Category Archives: Happenings

Strong is the New Pretty

Kate T. Parker began taking photos of her girls in everyday life–biking, playing soccer, discovering tide pools–and quickly came to realize the most resonant images captured her daughters’ true, authentic selves. Her recent book, Strong is the New Pretty, is a celebration of the tenacious spirit inherent within all girls. Featuring Parker’s stunning photography alongside advice and wisdom from her subjects, the book demonstrates that all girls are unstoppable.

“As the project grew, I met and photographed hundreds of girls from all over the country, and I learned that strength doesn’t ways come in one package, and it doesn’t always manifest itself the way it does in my girls,” Parker explains.

This book features girls reading or studying, girls jumping in mud and leaves, girls comforting their best friend, girls on the playing field, and girls creating art, among many other awesome activities reflecting their mental and physical strength. It reminds us that beauty is not about being a certain size, having your hair done a certain way, or wearing a certain dress. It is about being yourself.

Head over to www.katetparker.com to learn more about the author. We will be giving away a copy of Strong is the New Pretty on our Facebook page tomorrow! For those that do not win, you can purchase it here.

Fearless Release Party

We are excited to sponsor the official release party for Fearless–A Woman’s Guide to Self Protection by Logan Doughty at Parkway Brewing Company on Sunday, Marcy 26!

The event will begin at 4 pm, and will feature the author Logan Doughty, also owner and instructor at Personal Self Protection LLC.
Guests can use this opportunity to participate in a question and answer session on Personal Self Protection, promotions throughout the evening, raffle drawings, and more!

Those who purchase Fearless will receive their own SABRE pepper spray, and can have the book signed while they are there. Foster Burton, lead singer of Mad Iguanas, and Teresa Berry, of SARA Roanoke, will also be in attendance.

There is no cover charge for this event. RSVP on Facebook, and let us know you are coming!

 

 

Opera Roanoke Makes Case for the Arts

In a time when the NEA (National Endowment of the Arts) might face elimination due to proposed budget cuts, Opera Roanoke is pushing for more arts & culture in the region.
The 41-year-old non-profit organization announced the appointment of Nancy Harder as the Director of Outreach and Associate Conductor.
“I am thrilled to join Opera Roanoke in a leadership role after my involvement as a pianist and vocal coach,” says Ms. Harder. “Opera Roanoke is an innovative, exciting opera company with a national reputation that is an integral part of the arts & culture scene in Roanoke and the New River Valley. I look forward to playing a significant role in its future.”
Opera Roanoke was recently named as one of only a handful of recipients of OPERA America’s highly competitive Building Opera Audiences grant.
“The most recent grant awardees demonstrate the many ways companies are developing innovative strategies to not only attract audiences, but to increase the civic impact of new works — by engaging generative artists with local communities, developing partnerships with organizations outside the arts, and facilitating dialogue to connect storytelling with contemporary issues”, said Marc Scorca, OPERA America President/CEO.
Following the OPERA America announcement, Opera Roanoke was awarded a $50,000 challenge grant from the Ceres Foundation. The grant must be matched by new contributions before June 30. The grant will assist Opera Roanoke in leveraging funds towards its productions, programs and youth music education opportunities in our region.
As a way to connect with new audiences, Opera Roanoke will be holding its first “Opera Tap Takeover” at Soaring Ridge Brewery on April 19 at 6pm. The fundraising event includes great southern food, live music and craft beer.
And on April 28 & 30, Opera Roanoke will present Carlisle Floyd’s American opera Susannah at the Jefferson Center under the baton of Metropolitan Opera conductor, Steven White. Artistic Director Scott Williamson will direct the company premiere of Floyd’s award-winning “folk” opera, set in the Appalachian mountains, which will feature the mainstage debut of Met Opera soprano, Danielle Talamantes.
“We couldn’t be more excited and grateful for all of the great things happening right now,” said Williamson. “The recognition and support from OPERA America, one of the leading arts organizations in the country, and the matching grant from one of our most generous foundations just heightens the anticipation of our premiere production of Floyd’s Susannah. We hope our community here will not only share the excitement of our good news, but will join us for this moving and lyrical drama, full of music which sounds like it came from our beloved Blue Ridge Mountains.”

