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Romare Bearden — Beat of a Different Drum Exhibit

Black History Month is kicking off in Fayetteville this year with the Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum exhibit. Original prints from Bearden’s only published children’s book, Li’l Dan, The Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story, will be the highlight of the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Arts Council. Featuring twenty-six original watercolors created by Bearden for the book, there will also be text panels with audio narration by Maya Angelou.

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

© Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Li’l  Dan, the Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story was published posthumously in September of 2003. The book tells the story of Li’l Dan, a slave on a Southern plantation. He loves to play his drum. When a company of Union soldiers announces the slaves have been set free, Dan has no place to go, so he follows the soldiers, who make him their mascot. When Confederate soldiers attack, Dan discovers that he is the only one who can save his friends.

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY


©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

The free exhibition is open from January 22 through March 5, 2016, during regular gallery hours. An array of dynamic programming is planned around this exhibit, including a lecture by Diedra Harris-Kelly, Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation in New York City, performance of an original play entitled The Color of Courage, lectures and music programs from the Fayetteville State University Fine Arts Department and a drum workshop for youth. Several historical components will be included in the display, including an original Civil War drum, a reproduction Union Soldier’s Uniform, a southern Civil War-era female outfit, a bayonet and an original painting of the Fayetteville arsenal before it was destroyed in 1865.

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

“This exhibition and related programming offers a fitting celebration of  an artist hailed as one of the most creative and original visual artists of the twentieth century, Romare Bearden,” says Mary Kinney, Director of Marketing at the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County. “Additionally, we’re proud that the exhibit ties together many cultural components – Civil War and African-American history, visual arts and theater.”

About Romare Bearden 

Romare Howard Bearden was born on September 2, 1911, to (Richard) Howard and Bessye Bearden in Charlotte, North Carolina, and died in New York City on March 12, 1988, at the age of 76. His life and art are marked by exceptional talent, encompassing a broad range of intellectual and scholarly interests, including music, performing arts, history, literature and world art. Bearden’s work is included in many important public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. He has had retrospectives at the Mint Museum of Art (1980), the Detroit Institute of the Arts (1986), as well as numerous posthumous retrospectives, including The Studio Museum in Harlem (1991) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2003).

About The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County was founded in 1973. As a link between artists, arts and cultural organizations and the community, the nonprofit agency administers programs in partnership with a variety of local agencies to stimulate community development through the arts. The Arts Council supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development and lifelong learning through the arts.

About the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for positioning Fayetteville/Cumberland County as a destination for conventions, sporting events and individual travel. For additional information, visit www.visitfayettevillenc.com or call 1-800-255-8217.

Learn More about Romare Bearden Park located in Uptown Charlotte.


The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County is located at 301 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC

Charlotte Mini Maker Faire at Discovery Place #CLTMakerFaire

The first Charlotte Mini Maker Faire will take place at Discovery Place on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Makers call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth (and we’re not ones to disagree!). Maker Faire is part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new! As a celebration of the Maker Movement, it’s a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Charlotte’s first Mini Maker Faire will be a place where local vendors can show what they are making, and share what they are learning with the community.

More than 70 makers (shared below) from across the Carolinas will exhibit at the Charlotte Mini Maker Faire, from tech enthusiasts to crafters, homesteaders to scientists, professionals to garage tinkerers. You’re never too old to learn new tricks, or find inspiration, and Makers of all ages and backgrounds and will allow attendees to participate in a great day of learning and doing.

“Charlotte has a very strong community of innovators, and we are thrilled Discovery Place has the opportunity to help showcase and celebrate the people who make our city a great place to live and work,” said Catherine Wilson Horne, president and CEO of Discovery Place, Inc. “Our goal is to educate and engage the local community with the Maker movement in order to attract and inspire curious thinkers, doers and learners, in addition to serving as a platform for local and regional talent.”

