Arts Beat: June 1

Jazz concert to benefit historical foundation

Bellasera Bistro, 2925 Senna Drive in Matthews, will host a jazz concert Sunday, June 3 to raise money for the nonprofit Matthews Historical Foundation.

The Jazz ‘n June event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature a local jazz ensemble and a full buffet menu including roast beef, made to order pasta, cheeses, salad, vegetables, fruit and a dessert sampler. The cost, which includes one glass of wine, is $75 per couple or $38 a single. Additional wine may be purchased by the glass.

For more information or to make a reservation, call 704-846-6693.

Matthews Alive! announces musical line-up

The Matthews Alive! Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary this September in downtown Matthews with headliners Shenandoah.

The Grammy-winning, country band will perform on Sunday, Sept. 2. With 25 top singles, the group will perform their number one hits “Next to You, Next to Me,” “Ghost in this House,” “Moon over Georgia,” “Mama Knows,” and many more. Group members, Mike McGuire, Jim Seales, Ralph Ezell, Stan Thorn and Marty Raybon, started as a club band in 1984 in Muscle Shoals, Ala. and within two years had five No. 1 records, according to a news release.

Other musical acts during the four-day festival will include:
The Alter Eagles, an Eagles tribute band; Odyssey Road, a Journey tribute band; GB & ME; Matt Stratford Band; Almost McGraw; Underhill Rose; the Tim Clark Band, the Band of Oz, PUSHH; Sugar Glyder; Anthony Orio; and The Dickens.

All concerts are free and open to the public.

Pan for prizes!

Experienced gold panners and novices alike will take on a challenge at the Reed Gold Mine’s 2012 Pan-O-Lympics on Saturday, June 9, in Midland.

The event at this state historic site will see challengers test their speed-panning skills against defending champion Robert VanValen in the Adult Division, and champion Carmie Crawford in the Junior Division, ages 14 and younger.  

Contestants will undertake panning four pea-sized nuggets in the challenge to be held beside historic Little Meadow Creek. The fastest time wins, and the top three finishers in each division receive trophies and prizes, such as gold pans and mining equipment, gem and mineral specimens, and gold nuggets. Registration is open until 11:45 a.m. and the competition begins at noon. Donations are requested for participation in the competition. Entry forms will be available in the Visitor Center.

The day also will offer free games from the past for kids and adults related to North Carolina’s gold mining heritage, including the pan toss, mucking contest and miners’ scavenger hunt. Donations to Pan-O-Lympics and the N.C. Open Gold Panning Competition will benefit the Reed Expansion Committee, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving Reed Gold Mine and the nation’s gold mining history.

Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented discovery of gold in the United States. A tour takes visitors 50 feet underground through original mine tunnels. The 1890s stamp mill demonstrates how ore was crushed to recover gold.

Reed Gold Mine is located at 9621 Reed Mine Road, in Midland.

For more information, call 704-721-4653 or visit

Watch ‘the transit of Venus’

People are invited to watch a once-in-a-lifetime event in June at the Discovery Place.

On June 5, Venus will pass between the Earth and the sun. It won’t happen again until December 2117.

People can come watch the planet’s movement on June 5 between 6 p.m. and when the sun sets from the third level of the Discovery Place parking deck. It’s free to attend.

The parking deck is located at 6th Street and Church Street in uptown Charlotte.

Family fun returns to Polk historic site

The President James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville will bring back its 2nd Saturdays program this June.

The three-part program starts June 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with “Music in the Mid-19th Century.” The event will include demonstrations, crafts and music. People can hear the Flat Possum Hoppers and Slow Celtic Jam playing folk music, and children can make their own instrument to take home.

The event is free. The historic site is located at 12031 Lancaster Hwy. Find more information on the site at its website,

Want to join the Children’s Choir?

The Charlotte Children’s Choir is setting audition appointments for prospective singers in grades two to 12.

No experience is required. Audition dates are available in May, June and July. The choir includes six ensembles, ranging in ages 8 to 18. Sandy Holland has served as artistic director since 1991.

For more information, or to schedule an audition, visit or call 704-374-1892, extension 23.

Carolina Place hosts dinner and a movie

Carolina Place Mall, 11025 Carolina Place Pkwy., is getting ready for its Dinner and a Movie series on Saturday nights in June and July.

The mall will offer special dining offers at some restaurants on movie night from 5 to 9 p.m. Pre-show entertainment each night starts at 7:30 p.m., with Radio Disney on site for two special Disney movie nights, as well. Other nights will feature a variety of performers like magicians or clowns. Movie pre-shows start about 20 minutes before dusk, with films starting at sunset.

The first movie, “The Muppets,” is June 2.

Find more information and a list of upcoming movies at the mall’s website,

Celebrate Latino arts

ArtSí, a Latino arts community initiative in Mecklenburg County, will host “Con A de Arte” June 16 at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Main Library, 310 N. Tryon St., in uptown Charlotte from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The free event, translated as “A is for Art” will showcase Hispanic arts and culture through live performances, entertainment and presentations, according to a news release from the organization. Artists will make presentations or demonstrate their medium in an “El Mercado de las Artes” (“The Marketplace”) throughout the evening around the library.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, call Brian Cockman at 877-210-3737, ext. 1 or email

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