Tavis Smiley, Diana Greene, Valerie Nieman, Ken Bloom, UNCG Percussion, & Imagination Installations

Tavis Smiley, Diana Greene, Valerie Nieman, Ken Bloom, UNCG Percussion, & Imagination Installations

1:11pm Apr 03, 2015

Tavis Smiley

Broadcaster, publisher, and philanthropist Tavis Smiley currently hosts PBS’s late-night TV talk show Tavis Smiley, and PRI’s The Tavis Smiley Show. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author with 18 books under his belt. His latest, My Journey with Maya chronicles Tavis’ decades-old friendship with Dr. Maya Angelou. He’ll share his work with Triad audiences next week courtesy of Bookmarks. Tavis spoke with David Ford by phone from his studio in Los Angeles. He says the focus of his new book is the many ways in which Dr. Angelou’s words and actions continue to impact his life today. His journey with Maya began shortly after college when Tavis was invited by a mutual friend, economist, and author Julianne Malveaux, to accompany them to Africa. 

The book release takes place on Thursday night, April 9th at 7:30 in the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem. Tavis will share more stories about his twenty-eight year friendship Dr. Maya Angelou and there’ll be a presentation, reading and book signing. Signed copies of Tavis' books are available through Bookmarks.


Diana Greene and "The Final Rummage"

The Winston-Salem based artist Diana Greene has built her artistic career around exploring memory, community, and the beauty in the everyday. As a photographer and storyteller, her strength is in capturing the wonder and humor of people and materials that are often taken for granted or perhaps never given a second glance. With this in mind, her latest creation, a documentary on the last days of a time honored rummage sale, seems a perfect fit.

The Final Rummage will be screened during the RiverRun International Film Festival.It's part of the NC shorts program on April 19th & 24th. 


Valerie Nieman and Hotel Worthy

Award-winning poet and novelist Valerie Nieman has a new collection of poems. Hotel Worthy was published by Press 53 on March 20th, and this week, Valerie celebrated with a launch party at Scuppernong Books. Of Nieman's poetry, former Poet Laureate Laureate of North Carolina Joseph Bathanti has said, "Nieman knows the names of things, how those things piece together how they sunder and while she refuses to lie, her truths are exquisite." 

Nieman is a professor of Creative Writing at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, she teaches at the John Campbell Folk School, and has held writing and poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. Nieman's other works include her first poetry collection, Wake, Wake, Wake, and her novel Blood Clay.   

Valerie joined Bethany Chafin at WFDD to read from her new collection and to discuss the art of naming. 

You can hear Valerie on April 6th at the Greensboro Public Library where she'll be reading with Mark Smith-Soto and Judith Behar. The event begins at 6:30pm. She'll also be reading at Taste Full Beans in Hickory, North Carolina at 7, on April 14th. 


Bowed Dulcimer Player Ken Bloom

The 11th Annual Bowed Dulcimer Festival kicks off this weekend thanks to organizer Ken Bloom. Ken’s a lifelong musician and luthier who’s studied Indian music, performed in Turkish and Gamelon orchestras, and he feel equally at home with jazz improvisation, blues and folk. 

In today's show, we sample from his CD Ken Bloom Journey. Ken’s 11th Annual Pilot Mountain Bowed Dulcimer Festival begins Friday April 10th through Sunday with evening jam sessions at the Pilot Mountain Econolodge, classes during the day, and a concert open to the public Saturday night at 7:30 PM at the Pilot Mountain Friend’s Meeting on West Main Street. Tickets are available at the door the night of the performance for $10.00. 

Ken's also a gifted instrument maker and you’ll find his beautiful dulcimers all over the world. He brought one along with him last week during his visit to the WFDD studios.


UNCG Percussion

The University of NC at Greensboro School of Music, Theatre and Dance provides some of the finest arts training in the country, and the percussion program there with Assistant Professor of Percussion, Eric Willie is no exception. Eric and his colleagues are transforming their percussion students into marketable, professional musicians and they’re doing so by offering a wide range of instruction and experiences. Foremost among those is percussion ensemble life where students collaborate on performances of challenging and engaging music utilizing UNCG’s comprehensive inventory of percussion equipment from around the world. Next week Triad audiences will get a chance to enjoy this dynamic ensemble in concert in the beautiful Recital Hall on campus with music by John Cage, and an extremely challenging and exciting premiere by Adam Silverman. It’s titled Sparklefrog, it’s loaded with unusual but potent combinations of sounds and instruments played in traditional and non-traditional ways…and we’re sampling from it right now.

The performance is Tuesday night, April 7th at 7:30pm in the UNCG Recital Hall. 


Imagination Installation

Cheryl Schirillo grew up in the small town of Midland, Michigan where she immersed herself in the arts and community service. Six years ago she became involved in the national social media and social capital scenes and eventually helped launch both the ECHO Network and StoryLine Project. Her Bridges Connecting Communities is her hyper-local website dedicated to collaborative storytelling. Then came an idea: what if she could unleash the power of imagination one dream at a time.

On Friday, April 3rd it’s the Dream Party Art Opening from 3-8 in the Milton Rhodes Arts Center. The interactive public art installation by Wren Wilson, “Reflecting on Dreams” will coincide with Associated Artists of Winston-Salem’s “Amalgamation”, an exhibition of mixed media artwork. Then on Friday, April 24th join Cheryl and her friends at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) and their Floating World Launch Party from 3:30 - 6:30pm. Families are welcome as they propel Mary Mattingly’s Floating World onto the SECCA lake.

Together with students from local schools and members of the community, artist Mary Mattingly attached plants to a geodesic dome structure that has become a living, growing biosphere.

And on Saturday, April 25th you can be an active dreamer at the Dream Seeding Booth at Piedmont Earth Day Fair. So many dreams, so little time, so climb aboard the dream train of Imagination Installations!


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