In addition to launching Charlotte’s first Maker Faire, earlier this year Discovery Place was invited to present at the National Maker Faire in Washington, DC to showcase how Discovery Place brings Make to the community through education. With Museum exhibits like Think It Up! and Innovate 301, a free community outreach initiative introducing residents to the Maker movement,  the hope for launching Charlotte’s own Maker Faire is to bring Charlotte’s curious people together in order to continue growing this increasing community of local innovators.

What Can I Expect?

You’ll find Makers of all kinds, attractions and performances, presentations, and many hands-on activities to get ignite the fire in you to become a Maker.

Highlights of the Charlotte Maker Faire include:

· A 3D Printed Shelby Cobra sports car created in collaboration with the Department of Energy, Oakridge National Labs and TruDesign! This car represents the future of automobile manufacturing from 3D printing to electric power. (The Shelby Cobra is my dream car. I’m hoping they let me take it home!)

· Carolina Combat Robots brings you BotHockey where you can practice the perfect hat trick, and then watch a pair of mechanical gladiators duke it out in the Robot Combat arena.

· Take up-cycling to a whole new level as The Scrap Exchange brings barrels of doo-dads and knick-knacks for you to piece together something amazing to take home.

· Watch the power of electricity unfold as thousands of volts of electricity are harnessed for Musical Tesla Coils, producing sparks up to two feet long.

· The world’s first 3D printed kayak, created by Grass Roots Engineering founder, Jim Smith.

Inside Discovery Place, more than 50 different makers stationed on all three levels of the Museum. Hands-on workshops and demonstrations will take place every hour, on the hour between 11:00 a.m. to 3:oo p.m. Workshops have a capacity of 25-30 guests on a first come, first serve basis, so don’t miss out on the fun! 

Outside on Tryon Street, you can explore additional makers and enjoy popular food trucks like Street Spice, Mae’s Creole Kitchen, King of Pops and Roman’s Icy Treats. There will be performances throughout the day at MAX, UNC Charlotte’s Mobile Arts and Community Experience stage created by Boxman Studios. This former shipping container has been transformed into a performance stage that features over 16 feet of decking and rock-n-roll trussing. Stop by the MAX stage to check out the performance schedule.

We have listed all of the Makers who are going to be at the Charlotte Mini Maker Faire below so you can get a jump start on planning your day! 

Attend the Maker Faire: 
The Maker Faire will be held at Discovery Place on Saturday, October 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both inside the Museum and along N. Tryon Street between 6th and 7th Streets.

Outdoor exhibits on N. Tryon St are free and open to the public. Indoor exhibits and workshops are included with Discovery Place admission: $15 for adults (ages 14-59), $12 for children (ages 2-13) and Seniors (ages 60+) plus any applicable sales and use taxes, and free for children younger than age 2 and Discovery Place Members. Parking is not included. Tickets are now on sale at cltmakerfaire.org. Advance purchase is recommended.

About Charlotte Maker Faire:

For more information, visit cltmakerfaire.org or join Charlotte’s online Maker community on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter at @CLTMakerFaire. Check out all the fun at #CLTMakerFaire.

Charlotte Mini Maker Faire is independently organized and operated by Discovery Place, Inc. under license from Maker Media, Inc.

About Discovery Place

One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science and nature. The Museum brings relevant, contemporary science to life through groundbreaking exhibitions, interactive educational programming and hands-on activities.

Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704.372.6261, visit discoveryplace.org or connect with Discovery Place on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Discovery Place, Inc. owns and operates Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum, Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville and Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham and is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.

About Maker Faire

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

The original Maker Faire event was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2015 celebrated its tenth annual show with some 1100+ makers and 145,000 people in attendance. World Maker Faire New York, the other flagship event, has grown in four years to 600+ makers and 80,000 attendees. Detroit, Kansas City, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Orlando, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Silver Spring, Ottawa, Lisbon, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Newcastle, Hannover, Oslo, Trondheim, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, and Shenzhen are the home of larger-scale, “featured” Maker Faires. In addition, over 120 community-driven, independently organized Mini Maker Faires are now being produced around the United States and the world—including right here in Charlotte.

