INDY Week 4.06.2022

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Raleigh | Durham | Chapel Hill April 6, 2022


3 FOUL BALL Women's basketball in the Triangle is thrilling to watch, but men's teams get all the attention—and money BY JA S MIN E GA L LU P, P. 8

Raleigh 2 Durham 2 Chapel Hill

The documentary Skate Dreams screens at Full Frame Documentary Festival, which runs online Apr. 7-10, p. 12

VOL. 39 NO. 14



A fourth-year UNC student reflects on a big win from over the weekend. BY BROOKE DOUGHERTY

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Students from North Carolina and Iraq connect over a virtual exchange program. BY SASHA SCHROEDER NC State's women's basketball team is thrilling to watch. Why doesn't it get the same attention and respect as the Triangle's men's teams? BY JASMINE GALLUP

10 As Durham gets denser, the availability of new affordable housing and preservation of trees are growing concerns. BY THOMASI MCDONALD 12 Durham's city council heard mixed reviews on its plan to implement the controversial ShotSpotter gunfire detection system. BY ZELLA HANSON, KELLY TORRES, AND ALEX KUMAR


13 In November, employees at Acme Food & Beverage Co. in Carrboro went on a months-long strike. BY LENA GELLER 16 Ten films to catch at this year's Full Frame Festival. BY GLENN MCDONALD 17

New album Dust finds The Dead Tongues at its most adventurous. BY GRANT GOLDEN


It may not always be happy, but David Sedaris's latest essay collection is still an awfully good time. BY SHELBI POLK 19 In Megan Mayhew Bergman's engrossing new short story collection, women find their footholds in the past and the future. BY SARAH EDWARDS


15 Minutes


Photo Series

20 Culture Calendar

COVER Illustration by Jon Fuller

W E M A D E T H IS PUBLIS H ER S Wake County

MaryAnn Kearns Durham/Orange/ Chatham Counties

Arts & Culture Editor Sarah Edwards Staff Writers Jasmine Gallup Thomasi McDonald

John Hurld

Editorial Assistant Lena Geller


Copy Editor Iza Wojciechowska

Editor in Chief Jane Porter Managing Editor Geoff West


April 6, 2022

Theater+Dance Critic Byron Woods

Contributors Madeline Crone, Grant Golden, Spencer Griffith, Lucas Hubbard, Brian Howe, Lewis Kendall, Kyesha Jennings, Glenn McDonald, Gabi Mendick, Anna Mudd, Dan Ruccia, Rachel Simon, Harris Wheless



Creative Director

Wake County MaryAnn Kearns

Annie Maynard Graphic Designer

Jon Fuller Staff Photographer

Brett Villena

Durham/Orange/ Chatham Counties John Hurld Sales Digital Director & Classifieds Mathias Marchington

C I RC U L ATI O N Berry Media Group

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Raleigh: 16 W Martin St,Raleigh, N.C. 27601

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Two weeks ago for print, Jasmine Gallup wrote about how the Triangle’s housing crisis, in Orange County specifically, is displacing residents as landlords increase rents. Reader ROB LAVELLE suggests we here at the INDY take a look at our own culpability in contributing to the Triangle’s housing crisis over the years. LaVelle writes: Thanks for your reporting on the ongoing housing crisis here in the triangle. It did a good job of showing the impact of scarce housing on our citizens. It fell short, however, in shedding light on why we are in this predicament—which is really hard to do with this complex issue. Your article fell into the easy trap of implicitly blaming out-of-towners for our self inflicted wounds. A great follow up article would be to investigate all the ways local governments have limited supply and slow-walked development over the past 30 years. Relevant to your reporting is the fact that Carrboro built more multi-unit housing in the 1980’s than it did in the 30 years since. “Progressive” nimby citizens of a “progressive” town set the stage for the replacement we are experiencing. That would be an interesting article to read! An even more interesting article would be to search through the Indy archives of the last 30 years and analyze its role in creating or reflecting the anti development nimbyism that afflicts us. Serious analysis from your newspaper has been sadly lacking over the past decades. A few guiding thoughts: • Scarce and valuable products will end up being owned by rich people. • Displacement is fueled by not building sufficient housing in a hot market. • “Progressives” have been reluctant to engage seriously [on] housing supply issues. So … How has Indy reporting added fuel to the housing crisis?




15 MINUTES John Foley, 25 Musician, songwriter, and Twitch streamer BY BROOKE DOUGHERTY

The Raleigh-based musician and songwriter describes his music as “if Stevie Nicks joined the Heartbreakers.” Foley has used Twitch to livestream his sets since the pandemic outbreak.

How do you feel like your approach to music and the industry has changed and adapted throughout the pandemic? I haven’t been playing live shows since COVID started. The plan was to move to a bigger city right as COVID hit and then that obviously changed everything. I shifted to Twitch on New Year’s Eve 2020 and started doing live streams two to three times a week. I might have done that without COVID, because after playing with a band for so long, I wanted to be more self-reliant. [Twitch] made me focus more on a solo act and work on guitar more. There was already a trend toward musicians going digital, and I think COVID expedited things when no one could play for a year. I was thinking how can I make money when my regular revenue streams are gone? What are some new income streams I can put in? How can I connect with people online?

How does Twitch work for an artist? The monetization is either subscriptions [or] for affiliates—you are a streamer, and when you reach a certain benchmark you are an affiliate, and that’s when you can start monetizing. But it’s really easy to get there. As an affiliate you get half of the subs—so it’s $5 and you get $2.50 and Twitch takes the other half. Once you get to partner—that’s 75 average viewers—you can renegotiate and have a personalized deal.


As an affiliate you get money from subs and bits, which is Twitch currency. Each bit is one penny. You can take donations, so I have my Venmo linked because it’s direct and you get all of it. In my experience as a small streamer, and this is generally true for most streamers, the money comes in waves. You get the subs and your regulars will donate a little bit every show, but there is usually one person who will drop a ton of money randomly. There are raids where when your stream ends you can automatically send all your people to somebody else’s stream, it’s a cool way to connect with other people and grow your audience. You can also get money when somebody buys gift subs, which are when you buy subs and give them to other people.

How do you feel your music style and inspiration for writing has developed throughout the pandemic? I’ve definitely focused more on solo acoustic stuff. I write all my songs with just me and a guitar. The next album I’m working on is more of an acoustic, stripped-down album. There will be full instrumentation on it, but it is more folk singersongwriter than pop rock. It’s stripped back and I’m more self-sufficient as an artist. It’s one thing to have to wrangle a band together, but when you can’t see other people the biggest issue is becoming more self-reliant. 2

April 6, 2022



Chapel Hill

April 6, 2022


In a historic matchup, UNC’s men’s basketball team toppled its archrival Duke in the NCAA tournament’s Final Four game in New Orleans on Saturday night. As is their custom—and with the days of COVID anxiety largely behind them—elated students and fans flooded Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street for pole climbing, fireworks, and other raucous victory celebrations. The Tar Heels went on to fall to Kansas in the national championship game on Monday, marking the end of an extraordinary first season for head coach Hubert Davis. 2


Chapel Hill

A Rush Celebrating a Final Four win against an archrival BY BROOKE DOUGHERTY


n Saturday night, I found myself rushing Franklin Street for the first time. I’ve never run to Franklin Street before, much less late at night with a stomach full of strawberry and mango margaritas. If I’m being honest, I’ve never found sports to be extraordinarily riveting, but my roommate decided to host a watch party for the game and I knew I’d regret not paying attention to the Tar Heels taking on the Blue Devils in the Final Four. The game against Duke was tantalizingly close. I may not pay much attention to sports, but I am aware of the age-old rivalry. I found myself on the edge of my seat in the living room of my apartment— tight fists formed in my lap creating nail-shaped indentations on my palms, biting my bottom lip right up until the last second. The score remained interlocked. I sat glued with my eyes to the screen—afraid that I’d miss something if I looked away even for a moment—confidence faltering slightly when Armando Bacot limped off the floor with an ankle injury. With less than 25 seconds, Caleb Love scored a three-pointer. The clock ran out and it was time: 81 to 77. Eighteen lead changes and 12 ties. The Heels came out on top in a historic upset against Duke. My roommate and I ran out the door, through the shortcut in the woods and onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and into a sea of ice blue. Cars honked, people cheered and chanted. When I transferred to UNC from Wake Technical Community College in the fall of 2020, I was under the impression that school pride would happen naturally. I bought the sweatshirts, baseball caps, and pins and waited for it to overtake me. At times, there were sparks, like when I attended the UNC-Florida State football game last fall or when I walk around the beautiful campus and study under my favorite tree— but never a full-fledged flame.

