05 - 9:35 a.m. – Little River Cloggers
• 9:40 – 10:25 a.m. – NC Storytelling with Dr. DuPre Sanders
• 10:30 – 11 a.m. – Shag History and Lessons with the Meelers
• 11:05 – 11:35 a.m. – Sappony Tribal Indian lesson
• 11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Live Music with Michael Thompson

Shag with the MeelersA PoetRama, hosted by PCC’s Learning Resources Center (LRC), will take place immediately following the live music. PoetRama is performed poetry where performers may use props, costumes, or musical instruments in their attempt to win one of three prizes.

The event will also include art tents showcasing PCC artwork from students in the Fine Arts and Digital Effects and Animation Technology programs. Sappony artwork and history will also be on display.

To engage visitors, PCC’s Fine Arts students will help guests create North Carolina birds using pre-made templates, adding feathers and designing the bird to their liking. The birds will be on display in the window of the Piedmont Community College Learning Studio at the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex during the summer months.

Step into the Arts t-shirts will be also be available for $10. PCC Fine Arts students will help tie-die each shirt no additional charge.

The activities continue at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, when North Carolina Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson visits PCC’s Person County Little Windows BandCampus. Stephenson grew up on a small farm near Benson, in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. “Most of my poems come out of that background,” he says, “where memory and imagination play on one another. His presentation will take place in the Barnette Auditorium and is open to the public.

On Friday, April 7, Step into the Arts will move Uptown to the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex. Two art shows will be on display, including PCC Student artwork and work from Local Color Gallery, a Raleigh based co-op gallery. The receptions, which will include a wine and cheese tasting, will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The Kirby Theater will also present a free movie at 7 p.m. called “The Longest Ride”, written by Nicholas Sparks (novel) and Craig Bolotin (screenplay). This PG-13 movie was filmed in North Carolina in 2015 and features Scott Eastwood, Brit Robertson, and Alan Alda. This movie is part of the Person County Tourism Development Authority Free Movie Friday series.

The celebration of North Carolina art and culture continues on Saturday, April 8 at Merritt Commons and Uptown Roxboro from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Art vendors from all over North Carolina will have booths selling their products (booths still available). In addition, live music and book readings will take place throughout the day. The live music and storytelling line-up is:
• 10 a.m. - Kyle Moore and Christie Wilkins (singers/songwriters)
• 11 a.m. - Leia Gaskin (singer/songwriter) and Amy Levine (performance painting)
• 12 p.m. - Fred Motley (Storyteller)
• 1 p.m. - Little Windows with Julie Weems (traditional folk music)
• 2 p.m. - Nickels to Diamonds with Michael Thompson (singer/songwriter)
• 3 p.m. - Willie Mason and Friends (gospel music)

Nickles to Diamonds - Michael ThompsonThe Easter Bunny will also be available for photos during from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and children are encouraged to find their artistic side at an art table.

“Step into the Arts is a program we hope to see grow into an annual event that attracts people from all over the State of North Carolina as so many different facets of the arts are presented, shared Margaret McMann, Executive Director of the Person County Tourism Development Authority. “This year’s program of “North Carolina: Our Home” will be particularly interesting – even if you are a native North Carolinian….art will be shown in literature, paintings, pottery, music, food, wine, storytelling, dance, and outstanding music! Don’t miss any day of this event!”

All of the events are free and open to the public. For additional information about the event, visit or the Step into the Arts Facebook page at Call Beth at (336) 322-2104 for additional information.

Photo: Top - Fred Motley engages audience in his storytelling during a previous Step into the Arts event
Left: Eldridge and Bonnie Meeler will teach Shag dancing on Thursday, April 6
Middle Right: Little Windows will perform on Saturday, April 8
Bottom Right: Michael Thompson will play on Thursday, April 6 and be joined by his band, Nickles to Diamonds, on Saturday, April 8.