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Monday, December 22, 2014

Gov. McCrory gets it right the second time around, names new N.C. Poet Laureate after controversy

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Call it poetic justice: After sparking controversy with his appointment of a questionably qualified state poet laureate in July, Gov. Pat McCrory announced in a press release today that the eminently qualified Shelby Stephenson will take the post. As the INDY wrote in July, Gov. McCrory’s abrupt, unilateral selection of state employee Valerie Macon as poet laureate caused an outcry in the state’s literary community—and beyond. Facing national scrutiny and criticism, Macon resigned after less than a week, leaving the post vacant until now. There were two reasons for the controversy over Macon’s appointment. For one, she lacked the legitimate publication and poetry...

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chapel Hill’s Varsity Theater starts fundraising campaign to stay in business

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 3:13 PM

As 2014 winds down, a Chapel Hill institution turns to Kickstarter in the hopes of making it through 2015. Today, the Varsity Theatre, which has operated on Franklin Street under different names for more than 85 years, unveiled a Kickstarter campaign starkly named Go Digital or Go Dark. Its goal is to raise enough money to convert the theater’s projectors and other equipment from 35mm film to digital, simply so they can keep showing movies as the new technology replaces the old, and even older films are being converted to digital and, sometimes, destroyed. One day into its 60 day run, the...

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New folk art museum working to come to Pittsboro

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Things will be stirring in the local art world this spring. As the North Carolina Museum of Art embarks on a major renovation, a mom-and-pop business in Pittsboro hopes to break ground on a new folk and outsider art museum. It’s an exciting prospect for an area whose rich artisanal tradition predates its fine-arts pedigree. The Small Museum of Folk Art is the vision of Dave Clark and Lisa Piper, who own the Small B&B Café. According to a press release, they received a gift from an unnamed donor of more than 400 pieces of folk and outsider art, including...

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

North Carolina Museum of Art reveals plans for major renovations

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 10:23 AM

In a press release yesterday, the North Carolina Museum of Art announced plans for a long-term, multi-phase renovation of its 164-acre campus, Museum Park. The plan includes a new campus entrance and street front, woodland and meadow restoration, new bike and pedestrian trails, additional parking spots, a new building and new outdoor artworks. “The goal of this plan is to connect people, art and nature in a sustainable way,” project leader Dan Gottlieb, NCMA’s director of planning and design, said in the press release. NCMA received $13 million from an anonymous donor to complete the first phase of construction, which...

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Comics roundup: A civil rights legend, Congressman John Lewis, visits Durham in comics and real-life form

Posted By on Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM

“Durham Reads Together” and The Durham Comics Project A major public figure with an connection to comic books will be in Durham this weekend: Georgia Congressman John Lewis, the legendary Civil Rights Movement leader who is the last surviving speaker from the 1963 political rally in Washington, D.C. where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. Rep. Lewis’ life and experiences have been adapted into the graphic novel trilogy March from Top Shelf Comix, which has published acclaimed works such as Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Craig Thompson’s Blankets. The first volume of March...

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

John Darnielle's Wolf in White Van longlisted for National Book Award

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Success was a long time in coming to John Darnielle as a musician. Before his folk-rock project The Mountain Goats started edging toward household name (or at least major cult) status, he spent the 1990s releasing lo-fi cassettes and records for a small group of dedicated fans. But it looks like literary success will prove less elusive, as Darnielle's first proper novel, Wolf in White Van (which is discussed with the author and reviewed in this week's INDY), has just landed on the longlist for the 2014 National Book Awards for Fiction. About that "proper"—Wolf in White Van, which elliptically...

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Bull Spec officially retires as print magazine

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 2:22 PM

For Triangle-based fans of science fiction, fantasy and horror, Durham’s Samuel Montgomery-Blinn has played a major role in raising awareness of and consolidating the rich local scene for these genres with his magazine and website Bull Spec since 2010. The INDY reported on it back when it was on its fourth issue in 2011. But after years of diligently promoting the books and films he loves, Montgomery-Blinn is cutting back … a bit. Bull Spec is officially retiring as a print periodical, though it will continue as a website and email newsletter.  The print version of Bull Spec has been a labor of love...

