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Arts & Entertainment

Jessica Greer Morris, executive director and co-founder of Girl Be Heard, a New York City-based theater group dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence and other issues, will be the keynote speaker for “Take Back the Night” on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at Western Carolina University. The presentation at 7 p.m. in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center is free and open to the public.

Morris was formerly director of community relations at the New York City Department of Health and community organizer for the New York City police department and Manhattan district attorney’s office. She founded Girl Be Heard to engage girls and young women to write and perform their personal stories on topics ranging from body image and sexual orientation to sex trafficking and sexual violence. The group has performed at the White House and the United Nations, and was recently on tour in Denmark, Switzerland and England.

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Hickiory Knoll United Methodist Church presented its Just Desserts show Aug. 29-30. Directed by Cindy Miles, the show was a fundraiser for the church, and featured the talents of both church members and friends with hilarious songs and skits and luscious desserts.

Cast members were: Reesa Boyce, Paul Edson, Virginia Fenn, Betsy Gooder, Dr. John Hopkins, Susan Hopkins, Cathy Howman, Leslie Hughes, Kathy Kuhlman, Lou Kuhlman, Roy Lastinger, Doris McConnell, Cindy Miles, Bill Norwood, Paul Sears, Barbara Servatius, Barbara Taylor, Debbie Smith, John Wilde, Jerry Williams, Sally Williams

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On Saturday, Sept. 6, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., the historic mountain town of Dillsboro is celebrating its 125th anniversary in a big way. The Town of Dillsboro has gone all out to arrange entertainment, vendors, demonstrators, exhibits, children’s games, and touches of history. Not only do the merchants love the very idea of the town, but they love where they live, and want to show their support for the town’s history by providing demonstrations of old-time arts and crafts, and provide a look at the way of life in the past.

Dillsboro has changed very little — a small country village with pristine white houses, rustic old shops, galleries, and restaurants. Many of the shops that first opened their doors in the 1800s still stand today with new owners.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will be arriving in Dillsboro at 2:15 p.m. to bring visitors to the celebration where all demonstrators will be in tents along Front Street (by the railroad tracks), sharing their skills – making baskets, leather products, pottery, corn shuck dolls, needle crafts, soap making, books, chair caning, spinning, candle making, herbs/teas, beekeeping, stained glass/jewelry, gourd art, and more.

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On Friday, Sept. 5, country music star Jo Dee Messina will be in Franklin to perform at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in support of her new album, "Me."

"Me" is her fifth studio album during the span of her nearly 20-year career, but her first since leaving production company Curb in 2012.

“The new album was not A & R'd by the record label, it was actually A & R'd by the public and when I started writing the songs for it, it didn't occur to me that they would be on this album,” said Messina as she took time out of her busy touring schedule for an interview. “So I posted them online and we ended up with enough songs and fan life to put an album together. It just came about in a whole different way.”

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