About MAKE Magazine

MAKE is the first magazine devoted entirely to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) technology projects. MAKE unites, inspires, informs, and entertains a growing community of resourceful people who undertake amazing projects in their backyards, basements, and garages. MAKE celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your will.

Exhibitors List – 2015

Inside Discovery Place:

3D Hubs Charlotte Community

Come explore the world of 3D printing! This group of makers will demonstrate how the 3D printing process works and will showcase the different types of 3D technology. You could even see a 3D-scanned image of your head!

3D-printed Shelby Cobra

A 3D-printed replica of a 1965 Shelby Cobra sports car will be motoring to Charlotte. Created by the Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Shelby is printed out of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and took six weeks to complete. This laboratory on wheels showcases modern additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping technology.

3D Printers with ComputerSource,3D printers, too!

Get up close to with some of the top 3D printing companies in the world such as Makerbot, Printrbot, SeeMeCNC and LulzBot. ComputerSource,3D printers, too will be on-hand to answer any of your 3D printer questions!


Meet the team that started the 3D printing revolution. Attendees will have a front-seat view of two of the most popular and innovative 3D printers in the industry.

A-to-Z Publishing

Founded in 2008, A-to-Z Publishing creates books with a cultural twist or positive message that children love to read! These stories have a special focus on bringing children and families closer to their culture, language and traditions.

Act/React UNO/PI

If you think Raspberry Pi is a baked good, you need to stop by this booth! Learn how these tiny computers have changed the way kids interact with technology by programming fun robot creations.

Alamance Makers Guild

Based out of Alamance County, NC this Makers Guild is also the host of the Burlington Mini Maker Faire. Meet the makers of the guild and explore their favorite tinkerings including network cameras, solar powered electricity and even an R2DCube droid.

Build Your Own Home Automation

Interact with smart-connected gadgets and gizmos as you explore how your cellphone can control trinkets and electronics in your home! The QR Code has never been so powerful.

Carolina Battle Bots

Get ready to battle! Meet the makers and organizers of Charlotte’s local robotic combat competitions. Guests will get to maneuver their own robot competitors in a round of Bot Hockey.

Central Piedmont Community College: Computer Engineering

Have you ever played Tic-Tac-Toe with a robot? Check out Microprocessor Lab demonstrations with CPCC’s Computer Engineering department and explore some of the cutting edge technology they are working with, like a Block Stacker Robot arm!

Central Piedmont Community College: Fab Ed Carolina

Fab Ed Carolina is housed in Central Piedmont Community College as part of the Engineering Program within the Engineering Technology Division. Fab Ed Carolina’s primarily integrates personal fabrication, engineering education and entrepreneurship for the Charlotte Region.

Charlotte FPV Racing League

Find out what first-person-view racing is about with the Charlotte FPV Racing League. The group builds, flies and races radio-controlled air vehicles, often referred to as drones. Members use custom made and off the shelf components to build their aircraft and get together regularly to share ideas, fly and race.


Come play with clay!  Try your hand at some clay creations using textures and various clay tools, and even try the pottery wheel. Clayworks programs are designed to facilitate an environment of artistic exchange between students, instructors and working artists.

CLT Boutique

When local artist Britt Misenheimer couldn’t find the right Mother’s Day gift for her mother after heart transplant surgery, she decided to create a bangle in memory of her donor with angel wings and a charm. Since then, her fascination and passion for taking old items and giving them a new purpose has manifested into CLT Boutique where Britt makes upcycled jewelry, accessories, pallet signs wreaths and other handmade goods.

Collett Couture

Collett Couture offers handcrafted jewelry based on elegance and positive energy featuring sterling silver, 14Kt / 12Kt gold-fill, and 24Kt gold electroplate. Designer Nicole Willis’s favorite materials to use are gemstones, which are incorporated into most of the designs.

