Category Archives: Happenings

Meet Renée Hamilton of SWVA Ballet!

Southwest Virginia Ballet’s new executive director, Renée Hamilton, has been passionate about dance since she was a child. She began dancing very young, in elementary school, and continued dancing in different areas with a focus in ballet well into high school in Winchester, Virginia. Both in college and after graduation, she continued taking classes and remaining active on a voluntary basis.
After spending time in Arkansas, Renée moved back to the east coast and connected with Southwest Virginia Ballet. From the moment she met Karen and Pedro, she knew it would be a good fit for her.
Now, with the Southwest Virginia Ballet’s 22nd production of the Nutcracker approaching, her connection is accompanied by nostalgia.
“The Nutcracker was the first performance I was ever in as a child. I played Clara, and my parents danced in the Nutcracker alongside me. It’s something that naturally brings back childhood memories every Christmas, and makes it magical from the beginning of the season all the way through,” says Renée.
Artistic director, Pedro Szalay, is dedicated to adding something new every year in order to keep the performance fresh and new. Audiences who attend annually are often excited to see what changes he has made to costumes and choreography.
“The other fun part is watching kids in the company and community members grow and change throughout. These are exceedingly well-trained, passionate, artistic kids,” adds Renée.
In addition to supporting the participating young dancers, Southwest Virginia Ballet has a mission to give back to clients of human service organizations. If someone is going through a difficult time, and would have their holiday made better by attending a Nutcracker performance, their therapist or contact person can contact the office and say they are interested in receiving tickets for their client.
If you’d like to be part of this great organization and work with talented creatives like Pedro and Renée, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities!
“You don’t have to have a dance background to get involved. We will not turn away volunteers. We need people who sew, hair stylists, or any people who would like to get involved. We can look for a good match for their interests!” explains Renée.
Learn more about the Southwest Virginia Ballet (and Renée!) by attending events like their Nutcracker Gala on November 18 at the Shenandoah Club. There, you can also participate in an auction of locally handcrafted painted nutcrackers and other treasures! Additional events include Readings with Clara and the SugarPlum Fairy at local libraries through November and December. Of course, we can’t forget The Nutcracker performances at the Berglund Performing Arts Center on Saturday, December 9, at 2 pm and 7 pm, and Sunday, December 10, at 3 pm.
Visit www.svballet.org for more information and to purchase tickets

 

Photography by McDilda Photography.

Riot Rooster Makers!

The 2017 Riot Rooster: Fire Rooster event kicks off TODAY, Friday, November 17 from 5-10pm. Friday evening will be our Bella Girls Night Out, and visitors can enjoy a photo booth, purchase food and beverages, and tour the vendors before the Saturday market!

The Saturday market is the same day as the Grandin Children’s Parade. Beth Deel, organizer of Riot Rooster, encourages families to attend the parade and then visit Riot Rooster together.

“A lot of people call this the beginning of the holiday season. It is a good weekend for gathering, right before Thanksgiving,” Beth explains. “Bring the whole family!”

This will be Riot Rooster’s ninth year, and its fifth year at 16 West Marketplace. This month, we are featuring nine makers from the show to give a sneak peek of what you can expect. Check them out, and visit www.facebook.com/RIOTrooster for more details as the event approaches.

Meridith Entingh, of Meridith Weaves, will participate in Riot Rooster for the second time this year. If you visited Meridith in 2016, you may remember her assortment of unique and beautiful handwoven projects. Although she will have a few of those available again this year, she will also offer hand dyed items such as towels as scarves. “I love color,” she says. “It’s the thing that attracts people the most. Working with color is a lot more fun for me than working with a pattern. My goal is to have people interested in weaving and textiles, but with a little more variety.” www.meridithweaves.com

Icky Eye Ink, owned by Yashmin Barton, will be marking its third year at Riot Rooster this fall. Yashmin taught herself to knit over ten years ago, shortly after losing most of the vision in her left eye and part of the vision in her right eye. She makes scarves, hats, and blankets all year in preparation for the holiday season. Although she sticks to the same three projects, Yashmin allows herself to get creative with color selection. The result are bright, unique and fun pieces to guide her customers through what can be a dreary winter season. Her best seller every year is a piece she’s lovingly dubbed, “The Frankenstein.” Follow Yashmin on Instagram at #ickyeyeink and email her at ickyeyeink@gmail.com to come up with a new creation together!

