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Resident artist Kendrix Singletary directs the theater’s return to community theater productions. Steel Magnolias is a comedy–drama play about the bond among a group of Southern women in northwest Louisiana. Written by Robert Harling, and based on his experience with his sister's death, the title suggests the "female characters are as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel.”  The magnolia specifically references a magnolia tree they are arguing about at the beginning.

Tickets $23 or $17 each with the advance purchase of 10 or more.  Students $10. Perfect for churches and other organizations - or just a group of friends!

A first play which met with immediate critical and popular acceptance in its premier production by New York's WPA Theatre. Concerned with a group of gossipy southern ladies in a small-town beauty parlor, the play is alternately hilarious and touching—and, in the end, deeply revealing of the strength and purposefulness which underlies the antic banter of its characters.

Tickets can be purchased any time on-line at or in person or by telephone 1-5 pm weekdays through the theater’s administrative offices, or by calling the theater at 738-4339 Ext. 106. The Theater lobby box office opens for ticket sales one hour prior to a performance.


Lumbee Tribe’s spring powwow set for
May 6-8

Annual celebration moved to the Lumbee Tribe Cultural Center

PEMBROKE – The Lumbee Tribe will hold its annual spring powwow on May 6-8 at the Lumbee Tribe Cultural Center at 638 Terry Sanford Rd. in the Red Banks community near Pembroke.

The “Dance of the Spring Moon” will feature a variety of dancers competing for thousands of dollars in prize money as well as a living history exhibit and stickball games.

Grand entries are 7 p.m. on May 6, noon and 7 p.m. on May 7, and 1 p.m. on May 8.

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12, and $5 for military and seniors ages 55 and older. Sunday admission is $5 and a weekend pass is only $18.

Limited parking is available at the Cultural Center. And, there will be reserved parking for motorcycles. There will also be reserved parking for the disabled and senior citizens. Overflow parking will be at Purnell Swett High School. Buses will shuttle patrons between the school and the powwow grounds.

Golf carts and all-terrain vehicles are not allowed on the premises for this event.

The main tent will be equipped with misting fan cooling systems for enhanced comfort levels.

Volunteers and Lumbee tribal workers have spent the past several weeks making repairs and cleanups at the Cultural Center. Some local businesses have pitched in as well, donating materials and labor.

Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin said he is delighted with the outpouring of support from the community and tribal workers to get the Cultural Center ready for the powwow.

He said about 250 volunteers – mostly UNC Pembroke students – spent April 9 cleaning up and repairing the grounds. They also picked up trash along the roadway leading to the Cultural Center.

“This just shows how much the community and the college care about these hallowed grounds,” Godwin said. “I have not seen this much enthusiasm in a long time. People are really pleased that the Lumbee Tribe is bringing the powwow back to the Cultural Center.”

The people are not alone. Godwin said he too is excited to have the celebration back at the Cultural Center as well.

Making an effort to return the Lumbee people to their Indian culture is what he promised during his run for the tribal chairman’s position last year. He has continued to deliver on his campaign promises.

Getting the powwow back where it belongs is only the beginning, Godwin said.

“Our people deserve this,” the chairman said. “We are a proud people with a rich culture and it’s important for us to recognize that. The Lumbee Tribe is proud to have the opportunity to bring this great event back to the old powwow grounds.”

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NC Spotlight:

G. B. Grayson

G.B. Grayson was born in rural Ashe County, North Carolina in 1887 to Benjamin Carrol and Martha Jane Roark Grayson. According to his sister, when G.B. was six weeks old, his sight was damaged when he stared out the window at bright snow for several hours. While he was mostly blind his entire life, he could identify some people from their size and could tell time using a watch with large numbers. When G.B. was two years old, his family moved a few miles west to Johnson County, Tennessee, where he would live for the rest of his life.[3]

While G.B.'s family was poor, the Graysons were a fairly prominent family in the mountains along the northern Tennessee-North Carolina border. G.B.'s uncle, James Grayson (1833–1901), was a Union Army officer who helped organize an anti-Confederate uprising in Carter County, Tennessee at the outbreak of the American Civil War and later aided in the capture of legendary North Carolina fugitive Tom Dula.[4] G.B. and Henry Whitter were the first to record the folk song Tom Dooley— based on the capture of Dula— in 1929.[3]

G.B. learned to play music at a young age, and was an accomplished fiddler by his early teens. As he was unable to work due to his near-blindness, he began playing at various small venues and dances around Johnson County to make money. Banjoist Clarence Ashley— who also lived in Johnson County— recalled travelling with Grayson to the West Virginia coal mines as early as 1918 to collect money by playing outside coal company pay shacks.[3]

In 1927, Grayson met Whitter— who had already had some success as a recording artist— at a fiddler's convention in Mountain City, Tennessee.[5] [6] The two recorded eight sides for Gennett Records in October of that year, but their greatest success came with a subsequent Victor session which produced the double-sided "Train 45"/"Handsome Molly", which sold over 50,000 copies in five years.[2] A follow-up session in 1929 brought less success, but Grayson had saved up enough money to buy a new house. On August 16, 1930, Grayson was killed while riding on the running boards of a car outside Damascus, Virginia.[3]

He married Rhoda Frances "Fannie" Mahaffey (26 July 1887 - 8 August 1948). They had seven children, six of whom survived into adulthood. She and G.B. are buried in the Gentry Cemetery, near Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee.[1]

Grayson played the fiddle in an "archaic" style, holding it against his shoulder rather than his chin. Most of the songs he wrote were based loosely on other well-known songs of the day. "Train 45" was derived from the banjo tune "Reuben," and "Joking Henry" was probably influenced by the folk song "Frankie and Johnnie." He wrote "Going Down the Lee Highway" as he and Whitter drove along U.S. Route 11 in Johnson County in 1929. He learned "Nine Pound Hammer" from fellow fiddler Charlie Bowman (who had picked it up from an African-American musician), and his version of "Short Life of Trouble" resembles Clarence Ashley's recording during the same period. Grayson and Whitter's traditional recordings include "Rose Connally" and "Ommie Wise."[3]

Although their partnership was short-lived, the recordings of Grayson and Whitter are among the most emulated and covered of early Old-time and country music. The Kingston Trio had a Number 1 hit with a version of "Tom Dooley" in 1958.[7] In the early 1960s, musicologist Ralph Rinzler played Grayson's recording of "Ommie Wise" at Clarence Ashley's house in Shouns to help convince Ashley, Doc Watson, and several of their bandmates to take up the more traditional style of music rather than the more modern electric music. "Train 45" and "Nine Pound Hammer" have become staples at Bluegrass festivals. "Handsome Molly" has been recorded by both Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger.[2] Ralph Stanley has recorded Grayson's song "Little Maggie, with a dram glass in her hand" multiple times.[8]

Read more at Wikipedia:


G.G. Grayson on Youtube:

May 7, 2016 

Started in 1988, the Carthage Buggy Festival is a celebration of the rich history of Carthage, North Carolina.  The Buggy Festival is held each year to commemorate the famous Tyson and Jones Buggy Factory that, from the mid-1800’s to the 1920’s, produced the carriages that were essential to life in rural North Carolina.  The festival is held in Carthage, located eight miles north of Pinehurst in the Sandhills region of North Carolina.  With an attendance last year of approximately 20,000, the Buggy Festival has grown into one of the biggest and best known festivals in the region.  The festival was selected as one of Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 events for the month of May 2013. 

The Buggy Festival grew out of a suggestion that Carthage, the County Seat of Moore County, needed to stage an event that would draw attention to its history.  Since the Tyson and Jones Buggy Factory had been one of the largest buggy manufacturers in the nation for over half a century, the focus on buggies seemed natural.  But you couldn’t have a buggy festival without a buggy, so where to find them became a burning question. 

A search began and soon samples of those early modes of transportation were found and purchased.  Each festival since has seen more Tyson and Jones buggies on hand for festival attendees to view. 

Read more



In this week's newsletter, we continue our series featuring several excellent and entertaining documentaries that feature NC culture and folk arts.  These films are available to view online, for free, and recognize our unique culture and heritage.

Links to these films are scattered throughout the newsletter.  Be sure to scroll down to view them all.  This will be an ongoing series, with many titles to come in future newsletters.


The Life and Times of Joe Thompson

The story of the last African American fiddle player in North Carolina whose unique style of music has been passed down in his family for over three hundred years. A farmer from Mebane, North Carolina, Joe played in Carnegie Hall and across the south. Winner of the NC Heritage Award, 88 yr. old Joe Thompson waits to pass the bow to the next generation.

View the entire film here:,278


Join us for the 20th annual N.C. Peach Festival proudly held every year on the 3rd Saturday in July, downtown Candor, NC. The parade begins at 10:00 a.m. with a wonderful showing of local floats, firetrucks, and other fun parade entrants. Afterwards, stroll down to Fitzgerald Park where the rest of the festivities are located. Bring your lawn chairs, sit back, relax, and enjoy the best live entertainment around. There are always lots of fresh, sweet, local peaches, arts & crafts, and of course, the best homemade peach ice cream in the Great State of North Carolina!

Grown-ups and kids alike, can enjoy an abundance of vendors and activities including: Bounce Houses, Petting Zoo, Camel Rides, Gyro Ride, Mechanical Bull, Gaming Trailer, Bungee Trampoline, Pony Rides, Helicopter Rides, Rock Wall, Putt-Putt, and so much more!!!

This year, the N.C. Peach Festival will feature an awesome line-up of live entertainment including: Jim Quick & Coastline, The Sand Band, Rockin' Acoustix, and the McKenzie Brothers. We look forward to seeing you on SATURDAY, JULY 16TH, 2016 FROM 10:00AM - 5:00PM!

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Madison County Project: Documenting the Sound

Madison County Project: Documenting the Sound examines the tradition of unaccompanied ballad singing in Madison County, North Carolina and how both documentary work and the power of family and community have influenced that tradition. The film focuses on John Cohen and Peter Gott's film and recording work in Madison County in the 1960s as well as the voices of today's ballad singers such as Sheila Kay Adams, Donna Ray Norton, Denise Norton O'Sullivan, and DeeDee Norton Buckner. The film is a joint project between two graduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Part of the project is to create a more transparent form of documentary that invites participation from those featured in the film, advisors, and the general public. To that end, the filmmakers established a production blog at where they post status reports, make available the latest edits of the film, and solicit comments on their work.

View the entire film here:,120

Some of North Carolina’s greatest treasures can be found off the beaten path. You never know what you might find... an old-time general store, local artisan, or simply a picturesque view that takes your breath away. You’ll be swept away by the untouched natural landscape found on the backroads of this rural county.

In Anson County, you can discover all that and more. Come. Visit. Surround yourself with the beauty of North Carolina’s best kept secret.




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Hands Together is a nonprofit organization devoted to educating, inspiring and encouraging people to understand the importance of responding to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. Our Mission, as we strive to build a more compassionate and human world, proceeds from the spiritual belief that we are all members of one, equal, interconnected family under a loving God.



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