Design Tools (or Toys) for 3D Printing!

Are 3D printers more of a tool or a toy? You decide! Stop by to explore how 3D printing can impact your life for both work and recreation.

Edison Nation- Gyro Bowl

Sometimes a spark of inspiration can create tomorrow’s next greatest invention. Stop by to meet the team at Edison Nation and one of their most successful inventions: the Gyro Bowl, a spill-resistant kids’ gyroscopic bowl with lid.

Electronic Communications

What do radios, lasers and receivers have in common? Find out here! See an authentic 1924 Atwater Kent Breadboard Radio and how modern communication technology is inspired by tools of the past.

EM Fabrication, LLC

Any way you cut it, digital fabrication is cool! Check out EM Fabrication, LLC to explore how they use CNC routing and fabrication from materials such as plywood, solid wood, acrylic and even cardboard.

Fusion3 High-Performance 3D printers

Based in Greensboro, NC, Fusion3 designs and manufactures high-performance 3D printers for education and commercial customers. Their printers offer high-speed, high-reliability printing in many materials at a fraction of the price of legacy commercial systems.

Foothills Community Workshop

You might be in for quite a shock when you meet members of the Foothills Community Workshop. This group of makers out of Granite Falls, NC enjoys making things, discovering how things work, creating new projects, and sharing skills and knowledge with others. Attendees can measure an electric charge and program vintage computer systems.

Hackerspace Charlotte

Hackerspace Charlotte is a non-profit organization where people with common interests in computers, technology or digital/electronic art can meet, socialize and collaborate. This open community lab incorporates elements of a machine shop, workshop, classroom, and studio where all kinds of hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make cool things.

Handpainted T-Shirts

No patterns or are allowed for this art project!  Express yourself by hand painting your own piece of wearable art. The spontaneity of working freehand allows the design to acquire a life of its own. The result is a true one-of-a-kind piece of art to wear that is as unique as its maker: YOU!

High Point University: Come Build with Us at HPU

This booth will be a High Point University/LEGO Education booth. Participants will build and race cars, participate in demonstrations and building challenges. Free Build will be available for those who just want to build.

Homemade Hoops and what to do with them!

Find out how to make a Homemade Hoop for dance, play or exercise using household tools and supplies from your local hardware store. View examples of the step by step process, play with a completed hoop and learn about the different methods of creating your own hoops!

Honey Bee Basics

Honey bees are among the most important creatures for food production. Meet a local maker family that builds everything for their beekeeping establishment in-house…even the bees. From building their own gear from cedar and cypress rough lumber to breeding their own bees with a gentle disposition, disease resistance and maximum honey yield, learn more about how this family helps support local bees.

Internet Enabled Dog Treat/Monitoring System

It’s hard to leave our furry friends at home, but with technology like Raspberry Pi, pet owners can now monitor and treat their pets remotely using a mobile app.

Internet of Things: Halloween

A day at the office can’t stop Dan Thyer from having a squirt gun battle with his kids, thanks to his very own Internet of Things (IoT), a home automation system that uses four different microcontrollers to operate 30 objects around his house, including a water gun. Learn more about the ways you can use this technology in your own home.

Jackson Park Elementary School: Squishy Circuits

Build your own fun electronic circuits using conductive molding clay.  Students will show you how to make your own and have fun with circuits!

Jessica Coate Designs, aka Jessica’s Jacket

You won’t believe what local designer, Jessica Coate, has up her sleeve! Stop by to see an array of handmade designs, accessories and wares that are sure to catch your eye. From Spaghetti scarves to 3D cards, this local designer has something for everyone.

Lehtela Guitar Craft

Originally from Finland, Ari Lehtela has been involved in music in North America for over three decades. Impressed by the sound and playability of local Charlotte builder, Luke Lukuer’s instruments, Ari realized that handmade was the only way to go. Lehtela guitars are truly custom instruments that are designed for the individual player.