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Scrap Exchange moving to new location

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 2:16 PM

On August 16, The Scrap Exchange, the Durham-based nonprofit that has come to be a nationwide model for creative reuse centers, will finally have a place to call its own. After three years at its current location on Franklin Street, The Scrap Exchange will reopen in a new, larger space in the Lakewood neighborhood of Durham, in what was formerly the Cinema Theater and Duke Surplus building at 2050 Chapel Hill Road. True to its mission, The Scrap Exchange has worked to repair and renovate the property since buying it late in 2013, ensuring that it's suitable for the organization's activities,...

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Update: Valerie Macon resigns from Poet Laureate appointment after uproar

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Valerie Macon, appointed by Governor Pat McCrory as North Carolina's poet laureate last Friday, resigned her appointment Thursday. The North Carolina literary community noisily—and almost unanimously—objected to the virtually unknown Macon's appointment on the grounds that she was substantially unqualified for the honor and that her inexperience undermined the integrity of the office of laureate as well as the literary tradition of the state. Macon has self-published two books and lacks teaching or program facilitation experience, which are core duties of the poet laureate. Past laureates have all been substantially published poets with national reputations and decades of teaching experience...

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Opinion: McCrory’s mean joke, a poet laureate who’s barely a poet

Posted By on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Update: Valerie Macon has resigned. Who the hell is Valerie Macon? That’s what poets in North Carolina are asking this week after Gov. Pat McCrory bypassed the established process for choosing the state’s poet laureate and appointed the unknown, inexperienced Macon to the post for the next two years. Typically, the North Carolina Arts Council handles the selection of a new laureate. They solicit nominations, convene a selection committee to review the poets against the position’s guidelines and recommend a finalist to the Governor, who announces the new laureate. But McCrory couldn’t bother with that. Ignoring the NCAC’s process,...

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hopscotch Design Festival announces initial speaker lineup

Posted By on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 12:40 PM

The Hopscotch Design Festival is taking shape with today's announcement of more than two-dozen speakers from across the country. Notable participants include Harper Reed, the chief technology officer for the Obama for America campaign; Alexander Isley, founder of Alexander Isley Inc.; Anne Atkins, lead graphic designer for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel; and Brian Singer, a communication design team manager for Facebook. These speakers and others will take part in sessions throughout the day on Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 in locations throughout Raleigh including Flanders Gallery, CAM, the Lincoln Theatre, Kings and Fletcher Opera Theater. The event wants to reflect...

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Temple of acoustic music: Duke unveils the long-awaited Baldwin Auditorium facelift

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 4:21 PM

A small group of clearly excited Duke officials greeted the media this morning. The occasion: the unveiling of a shimmering, newly renovated Baldwin Auditorium. As Duke Performances director Aaron Greenwald noted in preliminary remarks, the 685-seat facility is designed exclusively for acoustic music and as such, it will fill a niche in the area's acoustic music spaces. Greenwald pointed out that Raleigh's Meymandi Concert Hall, the Triangle's premier recital venue, is more than twice the size of Baldwin. Although the exterior of the building, which was completed in 1927, looks the same, the interior was gutted. Now, $15 million...

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Zach Ward returns to full-time role at DSI Comedy Theater

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM

File photo by Jeremy M. LangeZach Ward in Carrboro, 2010 DSI Comedy Theater’s founder, owner and executive producer Zach Ward returns to Carrboro and DSI this month. Last week, the theater announced his return, following a two-year stint at ImprovBoston in Cambridge, Mass. In a telephone interview, Ward says that returning to North Carolina was always part of his plan when he decided to go to Boston in 2011 and cites raising his 1-year-old son as a key reason for making the move back to his hometown. “When I left, I knew what I wanted to accomplish in five years,...