Flash forward almost two years. I’ll be graduating in December. I thought it was too late for me and that my college experience was just simply going to be different. But as I ran uphill to join the crowd of thousands of students on Franklin on Saturday night, I was fueled by something I hadn’t felt before. A sense of belonging. A sense of pride. There it was. That feeling I’ve been missing. I didn’t see any familiar faces as I looked around at other students holding up signs, popping champagne, and congratulating one another as fireworks went off above us, but we were connected on a fundamental level. The feelings rushed over me as it hit me that I go here. This is my team and we won. I’ve come away from this weekend with a different perspective and a lot of school spirit. I was able to run on Saturday night for the girl who transferred into UNC in the fall of 2020 without friends. I ran for the girl who attended college through her computer screen for nearly two years, unable to form lasting connections with her classmates because of the isolation that has accompanied the pandemic. I’ll be chasing the high from Saturday night for years to come. I mean, where else am I going to get splashed by champagne from multiple directions? At the end of the day, I’m thankful that I’m a Tar Heel. I’m proud to sport my college’s apparel and be able to say that my basketball team beat Duke in the Final Four and advanced to the national championship. And as for finally rushing Franklin Street, if there was ever a time to do it, Saturday night was that time. Let me tell you, it was one hell of a way to catch up on my college experiences. 2 Brooke Dougherty is a fourth-year student at UNC-Chapel Hill and an INDY Week intern.

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April 6, 2022



North Carolina

Waging Peace Students from North Carolina and Iraq create a virtual exchange. BY SASHA SCHROEDER


couple of years ago, University of Mosul student Nora Al Jadoue wanted to leave Iraq. At the same time, UNC sophomore Eden Yousif wasn’t sure she would ever get to see Iraq. But thanks to an innovative virtual exchange program between the University of Mosul, UNC-Chapel Hill, and UNC-Greensboro, students are developing new understandings of Iraq and the United States. Despite being over 6,000 miles apart, students in Iraq and North Carolina have found they have much to share with one another and plenty to learn on their weekly Zoom calls. “We just don’t hate anybody that we don’t know,” said Heba Ezzuldein, a University of Mosul student. “And I think this is really helping in developing a lot of things. Because I think it’s important to share with different people from different languages and different cultures.” The Islamic State controlled Mosul from 2014 until 2017, during which thousands of civilians were killed, schools were closed, and ancient artifacts and historical sites were destroyed. “Although Mosul has been at war a lot and has only just got liberated and is still healing, at the same time, if you actually get in touch with the young people here, you will see amazing talents and true accomplishments,” Al Jadoue said. “If you asked me two years ago, I would totally tell you that I want to leave Iraq and never go back and that I don’t have a future here.” But her classes at the University of Mosul have inspired her to stay. She said her peers push her to be the best version of herself. “Every week I get surprised more and more about the young generation’s ideas,” she said. 6

April 6, 2022

“Mosul is so alive” Yousif grew up in Goldsboro, in an Iraqi family. She said it was hard to hear stereotypes about Iraq in her hometown. “I just wanted people to know that there’s so much life there, and people are happy there, and it’s not it’s not some desolate country,” Yousif said. Yousif has never been to Iraq but is now planning her first visit because of the exchange. For a long time, Yousif said her family assumed it wasn’t safe to go back to Iraq. But one of the Iraqi students helped her family realize that it was time to plan their first trip together. “He said, ‘Mosul is so alive. There’s no reason you can’t come,’” Yousif said. “I immediately told my grandpa and I said, ‘We want to visit.’ And he said, ‘That’s great. I’ll go with you.’” Students meet on Saturday mornings for the exchange, which is part of the University of Mosul’s peace-building initiative, one of the first academic peace studies programs in the Middle East. Hijran Al-Salihi, assistant professor in the philosophy department at the University of Mosul, said the peace program prepares students to tackle the problems present in the city of Mosul and Iraq more broadly. “Security can’t be established with weapons only,” Al-Salihi said. Noor Ghazi, professor of the practice in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Peace, War, and Defense Department and a lecturer at UNC-Greensboro, Durham Technical Community College, and the University of Mosul, facilitates the exchange, which began in her class on modern conflicts in Iraqi history in spring 2021. Yousif and UNC sophomore Jasper Schutt were in the class together and have

Volunteers work to rebuild the University of Mosul’s Central Library. The library reopened in February after ISIS fighters destroyed it in 2015. PHOTO COURTESY OF UNC MEDIA HUB

been working on expanding the exchange ever since. Schutt said he believes American students have a responsibility to speak to people whose lives have been affected by the U.S. government. U.S. forces invaded Iraq in March 2003 on the pretense of destroying Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction and ending Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. There were no weapons of mass destruction. To date, over 180,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a direct result of the U.S. invasion. “This is something that could be really transformative for a lot of American students,” Schutt said. “There’s a certain responsibility on the part of American students as well, because this is a region of the world—a country specifically—that people shouldn’t be allowed to just speak about in stereotypes.” Ghazi said the exchange has been eye-opening for American students. “I tell students, ‘Look at things from different perspectives. There’s always another side to the story,’” Ghazi said. One Saturday morning, a UNC student asked the Iraqi students what brings them hope. Al Jadoue shared how excited she was about the reopening of the university’s Central Library. In 2015, ISIS fighters burned thousands of items from the library, which housed

over a million books, maps, and manuscripts dating back centuries. The loss was immeasurable. On February 19, after a reconstruction project facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme and the Iraqi government, the library reopened. A slogan, “The Word ‘Impossible’ Does Not Exist in Our Dictionary,” is written on the left wall of the library’s entrance. The university describes the library as a “symbol of triumph of humanitarianism, civilization and peace over terrorism.” “One of the latest accomplishments that has been in the city was today—it was the opening of the Central Library. Our university is supposed to be one of the biggest libraries in the Middle East, and yeah, we’re actually proud of it,” Al Jadoue said. Al-Salihi said students and professors worked to clear the rubble of the Central Library and save what was left of the books after ISIS was driven out of the city. Universities across Iraq and the world sent books and resources to Mosul. “I hope we can invest in this great dream of ours, which was absent for so long by the smoke of wars and was wrapped at some times in the black flags of ISIS. The steps are slow, but this is how we grow a tree, with patience,” Al-Salihi said.

