Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Brings Literature And Fine Arts To Life For 1,000+


“The community events that we are hosting this year – like the Literary & Fine Arts Festival – are for our students, faculty, staff and community. Please join us in celebrating our community and your community college!”

SALISBURY, N.C. — An infusion of culture, music, drama, literature and fine arts descended upon Rowan-Cabarrus Community College earlier this month for the college’s Literary & Fine Arts Festival.

Over 1,000 students and community members attended the festival’s many activities during the week of April 7-11. The free, family-friendly festival was coordinated by Rowan-Cabarrus faculty and was open to the public.

“Many of our students at Rowan-Cabarrus are managing family responsibilities, careers, and the demands of their studies. Consequently, they may not have the time or means to appreciate literature and the fine arts,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “The Literary & Fine Arts Festival was a special event that the college created to make sure that our students had an opportunity to engage in activities and celebrations focusing on literature and fine arts.”

The festival was a collaboration between the English and fine arts faculty at the college and leveraged the expertise and creativity of the faculty and their literary and fine arts associates to provide an annual festival that has grown every year since its inception. This year’s festival included music and drama as well as visual arts and literature.

“As the college celebrates our anniversary in 2013, we want to thank the community for its support over the last 50 years,” said Spalding.

A special feature of the festival was the inclusion of the college’s IMPULSE Art Show showcasing the college’s Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) program. This annual show is open to the public and features original work from Rowan-Cabarrus students.

The festival’s two signature events included an evening at the Norvell Theater with two visiting authors (Cathy Smith Bowers and Robert Morgan), as well as a concluding musical celebration featuring The Embers at the Kannapolis Village Park. The Embers, with over 25 albums released to date, are known for their fantastic beach music. Live dramatic and musical performances engaged the senses and students performed at an Open Mic event and a Poetry Slam held at Dilworth Coffee in Concord.

The festival also featured three esteemed authors and an exceptional artist. Cathy Smith Bowers, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina, has dealt with more loss than one person should ever have to manage. Smith Bowers navigated her personal heartache by writing five poetry collections. Her goal is to demonstrate the power of the spoken word in transforming our hurts and pains into healing and to celebrate our triumphs and joys. Smith Bowers teaches poetry in a Master of Fine Arts program at Queens University in Charlotte.

Visiting author Kelly McCullough brought STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to life at the college’s festival. McCullough has eleven published or forthcoming science fiction novels, most notably the WebMage and Fallen Blade series. He is also an international award-winning short fiction writer whose stories have appeared in numerous publications including Weird Tales, the Writers of the Future award anthology (Vol XVII), and the illustrated collection Chronicles of the Wandering Star, which was written as part of a National Science Foundation funded middle school science curriculum project.

Visiting author Robert Morgan was raised on his family’s farm in the North Carolina mountains. He is the author of eleven books of poetry, three books of nonfiction, and eight books of fiction, including the bestselling novel Gap Creek. He currently lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches at Cornell University. In 2007, he won the Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature.

The college was also proud to host visiting artist, Peg Gignoux. An accomplished facilitator of many vibrant textile collaborations, Gignoux is an artist, designer and educator who consistently links literacy with visual images. Gignoux hosted a free three-part book-making workshop and spoke to the community at the Waterworks Visual Arts Center.

The college was proud to host the festival in conjunction with the annual Salisbury Sculpture Tour. In recent years, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been honored to host two sculptures from the tour and has continued its participation this year.

For more information about future Literary & Fine Arts Festivals, please contact Betty Stack (704-216-3846) or Peter Goff (704-216-7149). For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu.

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