Making Frogs with Discovery Place

Have some amphibious fun with Discovery Place’s Live Care team! Investigate the life cycle of frogs from eggs, tadpoles, froglets and adult frogs. Examine some fruit fly cultures and watch a demonstration on how these cultures are made.

Making Jellyfish with Discovery Place

Did you know Discovery Place’s jellyfish have exhibited in two countries and seven states? Learn how Discovery Place’s jellyfish propagation and research program is successfully breeding microscopic polyps and nurturing them into adulthood.

Making Sense of Sensor Data with SAS Studio

Gather sensor data using an Arduino and analyze the results using SAS Studio.  Learn about the role of Data Scientists in the Internet of Things and the kinds of math and data skills needed.  Analyze data in the cloud with just a few mouse clicks using SAS.

McClintock Middle School: Quadcopters & Other Cool Stuff

Innovative young minds using Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) to explore, learn and make!

Mirror Etching   

Find out the science of sandblasting! Local maker and artist Zach Smith will share how blasts of high pressure abrasives onto the glass can give new life to old mirrors.

Musical tesla coils

Watch the power of electricity unfold as thousands of volts of electricity are harnessed by a pair of jumbo tesla coils, producing sparks up to two feet long! These singing sparks may just spark your imagination!


You may not get to meet face-to-face the makers behind Napada handbags, but you’ll still have the opportunity to enrich their lives. Napada employs women in low-income communities in Bangkok, Thailand, who otherwise might not have a viable work opportunity and provides a creative outlet. The Napada booth will have unique, hand-crafted bags available for sale, including totes, wallets, backpacks and organizers.

Paper Rollercoasters with Makey Makey and Scratch

Using the paper templates, design and build an original marble course with jumps, turns, loops and more … all with paper! Add conductive tape and connect Makey Makeys to your coaster and control your computer when a marble touches a portion of the track.


Across the world, hundreds of thousands of people are in need of an organ transplant. What if those organs could be custom-made on 3D printers? Meet Chris Leggett, the maker behind PrintHuman, a Fayetteville, NC-based biotechnology startup that combines the 3D printing experience with the possibility of printing human organs for transplant.

Project Hub

Project Hub is a work space for local makers to collaborate, innovate and cultivate a community. This group promotes creative problem solving to real world applications for people of all ages and interests.


Meet the unique collection of robots from RoboMustache, an Asheboro, NC-based company that makes wooden robot craft kits, necklaces and other robot creations. Founder Charles Wade will be showing off robots and will have kits available for sale so you can take home your own wooden craft robot.

The Forge

This Makerspace community based in Greensboro, NC provides the tools and fosters the collaboration that will give every idea an opportunity and every creative interest an outlet.

The Pirate Box

Puzzle boxes originated in Japan around the turn of the 19th century.  With the availability of programmable microcontrollers, a new twist to the age old puzzle box can be realized. The Pirate Box is an Arduino-powered puzzle box that, after solving a mechanical puzzle, gives the user an opportunity to interact with an Arduino to solve a series of increasing difficult games and puzzles to ultimately unlock the box.

Pine Lake Preparatory School: Team SPORK

SPORK, standing for Students Providing Outreach and Robotics Kinship, is a high school robotics program through the international program FIRST.  Team SPORK strives to better the lives of high school students through the introduction to the principles of engineering, leadership, teamwork, hard work, and fun.  Each January, SPORK builds a robot for a given challenge and then competes against teams around the world.

The Scrap Exchange

Take up-cycling to a whole new level as The Scrap Exchange brings barrels of doo-dads and knick-knacks for you to piece together something amazing to take home.

Time Warner Cable

Cables can do more than just provide fast internet service! Stop by the booth to create your own cable-inspired jewelry, and even make your own flashlight to take home.

TinkerIT Makerspace at LakeNorman

The newest Makerspace to launch in North Carolina is coming to you! This makerspace is a melding of people and ideas from a variety of backgrounds coming together for the purpose of education, innovation, entertainment, and the wow. Explore their work with some hands-on demonstrations.

