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Arts & Entertainment

On Saturday, Sept. 20, the 7th annual Youth Arts Festival will be hosted once more at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. This festival features local and regional artists demonstrating their skills and sharing their love for their art. In addition to glassblowing, blacksmithing, pottery, and other demonstrations, artists will once again be working hands-on with the children to make pots, weave bookmarks, create glass mosaics, paint with squirt guns and water balloons, make bead jewelry, and much more. Aspiring artists can also help decorate GEP’s rainwater collection tanks with their painted handprints. The stage area will feature local musicians and dance troupes, and the GEP Trash Dragon will be making several appearances as well.

No admission is charged to attend the Youth Arts Festival and all art activities are free. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Parking is limited, so carpooling is strongly encouraged. No pets allowed: service animals only, please.

The Green Energy Park is an award-winning community project that uses renewable energy resources to fuel a variety of art efforts. Information on tours, studio rentals, and upcoming public classes, is available at the GEP’s website: For questions about the event or vendor spaces, call the GEP office at (828)631-0271 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Ten years after the group’s last performance at Western Carolina University, Riders in the Sky will return to the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, with a mix of Western song classics and zany send-ups of the same, opening the Galaxy of Stars Series.

The group, formed in 1977, combines acoustic music and a wide musical repertoire with outrageous comedy, along with a little yodeling here and there. The group remains the only exclusively Western band to have won two Grammy Awards.

Riders in the Sky reached a whole new generation of listeners with their performance on the soundtrack for Disney’s “Toy Story 2,” including “Woody’s Round Up” and “To Infinity and Beyond.” The album “Toy Story 2” was their first Grammy Award-winner in 2001 for “Best Musical Album for Children.” Two years later, they roped their second in the same category, for “Monsters Inc. - Scream Factory Favorites,” the companion CD to the movie.


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.


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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