Arts Beat: May 18

Turning food into art

Heidi Billotto

Food and art will combine at Mint Hill Arts Tuesday, May 22 when local restaurant critic and food writer Heidi Billotto presents “Play with Your Food.”

The free demonstration runs from 7 to 9 p.m. and will include how-to demonstrations to create unique garnishes from carrot tulips and tomato roses, melon and citrus baskets, serving “dishes” from squash and zucchini and radish animals. The free event is open to the public.

The nonprofit Mint Hill Arts is located at 11205 Lawyers Road, suite A, in Mint Hill. For more information, visit or call 980-226-5532.

Mint Hill sets ‘June Tunes’ schedule

The annual June Tunes concert series returns to Mint Hill this year with crowd favorites and new bands.

All concerts are free and begin at 7:30 p.m. on the lawn at Mint Hill Town Hall, 7151 Matthews-Mint Hill Road.

The schedule is:
• June 2, Sterling Bridge (bagpipes/Carolina rock)
• June 9, Horsefly (blues/classic rock)
• June 16, Charlotte Flute Choir (professional & amateur flutists)
• June 23, Queen Charlotte Chorus (barbershop)
• June 30, Lindsay Nicole & Highway 74 (Mint Hill native singer/songwriter)
• July 3, Queen City Brass Band (patriotic)

Mint Hill pianist district winner

Four female students from Charlotte Academy of Music recently took top honors at the North Carolina Music Teachers Association Piano Contest held at Queens University in Charlotte.

Among the winners is Hannah Williams, of Mint Hill, a district winner. Other students who won awards are: Mikaela Anderson, of Charlotte who is a state winner, Melissa Olarte, of Indian Trail, a district winner, and Meghan Speed, of Concord, a state winner.

Each student performed memorized pieces from the 1700s, 1800s, 1900s and 21st century before the judges. Their piano instructors are Robin Love and Regina Ziliani.

Butler hosts orchestra concert

The Butler High School orchestra will host its annual concert at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium, 1810 Matthews-Mint Hill Road.

The performance will feature music from Disney’s “The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid” as well as Dittersdorf’s Symphony Concertante featuring Delany Brigman on viola and Gabe Jean-Jumeau on bass. The event is free and open to the public.

Meet baby animals at Nature Museum

The Charlotte Nature Museum will showcase its newest additions Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. during its May Creature Feature event, “Born Wild: Surviving and Thriving with Nature’s Babies.”

Visitors will be able to see baby box turtles, mice, chicks, mealworms, butterfly chrysalis, moth cocoons and more. Snappy, the museum’s resident juvenile American alligator also will be on display. While celebrating newborns, visitors will learn the differences between wild and domesticated animals and how to care for pets and livestock. Museum Naturalists and exhibitors from Steritech and Animal Rehabilitators of the Carolinas will present information about understanding and identifying wildlife species, what to do if you encounter a baby animal in the wild and how to help protect habitats and ecosystems.

Children’s activities and story time also will be available.
Admission is $6 for ages 2 and older. Visitors younger than two and members are free. The Charlotte Nature Museum is located at 1658 Sterling Road, Charlotte. Parking is free.

Free Charlotte Shakespeare Festival returns

Charlotte Shakespeare’s 2012 mainstage season kicks off with ‘The Tempest’ beginning May 31 at The Green Uptown.

The free outdoor event performances are scheduled Wednesdays to Saturdays May 31 to June 17 at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6:30 p.m. The family-friendly event will feature local musicians, performing artists, storytellers and poets beginning 45 minutes prior to each performance. Children’s workshops, for ages 8 and older, will be held at 5 p.m. on Sundays June 3, 10 and 17.

The Green is located at 400 S. Tryon St. Admission is free, but donations are accepted for the nonprofit.

Children’s Choir plans concert, fundraiser

The Charlotte Children’s Choir will host “Night of Notes,” June 1 to celebrate the group’s 26th year and fundraise for the nonprofit.

The 7 to 10 p.m. event at Uptown Charlotte’s Knight Theater, includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, silent and live auctions and a program including performances of 230 members of the Charlotte Children’s Choir. Internationally-acclaimed Composer Paul Caldwell will join the choir as the special guest.

Tickets are $50 or $65 per person, based on the choice of seats.
The Choir includes six ensembles, ranging in ages 8-18; representing 2 states, six counties and over 100 public/private schools.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit

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