For more information on Opera Roanoke, and how you can help give back to keep the arts alive in our region visit www.operaroanoke.org.

Spring Happenings!

As the weather gets warmer, your schedule should begin to look a little brighter. With fun events happening locally throughout March, there will be something for the whole family. Check out our favorites below:

McDonald’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Shamrock Festival
Don’t miss the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Saturday, March 11, beginning at 11 am in Downtown Roanoke. This is a great event for families with two free McDonald’s Kid’s Zone locations available from 12 to 5pm. Children can enjoy games, inflatables, face painting, and more in front of the Taubman Museum of Art on Salem Avenue and in Market Square. Corned Beef & Co. will host a Celtic Celebration from 10 am to 5 pm, and Martin’s St. Pats Block Party will open at 11 am. Visit www.downtownroanoke.org for more information.

American Impressionism in the Garden at the Taubman Museum of Art
The American Impressionism in the Garden exhibit at the Taubman Museum of Art includes several new loans from major institutions across the United States. During the late 19th century, many American Impressionist artists studied alongside their French counterparts in Paris and Giverny to capture light’s fleeting effects by painting en plein air, or outside. They distinguished themselves by depicting uniquely American subjects—notably, the garden. This exhibition explores that era, breathing in the fresh aroma of a world in bloom. It will be on view until May 14. Go to www.taubmanmuseum.org for information.

Just Stevii Presents: Experience!
A free event to encourage women to empower themselves and reach their full potential is a great way to celebrate Women’s History Month. That’s why we are so excited that Just Stevii Presents: Experience! will take place at the Kirk Family YMCA on Friday, March 17 from 5 to 9 pm. Roanoke is one of four stops on Stevii Aisha Mills’ cross-country tour. Stevii is a motivational speaker with a goal to help women who are dedicated to pushing past their past to loudly (and proudly!) declare, “I love my life!” Her event will feature several fantastic vendors, including The Purposeful Speaker and Total Life Changes. Visit www.stevii.com/experience to learn more.

 

Focus: Chocolate or Checkbooks?

Typically, the short month of February is a blur due to our focus for the perfect Valentine’s Day plans. Whether or not we are in a relationship, we succumb to the pressure of buying or planning something for someone we know. Doused in reds and pinks, we forget to realize that this is a capitalist holiday which causes us to empty our wallets on a dime.

In a relationship, both parties should love one another, and celebrate that love when it is felt. It should not be feasted upon by some day on a calendar that claims that waxy chocolates and overly priced dinner reservations will portray a perfect relationship. The US News Forum reports that annual spending for the holiday is approaching $19 billion dollars. Most of the money is typically spent between candy, flowers, and eating out. As the second biggest “Hallmark Holiday,” it is not surprising that greeting cards follow. If you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t need the stigma of the day to remind you of why you are in a relationship with someone.

Single people? They are targeting you too. You don’t need that “singles mixer” that is dragging every person you could find on Tinder out of their house, only for the venue to serve you overpriced drinks. It’s unfair to push yourself into a toxic or ill-fitting relationship to meet a “standard.” It’s easy to think that you are alone at this time of year, but think about how buying and receiving affects us as everyday consumers. Buying and receiving things makes us feel better, makes us feel like we ARE more when we HAVE more. Just think, you are saving money, saving calories, and keeping out the clutter of oversized teddy bears.

Moral of the story is, a cheaper restaurant is still as good as any restaurant. Netflix and RedBox are a lot less expensive than movie tickets, and it is just another day.

 

Written by Zoe Pierson

Go Red and Be Healthy

February is also known as National Heart Health Month. It’s a hard truth, but heart disease is not picky, so men and women are both at risk. About 1 in 4 deaths are linked to heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. With that in mind, we’d like to take some time to discuss a few ways to eat and exercise in order to achieve a better lifestyle.