“This is something that could be really transformative for a lot of American students. ... This is a region of the world—a country specifically—that people shouldn’t be allowed to just speak about in stereotypes.” “All I thought about was my education” Ghazi grew up in Baghdad but was forced to flee Iraq for Syria in 2006 due to a civil war between Sunnis and Shias. Ghazi’s family—she has a Sunni father and a Shia mother—was in danger of being targeted by both groups. Sunnis and Shias have long clashed over their different visions for the future of Iraq, and the 2003 U.S. invasion of the country exacerbated the sectarian violence. “Death in Baghdad was just a norm,” Ghazi said. “Every time my dad left the house, we said our last goodbyes because we just didn’t know.” During difficult years in Syria, Ghazi struggled to understand her identity. Her family was uneasy when they were approved to move to the United States as refugees. “This is the country that invaded Iraq—do we go there?” Ghazi said. But the family had nowhere else to go. They arrived in High Point in 2008, which brought on a whole new identity crisis for Ghazi. She eventually stopped covering her hair after Americans made vicious, racist comments. “What is my identity? If people here think I’m a terrorist and people back there think I’m a traitor, who am I?” she said. “All I thought about was my education.” Education was refuge for Ghazi. Little by little, her English improved. She went on to receive her master’s degree in peace and conflict studies from UNC-Greensboro. She married and had a daughter. But she still dreamed of Iraq. In 2018, she visited Baghdad with her husband for the first time since leaving on her 16th birthday. Upon her return to Iraq, Ghazi was shocked by what she saw. “I did not feel home. It was not the same. My parents are not there. My siblings are not there. I’m not there—I’m not there as me when I left,” Ghazi said. Ghazi visited Mosul shortly after the Islamic State was driven out of the city. Mosul is located on the banks of the Tigris River in a region often referred to

as the cradle of civilization. Thousands of years ago, ancient Mesopotamians developed the first systems of writing, agriculture, and cities in the region. But ISIS had destroyed much of the area’s cultural heritage. “I felt like an entire civilization was being just dissolved right before my eyes,” Ghazi said. When she arrived back in Baghdad, she sat down with her husband. “I looked at my husband and I said, ‘Let’s go home.’ And he said, ‘We are home.’ I said, ‘No. This is not home for me anymore,’” Ghazi said. Ghazi’s experiences led her to begin working on a book and a documentary. The documentary, The Mother of Two Springs, is about life in Mosul under ISIS. She has worked closely with faculty members at the University of Mosul to produce the documentary and begin the implementation of a master’s program in peace studies at the school. Ghazi always knew she wanted to help Iraqis after she finished her education. She realized the best way for her to help was to become an educator herself, since the education she received under Saddam Hussein’s regime was so restrictive. Teaching peace comes naturally to Ghazi. “When I heard of the word ‘peace,’ I jumped in right away without even asking,” Ghazi said. “The more we can work with youth on education, the better outcome we can have in the future.” From Mosul, Al-Salihi said he has a lot of hope for the city. “There is hope since I enter my classroom and talk with freedom with my students around topics used to be considered taboo and impossible to talk about. Today there is a space for the youth to speak with freedom and rationality,” Al-Salihi said. “There is hope after we broke many of the religious, social, and political taboos in our societies which ruled our societies and framed our thoughts in the past.” 2 This story was originally published by UNC Media Hub.

Durham County Board of Elections

NOTICE OF DURHAM COUNTY PRIMARY AND ELECTION Tuesday, May 17, 2022 The Primary and Election for Durham County will be held in Durham County, NC on Tuesday May 17th. All Durham County precincts will be open from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm. 17-year-old Durham County voters who are registered and will be 18 years old on or before Nov. 8, 2022, may vote in Durham’s Primary. 17-year-olds are not permitted to vote in School Board or Town of Cary elections. Party primaries will be open to voters registered with that respective party. Unaffiliated voters may vote a non-partisan ballot that will only include the School Board Election and Town of Cary (if applicable) OR choose to participate in either the Republican or Democratic primaries. Registered Libertarians will be given a non-partisan ballot. The following contests will be on the Durham County ballots*: • US Congress • NC Supreme Court • NC Court of Appeals • NC General Assembly • NC District Court • Durham County Sheriff • Durham County District Attorney • Durham County Clerk of Court • Durham County Board of Education (Final Election) • Town of Cary Council (Final Election – Cary residents only) *Offices will only appear on your ballot if you are eligible to vote for the respective contest.

ABSENTEE ONE-STOP (EARLY VOTING) LOCATIONS South Regional Library 4505 S. Alston Ave., Durham

North Regional Library 221 Milton Rd., Durham

Durham TechNewton Building 1616 Cooper Street, Durham

The River Church 4900 Prospectus Dr., Durham

East Regional Library 211 Lick Creek Lane., Durham

NCCU Law School 640 Nelson St., Durham

Durham County Eno River Unitarian Main Library 300 N Roxboro St., 4907 Garrett Rd., Durham Durham

Early voting schedule: Thursday, April 28, 2022 – Saturday, May 14, 2022 Hours are consistent at all four early voting sites. • Weekdays: 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. • Saturdays: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Sundays: 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ELECTION DAY POLLING PLACE LOCATION CHANGE • Precinct 25, previously located at Northern High School has moved to Lucas Middle School, located at 923 Snow Hill Rd., Durham. VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE: The voter registration deadline for the Primary and Election is Friday, April 22, 2022 (25 days prior). Voters that miss the registration deadline may register and vote during the Absentee One-Stop Voting Period (Early Voting). Voters who are currently registered need not re-register. Registered voters who have moved or changed other information since the last election should notify the Board of Elections of that change by April 22, 2022. Party changes are not permitted after the voter registration deadline. SAME DAY REGISTRATION: Voters are allowed to register and vote during early voting. It is quicker and easier to register in advance, but if you have not registered you can do so during One Stop voting with proper identification. This same day registration is not allowed at polling places on Election Day. Information regarding registration, polling locations, absentee voting, or other election matters may be obtained by contacting the Board of Elections. Website: Phone: 919-560-0700

Email: Fax: 919-560-0688


April 6, 2022




Unfair Game NC State’s women’s basketball team is thrilling to watch, but in the Triangle, and the country, men’s sports dominate. BY JASMINE GALLUP


t’s overtime. Six seconds left on the clock. The NC State University women’s basketball team trails Connecticut by three points. That’s when forward Jakia Brown-Turner made her move. With a clean pass from senior guard Raina Perez, Brown-Turner got a good look at the basket, and she didn’t waste it. In one fluid move, Brown-Turner sent the basketball swishing through the net, prompting an explosion of celebration from her teammates and sending the game into a hardfought double overtime. It was a tough game for NC State, who were hoping to win it all this year after they broke into the Elite Eight. In the end, it was anyone’s game, thanks to the driving force of veteran Elissa Cunane and the talent of young sophomore Diamond Johnson. It simply wasn’t enough to overcome the Huskies. Still, as the NC State men’s basketball program endures a slow, seemingly unending decline, the top-seeded women’s team is giving Wolfpack fans something to root for. In 2018, while the men were losing in the ACC quarterfinals, the women were making a run to the Sweet 16. They hope to stay on the rise. There’s a lot of energy around the women’s team, as there always is around a team that’s winning. But despite their success, the players continue to be undervalued, underwatched, and unfairly treated.

lis and the women in San Antonio. Women’s players and coaches shared videos of their accommodations, which fell far short of the men’s. While male players were treated to a fully equipped weight room, buffet, and a shower of gifts, the women had a mostly empty workout room, prepackaged meals, and paltry gift bags. “You could really compare amenities on a one-to-one basis, and that put into stark contrast how little the women’s tournament was cared about,” says Lindsay Gibbs, author of Power Plays, a newsletter about sexism in sports. “Because the NCAA makes the majority of its money off the men’s tournament … all of its focus and energy was on the men’s tournament. The women’s tournament had to jump through hoops just to get approval [to play].” This year, things haven’t changed much. The NCAA has made some cosmetic changes, including offering better perks to women, expanding the tournament from 64 to 68 teams, and allowing teams to use “March Madness” branding, but there are still systemic inequities. “All of these [changes] are positive, I don’t want to diminish them,” Gibbs says. “But ultimately, I think there’s a lot more structural issues within the NCAA. There’s a long way to go. They solved the easiest problems to solve, but the real work is systemic, as it always is.”

A gender equality scandal in the NCAA

Who’s watching?

