By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
A talent show, a musical showcase to raise money for Relay for Life, an educational community forum, and an art exhibit reception are among the local offerings on tap this weekend. Tonight’s talent show will feature music and dance performances by local high school students, Saturday morning’s community forum will highlight a local project increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS, Saturday afternoon and evening’s Rocky Hock Opry will entertain audiences for a good cause, and Sunday afternoon’s art exhibit reception will showcase Hobson Pittman’s romantic early 20th Century paintings.
A talent show that fell victim to inclement weather has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. today at the Keihin Auditorium on Edgecombe Community College's Tarboro campus. The M.I.L.A.N. Girls' Club of Edgecombe Early College High School will hold their first fundraiser, “The Share the Dream Talent Show.” M.I.L.A.N. is an acronym for Making Intelligent Ladies Academically Noble.
“We are hoping that the community will fill up every seat to support these talented artists,” says the show's director and creator, Jacquie Jeffers.
The show will showcase the talents of Early College as well as Tarboro High School Students. Performers include: punk rock band Tempest with members Josh Boyd, Peter Butler, Caleb and Carter Rose; guitarist Jamie Johnson and singer Katie Williamson; guitarist/soloist Isaac Best; mime by Bernard Sharpe; modern dancer Timiya Murphy; Salt and Peppa on the Side; and gospel duo Christian Lamm and Noya Pitt will sing Mary Mary’s “God Has Smiled On Me.”
Nikeya Cherry will open the show with Rhianna’s smash single “Diamonds.” Tarboro High School will be represented by the rap group The Blahqlyst (Black List) and the drama club. Everett Silver, host of WNCR's "It's All That" and "Tri County Talk Live!" will emcee and perform.
Vendors will sell a variety of goods in the Mobley Atrium outside the auditorium and attendees will have a chance to win door prizes.
Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Project GRACE Community Forum
A community forum set for 11 a.m. Saturday in the auditorium of the Edgecombe County Administrative Building is designed to increase local awareness of HIV/AIDS. The program will highlight Project GRACE (Growing, Reaching, Advocating for Change and Empowerment), which formed with the goal of creating positive change in Edgecombe and Nash Counties.
Dr. Giselle Corbie-Smith, principal investigator for infectious disease control for the Sheps Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will present research findings. Corbie-Smith began focusing her research on Eastern North Carolina in 1994 due to the region’s high rates of HIV/AIDS.
“Edgecombe County’s No. 1 for HIV,” said Hilda Morris, project assistant for the Community Enrichment Organization. The Edgecombe County Health Department reported that the county led the state of North Carolina in HIV rates for the fiscal year of June 2011 through June 2012, with 10 new HIV cases that year. Morris stressed the importance of the younger generation and the older generation’s awareness of HIV/AIDS, in particular teenagers who are bombarded with messages from the media.
“Some people can’t tell the difference between reality and TV and they need to know that it (unprotected sex) is not safe,” said Morris.
Young people ages 10 to 14 and their caregivers are the target of the Project GRACE steering committee’s first project, Teach One Reach One (TORO).
Former participants in the TORO Program will share their experiences with the program during the forum, said Morris. She said the program taught young people have to have conversations with their parents about any topic, including sex.
Refreshments will be served immediately after the program. The county administrative building is at 201 St. Andrew St. in Tarboro.
Rocky Hock Opry
The Rocky Hock Opry cast will perform at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday in McIntyre Auditorium on the Tarboro campus of Edgecombe Community College.
Cast members will include local singer Kaitlyn Flythe, the Opry Boys Quartet, Donnie Pierce, Dan Laino, Stan Harrell, Flatbilly Bob (Steve Evans) and Cindy Lewis as Minnie Pearl. Flythe has been a part of the show for five years.
“We organized this band and show (in 2004) to raise funds for the American Cancer Society,” Jack Evan, emcee, vocalist and guitarist for the Opry, said. “With Kaitlyn being in the show for all of these years, we love going to Edgecombe and putting on a show for them. I’m really looking forward to raising funds for them. That’s what we’re all about.”
All proceeds for the show go to the American Cancer Society, to support research to find a cure for cancer, the No. 2 cause of death among Americans, behind heart disease.
Tickets are for the Tarboro shows are $10 each and may be purchased at Ace Hardware, Ribeyes, Providence Bank, County Sunrise or any Edgecombe County Relay team member.
For more information, contact Sam Flythe at 823-4591 or Marlou Coker at 903-9352.
Hobson Pittman Art Exhibit Reception
The Blount-Bridgers House at 130 Bridgers St. in Tarboro is hosting a reception for its Hobson Pittman exhibit from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The reception is free of charge. Light refreshments will be served.
“It’s kind of nice to see how he transitioned (in his style),” said Joyce Turner, executive director of Edgecombe Arts. “We have his earlier pieces, as well as some familiar latter pieces.”
Pittman, an Edgecombe County native, was known for his “nostalgic, romantic scenery including the lush floral motifs and scenes that are reminiscent of an era gone by,” according to an article submitted by Turner.
The earlier pieces in the collection, entitled “Hobson Pittman: A Teacher’s Influence,” reflect Pittman’s experimentation with artistic styles. As the title indicates, the collection includes pieces of artwork created by Pittman’s former students, with styles ranging from landscapes to still life paintings and abstract studies.
One of Pittman’s former students, Dan Miller, was quoted as saying, “…he possessed a rare talent for finding the gifted student and leading them towards their own vision.”
The permanent Hobson Pittman collection also features a portrait of Pittman donated by Ronnie Ellis and Ed and Nancy Roberson in loving memory of Earl Roberson. Nancy Roberson recently completed the portrait.
A “Hobson Pittman” room at the Blount-Bridgers House is devoted to the memory of the local artist’s work. The room depicts a replica of his studio setting along with sketches and finished works of Pittman masterpieces.
Pittman was born in the small Edgecombe County community of Epworth (near Leggett) in 1899 and later moved to Tarboro, where he lived in a house on Wilson Street. He died in 1972.
Pittman’s career was marked with many prestigious awards, including the Scheidt Memorial Prize in 1943 from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Brevoort-Eickenmeyer prize at Columbia University and the North Carolina Award in Fine Arts in 1968. His work is featured at the Pennsylvania Museum of Art, where he also taught, Metropolitan Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, and other prestigious collections.