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Nasher Museum of Art names Sarah Schroth director

Posted By on Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 2:36 PM

The “interim” tag is gone. Sarah Schroth is now officially in place as the director of Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Duke PhotographySarah Schroth loses the interim tag as the new director of Duke's Nasher Museum of Art.Schroth, who has been a curator at the museum since 1995—the pre-Nasher days of the Duke University Museum of Art—took over interim directorial duties for the third time in her tenure after the Nasher’s original director, Kimerly Rorschach, left last fall to direct the Seattle Museum of Art. After a committee comprising academic heavyweights and museum board members conducted...

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Local playwright Monica Byrne lands major book deal with first novel

Posted By on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 9:10 PM

D.L. AndersonDurham playwright Monica ByrneCrown Publishing Group, a division of publishing giant Random House, has signed a major book deal with Durham playwright Monica Byrne for the rights to publish her first novel, The Girl in the Road, in 2014. Details of the arrangement were released over the weekend on the website for Publishers Marketplace, an industry publication. “I wanted to scream,” Byrne recalls when she received news of the agreement at the end of last week. “[My agent] was excited, everyone was so excited, and so pleased by the deal, which was considerable.” Crown signed what Byrne characterized as...

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Friday, March 8, 2013

CAM Raleigh changes leadership on eve of second anniversary

Posted By on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 11:28 AM

File photo by Jeremy M. LangeCAM Raleigh officially opened in April 2011.RALEIGH—As CAM Raleigh approaches the two-year mark, the museum is making changes. It’s also taking the opportunity, in advance of the noise of birthday celebrations next month, to revisit its aspirations. One change is taking place at the top. Early this week, CAM parted ways with Elysia Borowy-Reeder, the museum's executive director of the last two years. The change has been announced internally but an official announcement is expected soon. [UPDATE 4:11 p.m.: Here it is.] Kate Shafer, who has served as gallery and exhibitions manager since the institution’s...

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nerds, a new musical about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, premieres in Raleigh

Posted By on Sat, Jan 19, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Photo by Curtis Brown PhotographyDiana DeGarmo and other performers in NerdsHalf a dozen nerds cross the stage at the A.J. Fletcher Theater holding their homemade computers, hoping to launch their careers and, more importantly, make friends. Behind them, a computer motherboard acts as a backdrop, with dozens of LED screens providing commentary. Director Marc Bruni stops the action: the screens are blank. “The lights aren’t talking to each other,” says a technician. Thus this rehearsal, for a new musical about the rise of the digital world, has to pause in order to fix a computer. North Carolina Theatre’s Nerds: A...

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Progressive talk radio gets FM boost starting Tuesday

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM

It used to be that fans of station WCHL 1360’s progressive talk lineup were resigned to turning off their favorite station with a sigh at nighttime—particularly if they lived outside of the station’s main broadcast area. And Raleigh? Forget about it. You had a hard enough time listening during the day if you live there. Making matters worse, the FCC required the station to turn down the signal at night. Well, that’s not a problem anymore. When listeners wake up on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 28, they’ll find a more powerful antidote to all that Limbaugh/Hannity/Dumas crap on Triangle...

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Raleigh Ensemble Players files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection

Posted By on Fri, May 4, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Photo by Adam David KissickTwo actors in DOG SEES GOD: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, produced by REP in June 2011Raleigh Ensemble Players (REP), the 30-year old theater company in downtown Raleigh, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. This afternoon, the company sent an email to members of the area theater community confirming that the company had ceased operations, effective immediately: "Following the unanimous adoption of a resolution by REP's Board of Directors, the company has filed for bankruptcy." The email was signed by C. Glen Matthews, the company's artistic director. According to documents filed yesterday in the United...