The differences between the men’s and women’s tournaments got a lot of attention last year as they played at the same time in two COVID bubbles: the men in Indianapo8

April 6, 2022

In Raleigh, the conversation about basketball revolves around the men’s tournament: Who’s going to win? Would Duke beat out UNC? Wolfpack fans didn’t have much to cheer about this year. The for-

NCSU player Kai Crutchfield takes a jump shot. mer championship men’s team didn’t even qualify for the postseason—unsurprising, given they’ve failed to get into the tournament for the past four years and ended the regular season with an 11-21 record, the worst since 1993. For most Pack fans, watching the tournament is an exercise in futility and has been for the past 30 years. Nostalgic alumni dream of the Pack’s glory days— the 1980s under Coach Jim Valvano, when a team of greats came from behind to win it all. Frustrated State fans console themselves with the fact that, well, at least the women’s team is doing well. The fan conversation reflects the historic disparity between media coverage of men’s and women’s sports. In the world of television, men’s sports are the focus of 95 percent of stories, while women’s sports are the focus of just 5 percent, according to a 2019 study by the University of Southern California and Purdue University. The study found similar disparities in social media posts and sports newsletters, which covered women only 9-10 percent of the time. “Men’s sports—especially the ‘Big Three’ of basketball, football, and baseball— still receive the lion’s share of the coverage, whether in-season or out of season,” researchers state. “When a women’s sports story does appear, it is usually a case of


‘one and done,’ a single women’s sports story obscured by a cluster of men’s stories that precede it, follow it, and are longer in length.” That pattern is especially apparent during the NCAA tournament. During a threeweek span in 2019, ESPN’s SportsCenter ran 27 stories on the men’s tournament, for a total airtime of two hours and 13 minutes, according to the study. The women’s tournament was the focus of just two stories, for a total of three minutes and 43 seconds of coverage. A nationwide sample of local TV stations found that stations aired 56 stories on the men’s tournament, for an hour and 14 minutes, compared to eight stories on the women’s, for only three minutes and 16 seconds. Newspaper coverage is equally biased. In one week during last year’s Final Four, men received nearly twice the amount of newspaper coverage as women, according to an analysis done by Gibbs. Overall, men’s sports got 86.6 percent of coverage, while women’s sports got 13.4 percent of coverage. Despite the lack of media coverage, the NC State women’s basketball team has a strong fan following. In the women’s league, NC State home games were among the top 10 most attended games during the 2021-22 season. In

A cycle of devaluation When it comes to the women’s tournament, the NCAA has created what Gibbs calls “a cycle of devaluation.” Because the organization invests less money in women’s basketball, it makes less money from the sport. It then becomes easy to justify investing even less money in the future. “[The women’s tournament] is not where the NCAA makes its money, because the NCAA has decided not to turn it into a money-making property,” Gibbs says. “[It has decided] not to give it the investment it deserves.”

Last year, the women’s championship game drew about 4.1 million viewers, an increase of 9 percent over the 2019 championship. The men’s championship game drew about 16.9 million viewers, a decrease of 8 percent from 2019. So while the men’s tournament did get more views, interest is decreasing, while interest in the women’s game is rising steadily. In addition, while the men’s tournament drew four times the viewers as the women’s, its broadcasting contract is worth 20 times as much. The broadcast rights for the men’s tournament sold for $850 million last year, compared to the rights for the women’s tournament, which sold for $42 million. “The proportions that we’re looking at are just completely out of whack,” Gibbs says. “Four million viewers for any television network is a lot these days. Just because it’s not 16 million doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. It’s been really sad to see this go on for so long.” Sports media professionals estimate that the women’s basketball tournament alone will be worth $81 million to $112 million per year, starting in 2025, the first year after the NCAA’s current contract with ESPN expires. “A new eight-year, $909 million [broadcasting] deal would be worth an average of about $114 million per year; a 10-year, $1.2 billion agreement would average $118 million per year,” states a gender equity analysis conducted by consulting firm Desser Sports Media. The NCAA commissioned the report following last year’s gender inequity scandal, and the results were far from favorable. In addition to devaluing women’s basketball, the structure of the broadcasting contract discourages sponsorships and ads for the women’s tournament. That lack of money at the top also trickles down, ultimately discouraging colleges and universities from investing in women’s basketball programs. When a men’s basketball team makes the tournament, their college’s conference gets a payout from the NCAA. The more games the team wins, the bigger that payout is. Women’s teams, on the other hand, get nothing. “So of course schools are gonna want to pour more money into their men’s programs than their women’s programs, because it makes them so much more money if their men’s team makes it to the tournament,” Gibbs says. “These kinds of issues, that stem from the NCAA internally, devaluing and deprioritizing women’s basketball, these are the decisions that really trickle down and impact everything.” 2



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the men’s league, NC State ranked 27th in attendance. The NC State women’s team also has no problem filling Reynolds Coliseum, which seats 5,500. On average, 85 percent of seats were filled during the women’s games, while only 61 percent of the seats at PNC Arena were filled during men’s games (although PNC is much bigger than Reynolds, seating more than 19,000). During the Pack’s home games last month, “Reynolds [Coliseum] was absolutely packed, it was deafeningly loud,” Gibbs says. “The fans really love this team, they really support this team, and as a North Carolinian, it was thrilling to see.” Camille Hobby, a junior who plays center for the team, echoed those sentiments in a pre–Sweet 16 press conference. She went on to say women’s games should get more airtime. “We’ve seen in the past that when women’s games are on TV, people watch them. So more games need to be on TV. Not ESPN+, but ESPN,” she said. “Have us on there and give us a chance to perform and show that we’re great. That we’re some of the best athletes that there are, that there can be.” Hobby said that the NCAA is doing a better job of being inclusive, but the changes they made are just the first step. “Sometimes women’s sports don’t get the same respect as men’s,” she said. “This is a step, but I think there could still be more things in the future for us.” Players Jakia Brown-Turner and Elissa Cunane also said that while the treatment of female athletes is improving, they expect even greater things in the future. “The buzz around women’s basketball is growing, and it’s because people realize that we are full of talent,” Cunane said during a March 25 press conference. “I think in the future everyone just continuing to speak out and stand up for themselves is going to help us continue to move forward.”

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April 6, 2022



Durham Donna Frederick PHOTO BY BRETT VILLENA

Growing Pains As Durham gets denser, the availability of new affordable housing and the preservation of quality-of-life amenities, such as shade from trees, are growing concerns. BY THOMASI MCDONALD


onna Frederick has lived in her dark brick home in the Colonial Village subdivision for nearly 20 years. Frederick retired last year after owning and operating the now-closed Playhouse Toy Store on Ninth Street after more than a dozen years. She enjoys puttering around in the wooden garden plots in her front yard before sitting down with a cup of tea on her home’s screened-in front porch. She used to enjoy the shade afforded by the massive oak, magnolia, and pine trees that were on her neighbor’s property next door. But in February, developers who purchased the lot knocked down the house and garage before cutting down the hardwood trees. Those trees were lost under an initiative Durham City Council members approved several years ago with the goal of increasing density to keep up with demand for more 10

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housing. In 2019, council members, by a 6-1 vote, amended the city’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) in hopes of undoing decades-old vestiges of discrimination that have prevented generations of African Americans from owning homes and amassing wealth. The update, known as Expanding Housing Choices (EHC), amends zoning rules in neighborhoods near downtown to allow for higher density, which city and county planners believe is key to stabilizing housing prices as the city grows. But now, some community members think the city’s EHC plan has had the unintended effect of fueling gentrification and displacement that’s taking place in neighborhoods that had “naturally occurring affordable homes,” also known as “NOAH.”

