RCCC holding Literary and Fine Arts Festival Sunday
By Sarah Campbell
After more than six months of planning, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will kick off its first Literary and Fine Arts Festival on Sunday.
Students and community members are invited to participate in the week-long event, which will include a variety of free performances, lectures and demonstrations.
The festival will begin Sunday with a public reception and the Touring Theater of North Carolina’s performance of “Look Back May Time Days” at the Norvell Theater.
Fred Chappell, a former poet laureate of North Carolina, will play himself in the production Sunday. He will also give a keynote address Monday.
“Having such a prominent North Carolina author perform and speak with our students and members of our community says a lot about how vital the arts are to the college and this area,” said Betty Stack, the college’s liberal arts division director. “The play Sunday is going to be wonderful.”
Paula Dibley, the college’s spokeswoman, said Chappell rarely takes the stage anymore.
“This is sort of a once in a lifetime opportunity for people in our community to come see him perform,” she said.
Dibley said seating will be limited Sunday, but there is still space available. Those interested in attending should call 704-216-7272 to reserve free tickets.
Organizers of the festival said there are several standout events throughout the week.
Peter Goff, an art instructor at the college, said students will have the opportunity to collaborate with visiting artist Gabriel Bennett to create a sculpture that will be housed at the North Campus.
“He’s arriving Sunday, and by Tuesday they will have a completed work, so we’ll probably be pulling some all-nighters Sunday and Monday,” Goff said. “It will be interesting to get to see the work in progress and then be able to come and visit the sculpture over and over again.
“I would encourage students to try to participate in the process as much as possible.”
Bennett currently lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and teaches at Kingsborough Community College. Goff said he recently returned to the United States from installing a piece in Venice, Italy.
“He’s very approachable, so I think he’s going to be a really great resource for students to kind of get multiple perspectives on careers in the arts,” Goff said.
Stack said the two poetry slams during the festival, one Monday at Salisbury’s Literary Bookpost and the other Thursday at Concord’s Dilworth Coffee at Coddle Creek, should be interesting, drawing a variety of talent.
She said the watercolor demonstration by Leslie Frontz being held Wednesday at the South Campus will also be “very nice.” Frontz, an adjunct instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus, studied watercolor with Bernard Evans in Britain.
The art department will host an open house Wednesday to show off the newly renovated fine arts studio.
“We will have student art displayed and I will have a class going on at the time so people can see what students are doing,” Goff said.
Dibley said the space was renovated due to the popularity of the fine arts program, which had grown by 50 percent since last year to more than 300 students.
Stack said next year she’s hoping to add music to the festival, which the college plans to host as an annual event.
“We hope that this will continue to grow in the years to come,” she said.
The idea for the festival originally came from English instructor Robert Abbate, Stack said. He suggested a literary festival the college has put on for several years.
“We felt like it would be great to expand it and provide an opportunity to get the humanities and arts involved,” Stack said.
Goth said he thinks the festival is a good cultural experience for students.
“I’m kind of always talking to my students about the different kinds of language that we have, whether it’s mathematics, written language or visual language,” he said. “This is a great way to broaden that scope as it relates to language because we all communicate differently.”
Stack said the festival will be a good way for the community to experience the “flavor” the college provides outside the typical classroom setting.
“There are a lot of neat things going on,” she said. “(The college) does have the arts flavor like a regular four-year institution does.”
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
Schedule of events for Literary and Fine Arts Festival
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. — Reception and festival information booth, Norvell Theater
2:30 p.m. — “Look Back the Maytime Days” performance, Norvell Theater
10 to 10:50 a.m. — Keynote address by Fred Chappell, North Campus, room 4133
Noon to 12:50 p.m. — Multi-genre ideas in the classroom, North Campus, room 4133
1 to 1:50 p.m. — Film session, North Campus, room 4133
1 to 3 p.m. — Art department open house, North Campus, room 608
2 to 2:50 p.m. — Local history re-enactor Nancy Brewer, North Campus, room 4133
5:30 to 7 p.m. — Poetry slam, Literary Bookpost, 110 S. Main St., Salisbury
10 to 10:50 a.m. — Becoming a writer, North Campus, room 4133
11 to 11:50 a.m. — Discussion of poetry and art, North Campus, room 4133
Noon to 12:50 p.m. — “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” book discussion, North Campus, room 4133
1 to 1:50 p.m. — Weaver’s Knot awards, North Campus, room 4133
2 to 4:45 p.m. — Sculpture dedication, North Campus
10 to 10:50 a.m. — Science fiction and poetry writing, South Campus, room 106
11 to 11:50 a.m. — “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” book discussion, South Campus, room 106
Noon to 12:50 p.m. — Open Mic, South Campus, room 106
Noon to 1:45 p.m. — Leslie Frontz watercolor demo, South Campus Student Center
2 to 2:50 p.m. — Joining of art and poetry, South Campus, room 106
5:30 to 8:30 p.m. — Open mic, Dilworth Coffee at Coddle Creek, 350 George W. Liles Parkway, Suite 110, Concord
9:30 to 10:30 a.m. — Reception, North Campus, Teaching Auditorium
10:30 a.m. to noon — “Look Back the Maytime Days” performance, North Campus, Teaching Auditorium
12:15 to 1:00 p.m. — Call Me M.I.S.T.E.R. Open Mic, North Campus, Teaching Auditorium
1:15 to 2:00 p.m. — Rowan-Cabarrus Creative Writing Awards, North Campus, Teaching Auditorium
6 to 9:30 p.m. — Poetry slam, Dilworth Coffee at Coddle Creek
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