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Raleigh arts organization make their case as city council ponders cuts

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 5:09 PM

File photo by Jeremy M. LangeMembers of Burning Coal Theatre Company were out in force Tuesday night. In this photo from 2008, members of the company pose in their new Murphey School space. Last night’s Raleigh City Council meeting was packed with people, two-thirds of which were members of the city’s local arts community. (Members of the Burning Coal Theatre Company filled up two rows of seats.) These people, many of them wearing lime-green stickers on their clothing with the words “think art” on it, were there for one simple reason: to convince the council not to cut Raleigh’s arts...

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Carolina Wren Press author Jeanne Leiby dies

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Jeanne Leiby, 1964-2011Some slightly belated and very sad news coming across the desk here: Jeanne M. Leiby, who was the Editor of the Southern Review (out of Louisiana State University) and whose debut collection of short stories, Downriver, was published by Carolina Wren Press in 2007, died last month in a single-car accident on Interstate 10 near Baton Rouge. Driving a convertible with the top down, and apparently not wearing a seat belt, she lost control of the car and hit a guardrail, throwing her from the car. She was 46 years old. Leiby was much beloved in the literary...

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Want to see National Theatre's FRANKENSTEIN Thursday?
Fly to London. Or drive to Southern Pines.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 4:24 PM

FRANKENSTEINNational Theatre LiveSunrise TheaterSouthern PinesMarch 17, 3 p.m.Reservations: 910 692 8501 We've got another one of those insanelygreat—and totally last minute—performance opportunities for you. If you'd like to see a live performance of Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle's controversial production of FRANKENSTEIN, at London's National Theatre on Thursday, March 17, you have two options. Plan A: Fly to London and take your chances on a scalper's ducat or a last-minute cancellation. Price: ~$1,500—up. Plan B: Drive 90 minutes to Southern Pines, where you can see the performance, broadcast live via HD satellite feed, at the historic Sunrise Theater. Price: $20...

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

(More) cute "a-gnome-ymous" art in D-town

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Cork gnomes are expected to venture out beginning March 20 Spring is in the air. Heaps of little creatures are prepping for debut, from bitty bunnies to budding bulbs and... lucky little cork gnomes, as the Indy staff has learned. The news came in an "a-gnome-ymous" letter of Lilliputian proportion, attached to this little guy (or gal?). Locals will start spotting these little cuties beginning March 20, according to the message. It seems they were inspired in part by last year's garden-gnome spottings across Durham, which were documented on a local blog, as well as here at the Indy website....

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

In this political climate, Arts Advocates are needed. Here's how you become one...

Posted By on Sun, Mar 6, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Arts Advocacy WorkshopsArts North Carolina RaleighUnited Arts of Raleigh/Wake County110 South Blount StreetTuesday, March 8, 12 noon DurhamDurham Arts Council120 Morris StreetMonday, March 14, 11:30 a.m. Chapel HillPlaymakers Repertory CompanyPaul Green Theater, UNC-Chapel HillMonday, March 28, 2 p.m. The moment has occurred repeatedly since the early part of the 2000s, when Arts N.C. executive director Karen Wells and her colleagues began conducting what she calls “Advocacy 101”—hour-long workshops that teach total novices how to coordinate and raise their voices with their elected representatives as citizens who support the arts. At some point it starts to dawn on her students: It...

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bye-bye Borders: Superstore files Chapter 11, Triangle stores to close in next several weeks

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Today , the troubled books retail giant Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The long-expected move means 200 stores will close, including four stores in the Triangle. According to documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, stores in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Cary and Apex will all close as part of Borders' restructuring. The Borders in Greensboro will also close. Borders' North Raleigh location at 8825 N. Six Forks Road will remain open, as will the stall at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Borders announced today that it had secured $505 million in debt financing to help...

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I've been to the last 2 NC ComiCons in Durham. It's a great event, but the panels are kind of …

by Ruby Sinreich on NC Comicon and Oak City Comicon Consolidate Brands as New Competition From Florida Looms (Arts)

Also, don't miss Illogicon this weekend http://illogicon.org/ - it's another great fan event!

by Mike S Broder on NC Comicon and Oak City Comicon Consolidate Brands as New Competition From Florida Looms (Arts)

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