Nate Baker, an urban planner who serves on Durham’s planning commission, described the EHC as a “missed opportunity” during its formative stages that could have enabled the city to retain its affordable housing stock. “The EHC does the opposite of that,” Baker told the INDY last week. “It spurs additional gentrification and displacement, to a certain extent.” But city council member Jillian Johnson this week told the INDY she has not seen evidence of gentrification as a consequence of the EHC initiative. She pointed to a late 2020 letter presented to the city council that reported 50 related permit applications have been submitted to the City County Planning Department. “I do not believe this volume is enough to have been a driver of gentrification,” Johnson said in an email. “Developers do not need EHC to build expensive single-family homes on less than two acres of land. They could do that before EHC and can do it now.” Among the trees felled by the developer next to Frederick’s property was a giant oak that stood in her former neighbor’s front yard, along with a massive magnolia and several pine trees. Soon after the oak tree was knocked down, Frederick posed beside the fallen hardwood. Frederick stands at about 5 feet, 4 inches. The top of the trunk reached her chest. “That’s how wide it was,” Frederick told the INDY. “It was a huge oak. You couldn’t get your arms around it.” A building permit filed with the Durham Planning Department in January shows that the developer, Hayes Barton Homes, is using a small lot plan to build four two-story, single-family homes on the land, which covers less than two acres. The building permit application, which has been approved by the city, also shows plans for the replanting of two trees on each lot. “These are not start-up homes for most people,” Frederick told the INDY. “The developer says the homes will sell for $350,000.” For Frederick, living on a fixed income and facing the prospect of higher property taxes is one thing. But she points to a bundle of issues with the ongoing construction related to affordability, health, environmental impact, and the city ordinance that allows builders to construct homes on less than two acres of land without input from community members. Now, with the absence of trees that shaded her home for decades, Frederick wonders what the impact will be when the weather warms up, especially during the summer months. As the INDY previously reported, the absence of tree canopies in low-income communities leads to higher temperatures that fuel high utility costs and a higher incidence of health-related issues.

While standing in her yard last month, Frederick points to how the land slopes downward onto East Club Boulevard. She thinks that without the trees’ root systems to hold water from heavy rainfall, combined with the impervious surfaces that are a feature of home construction, stormwater runoff and sedimentation will flow into the nearby Ellerbe Creek. Frederick also thinks that developers are taking advantage of what she describes as “a loophole” in the city ordinance that exempts them from having to hear neighbors’ concerns if they are building on plots of land that are less than two acres. In an email to the INDY, Bo Dobrzenski, an assistant manager with the city-county planning department, says that state law exempts from the subdivision construction review process privately owned tracts of land “whose entire area is no greater than two acres [divided] into not more than three lots.” Dobrzenski added that Durham’s UDO “mandates this exemption.” “There is no site plan review or preliminary plat submittal required for a subdivision of less than six new lots,” Dobrzenski said. The planning department official also noted that the exemptions have been in place statewide and locally “for many years.” As for the wholesale tree removal that took place on the Colonial Village property, Dobrzenski says the city’s UDO also “does not require tree coverage for projects that are less than two acres.” Allen Wells, the founder and owner of Hayes Barton Homes in Raleigh, last week told the INDY that he’s “trying to do the right thing and build affordable housing because there’s a great need, and I’ve done nothing but get grief.” “No good deed goes unpunished,” he adds. Wells says his company did everything the city required in order for him to receive a building permit. “I did all of the things that I’m required by law to do,” he says. “It’s not illegal, but it is unethical,” Frederick says. She thinks the builder will replace the hardwoods that stood for decades next door with landscaping trees—crepe myrtle, perhaps. “The builder says they are going to replant trees and hedges, but hedges aren’t trees,” she says. She pointed to the nearly half dozen young cherry trees in black plastic buckets that she intends to plant this spring, and lamented the loss of hardwoods that stood for decades next door.

“That was tree shade for my home,” she says. “It will take 20 years to get that back.” “The city is encouraging multiple-density units. I get it,” Frederick says. “I get that $350,000 is the average price of a house in Durham. There’s one right up the street selling for $700,000. The problem is that the people who live here have to move out of the [town] where they work.” Frederick wants the city council to intervene and require developers of small residential projects to seek input from neighborhood residents in the same manner as if they are working on a large development. According to records filed on August 4 with the county register of deeds, Durham’s Weitz Real Estate purchased the home next to Frederick’s from former owner Ronald Dexter Cates, who could not be immediately reached for comment. Frederick says she contacted the new owner of the home, and Tyler Weitz visited with her the next day. Frederick says Weitz walked the lot with her and seemed to understand her concern about preserving the tree canopy in the neighborhood. Frederick says Weitz told her the plan was to build two homes on the lot and preserve the magnolia, oak, and pine trees on the property. Last week, Weitz told the INDY that Frederick contacted him after the house was removed, and says he thinks Frederick’s “critiques were quite fair,” and he apologized to her “for the lack of notice about my plans.” But on November 12 of last year, Tyler Weitz sold the property to Hayes Barton Homes for $316,000, according to records filed with Durham County’s register of deeds office. Frederick says the new developer, who specializes in custom-built homes, “decided to build four houses with no trees.” “Those of us who live in the community wondered, ‘How can he knock down trees, and without us having a say-so?’” Frederick told the INDY. Frederick says she understands that Durham leaders have determined to increase the Bull City’s housing stock “by any means necessary.” “You can’t stop gentrification,” she says. “But the city is saying one thing and doing nothing. It’s unfortunate. It’s not a builders’ problem. It’s a North Carolina General Assembly problem. There’s no incentive for builders to build $100,000 homes.” 2


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April 6, 2022




Controversial Pilot City council hears mixed views on ShotSpotter gunfire detection system. BY ZELLA HANSON, KELLY TORRES, AND ALEX KUMAR


ore than 1,900 shooting incidents have taken place in Durham since the start of 2020. They’ve left more than 650 wounded and nearly 90 dead. “Folks are asking for help,” said council member Leonardo Williams at a recent Durham City Council meeting. “They’re saying, ‘Just do something more, please.’” That “something more” may be ShotSpotter, a controversial gunfire detection system that the council blocked in June 2019 and September 2020. Now, the council is one step closer to setting aside $197,500 for a year-long pilot of ShotSpotter. A majority of the council voted last month to move forward with a budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year that would include money for ShotSpotter. The council must vote on the budget before June 30, but during public comment at a council meeting last week, several Durhamites showed up—either in person or via Zoom—to oppose funding for the technology. ShotSpotter uses microphones placed around a city. When the microphones sense gunfire, police are notified and dispatched. By improving police response times and sending officers to scenes that might otherwise go unreported, ShotSpotter could save lives, proponents say. Mayor Pro Tem Mark-Anthony Middleton, arguably the council’s most ardent supporter of ShotSpotter, said that last year in Wilmington, two police officers received awards for saving lives after responding to ShotSpotter alerts. (Only one incident involved gunfire; in the other, someone had sustained injuries breaking a window.) “This is about when someone needs help,” Middleton said. If someone is hurt, even “in the middle of the night, someone will come and see about you.” 12

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But does ShotSpotter work? The MacArthur Justice Center found that in Chicago, 88.7 percent of ShotSpotter alerts were “dead ends”—incidents in which no gun was actually involved. “What ShotSpotter is effective at is manufacturing consent for increased policing,” council member Jillian Johnson said in an interview. “It increases the number of times that police are called.” Naana Ewool, who is involved with Durham Beyond Policing, a coalition that advocates for “community-led safety and wellness,” says most cities place microphones only in small areas...or in certain neighborhoods. “And those neighborhoods are often the ones that are majority Black and brown, with a higher number of folks being criminalized.” “Police who arrive on the scene often escalate situations and introduce violence, so folks are more likely to get injured or killed,” Ewool said. “There’s public health research that shows that regardless of the type of interaction, the more interaction folks have with police, the worse their health outcomes are.” Danette Wilkins, a health professional and resident of Durham’s Cleveland-Holloway community who works for Johns Hopkins University, implored the council to reject ShotSpotter. She cited a report by the City of Chicago that says “the very presence of this technology is changing the way Chicago Police Department members interact with members of Chicago’s communities.” Opponents think the $197,500 would be better spent elsewhere. In general, “we need gun control, we need housing guarantees, we need a living wage,” Johnson said. “That’s how you end gun violence.” Johnson said the city can “invest as much as we can into prevention and intervention


techniques,” like the violence intervention program Bull City United and the We Are the Ones Fund. Middleton says these reforms and ShotSpotter are not mutually exclusive: “I think the people reject the zero-sum game. It’s not either/or.” He resisted comparisons to Chicago and Charlotte, which canceled its contract with ShotSpotter in 2016. “I have to govern based on data from Durham,” he said. “But we don’t have that, and so I really want this to be a pilot in the truest sense.” In an interview, Ralph A. Clark, president and CEO of ShotSpotter, said the technology bridges “a fairly significant public safety gap.” He pointed out that “80 to 90 percent of gun fired events go unreported. So that means guns are fired, there’s no call to 911, which means there is no police response.” In Oakland, California, Clark said, ShotSpotter technology has saved more than 100 gunshot wound victims. The company also says its sensors detection rate is 97 percent. Clark added: “It’s very confusing to me to see people have a negative reaction to the idea that police are able to respond to incidents of gunfire.”