 University of North Carolina at Charlotte: Writing Project

Try your hand at paper engineering and stop motion video using cardboard and other materials. Then see what other students have been doing in classroom Makerspaces to deepen their learning and make a difference in their communities.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro: Student Educator Learning Factory

UNCG School of Education’s SELF (Student Educator Learning Factory) has developed a partnership with K-12 public schools in the Piedmont Triad.  Through the implementation of makerspaces in schools, the program aims to develop the mindset of teachers to shift their focus from “teaching” to “learning”.

Weaving Wonderland

Meet fiber artist Sydney Sogol whose work focuses on exploring the relationship between color and pattern through weaving, dyeing and manipulating fabrics.  Her work is inspired by her fascination with nature and biology, specifically animals. She enjoys creating pieces that range from more fine-art oriented to a more functional brand of art that people can engage and interact with.

Winthrop University: Making at Winthrop

Art, Design and Computer Science at Winthrop University from Rock Hill, SC  join together to present the exciting ways we are integrating maker technology in each discipline. Makers will demonstrate 3D modeling, present 3D printing and share a 3D virtual reality experience.


Wishbass is like a paintbrush for musicians. Explore locally handmade stringed musical instruments. Guests will have the opportunity to play instruments and see the handmade craftsmanship up close.

World’s First 3D Printed Kayak

With the technology of 3D printing, the possibilities are endless! Come see the world’s first completely 3D printed, customized kayak that was printed on a home-built, large scale 3D printer. This custom kayak measures 16ft 8in long and only cost around $500 to make, and it floats!

Outside on N Tryon St

ART INSTITUTE Fashion Design

Explore the latest in wearable design both on the runway and at the booth.  Students have incorporated wearable technology and 3D printing into form and function for everyday and a night out on the town.

Art Recycling with Queen City Metal Recycling

Express yourself through the art of recycling. Leave your artist’s mark on the Monstar Trailer and a Roll off Container, while engineers at Queen City Metal Recycling talk about recycling and its importance to our environment.

Benny’s Yard Art

Why buy it when you can create it? Meet Benny, the maker behind Benny’s Yard Art, as he creates his art from discarded pieces of metal at junkyards.

Crankin Engines

Rankin Barnes, the maker behind Crankin Engines, will share his mechanical know-how as you discover how small engines power our daily lives. Test an engine’s compression pressure, observe a cut-away engine and discover ideas for starting a home-based business as you explore engines and simple mechanical principles. Use real tools to take apart a lawn mower engine and then learn how to put it back together.

Glass Creations with Shed Brand Studios

Learn about the art of fused glass and stained glass with Charlotte-based Shed Brand Studios.

Explore the stages of producing a fused glass piece, as well as samples of completed fused glass bowls, mandalas and stained glass pieces. Then try your hand at this colorful art process.

Idea Box at Main Library

Think out of the box with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Main Library. Join them for some fun with Makey Makey Operation, Storytelling, and other events. Then hop on over to the Main Library to explore their makerspace, Idea Box, for extended fun!

MAX stage: Mobile Arts and Community Experience

This once shipping container is now a state-of-the-art, portable theatre and think tank. Performances will take place throughout the day including a Maker’s Fashion Show performances by DrumStrong Drum Circle, UNC Charlotte’s Nouveau Sud Project, dance troupe, jazz performers and Commedia Troupe. Check the stage for Showtimes.

Making Things with 3D Printers

We’re on a roll with make! Explore this marble maze and kinetic sculpture and how 3D printers can be used to create hours of fun. Then see a 3D Delta printer in action.

Pine Lake Preparatory Middle School: Robotics

Pine Lake Preparatory Middle School participates annually in the FIRST LEGO League challenge.  With three parts to the competition, students design solutions to a themed problem, design and build robots to score points on an obstacle course, and work together in the spirit of our core values.  Visit them as they share their innovative solutions and competition robots!


