Arts Beat for March 23

Attention artists: Matthews Alive! needs you

The Matthews Alive! Festival is looking for its official art piece to help celebrate the festival’s 20th year.

The winning artwork will adorn the festival’s posters, T-shirts, event guides and more. The winner will receive $750. The contest is open to any area artist and any medium of art is welcome. The deadline for submissions is noon Friday, April 13.

The artwork should follow this year’s festival theme, “Experience Matthews,” placing a focus on the places and things that make Matthews an experience, according to a news release from the town.

The four-day family festival takes place every year during Labor Day weekend and attracts more than 150,000 attendees each year. Proceeds from the event benefit local nonprofits who offer volunteers to work the festival. Over the past 19 years, the Matthews Alive Festival has contributed almost $1 million to local nonprofits, the release said.

For more information about the art contest, visit or e-mail Jayson Johnston at

Concert, dinner to benefit local scholarships

The Mint Hill Women’s Club is teaming up with the Union Chorale to present a dinner/entertainment fundraiser called “Bella Notte de Italia, ” or “Beautiful Night from Italy.” The event takes place at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 23 in the Kerr Building of Philadelphia Presbyterian Church in Mint Hill. Tickets are $15.

“Bella Notte” will include an Italian meal, with salad, entrée, dessert and beverage. The event also will feature live entertainment courtesy of the Union Chorale, under the direction of Sandy Rogers.

Funds raised will support the scholarship fund of the Mint Hill Women’s Club.
To purchase tickets, call Kathy Cowles at 704-545-5354 or e-mail

Enjoy a ‘Day in the Park’

The Town of Mint Hill will host a Day in the Park Saturday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fairview Park, 8850 Fairview Road, in Mint Hill.

The free event invites community members to participate in interactive demonstrations of various sports and activities featuring local experts and giveaways also will be available. A rain date has been set for Saturday, March 31.

The following demonstrations will offered:

• Disc golf, led by Innova Disc Golf, 10 to 10:30 a.m.
• Tennis, 10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
• Volleyball, 11:30 to noon.
• Yoga, led by Tone Your Temple, 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.
• Dance, led by Mint Hill Dance, 1 to 1:30 p.m.
• Martial arts, led by King Tiger, 1:30 to 2 p.m.

For more information, visit

‘Mummies of the World’ in final weeks

Advanced reservations are recommended for area residents who want to see “Mummies of the World” before its last day at Discovery Place April 8.

The exhibit has been in Charlotte since Nov. 11 and has seen more than 100,000 visitors. The exhibit will next move to Tampa, Fla.

Tickets are $24 for adults, $20 for seniors 60 and older and college students and $18 for children, and include a full-day visit to Discovery Place.

To buy tickets, call 704-372-6261 or visit

An evening with author Ron Rash

Friends of Wingate University’s Ethel K. Smith Library will host an evening fundraiser, featuring author Ron Rash.

The event takes place Friday, March 30, at 7 p.m. at Rolling Hills Country Club in Monroe. Reservations are required to attend the event. Tickets are $50 per person.
Rash will host an author talk to discuss his upcoming novel “The Cove.” A dinner buffet and a silent auction will also take place at the event.

In addition to “The Cove,” Rash has written three other novels, two collections of short stories and three collections of poetry. He is a recipient of the O. Henry Prize for short stories and currently holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University.

For more information, or to purchase a ticket, call Christy Inge at 704-233-8091 or e-mail Please specify at time of registration whether you also would like to purchase a copy of “The Cove,” as a limited number of advance copies will be available.

Dance to the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty’

Children ages 5 to 8 who have a passion for dance and storytelling can join the North Carolina Dance Theatre for the dance-fueled story of “Sleeping Beauty.” The event takes place on March 30 from 11 to 11:45 a.m. in the South County Regional Library’s community room, 5801 Rea Road, in south Charlotte.

This age-specific interactive workshop is designed to promote kinesthetic learning, literacy, multi-cultural education and reading. Registration is required and limited to 25 children.

To register, call 704-416-6600.

Discovery Place tops in Charlotte region

Discovery Place was named the most visited museum and historic attraction in the Charlotte region, according to an annual survey from Carolina Publishing Associates.

Discovery Place, which includes the new kids facility in Huntersville and the Charlotte Nature Museum, had more than 745,000 visitors in 2011. Find more about the museum at its website,

Charlotte Symphony announces Pops season

Two weeks after announcing this year’s Summer Pops season in SouthPark, the Charlotte Symphony announced its 2012-13 Pops schedule.

Made up of “swinging rhythms, the progression of American rock ‘n roll and iconic Hollywood film music,” the season opens Sept. 14 and 15 with “The Music of Billy Joel.” That’s followed by the music of the band America (Oct. 26 and 27), hits by Benny Goodman, otherwise known as the King of Swing (Nov. 9 to 10), the Magic of Christmas (Nov. 30 to Dec. 2), Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper (Jan. 11 and 12), the Wizard of Oz (two showings Feb. 2), the music of Natalie Merchant (March 23) and Symphonic Cinema (May 3 and 4).

All concerts will be in the Belk and Knight theaters in uptown Charlotte. Albert-George Schram will conduct the majority of the concerts, with music director Christopher Warren-Green making an appearance in the series.

Find more information on the individual concerts at the symphony’s website,

CATS gets help from Mint Museum on light-rail art

Riders of the light rail along South Boulevard can thank the Mint Museum for the new sculpture at the facility in south Charlotte.

The “Gandy Dancer,” a glass, bronze and wood sculpture, now sits in the atrium lobby of the Charlotte Area Transit System’s facility at 3200 South Blvd. Steve Linn, an American artist living in France, created the work. It commemorates the workers who built America’s railroads.

The sculpture is a community outreach loan by the Mint Museum. Find more information on the museum at its website,

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