Williams agreed. “Give us a chance to try this,” he said. “If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, we’re going to try something else.” Council member Javiera Caballero, who would prefer that the city fund other violence-reduction efforts, says officials will have six months to collect the data about the gunfire detection technology. After that, the city has to pay for ShotSpotter. She doesn’t think Durhamites have had enough of a chance to hear about the technology, but she expects it to be funded when the council votes on the budget. Opponents want the city to keep searching for solutions. “Communities are dealing with so much grief and so much fear because of gun violence,” Ewool said. “Just offering them something—anything—isn’t fair. People deserve things that are going to provide real solutions and real healing.” 2 This story was produced through a partnership between the INDY and 9th Street Journal, which is published by journalism students at Duke University’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy.


Take Notice Gen Z employees led a months-long strike at a small Carrboro restaurant. Their unorthodox demands may not have been met—but the action still caused waves. BY LENA GELLER


n a Sunday in late February, as diners were beginning to warm up again to indoor dining and most restaurants were celebrating one of their busiest weekends in two years, Acme Food & Beverage Co. turned 24 years old to the tune of a silent, empty dining room. The Carrboro restaurant’s birthday came three days after its front-of-house team announced the end of their three-month strike, with all but one of the 19 striking workers permanently vacating their serving, hosting, and bartending positions. The strike was brought on by what employees describe as the “willful ignorance of upper management” in addressing sexual harassment allegations they had raised against Acme’s owner, Kevin Callaghan. During a time of dramatic upheaval in the labor sector—Starbucks workers are currently organizing in more than 150 locations across the country; just last week, employees at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island succeeded in forming the company’s first union—the strike at Acme stands out as unusual for a number of reasons. “It’s hard not to see that this is something of an anomalous strike,” says Gunther Peck, a Duke University associate professor of history who teaches courses on organized labor. “There’s no wage demand. There’s no union recognition demand.” Unlike labor movements in recent headlines, the strike at Acme involved a single, independent restaurant in a small college town, with a social-media-centric strategy of organizing that reflected its generation of striking workers, nearly all of whom were under the age of 25. And their chief demand—that Callaghan, Acme’s founder and chef-owner, would not set foot again

in his own business—raised questions about what justice looks like in a strike unable to be settled through simple policy change. It was also an abnormally tight-lipped strike, as employees declined to go into detail to others or the INDY on their allegations. Strike organizer Madison Burns says this was primarily because harassment is hard to enumerate; it can be difficult to convey the impact of a comment, a look, or a lingering touch, she says. “Sexual misconduct and harassment has a much broader definition than people realize,” Burns wrote in a reply to one Instagram commenter’s request for specifics. “Our coworkers were made to feel very uncomfortable by a man, who is their boss, who is more than twice their age, on nearly every occasion he was in the restaurant. That’s plenty of detail if you ask me.” Shortly before the strike, employees say, a breaking point came after working a wine dinner in mid-November. According to Burns, Callaghan, 55, had spent the night making inappropriate remarks and being touchy-feely. A few workers expressed their discomfort to Alison Hinks, a recently hired bar manager. “She was really concerned so she brought it to management’s attention, and she was threatened with her job if she didn’t stop speaking out for us,” says Burns, who started working as a server at Acme in May 2021. “So she quit, and that’s when we decided we should strike.” In an email to the INDY, Acme’s legal representation wrote that allegations of inappropriate behavior by Callaghan at the wine dinner were false and denied that he had threatened Hinks’s job; after Hinks reported that Callaghan “had engaged in ‘inappropriate sexual language and advancements,’”


they wrote, the restaurant requested that she give them time to gather facts, and she subsequently resigned without notice. Hinks declined an interview for this story. On November 26, several hours before the striking employees set off to deliver their notice, Callaghan used the restaurant’s scheduling app to dispatch a letter to the entire Acme team. The letter opens with Callaghan asserting that he thought he was “on the right side of things”—or, at least, that’s what he’d “told himself.” “You think that because you go to marches, host fundraisers, and sign petitions, that you then align with certain goals and beliefs,” Callaghan wrote. “So, it’s incredibly humiliating to find myself complicit in the same power dynamics that I’ve claimed to disavow for my entire adult life.” Callaghan went on to state he would be removing himself from any involvement in restaurant service for several months; in the meantime, he would be talking with a therapist and Acme’s management team would work to create a new framework for conducting conversations about harassment. “There is no excuse for my actions,” Callaghan concluded. “I am very sorry.” The strikers found Callaghan’s apology insincere. “[It seemed like Acme] knew something was up and were trying to quickly take the wind out of our sails,” says 22-yearold striker Drew Ehrler. “The timing of

it felt like too little too late. It just gave this feeling like nothing’s been internalized, very glib.” Later that day, as planned, the strikers submitted their notice and Acme shifted back to the take-out-only model it had implemented earlier in the pandemic. After receiving the workers’ demands, the restaurant hired Raleigh attorney Bridget Blinn-Spears as legal representation and Chapel Hill employment law practice Noble Law Firm to conduct an HR audit. With help from the grassroots labor campaign Fight for $15, the strikers brought their own counsel on board, who represented them pro bono. The strikers’ first demand: that Callaghan “not be allowed to return to the premises.” The notice also called for the appointment of an official human resources officer. Zoë Dehmer—the chief culture officer for Acme’s leadership team and the manager who employees say functioned as Acme’s de facto HR director—had recently gotten out of a six-year romantic relationship with Callaghan. Dehmer, 29, says she started dating Callaghan after being promoted from a front-of-house position to management in 2015. In an email, Dehmer wrote that though they lived together, she and Callaghan kept their personal lives removed from the business during the time. “I don’t know where they got the idea I was the de facto HR person,” Dehmer

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wrote. “In Acme’s handbook, which they all signed during onboarding, the policy is clear that employees were welcome to go to any manager to raise concerns.” The strike notice explained that Dehmer’s involvement with Callaghan “contributed to the inability of victims to come forward against Kevin.” Twenty-year-old striker Abbey Chewning, who started working at Acme in August 2021, says she was originally drawn to the restaurant because she believed its status as a beloved, critically acclaimed Carrboro institution implied a healthy workplace. But once Chewning learned of Dehmer’s history with Kevin, she says, “there wasn’t a lot we felt like we could do to rectify the issues we were facing.” Former employee Coco Wilder, who worked at Acme between 2018 and 2019, echoes this sentiment. “Kevin and Zoë as a unit were impenetrable,” Wilder says. “She was posting pictures of their international vacations together—I’m not going to go to her with an issue against her boyfriend, boss, and owner of the restaurant.” The notice went on to demand a “formal apology” from Callaghan and upper management—one posted publicly with an acknowledgment of Callaghan’s alleged behavior, not just his position of power— as well as a framework to encourage more diversity in the restaurant staff. The negotiation was frustrating at first, strikers say, then began to feel futile. In February, employees received a draft of Callaghan’s apology that Acme representatives said would ultimately be released to the public. Workers were then asked to sign a contract stating that they wouldn’t release the apology or discuss it in detail, Burns says, which Acme also denies. According to the restaurant’s counsel, Acme “requested and received assurances that any drafts would be kept confidential until the apology was finalized and released.” Ultimately, Burns maintains, it was a document that “didn’t inspire any confidence that if we went back we would experience different treatment.” After the HR audit was concluded, Acme presented the results to the striking workers’ counsel on an “attorneys’ eyes only basis.” The investigation did not find any instances of Callaghan’s behavior that would constitute a legal claim for sexual harassment, according to Acme, though it did “describe employees being uncomfortable with comments made by Callaghan.” Speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, five former employees who worked at Acme for three to 10 14

