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Arts & Entertainment

For the first time ever, Wynonna Judd has begun a special series of shows she’s dubbed, “Wynonna and Friends: Stories & Song.” This unique run of shows emphasizes an intimate and personal sentiment that reflects her 30-year platinum career. The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts will welcome Wynonna and Friends on Saturday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $42 each.

Over the past three decades, Wynonna has had experiences that have influenced who she is as an artist, a mother, sister, and daughter. She is ready to share some never-before- heard stories, many of which have inspired countless hits.

“I am more passionate now than I have ever been about my life, my gift, my faith, hopes and dreams, and I want so much to share my story and songs with my fans,” she said.

The Big Noise, Wynonna’s threepiece band, will join her on stage. The group is led by Wynonna’s husband, Cactus Moser, an award-winning artist and producer. When Wynonna and The Big Noise aren’t focused on their tour, they are hard at work on an eighth studio album scheduled to be released sometime this year.

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All Saints Episcopal Church hosted Worldchanging 101: Workshop and concert last weekend. David LaMotte was the keynote speaker for the Friday gathering and presented a concert that evening. On Saturday, LaMotte lead a workshop that offered new ways to look at important questions. Like how we are called to engage the world around us and how to practically approach the issues. Through story, scripture and exercises, he offered a framework to examine our capacity for significant impact on the world and insights on how to be effective in that effort.

LaMotte is a singer/songwriter and guitarist, with 11 CDs, performing in more than 2,500 concerts on four continents. He founded PEG Partners, a non-profit that supports education in Guatamala.

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Greening Up the Mountains Festival, which brought between 10,000 to 12,000 people to the mountain town of Sylva last year, is now inviting fine artists, mountain crafters and food vendors to apply for a booth in its 18th year as the premiere spring festival for Western North Carolina. On April 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the festival takes place in downtown Sylva.

Daylong events will be held on Main Street and in the Bridge Park, beginning with a 5K race sponsored by the Jackson County Recreation/Parks Department. Children’s activities, demonstrations, a youth talent contest and live performances by a wide variety of Jackson County musicians will be featured throughout the day.

Applications can be downloaded from the website, www.greeningupthemountains.com, and will be accepted through April 15. For more information, call (828)631-4587.

Chris CoxChris Cox, will read from and sign his essay collection on Friday, Jan. 23, at 6:30 p.m. at City Lights Bookstore. “The Way We Say Goodbye” is sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes wistful, but always beautifully written.

Cox is a columnist for the Smoky Mountain News, and the author of another book, “Waking Up in a Cornfield.”

His columns have won numerous awards on the state and national level and have been reprinted in magazines such as The Reader's Digest and Smoky Mountain Living.

He teaches English at Southwestern Community College in Sylva.

To reserve copies of his books, call City Lights Bookstore at (828)586-9499.

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