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Archives for September 2015

Ava Gardner Museum Celebrates Celebrity

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We’re fortunate to have a former museum docent guest posting for us today. Lisa Sullivan is a powerhouse of adventure. She’s active in her community and online. She’s brought together people and ideas to advocate for causes, nurture new partnerships, and collaborate. Let’s just say that Lisa knows everyone so she’s great at putting the right heads together. She’s also full of verve and curiosity so when Lisa tells me I need to check something out, I go. -ilina

Let’s face it, Americans love celebrity. Just look at all the magazines devoted to the latest news on “who married (or lately, who divorced) who.” I suppose over the years that really hasn’t changed much. The prevalence and accessibility of various social media outlets certainly makes it easier to follow our favorite, and not so favorite, celebs.

Ava Gardner Museum

But, did you know that we had our very own Hollywood celebrity who called Smithfield, North Carolina home? Yep. Ava Gardner, one of the most famous actresses for the better part of the mid-1900’s, was from a very small community just outside of Smithfield – Grabtown.

Born Christmas Eve in 1922, Ava lived most of her young life in the Smithfield area. In her teenage years she and her mother would go to the movies at the Historic Howell Theater to catch glimpses of their favorite leading man at the time, Clark Gable, who later would play opposite Ava in the film, “Mogambo” where she also received her first and only Oscar nomination for Best Actress. You gotta admit, that’s pretty awesome – to have watched your idol and then played alongside him!

How do I know all this? Well, I could read endless articles about her online, but why do that when a museum devoted to her is just 30 minutes from downtown Raleigh – the Ava Gardner Museum – and it’s one of THE most complete museums in honor of a Hollywood Legend in America today.

For just an $8.00 admission price ($7 for seniors, military and teens, $6 for a child), you can take a step back in time to an era that has long since gone, but one that is not forgotten.

Your tour begins with a 20-minute biography on Ava (an interesting one at that!) and then take about another 45-minutes to an hour touring the various exhibits throughout the museum. There are costumes from some of her most famous roles, personal jewelry, letters written by some of her friends (Princess Grace Kelly was one of her BFFs!), even her lingerie is on display right now in a special exhibit called “Ava’s Closet”. After touring the museum, you can take a short drive down to her grave site to pay your respects, if you so chose. Museum Docents will give you directions.

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I had the privilege of working as a Docent for a short time from 2010-2011 while I was still looking for full-time work. I loved it! Every day I was on the schedule, I would walk in; turn on all the lights and the stereo. The music of Frank Sinatra was played all day long (He was the love of her life. Didn’t know that? Go visit the museum!). And every day I was there I would smile. In fact, you could’ve caught me singing along to Frank too…if you had visited.

The Ava Gardner Museum is located at 325 E. Market Street in Smithfield and is open Monday through Saturday from 9am-5pm, Sundays 2pm-5pm (closed for some holidays – check their schedule).

I encourage you to visit one of North Carolina’s most fascinating museums. I promise, you too, will walk away with a smile on your face and quite possibly a jig in your step!

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LINKS TO REFERENCE:

Ava Gardner Museum main website – http://www.avagardner.org/

Mogambo IMDB Page – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046085/

Princess Grace Kelly Biography page – http://www.biography.com/people/grace-kelly-9362226

Ava’s Closet Exhibit info – http://www.avagardner.org/index.php/exhibits-and-programs

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Connect with Lisa Sullivan to see where her next ventures lead.

Carolina Jubilee to Benefit Carolina Farm Trust

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Lisa and I are food people. We have recently also become farm people. Well, to clarify, we don’t own a farm or even work on a farm. But we have come to know many farmers and are pretty entrenched in the agriculture movement in America. We get that we need to balance sustainability with the need to feed people affordably. Farmers need to be paid a fare wage. People need to eat. The land needs to be preserved. Food needs to be healthy and affordable. Farming and the food supply need to be sustainable. Animals need to be cared for. The list goes on… Myriad issues are at play, but the bottom line is we cannot poison our land to feed our people. There has to be a better way.

Carolina Jubilee

Carolina Jubilee, a benefit for local food sustainability will be held October 16th-17th at VanHoy Farms in Harmony, NC. The two-day event will showcase local bands, food purveyors, and vendors, with all proceeds to benefit the Carolina Farm Trust (CFT).

Click here for tickets!

The Carolina Jubilee Festival is an annual music event with the mission of providing support for the Farm-to-Table initiative with locally produced food and beverages and a variety of regional bands.

Local and regional farms will be represented, and education will be provided on the importance of the agriculture industry and its sustainability. Carolina Jubilee will also invite vendors and organizations that focus on clean energy and the promotion of eco-friendly products and services.

The two-day festival will take place at the gorgeous VanHoy Farms Family Campground, with over 100 rolling peaceful acres of land with full camping facilities and amenities: hiking, water activities, pool, event coliseum, and more. Camp out at the festival!

Contact VanHoy Farms to reserve your campsite ($10/car).

Carolina Farm Trust is a locally run non-profit with the plan to drive action in regional food sustainability. Its mission is to protect our state’s farm land and foster an ecosystem of sustainable farming.

The loss rate of farm land is alarming. Every year 100,000 acres of land is lost to urban and suburban development in North Carolina alone. Any guesses what is the biggest hurdle starting a farm or expanding a farm? Land.

CFT is looking to compete with developers for land, buy it, and lease it back to the farming community, at rates low enough to cover the taxes (think something akin to the Nature Conservancy model). This will work two ways: allows new entrepreneur farmers to have access to land and existing farms to build and expand. By giving land access to new entrepreneur farmers and existing farmers to expand, we are helping the supply reach the local demand. CFT’s goals are based on true economic development and investment in the Carolina region.

“I care deeply about our small agriculture community and hope to save our farm land, provide economic development within the agriculture community, as well as bring other nonprofits and people of all walks of life together to focus on sustainable initiatives that are crucial to our means of survival,” states Wyatt, Executive Director of Carolina Farm Trust.

There are many ways to get involved and support CFT’s mission:

  • Get up a ticket to the festival in October
  • Become a sponsor of, or vendor at the event
  • Become a featured farmer
  • Volunteer
  • Share Carolina Farm Trust’s story and mission

Questions? Want to help? Ready to become a sponsor? Contact Zack Wyatt at zack@carolinafarmtrust.org. Stay tuned on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.