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years, as long ago as 2005—including one who claims to have submitted a testimony to the HR audit—corroborated Callaghan’s history of harassment. Some expressed guilt at not speaking up about the alleged behavior. Acme maintains that management “received no other complaints related to Mr. Callaghan prior to those made to Ms. Hinks.” Acme also informed the striking workers—who were largely made up of frontof-house staff—that in rehiring employees, the restaurant would be reinstating its prepandemic shift availability policy, in which servers and bartenders must have the availability to work a minimum of 15 shifts a month. This, according to Acme, was to ensure that employees have a “deep knowledge of the menu and ingredients,” though some employees— who had previously been hired to work only a few shifts a week—interpreted it as a more direct message from Acme: We don’t want you back. By the end of January, some advancements had been made: Acme agreed to mandate sexual harassment and diversity training for employees and management, as well as implement a new anti-bullying policy. And in negotiating their chief demand, Burns says the strikers were willing to compromise; if Callaghan had agreed to take a lengthy furlough and limit his presence during service hours upon his return, that would have been enough. Instead, lawyers offered a 30-day leave of absence from Callaghan. Several months into this back-and-forth, the restaurant was still posting brightly lit photos of corn bread and wedge salads on Instagram, and most of the workers had moved on and gotten new jobs. Though no demands had been met in full, workers decided it was time to call it. On February 17, they ended the strike. When Wilder heard that her successors had gone on strike, she says she was supportive but dubious about how it would play out. “I was like, that’s gonna be hard, their first demand being that Kevin was not going to set foot on the premises,” says Wilder. “Acme is inseparable from Kevin.”

This particular facet of the strike is part of what makes it so unique, explains Peck. “It’s unusual for a particularly bad foreman to literally cause a strike,” he says. “Usually it’s company policy, or that all the foremen are doing something wrong.” It’s also unconventional to use a strike as a grievance procedure, according to Peck. When there’s just “one bad apple creating a toxic work environment,” it’s usually a simple fix—the company fires them. It can even be an easy way for a company to look heroic, Peck says. “But this isn’t a company—there’s the rub. It’s an individual who owns the damn restaurant.” But Peck stresses that the demand is important, despite the fact that it’s tricky to meet it in full. “In terms of getting a story that’s compelling about something that sometimes would be gray in policy terms, to say it’s gray doesn’t mean it’s not impactful.” They’ve raised difficult workplace questions, Peck says, and that’s a good thing. In Chewning’s words, “When the owner of the restaurant is the biggest issue, it’s like, what are we gonna do? Fire him from his place of business?” From the outside, the answer may have been straightforward: quit and find another place to work. This is ultimately what most of the strikers did, but not before making a full-court press to change working conditions—not just for themselves but for future employees. “The employees insisted that the food being served and the efficacy of the restaurant are inseparable from how they’re being treated,” Peck says. “They were figuring it out as they went, so I admire the chutzpah—the courage and the risks that they’ve taken.” Wilder also applauds the strikers’ ability to both see an issue and act on it. “It’s a very brave thing to do. They’re new blood, and that may mean that they’re not taken as seriously, but it also means they’re able to identify a problem and take a stand,” Wilder says, in reference to the number of recent hires that were involved in the strike. “In the ‘business as usual’ climate I worked in, I don’t think it would’ve happened.” This, the strikers say, is part of what enabled them to organize as a collective.

“They were figuring it out as they went, so I admire the chutzpah—the courage and the risks that they’ve taken.”

They all started at Acme around the same time and quickly became good friends. Most were in their early twenties, and though Acme’s front-of-house had always been fairly youthful, this new batch was also from a new generation. And even if the collective’s demands weren’t ultimately met, they say they still feel accomplished in what they set out to do: have their voices heard—if not by Callaghan or management, then by the community.


ccording to Chewning, the workers didn’t originally intend to go public with the strike. But after almost a month had passed and Acme hadn’t responded to their demands, they took their grievances to the digital realm. They decided to go Gen Z on ’em. They created an Instagram account, @acmeonstrike, which quickly accumulated more than 700 followers. The strike hashtag—#damngoodstrike—was a sardonic nod to Acme’s business leadership team, Damn Good Food, which is owned by Callaghan and works jointly with Plum Southern Food in Durham, Atlas Bar in Carrboro, and Lumina Theater in Chapel Hill. “They pivoted really quickly to something called community unionism, where you’re not focused simply on the immediate demand, but you reach and seek out a broader public,” Peck says. “It shows the ingenuity of a younger group on strike.” The strikers created graphics (complete with their own “Acme on strike!” logo) that stated their demands, a timeline of events, and any updates, and posted them on Instagram alongside captions that provided nuance, addressed commenters’ questions, and cited their role models; one post ends with a quote from Lech Walesa, a trailblazing labor activist who organized his first strike at age 27 and later served as the president of Poland. Burns has Walesa beat by a few years: she’s 24, the same age as the restaurant she strove to organize. “Social media has become a really powerful information-spreading tool,” Burns says. “It was a way to get information to folks who maybe aren’t plugged into activist networks otherwise.” Beyond Instagram, the workers also filmed videos of themselves explaining the strike and its larger context and cut it with B-roll from a rally they held in early January; the video was then featured on Fight for $15’s TikTok account, which has 100,000 followers. Sharing social media posts via direct message is straightforward—even reflexive—and allowed the strikers to swiftly mobilize their own community. Online visi-

bility likely played a large role in raising the strikers’ funds to almost $10,000, and also allowed reporters to easily contact strikers for interviews, enabling their story to be shared on other platforms. The strikers went public with the hopes that it would compel Acme to start talking. But the rally, which attracted Carrboro Town Council member Danny Nowell and more than 50 other supporters, was ultimately what drove the restaurant to start taking them seriously. That being said, there was a driving force behind those high turnout numbers: they’d promoted the rally on Instagram.


n February 25, Acme posted a note from Callaghan on its website stating that management had been approached with “complaints of sexual harassment and misconduct” in November and immediately took action to investigate the claims. Callaghan wrote that even though the investigation came back clean, he feels he has fallen short in creating an environment where employees feel comfortable and is working to mitigate similar situations in the future. The restaurant linked the note in a Facebook post and, for several days, in its Instagram bio. The note is not visible on Acme’s site unless users enter specific search terms. Now that the strike is done, Burns is channeling her energy into forming a Chapel Hill–Carrboro Workers Coalition, which she says will provide workers with a support system and a place to discuss organizing and workplace treatment. The former strikers held a “victory rally” to promote the new coalition on February 27, huddling under the pavilion at Carrboro Town Commons while rain poured down around them. At the rally, Council Member Nowell briefly applauded the workers for their efforts, a sign-up sheet for the coalition was passed around, and then the crowd, mostly made up of former strikers and former employees, dispersed one by one. Perhaps due to poor weather and a last-minute venue change, turnout was low, but Burns has taken to the Acme strike Instagram to further promote the coalition, which had its first meeting on March 28. Ten people attended. In a phone call, Nowell, who also spoke at the mid-strike rally in January, declared that he doesn’t plan on returning to Acme. “It’s a real shame. I was really looking forward to eating at an organized Acme that had met these demands,” Nowell said. “But under these circumstances, I’ve had my last meal there—I’m not going to be crossing the picket line. Without the workers, there is no Acme.” 2

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Thursday, Apr. 7–Sunday, Apr. 10, 2022 |

Wide Angle Ten films to catch at this year’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival BY GLENN MCDONALD


ue to the perpetual bummer that is COVID-19, the 25th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is being held online again this year, April 7-10. But don’t fret: festival organizers have figured out the best possible techniques for watching the films at home on your TV (why not a viewing party?) or on your small-screen device, if you must. The best way to proceed is via the Full Frame website, which has step-by-step instructions and a thorough FAQ on purchasing tickets and setting up your viewing experience. This year’s festival features 37 titles from 18 countries—22 feature films and 15 shorts. The festival is also hosting several online filmmaker Q&A sessions. Organizers have also announced a plan to present a handful of in-person documentary screenings at Durham Central Park at the end of August. To watch now, though, browse the full listings at the Full Frame website, and read up on this sampling that suggests the typical breadth of awesomeness at Full Frame’s annual festival.