Stina Anderson, of ARTeries by Stina, is a passionate environmentalist and advocate for recycling and clean living. She has found that upcycling is the best way to reuse and reinvent textile materials into new and beautiful clothing. This will be ARTeries Mobile Boutique’s second year at Riot Rooster. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, they love visiting Roanoke in their fashion truck, because it gives them the opportunity to see friends they’ve met from seven years at FloydFest. Customers can look forward to their holiday line of jewel toned velvet skirts, fingerless gloves, and hoodie scarves (which make great gifts!)! www.arteriesbystina.com

Heady Closet began when Jordan Holland decided to invest in silver wire and precious stones. She started self-taught wire wrapping in 2013, and her creativity helped her branch out from there. Currently, she makes adorable children’s clothing that can be stretched and unrolled to wear  continuously from sizes 6M to 3T. She participated in Riot Rooster this past spring, but this will be her first fall experience. Jordan plans to have fun natural art pieces, baby and kids’ dresses, and shoe styles for babies and children. She loves seeing how happy her creations make those who visit her table—so make sure to stop by! www.facebook.com/headycloset

Piper Lane, of Magpiper Metalworks, has been passionate about jewelry, stones, and metals since she was a child. Every piece she makes is done with complete love for the craft. This will be her third year participating in Riot Rooster. At her table, customers will find custom, handcrafted jingle bells in two sizes. Silver, brass, and copper will be available. Piper will also be taking orders for personalized bells and jewelry. This year’s display will have more rose cut sapphire rings and pendants of several colors including pinks, blues, and some earthy shades. Also, don’t miss her hand stamped mandala pendants and affordable etched and stamped copper cuffs! www.magpipermetalworks.com

The Paisley Poppy began in October 2015 after several years of encouragement and support for owner, Krista Nance. Krista loves to create new projects for herself and others, and custom orders are some of her favorite projects because she loves matching fabric to her customers. Among her best sellers at Riot Rooster are her “Unpaper Towels.” These cloth towels offer a convenient, stylish, and eco-friendly alternative to paper towels. Additionally, customers can purchase her accordion clutch wallets, pocket pillows, wet bags, and snack bags. Some new things she’s offering this year include aprons, memory games and I-spy bags for kids, Bed Caddies, and some limited series Roanoke zipper bags. www.thepaisleypoppystore.etsy.com

Lyndsey Dickerson, of Unbound, grew up in an artistic family, and she began to explore the art of jewelry making about five years ago. As a self-taught silversmith, she is passionate about bringing her creative vision to life through nature-inspired metal and gemstone pieces. This will be her third year at Riot Rooster, and customers old and new will fall in love with her unique mountain collection of rings, necklaces, and earrings. Unbound body care products will make their Riot Rooster debut this year, including natural body butters and scrubs, deodorants, roll-on perfume oils, therapeutic essential oil blends, beard wax, and much more! www.etsy.com/shop/UnboundElements

Frances West was inspired to begin making kinetic mobiles after a year-long stay in Denmark. A combination of the long Scandinavian winters and seeing the mobiles everywhere she turned led Frances to give them a try. Although she has been part of Riot Rooster for several years, this will be the year that her new business, Fulcrom Mobiles, makes its debut there. She will consider doing custom projects for customers, so consider visiting her to find out more about how a mobile can fit into your life! You can also contact Frances via email at fulcrommobiles@gmail.com  to receive more information about her mobiles and place your order.

Lynn Donihe, of Willow Pine Studio, began working with mosaics because of a need to focus on something intently and an obsession with tiny little handmade Moroccan tile that packs so much intense color and texture into one itty-bitty surface. Belt buckles are her perfect canvas—small enough for the intricate designs she wanted and a fun and unexpected place for a little bit of art. This will be her fifth year at Riot Rooster, and she will bring new designs for buckles and pendants in addition to old favorites. Additionally, she will have a collection of small, stacked sculptures and wall pieces that include many of those same designs. www.etsy.com/shop/WillowPineStudio

 

 

 

New Staff at Jefferson Surgical Clinic!

Jefferson Surgical Clinic has a commitment to providing patients with exemplary health care. For that reason, we always take interest when they hire new staff. The latest additions to their team are no exception to their commitment. We are excited to introduce you to these two extraordinary women!

Christin Clark has been promoted to Nurse Practitioner upon completing a M.S. in Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Jefferson College of Health Sciences in the spring of 2017. She will see patients in JSC’s vascular clinic, where she has worked as an R.N. supervisor since 2014.