Have you ever wanted to turn a thrift store find into something colorful and truly unique? Customize that second-hand shirt with Re-Tyed, which makes re-purposed/re-newed /re-awesomed clothing made from thrift stores. Shirts will be available for attendees to dye, while supplies last.

Rock & Roll BBQ

Meet the ultimate tailgate maker! The maker behind the Rock & Roll BBQ has transformed tailgating forever with illuminated, automatic corn-hole boards and the coolest seating in town – the Cubicle Racer. Take a wild ride on this automatic office chair.

Rocketry of Central Carolina

Experience the thrill of modern hobby rocketry! Rocketry of Central Carolina is a high power rocketry club located in the Charlotte area that explores everything from the smaller “Estes” rockets to large rockets like you may have seen on the Discovery Channel.  Stop in and chat!


Did you know the leader in CNC routers is based in North Carolina? This local company has changed the way makers cut materials using computer controlled routers. Stop by their booth to see some demonstrations and ask about a behind-the-scenes tour to visit Discovery Place’s giant Shopbot CNC Router in the exhibits shop (space limited).


Take the Maker Faire home with you in SHOPScience’s maker shop. From robotics to circuitry, find your favorite kit to take home. You could end up being America’s next greatest maker!


Meet local maker Kit Kube as he shares his science-based kinetic sculpture. Attendees will observe energy decay in a variety of environments.

Ava Gardner Museum Celebrates Celebrity




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.


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!



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


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

Carolina Jubilee to Benefit Carolina Farm Trust


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.

Carolina in the Morning — A Musical Exploration

I’ve shared different videos of artists throughout this post to show you the differences each one has given this iconic tune.

Catchy songs always hook me, especially choruses filled with joyous reverie. That’s how “Carolina in the Morning” gets my toes tapping every single time I hear it. While it doesn’t have true roots in North Carolina, it has been adopted by North and South Carolina and definitely deserves mention here at Handmade NC. Written by Gus Kahn, with music by Walter Davidson, “Carolina in the Morning” started showing up in Broadway Musical Revues as early as 1922. I probably first heard this song when Daffy Duck impersonated Danny Kaye on Looney Tunes.
Carolina in the Morning
The song was originally featured in a very risqué Broadway revue called “The Passing Show” and interpretations are varied. However, they mainly left out from the mainstream today as the chorus is the big draw. Adopted by North and South Carolina, this song has been covered by popular artists including Phish, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Eddy Arnold, Jimmy Durante, Dinah Shore, Judy Garland, and Danny Kaye. Bill Haley & His Comets recorded a rock and roll version. If you’re old enough to have watched the Dick Van Dyke show, you probably remember Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore performing their own version. A Cappella groups around the world favor this tune for their performances.

My favorite rendition is the one by Al Jolson, recorded in 1947, and outselling the original recording done by Van and Schenk by nearly double. I’ve included both renditions and will let you choose your favorite!

Lyrics (part of public domain):

Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina
In the morning
No one could be sweeter than my sweetie when I meet her
In the morning,
Where the morning glories
Wind around the door
Whispering pretty stories
I long to hear once more.

Strolling with my girly where the dew is pearly early
In the morning.
Butterflies all flutter up and kiss each little buttercup
At dawning.
If I had Aladdin’s lamp for only a day
I’d make a wish and here’s what I’d say:
Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina
In the morning!

Where the morning glories
Wind around the door
Whispering pretty stories
I long to hear once more.

Strolling with my girly where the dew is pearly early
In the morning.
Butterflies all flutter up and kiss each little buttercup
At dawning.
If I had Aladdin’s lamp for only a day
I’d make a wish and here’s what I’d say:
Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina
In the morning!

The video quality isn’t great, but this is a recording of Phish performing “Carolina in the Morning” in Connecticut in 2007.

And again in Greensboro in 2003: