Spotlight: Southwestern Virginia Social Dance Society

17 Apr

SVSDS Dance Night: April 15, 2011

Since its establishment in 1990, Southwestern Virginia Social Dance Society or SVSDS, a local non-profit organization, has been encouraging dance in Blacksburg community by bringing together dancers from other local dance organizations under an inclusive dance family. These dance organizations include Solely Swing, Ballroom Dance at Virginia Tech, and SalsaTech. SVSDS’s current President, Chaky Sriranganathan, a Blacksburg native
has been dancing in the area with SVSDS for 8 years, teaching for Solely Swing and SalsaTech. As he described his passion of dance, he highlighted how SVSDS serves to bring the Blacksburg community closer together as part of a dance family.

Over the years, SVSDS was housed in various locations with the most recent locations being the old Center of Dance location on Draper Road and DanceTech. The organization partnered with the YMCA to construct a sprung dance floor at its current location in the Stuart Event Room at The Y Center. It offers weekly lessons from 7:30pm to 8:30pm and open dance from 8:30pm to12:00am on Fridays. Each night averages around forty to sixty dancers! Are you a newcomer to SVSDS or beginner dancer? Don’t worry; try SVSDS for the first time free of charge!



Currently, the organization is working with Solely Swing to host the VTLX (Virginia Tech Lindy Exchange). Lindy Exchange originally started with dancers in Chicago traveling to the west coast to meet new dancers and exchange community dialogue around dance. Attracting dancers all the way from San Francisco and Ohio, VTLX will run on April 29th, April 30th and May 1 and will feature two live bands! On Friday April 29th, SVSDS is presenting gypsy swing by Christabel and the Jons. The event will be held Stuart Event Room at the Y Center. Following day, Saturday April 30th, Soley Swing is presenting The Atomic Rhythm All-Stars, a swing band, at the Commonwealth Ballroom Squired Student Center. Both events will consist of a basic lesson, starting at 7:30pm on Friday April 29th and 7:00pm on Saturday April 30th for only $10/person. Bring your dancing shoes and join SVSDS and Solely Swing for VTLX!

You are cordially invited……

13 Apr prince william and kate middleton

Referred to by Christian Trejbal of The Roanoke Times as “Blacksburg’s traitorous celebration”, Downtown Blacksburg Inc. and The Lyric Theatre have taken on the role of “wedding planner” for this very special event!

The Royal Wedding Party will take place on Friday, April 29th,  in the Lyric Theatre.

The wedding cake is ordered and amidst much excitement the talented chefs of Next Door Bake Shop are keeping the design plans under wraps. The secret is  as closely guarded as that of the blushing bride’s dress. What we do know is that it will feature a unique wedding cupcake design and that it will be delicious.

There will be flowers and bunting, traditional decorations for British Street Parties which accompany any Royal Celebration. During the recent First Friday Wedding Fever event, participants enjoyed making some of the decorations.

Trejbal went on to state: “the royals couldn’t even pay America the courtesy of scheduling the festivities for a decent hour.”  Obviously due to the time difference the party in the Lyric will start before the birds are up, although for the Royal Couple it will be a mid-morning event across the pond.  As guests arrive at the Lyric at the uncivilized hour of 5am, they will be serenaded by ‘Patent Pending Clarinet Quartet’ and a Bassoon and Flute duet comprising of  Virginia Tech Music Majors. Not a bad way to start the day, really.   How many other early morning activities soothe you with such classical tunes as Beethoven’s “Six Minuets” or Handel’s “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”?

On March 22nd Mayor Ron Rordam signed a proclamation on behalf of Blacksburg Town Council, declaring April 29 a “Day of Public Celebration” to mark the nuptials of “the commoner Catherine Elizabeth Middleton and His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Phillip Louis of Wales of the Kingdom of Great Britain”. And in a heartfelt response to Trejbal’s editorial Mayor Rordam pleads “guilty to being a Royalist….if only for a day” and  admits to “getting choked up a little when they play God save the Queen.”

In keeping with British tradition wedding guests will be able to participate in a TOMBOLA. In this variation of a raffle, people purchase numbered tickets, each ticket having the chance of winning a prize. The winning tickets end in a “0” or  a “5” .  The drawn tickets are checked against a collection of prizes with numbers attached to them, and the holder of the ticket wins the prize. Guests will be drawing to win a plethora of imported British delights including delicious Cadbury’s chocolates, sparkling Vimto, Tetley teas, the infamous “Spotted Dick”, and so much more!

There will be tea and coffee, served in real teacups and saucers, of course; homemade scones, cucumber sandwiches and other nibbles all included in the price of the ticket. Care to indulge in a Buck’s Fizz? Step up to the cash bar to enjoy the champagne treat known in the Americas as a Mimosa!

Come in your favorite funky formal wear or your silliest millinery and you could win a smashing prize! The Roanoke Times Paparazzi will be  on the scene offering guests the photo opportunity of a lifetime–there will be two very special guests on that red carpet with you.

The event will be full of fun and surprises in addition to being able to watch the wedding of the century on the big screen in your favorite theatre. Tickets are a mere $5 a piece but be warned…they are moving fast! Tickets are available in the Lyric lobby, or call 540-951-4771.

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We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors: the Lyric Theatre, and Downtown Blacksburg, Inc., and for the support of WDBJ7, New River Stage Town Criers, The Roanoke Times, Next Door Bake Shop, Gourmet Pantry, Kent Jewelers and Bollo’s Cafe, Mayor Rordam, the Blacksburg Town Council, and the Town of Blacksburg.

And to our dear friend, Christian Trejbal- thanks for the fun, we hope you will be our guest and join this “traitorous celebration”!

Wedding Fever!

26 Mar

Friday April 1st

In Kent Square Lobby

Royal Wedding- craft stations
Condo Tours- Pointe West Management offering tours of the Kent Square Condos
Next Door Bake Shop- Wedding Cupcakes and more
Hahn Horticulture Garden – Information about a delightful & desirable wedding venue
Calligraphy with Elizabeth Foster
Beauti Control- Spa hand treatments on the spot!
Body Harmony Massage- Chair Massages
Smithfield Plantation- destination wedding!
Mobile Town Hall with 4:30-6:00pm Don Langrehr & Krisha Chachra
The War Memorial Chapel at Virginia Tech- “Experience the Tradition.”

Round Town

Town Criers- announcing a special invitation to you!
FREE Wine & Cheese Tasting at Gourmet Pantry 5-7pm
Clay Corner Inn- free cookie bar 2-8 p.m.
Main street Inn- free refreshments 4-7pm
16 Squares Historical walking tour -starting 4 pm at the Old Town Hall, located at the intersection of Church and Jackson Streets. Call 540-558-0746 or email museum@blacksburg.gov to reserve a space. The tour is free and open to the public, but spaces are limited.
In Balance Yoga Studio 20% off class packages and 25% off retail
Look out for Retail Specials all arround the downtown area
Collect a coupon card for downtown dining discounts!
Bike and Build in front of The Lyric 4-7pm

ART CRAWL with Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt forms to be collected at any of the participating galleries on April 1st from 4-7pm. All forms must be turned in by 7pm in the Kent Square Lobby. The winner will be the person with the most correct answers. Scavenger Hunt clues will be found in ALL participating galleries.

Exhibit TBA
Armory Art Gallery

Custom Designed works of art
Capone’s Fine Jewelry

The work of Christy Mackie and Cedric Rudisill
Clay Corner Inn

Weddings by the Blacksburg Regional Arts Association
Community Arts Information Office

Exhibit TBA
Experiential Gallery for Creative Technologies

The paintings of Knic Umstead
Gillie’s Gallery

Artwork by Amity Dewey
Kent Square Lobby

“Three Painters and a Potter”, featuring four talented young artists in the MFA program at Radford University
Main-Lee Gallery

Bimbur Books & Wedding albums with Becca Imbur, Annie’s Photo Fun- photography by David Hilgendorff
Main Street Inn Gallery

Featuring the Artwork & Jewelry of Blacksburg Artist Greta Panciera
Matrix Gallery

Paintings by Gemma Clasing
Next Door Bake Shop

Photo display of houses in central Blacksburg that have historically been owned by black families, narrated by Beatrice Walker, and a small display of town-owned historic sites in the Office/Visitor Center.
St. Luke & Odd Fellows Hall

Simone Paterson – professor in the School of Visual Arts at Tech
The Gallery at Mish Mish

The fun doesn’t need to end when the curtain closes.
Main Street Inn is offering a
Wedding Frenzy Honeymoon Package.
A special gift for all Honeymooners waiting in their room.
Reservations suggested
Coupon required for special rate

Spotlight: India Garden

1 Mar IMG_0159-horz

Bringing spice to Blacksburg—Owner, Baljinder Singh, originally from Long Island, New York embraces his Indian origin from the northern state of Punjab. He started out in the restaurant industry as part owner in Norfolk, Virginia. Upon his move to Blacksburg, Virginia in 1999, he knew this community would become the home of his very own establishment. On March 11, 2000, he opened India Garden on 210 Prices Fork Rd, catering authentic Indian food.

India Garden offers an assortment of fresh vegetarian, lamb, chicken, and seafood dishes. Popular dishes include Vindalloo and Mango Wala made with your choice of chicken, lamb or seafood. Tandoori items listed on the menu enrich the taste and provide the healthiest option as items are prepared in a clay oven known as the Tandoori oven. For vegetarians, popular dishes include vegetable or eggplant korma. Both offer a rich royal dish with cashew nuts and yogurt sauce. All menu dishes can be customized to your choice and taste preference.

Of course, no meal is complete without one of the many varieties of fresh naan bread. Naan is the flatbread made out of white flour and yogurt. The dough is rolled out and baked in the Tandoori oven. After it rises fully, it is glazed with ghee or butter. Check out how India Garden prepares naan in a gas fired Tandoori oven.

Apart from the numerous dishes, India Garden creates a comforting fine dining experience. In March 2010, India Garden celebrated its 10th anniversary as it revealed its modern renovations to include a bar and fine dining seating. India Garden also offers local live music on Friday and Saturday evenings to enhance the fine dining ambiance. This venture into local bands was started by Anita Bevins and currently continued by Kathy Stell. Live music does change monthly, so keep an ear out for new band selections.

Haven’t given Indian food a chance? Come in and enjoy Indian Garden’s elaborate lunch buffets for only $8.95 on weekdays and $10.95 on weekends. During the weekends, India Garden delivers with more entrée and dessert options. In a hurry? No problem–you can get the buffet to go! Don’t forget to grab a Royalty Card to start redeeming points. For each dollar you spend, you earn 1.00 point toward purchases at the restaurant.

Can’t get enough of India Garden? Try its new location in Asheville, North Carolina. Cinnamon Kitchen, India Garden’s partner restaurant brings spice to a new level. For more information visit: http://www.ckcuisine.com/.

Art Crawl with Poker Run

25 Feb 7water

The Downtown Blacksburg Art Crawl will be a regular feature of our returning monthly celebration of First Fridays starting March 4th. In addition to a plethora of family friendly activities, you can discover the hidden artistic treasures in a variety of galleries located in the downtown area. Some of the gallery locations are obvious, others may surprise you, but all point to the fact that Downtown Blacksburg truly boasts a flourishing arts district.

So why an “ART CRAWL”?
Well if you like the idea of winning great prizes that may be enough incentive; in March the proud winner will take home two primo tickets to the Iris Dement concert to take place at The Lyric on March 25th.

Yet there is so much more than winning a prize to be gained from participating in our Art Crawl, so read on to discover where you can find delightful works of art. We are sure there will be something to appeal to everyone.

“Speaking while listening” -The work of Chris Wubbena
Armory Art Gallery

Custom designed works of wearable art
Capone’s Fine Jewelry

The work of Cedric Rudisill and Christy Mackie
Clay Corner Inn

The art of Jesi Pace- Berkeley
Community Arts Information Office

“Speaking while listening” -The work of Chris Wubbena
Experiential Gallery for Creative Technologies

“Woodblock prints” by Whitney Waller
Gillie’s Gallery

Work by Larry Bechtel, Jenny Pollard & Trev Smith
Main-Lee Gallery

The work of Elizabeth Foster & the photography of David Hilgendorff
Main Street Inn Gallery

Reception with local artists in residence
Matrix Gallery

“Flowers” an exhibition of paintings by Gemma Clasing
Next Door Bake Shop

Employee Show with reception
The Gallery at Mish Mish

Many of the galleries will host receptions with refreshments during the Art Crawl.

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Art Crawl with Poker Run- here’s how it works:

The Art Crawl and Poker Run will begin at 4pm- you choose which gallery is your starting place! Maps to the galleries and instructions for the Poker Run will be available from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at ALL participating galleries.

1. Visit as many galleries as you can and get a playing card at each.

2. Take only one card per venue!

3. Use as many cards as you are able to collect and make the BEST FIVE CARD STUD POKER HAND YOU CAN! (NO WILD CARDS IN PLAY). A list of possible poker hands and their value will be available in the Community Arts Information Office (CAIO).

4. Return to Community Arts Information Office (CAIO), 149 College Ave., with your best poker hand by 7:30 pm at which time the winning hand will be announced and prizes awarded.

5. In the event that no standard poker hand is created, the five-card hand with the most points will be declared the winner. Numbered cards each score points equal to the number on the card face and the following cards will be scored as: Jack (11), Queen (12), King (13) and Ace (14).

6. All cards in the winning hand must be from different galleries!!! In the event of a tie, the winner will be the first recorded hand.

7. You do not need to be present to win but all poker hands must be recorded and player identified by 7:30 pm on the evening of the Gallery Crawl and Poker Run.

Art Crawl will return during First Friday celebrations on April 1st, May 6th, June 3rd, and July 1st.

Spotlight: Beaux Arts Galleria

18 Feb


A Tour through History and Must-Have Collectibles—Built in 1927, the building which currently houses Beaux Arts Galleria originally served as the Hunter’s Masonic Lodge. The owners, Samir Fayez and Awatif Aoun, purchased the property in 2007 and commenced renovations enabling the Galleria to open its doors on September 11, 2009. This three-story , 10,000 sq. ft. building is truly a local treasure in the 16-squares historic district along with its selection of worldwide collectibles, antiques and home furnishings.

As you enter the galleria, you are welcomed into the main display floor. This floor is breathtaking! You can walk down the foyer countless times admiring various home furnishings, vintage lighting products, and museum-quality home decorations. Items are from all over the world, including collections from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, Russia, Korea and Middle Eastern countries. On the right, there are exquisite glass pieces including creations of Daum and Lalique, two  of the top glassmakers in France. Towards the back, the Italian carved dining room suite displays a ladylike elegance in its banquet table, sideboard, stacked china cabinet, mirror, and ten side chairs.


As we exit the main floor, let us take the front staircase up to the second floor. The architectural integrity of the building’s original style can be observed,  as the original staircase remains for its aesthetic and functional value. Just as you arrive on the second floor, take a minute to admire a selection of copper vessels and artwork. These two large handmade copper vessels can be used as water containers while the small vessels near the window are functioning food containers. Three-dimensional copper artworks hang gallantly, displaying old Jeddah street scenes. From the second floor, you have an excellent balcony view of the main display floor; there is no better way to view one of the 31 chandeliers!

Catch the elevator in the back addition to arrive at the lower level. Yes, one more floor of exquisite pieces. Currently, the floor contains an assortment of pieces mainly from the Middle East.  A main attraction is the collection of Syrian Inlaid Mother-of-Pearl, including sets for a bedroom, presidential suite and dining room.  And this is where the tour comes to a halt. Are you ready to start collecting or curious to find out about available items to complete your existing collection?

Visit Beaux Arts Galleria located at 105 E. Roanoke St., Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm or call 540-443-0003 to make an appointment.  To get started, view their collection at: http://www.beauxartsgalleria.com/.

Spotlight: Blacksburg Regional Arts Association

14 Feb

A Work of Art, A Work in Progress—Blacksburg Regional Art Association (BRAA) is an all-volunteer association located in the developing Blacksburg Arts District. The association was founded in 1950 as a community art club made up of general faculty and artists for the enjoyment and appreciation of the arts. The original founders included Dean Carter and Lucy Lee Lancaster. Mr. Carter, a Professor Emeritus of the Virginia Tech Art Department, is still an active member of the association and continues sculpting. In 2010, BRAA celebrated its 60th anniversary in its new home at the Community Arts Information Office.

Inaugural CAIO Show

Blacksburg Regional Art Association offers an exquisite array of galleries and programs for any art connoisseur. Currently, there are 10 community galleries available for public viewing including Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea and Blacksburg Municipal Building. Of course, the association houses pieces at the CAIO gallery on 149 College Avenue. Community gallery shows encourage sales with no commission. In addition, the association hosts several group/juried shows including “Expressions” for members, “New River Art” a regional juried show, and a themed show for local artists, with VT Community Arts Work. Apart from exhibitions, BRAA provides ample workshops. For example, each year BRAA hosts workshops by Virginia Museum teachers at Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Riner, and Eastern Montgomery high schools. A workshop by nationally celebrated artist Carrie Burns Brown will be offered.

New River Art

As an all-volunteer association, BRAA strives to recruit a diversified pool of members. Its mission is to make quality art events affordable, attractive, and accessible to our members and the community, and to inspire, encourage and support one another while joyfully exploring the arts. Membership is open to individuals, families, students and exhibiting artists. Artists wishing to become BRAA Exhibiting Artists or to sell work must complete a jury process in order to show unsupervised. More information on membership can be found here: http://www.blacksburgart.org/membership/memfly2010.pdf.

BRAA 60th Anniversary: L.Bloom and D. Carter

Where is Blacksburg Regional Art Association going next? Dr. Leslye Bloom states, “[BRAA] has been a work in progress for the past 60 years and probably will be for the next 60 years. It reflects the diverse mix of people passionate about community service and fine and performing arts.” From working to establish arts in elementary schools, to establishing “art friendly” zoning in the planned arts district, the association works to promote community arts. In terms of members, the association welcomes all ages, media, and levels of experience – from professional to beginner. Appreciators and collectors are welcome too.

To learn more about BRAA or find out about upcoming exhibits, visit: www.blacksburgart.org.

Music for a Wintry Afternoon

8 Feb concert_poster

This year Puxantawny Phil did not see his shadow-much to the relief of the winter-weary. On Wednesday, February 2nd, the world’s most famous groundhog predicted an early spring.  Although we are already seeing sunshine and warmer temperatures, let’s face it, we are still in the throes of winter in Southwest Virginia, with spring seemingly still a long way off.  So what could be better than a little music to warm your soul and revive your spirit? On Sunday, February 13th, at 3:00 pm, come to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation for a special FREE concert, “Music for a Wintry Afternoon”.  Music Director, Goldie Terrell, and pianist, Jared Gibbs, will perform a concert of classical music for flute and piano. The program includes pieces by Bach, Fauré, Debussy, Godard, Beethoven, and an original composition by Jared. A reception will follow the concert, which is open to the public. Donations will be accepted with all proceeds going towards support of the music program at the UUC.

Goldie Terrell is music director at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Blacksburg.  She started playing music at the age of 4 when her family acquired a piano, and she took up flute at the age of 8.  Currently, she sings with the Blacksburg Master Chorale and performs often on flute, folk guitar and recorder.

Goldie earned an engineering degree from Rice University, where she also took classes at the Shepherd School of Music.  In addition, she holds a degree in computer science.  Mr. Atkins, band director at A&M Consolidated Schools, nurtured her early musical development, and Francile Bilyeu at VCU was her esteemed flute teacher.

In addition to music, Goldie enjoys hiking, sewing, canoeing, appliance and car repair, and gardening.  Her husband, daughter, and two puppies occupy much of her time.

Jared Gibbs earned a BA in music performance from Virginia Tech in 2004, where he studied with Mary Louise Hallauer and Chip McNeill.  After a brief stay in New York, during which he studied with Sal Mosca and John Esposito, Jared returned to Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, earning an MA in English in 2010.  He is currently employed as an Instructor of English at Virginia Tech, and he has served as the Blacksburg Unitarian Universalist Congregation’s pianist since 2007.

Jared lives in Christiansburg with his wife, Natalie, their English Setter, Hannah, and their incipient daughter, Caroline Kate.  Besides making music, reading, and writing, Jared enjoys woodworking (and not cutting off his fingers).

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the New River Valley (UUCNRV) was founded in 1956 and is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations(UUA). UUCNRV became members of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. early in 2010 after our reorganization opened up our membership to individuals and nonprofit groups sharing a common vision- that of working together for a better community.

UUCNRV is a welcoming Congregation –their doors are open to all people, regardless of their religious beliefs, political leanings, sexual orientation, or background. They believe that freedom of conscience is the core of true religion and that diversity of belief enlivens the congregation. As one of their forefathers noted, “we do not have to think alike to love alike.”

The newly expanded UUC building is a beautiful space for performances. The dream would be to “grow” this first concert into a series, using the venue for performances by a variety of local musicians, singers, etc., as well as a place for readings by local and visiting authors, poets and storytellers. This is in addition to the exhibits of works by local artists which are already displayed on a regular basis.

UUC Mission Statement

We are a caring and diverse community bringing spirit, love, justice, learning, and reason to our congregation and to the larger world.

The UUC Meeting House is at 1301 Gladewood Drive in Blacksburg, near the University Mall on Prices Fork Road. The phone number is (540) 552–9716.

If you are interested in exhibiting your art or performing in the UUC space please contact Lisa Evanylo at administrator@uucnrv.org

For more information about The Unitarian Universalist Congregation please come along any Sunday for the 10am service or visit the website: http://www.uucnrv.org

At the UUC there’s always a welcome smile for everyone!

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Spotlight: Cabo Fish Taco

1 Feb IMG_0195-horz

Did you know Baja California is right in the heart of Downtown Blacksburg?