Susan K. Blick has joined Jefferson Surgical Clinic as an advanced-level certified family nurse practitioner. She will be joining Dr. Gregory Zachmann in providing patent care at Jefferson Surgical’s ENT department. Blick relocated to Roanoke from Macon, Georgia where she spent 14 years as a nurse practitioner.

For more information, or to make an appointment with Christin Clark or Susan Blick, call 540.283.6000.

Heart to Heart Conversations in Roanoke

This November the Heart to Heart: Conversations on Loving our LGBTQ Neighbors and Strengthening our Faith will be holding a series of discussions in the Roanoke area. These conversations will feature the internationally known speaker, author, and spiritual director, Susan Cottrell. Susan is a wife and mother to five children, two of whom are members of the LGBTQI community, and author of Mom, I’m Gay! Loving Your LGBTQ Child and Strengthening Your Faith and True Colors: Celebrating the Truth and Beauty of the Real You. She has also founded the organization, www.freedhearts.org, a nonprofit that aims to address LGBTQI issues theologically and religiously. Having recently been featured on ABC’S 20/20, Nightline and Good Morning America, Susan is a firm believer that the foundation of faith is based upon one’s love for God and all others.

The main purpose behind the Heart to Heart conversations is to create and promote serious discussion and support for the LGBTQ community. What once started as a one-day event, has now turned into a week-long series of events to promote discussion, love, and understanding. Among many topics discussed, some of the most prominent include curiosity and difficulty with sexual orientation, gender identity, and faith. The Heart to Heart events will be held November 8-12 with the main event, the Heart to Heart Conference, occurring November 11, 9am-2pm at the Christ Episcopal Church in Roanoke. A schedule of these events may be found at www.hearttoheartva.com. Most of these events, unless stated otherwise, are free and open to the public.

Donations can be made to the Heart to Heart foundation online at www.donate.hearttoheartva.com or checks can be made payable to the Roanoke Diversity Center and mailed to 806 Jamison Ave SE, Roanoke, VA 24013. All donations will go towards funding for these conversations that deepen our love and support for the LGBTQ community and featuring authors and leaders, such as Susan Cottrell.

 

Written by Taylor Ward

Giving Back: Craftsmen’s Classic

The Craftsmen’s Classic Show at the Berglund Center is the second largest food drive all year for Feeding America Southwest Virginia. The event will take place October 13-15, and offers free admission with a food donation. In years past, the event has brought in thousands of pounds of food for the area. Food banks like Feeding America Southwest Virginia are essential to our community. According to www.faswva.org, “The USDA estimates that 42.2 Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.”

Without that knowledge, it is difficult to imagine that so many of your neighbors could be going hungry. This makes holding donations for admission to events like the Craftsmen’s Classic Show an integral part of helping meet the nutritional needs of families in Southwest Virginia.

In addition to helping out local families, this is a great opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping and support artisans at a time of year when every penny counts for small businesses. Nine Craftsmen’s Classics are held annually and throughout the year in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Gilmore Enterprises, Inc. takes producing each event seriously. Every show contains a careful balance of traditional and contemporary works. Ultimately, hundreds of artists and craftsmen from over 20 states are featured. They are juried and selected for originality and creative excellence.

Because these qualities are so important, there is something for everyone at this event. Enjoy new exhibitors and familiar favorites as you browse pottery, fine art, glass, jewelry, baskets, weaving, clothing, furniture, sculpture, photography, wood, and more! The event will also include specialty foods. All items are made by the participating artists and craftsmen. You won’t find any of these items in the “big box” retail stores. Many exhibitors even welcome requests for custom work, allowing them to explore their creativity to create a personalized gift for you or your loved one. Between collectibles, home accessories, and personal treasures for all ages, you have an opportunity to find something for everyone on your list!

Visit www.craftshow.com for more information on this event! We look forward to seeing you there!

Support the Arts in October!

We love all of the local talent showcased this month! Check out a couple of our favorite events below, and share your photos at those events with us on Facebook!

The Blue Ridge Potters Guild Show and Sale at Patrick Henry High School will open at 6:30pm on Friday, October 13. The show will continue through the weekend, allowing those in attendance to enjoy refreshments as they peruse the potters’ latest works and shop for holiday gifts at more than 50 booths. The largest all-pottery show in Virginia will be open Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm. Demonstrations for adults and kids will be held throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. A favorite feature for both participants and customers is the Gallery. This year’s theme is “The Garden.” The Gallery is open to all Guild members to enter a piece based upon their interpretation of the theme. A wide range of work will be available at this event as more than 70 Blue Ridge Pottery Guild members are expected to participate! Visit www.blueridgepotters.com for more information.

