In Like a Lion

March has been busy, busy, busy for the staff at Piedmont Arts! From working on Big Read events, installing exhibitions and participating in Fast Track 2009, we have hardly had time to think...much less blog. But now, with a momentary lull in the action, I hope to get you all caught up on the fun things we have been doing.

Barbara Parker, Piedmont Arts Director of Programs, has been working hard since September to organize programs and events for The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest. The Big Read is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture by assigning books to participating communities. Martinsville and Henry County's Big Read book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. With a kickoff event on February 28 at the Blue Ridge Regional Library, a lecture by Harper Lee Biographer Charles Shields on March 9 and a showing of the classic film To Kill a Mockingbird at the Rives Theatre this Saturday, The Big Read is already in full swing. I hope you all will participate in this fantastic program by reading To Kill a Mockingbird and by joining us for our Big Read events. A full schedule of events can be found at www.PiedmontArts.org.

If you missed the opening reception on March 6 (complete with Kabuki dancers), then you have to check out the Piedmont Arts galleries. Our new exhibits Theatre of the Sky, The Neugents: Close to Home and A Brazilian Artist in Medieval Europe will be up through April 18 and they are a must see! Tina Sell, Piedmont Arts Director of Exhibitions, spent many long hours patching holes, painting walls, hanging work (with the help of Sam Davis and Graham Park) and suspending kites from the gallery ceiling!

Each March, Piedmont Arts participates in Fast Track, Martinsville and Henry County's trade show. Planning for the event can be daunting, but we somehow, we always get a booth together. This year's booth had multiple themes. From The Big Read, to our artist studios Studio 107 to membership, we covered it all! Though we didn't win any prizes this year, we always love taking part in this community–enriching event.

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