Co-owner, Gary Walker, established the first Cabo Fish Taco in Charlotte, North Carolina along with co-owners Rob and Maeghan Crenshaw. But he never really left Blacksburg. Originally from Virginia Beach, Walker attended Virginia Tech, earning a finance degree in 1994. Two years later he returned to pursue further studies in history and philosophy. Throughout his time in Blacksburg, Walker managed Boudreaux’s, established strong community ties, and always found time to catch some waves. Soon after opening Cabo in Charlotte, he launched Cabo Fish Tabo in Blacksburg, Virginia, to bring Baja California home.

In 2005, Cabo opened its doors at 117 S. Main Street, one of the oldest structures in the Town of Blacksburg. Built in 1848, the restaurant originally served as the First Presbyterian Church. It was quick to change its character to a live music venue, then transitioning into various restaurants, with previous businesses including South Main Café and Baileys. When the property became vacant, it became a highly attractive property to house Baja/Mexican style cuisine and a beach bar atmosphere. Walker described the original renovations to include an updated kitchen, increased bar space, redesigned atrium, and built-in addition. The historic structure continues to change!  Keep an eye out as Cabo changes its brick façade, along with a new roof, and construction of a rooftop patio.

You might be wondering what defines Baja California Mexican style cuisine. It is freshness. All the ingredients are delivered fresh and dishes prepared right in front of you. It is unique. The name suggests there are Fish Tacos that cannot be found anywhere else in town.  It is light and healthy.  Vegetarian options are plentiful as you can get any menu item without meat. Oh, and the drink menu complements every dish. Pick one of the thirteen margaritas or join the tequila club. Cabo has the most elaborate tequila choices—72 and counting!

While you are enjoying your meal, you will be sure to relax in the beach style ambiance. All the furniture is handmade and the wood is burnt in using a blow torch. Even the fish head lights and the detailed fish coat rack are made by hand! Above the coat rack, take a peek at the custom-made Robert August surfboard, but beware — the board can be missing and only a “Gone Surfing” sign is left behind. On June 18, 2011, Cabo will be undergoing a radical transformation for the Summer Solstice Fest as 26 tons of sand are brought in to fill the parking lot!

Don’t sit down to think about what you are cooking for dinner tonight. Drive over to Cabo Fish Tabo and try Fish Tacos, Shrimp and Crab Dip, or Rasta Pasta! Where else can you get true Baja California cuisine while experiencing a piece of Blackburg’s history?

“What is Your Blueprint … How Will You Live Your Life?”

29 Dec

Each year as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Virginia Tech, area kindergarten through 12th grade students are invited to participate in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. poster contest.

In partnership with Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. the 2011 winning posters will be displayed Jan. 3 through Jan. 31 in six downtown locations:

* Community Arts Information Office at 149 College Avenue
* The Center of Dance Academy at 460 Turner Street, NW # 101 Collegiate Square
* Kent Square Lobby at 106 East Washington Street
* Mish Mish at 125 North Main Street
* Main Lee Art at 201 South Main Street
* Next Door Bake Shop at 460 Turner Street, NW, #204 Collegiate Square.

According to Silvia Ramos-Cotton, associate director of Diversity Education and Training in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, “This year 16 schools in the New River and Roanoke Valleys participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. poster contest. We have had a consistent increase in participation from year-to-year, which indicates our youth’s desire to reflect on the impact and relevance of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.”

The purpose of the poster contest is to encourage students to think critically about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and develop goals that reflect how they will live out the principles of non-violent social change to address problems they witness in their communities.

Posters are judged on how effectively the artwork expresses individuality through unique ideas; how the artwork illustrates imaginative and meaningful ideas; and how well the artwork relates to the theme.

In 1967 Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech titled, “What is Your Life’s Blueprint,” where he challenged a group of students to reflect on how they lived their lives and recommended that they develop a blueprint, or action plan for their legacy. This year’s theme, “What is Your Blueprint … How Will You Live Your Life?” is derived from that speech.

The poster contest is sponsored by Virginia Tech, the Montgomery County-Radford City-Floyd County Branch of the NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Inc., Black Student Alliance, The Center of Dance Academy, and the Black Organizations Council.

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion have successfully partnered for the past two years to present the Annual Principles of Community Mixer.

A map of the downtown businesses in Blacksburg displaying winning posters can be seen here:
2011 MLK Art Crawl Map
A complete list of the 2011 poster contest winners is available right here:
2011 MLK Poster Winners

Congratulations to all of the young artists! Thank you to our participating downtown businesses for displaying the beautiful posters. Stop by and take a look!

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