The 42nd season of Opera Roanoke opens with a new production of Tosca on October 27 at 7:30pm and October 29 at 3pm in the Shaftman Performance Hall at the Jefferson Center. The show features a cast of Opera Roanoke returning favorites including Dinyar Vania (La Traviata ’16), Thomas Cannon (Madama Butterfly ’11), and Emily Johnson (Falstaff ’08). This Puccini selection is riveting and perfect for Halloween weekend. When romance and politics mix, the result is a thrilling melodrama focused on the haunting aftermath of jealousy, sabotage, and betrayal. To purchase tickets, visit www.operaroanoke.org.

Roanoke Valley Reads

Blue Ridge Literacy (BRL) will host events throughout the month around this year’s Roanoke Valley Reads “Big Reads” selection, When Breath Becomes Air, by Dr. Paul Kalinithi. The thought-provoking book is a personal journal following a diagnosis of terminal cancer. The community-wide gatherings are free and open to the public.

On October 12 at 7pm, there will be panel of leading religious leaders (Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Catholic) from throughout the area at Hollins University Chapel who will share their respective faith tradition’s understanding of and practices in dealing with death and dying.

Members of the regional retirement community will have the opportunity to participate in a book review and discussion on When Breath Becomes Air on October 18 at 2pm at Richfield. Participating book clubs include Richfield, Brandon Oaks, The Glebe, Pheasant Ridge, Friendship, and several others. This discussion will include how the book speaks to their individual understanding of death and informs the meaning of life.

On November 1 at 7pm, Dr. Thomas Milam, a psychiatrist with Carilion, and chaplains from two area hospices will be joined by hospice patients, discussing death and dying from a front-line and first-hand perspective in the auditorium at the downtown Roanoke library.

On November 3, the Taubman Museum will host a discussion on “Death and the Medical Community.” This panel will talk about how a physician’s humanity and mortality informs their profession. Here, the medical community including students of Jefferson College and Virginia Tech-Carilion Medical School, will discuss the challenge of facing death, both personally and professionally.

There will also be a free showing of the film, WIT, based on the award-winning play of the same name, at the Community High School on November 13 at 7pm. The film concerns the experiences, observations, and relationships of a college professor who is dying of cancer. Go to www.roanokevalleyreads.com for details on upcoming events and how you can get involved!

Get Outside: Survival 101 Women’s Course

The Survival 101 Women’s Course, offered by Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School in Catawba, Virginia is an amazing, and potentially life-changing, two-day excursion. The unique Survival 101 is geared specifically toward women, and helps develop keys to success that they already possess. Through the simulation, participants become familiar with wilderness safety, preparedness, and camping skills. They have an option to spend the night in a tent, a hammock, or the Mountain Shepherd lodge.

Dina Bennett, Vice President and Instructor for Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School, was inspired to offer this opportunity by a survival course she took in 2006 with her now-husband, Reggie Bennett. Women who take her course will learn the basics like building a fire, wilderness first aid, communicating with rescuers, acquiring shelter, purifying water, and finding food.

“Knowing how to do things gives you more confidence,” Dina says. “That confidence will make you more likely to go out, explore, and do things.”

The course also offers many parallels to everyday life. Dina, who built a career in the corporate world early in life, speaks about the similarities and how spending time developing your self-confidence in the outdoors can change your mindset once you resume daily activities.

“If you can survive the back country, then you can survive the front country,” she explains. From assessing what is the most important first step to solving a problem and proceeding with confidence, to identifying your shelter (yoga, family, etc.), to seek in times of trouble, this is about cultivating a positive attitude in order to achieve your goals and live a fulfilling life.

“Fire is our passion. There is a process to building a fire where you start with a foundation and a platform. There is a big parallel here that relates to staying true to who you are. Signaling is about communicating, and how we are sending out our signals so they can be received. We all face stress, and the more that you know yourself and how you react and respond to stress, the better you are going to handle it,” Dina adds.

One of Dina’s favorite things about the course are the friendships that often result from it.

“I’ve built some life-long friendships from this course, which is priceless to me. Women attend from all over the country, so fortunately through technology and social media, we get to stay in touch that way,” she says.

If you would like to attend a Survival 101 Women’s Course, or any of the courses offered at the Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School, visit www.mountainshepherd.com. The next Survival 101 Women’s Course will be offered September 23-24.