Track what you put into your body. Add color to your plate and make sure to get two servings of fruits and vegetables, but avoid the extra salt and sugar that is sometimes present in canned fruits and vegetables. Whole grains are a better option when faced with multiple choices. Fish and poultry products should be your first choices due to the omega 3 fatty acids within them, prepared without the skin and leaning towards salmon and trout when preparing fish. When wanting red meat, always check for the leaner cuts. Skim and 1% dairy products get you a step closer to a fat-free and low-fat diet. Sugary drinks are extremely bad for you, and you should ultimately try to cut them from your diet. You really want to rid yourself of saturated and trans fats, in order to replace them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Paying attention to serving sizes or cooking meals at home will help  keep you from overeating and not paying attention to your calorie intake.

push-ups-888024_1280Walking, stair climbing, swimming, and biking are all ways to increase heart health.
A good week of activity should typically include 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity at least five days per week or 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days a week. Of course, it is very important to speak to your doctor to create a routine that is safe and right for your body, health, and age.

Remember that everyone has to start somewhere, so if you can’t make each workout when you first start out, you’ll get there! Doing something is always better than doing nothing. Visit www.heart.org for more tips.

 

Written by Zoe Pierson

Extraordinary Women: Alice Allison Dunnigan

Now more than ever we need to be reminded how diversity should be celebrated instead of ignored. Without the many contributions of every race and gender, our country would never have reached the feats that we know today. Black history month provides the opportunity to remember the influence that African Americans have had on the past and will have in the future.

Alice_Allison_DunniganOne of the most important careers in communications has always been reserved for a journalist. They must tell a story transforming it from reality to paper, which can be very testing. However, Alice Allison Dunnigan communicated the country’s information while creating history along the way. Dunnigan was the first African American female correspondent at the White House and the first female member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries. In 1925, she was a teacher in a segregated school house and attended a college for journalism. Alice created fact sheets of historical African American’s in Kentucky while she was a teacher called, The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians: Their Heritage and Tradition.

As her dreams of becoming a journalist grew, she began to write freelance. America was still highly segregated during her era, and her road to success very challenging. Dunnigan started writing for the American Negro Press full-time and gained the opportunity to have a capitol press pass. Her experience gave her the access to Congress news events, which was never given to women or African Americans. Dunnigan made her dream a reality when she began to write for Lyndon B. Johnson’s Administration in 1966.

Even as a correspondent in the White House, she still suffered through prejudiced actions. Alice fought for equality of women and African Americans in every aspect while a correspondent. She often asked questions about the growing civil right movement. Dunnigan made many pushes and achievements for women and African Americans. It’s important to appreciate that without women like Alice, we might not have accomplished the feat of black women in the White House. During February, take the moment to remember these forgotten heroes and share the stories of strong women to inspire an even greater future for the next generation.

Written by Stacy Shrader

Women’s March on Washington 2017

As most may have seen, the Women’s March on Washington received a huge turnout on January 21. The aura overflowed with joy and hopefulness for the future. From the moment I stepped off of the buses with my classmates, I knew this march of unity was going to be one of the biggest caliber that we had seen so far in our lifetimes.

During our two hour wait to purchase a metro card, the group surrounding me had a little contest to see who could spot the most creative signs, and there were many! The array consisted of witty, smart, and intricately detailed posters and diagrams. Once on the metro, I had the joy of being with some of the most passionate, joyous people. We broke into our own renditions of “I Will Survive”, “Irreplaceable”, and other empowering songs and chants. People even broke out their instruments like tubas and tambourines. Upon getting to Capitol South, we were so full of excitement that we would’ve liked to move through the crowd quickly to get closer and closer to the stage on Independence Avenue, but it was impossible to fit anyone else in the city. As much room as we would’ve liked to have, we didn’t mind becoming close friends with our neighbors. It was nice to see all types of women coming together in solidarity to better the future for their families and others.

When I first planned on attending the march, I never thought of anyone but women I didn’t know going to support the same causes and necessary changes as I. As the speakers began to filter to the stage, I realized that I was in the presence of not only friends and strangers, but a list of celebrities who came from all over to shed light on the meaning of the day. Scarlett Johansson, Alicia Keys, Maxwell, Madonna, and corporate CEOS of businesses dedicated to women’s wellbeing lifted us up as the rally and march charged on.

Going to this march was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Being a part of the biggest political protest in history was an amazing honor, but won’t be half as great as when our marches turn into too much to ignore, the day a definite change occurs to support the health and well-being of all women, everywhere. I have never felt so full and proud to be a woman in a time like this. It is truly revolutionary.

Again, I extend gratitude to my wonderful school for giving me the opportunity and helping hand in getting to Washington and making a difference.

Written by Zoë Pierson