Stay Prayed Up

Among the buzziest of this year’s docs, Stay Prayed Up profiles legendary North Carolina gospel group The Branchettes and singer Lena Mae Perry, celebrating her 50th year as the bandleader. Early reactions suggest this is the film for those of us seeking dramatic renewal of hope. Watch for a special screening event at the Carolina Theatre in May.

The Exiles

Grand Jury prize winner at Sundance, The Exiles follows the 30-year journey of three exiled Chinese dissidents from 16

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the Tiananmen Square massacre. Also in frame: notoriously rowdy filmmaker Christine Choy, the documentarian who first profiled the escapees just after the tragic events in 1989. Debut directors Violet Columbus and Ben Klein unknot a very twisty story.


Another big winner at Sundance, this harrowing documentary chronicles the story of now-imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and his mission to find those who poisoned him in 2020. Navalny is square in the middle of the global conversation right now, and it’s one of several films in this year’s lineup to address issues around the war in Ukraine.

After Sherman

Director Jon-Sesrie Goff offers a sustained meditation on the American South through a collage of history, memory, and the tensions in between. Told in flittering scenes of personal narrative, the film observes the Gullah community in South Carolina, stewards of land originally deeded to freed slaves, and their experience with recent hate crimes and gradual gentrification.

I Didn’t See You There

First-time feature director Reid Davenport shot the entirety of this remarkable film from his particular physical vantage point as a wheelchair-using documentarian. Toggling between the experimental and the vérité, Davenport delivers a first-person perspective on “spectacle, (in) visibility, and the corrosive legacy of the Freak Show.”

Still from What We Leave Behind



In 1956, Gabor Szilasi arrived by boat from Hungary to his new adopted home in Canada. He’s been taking pictures of everyday life ever since. Filmmaker Joannie Lafrenière follows the 94-year-old photographer as he applies his fiercely humanist philosophy to everything he sees, from Montreal to Budapest and back again. This year’s fest is light on feel-good films, but this is one of them.

Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes

Another documentary with alarming relevance just now, Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes features never-before-seen footage filmed during and just after the infamous 1986 disaster. Director James Jones also rooted out additional material from archival news reports, defunct Russian studios, and Soviet propaganda films. Word is that Jones finished his film and got out of Ukraine just before war was declared.

What We Leave Behind

Filmmaker Iliana Sosa’s film is a kind of DIY cinematic ode to her grandfather, Julián, who regularly visits his daughters and their children in El Paso from his home in rural Mexico. Julián has been making

that bus trip for decades, nurturing family ties over the border. Sosa’s lyrical, artful film is a reminder that all a talented filmmaker really needs is a story and a camera.


This intriguing feature doc from director Tomasz Wolski depicts the back-room dealings behind a series of violent protests in communist Poland circa 1970, when authorities cracked down on starving workers. Wolski combines archival telephone recordings with stop-motion animation to imagine the conflict from behind the closed doors of the oppressors—angry little men in power, playing with life and death.

Skate Dreams

Fresh from its world premiere at SXSW, director Jessica Edwards’s new film is being billed as the first feature documentary about the rise of women’s skateboarding. Skate Dreams follows the stories of several women, from the sport’s 1980s pioneers to recent Olympic contenders around the world. There aren’t many rules in documentary filmmaking, but everyone knows this one: skateboarding movies always look cool as hell. 2



[Psychic Hotline; Apr. 1]

Gold Mining Packed with subtly brilliant musical moments, Dust finds The Dead Tongues at its most adventurous. BY GRANT GOLDEN


or over a decade, Ryan Gustafson has been crafting affectionate roots rock, sharing deeply personal lyrics with a mystical folk hue. Gustafson’s work with The Dead Tongues has become a reliable source of entrancing tunes, and while sometimes formulaic, it’s a formula that works: Gustafson digs deep into his heart and churns out timeless tracks like clockwork. With The Dead Tongues’ latest album, Dust, Gustafson found himself struggling to push forward as a musician. Like for many of us, the pandemic made Gustafson reevaluate his identity. Instead of tossing out his old notebooks, he used them as inspiration for this stellar fifth record. While many familiar tropes are explored on Dust, we also find Gustafson at his most adventurous. The record opens with “Pawnshop Dollar Bills” a hypnotic track that nods to classic American jam bands, chooglin’ on with eight minutes of dynamic rustic ruckus. “Pawnshop …” is downtempo but packed full of intricacies, a pervasive theme in this record. While it’s easy to tune out to Dust, an album full of sparse and subdued songs, you’ll find that it’s packed full of brilliant musical moments if you give it your full attention. “Through the Glass” is an upbeat jaunt with mandolin flourishes from Andrew Marlin (Watchhouse) and harmonies from Alexandra Sauser-Monnig (Mountain Man). It’s a track that follows the fleeting nature of life and the joy found in its minutiae, a theme found frequently throughout the album. The titular track stands out with Gustafson’s harmonica hanging over the mix, lurking like a specter of his pining and desperation. “Little Lies” brings bright pedal steel and upbeat percussion to contemplative lyricism. Dust is a record that feels like a natural progression for Gustafson. There’s a fine balance between rich production and humble arrangements, all anchored with lyrics that traverse a universal struggle to belong—and to find the balance between the person you were and the person you’ve become. 2

April 6, 2022





[Little, Brown and Company; May 31, 2022]

Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh Wed., April 13, 7:30 p.m., $55+

Raleigh's Community Bookstore

Latest on Bookin’


Emily St. John Mandel, Sea of Tranquility


Lucky Streak It may not always be happy, but David Sedaris’s latest memoir is still an awfully good time.





4.06 7PM


4.07 7PM

Megan Mayhew Bergman, How Strange a Season: Fiction


Ruth Little, The Book of Ruth

Register for Quail Ridge Books Events Series at • 919.828.1588 • North Hills 4209-100 Lassiter Mill Road, Raleigh, NC 27609 Offering FREE Media Mail shipping and contactless pickup!


April 6, 2022


orth Carolinians—or at least those of us who enjoy seeing our state through the twisted lens of Sedarian humor—may rejoice: David Sedaris’s latest essay collection, Happy-Go-Lucky, has much more of the Old North State in it. Happy-Go-Lucky starts with Sedaris and his sister Lisa visiting a Winston-Salem gun range. In following essays, he shares his and his partner Hugh’s fight to restore their Emerald Isle beach house (wonderfully named the Sea Section) after Hurricane Florence and the family’s time spent in their father’s North Carolina nursing home. In these new essays, Sedaris continues on themes he began to explore in Calypso, namely his father’s aging, his own aging, and the business of maintaining a beach house on a hurricane-plagued piece of coastline. He also spends ample time being concerned for young people and meditating on the nature of comedy, writing, and performance. Oh, and dental work. If those topics don’t sound like cause for rejoicing, well, fair. But if you’re a devotee of Sedaris’s work, I think you’ll enjoy this collection. He approaches each of these challenges with his characteristic witty ire, but a few of the essays did leave me thinking about more somber topics like the mortality of my parents and the horror of training children to deal with school shootings. As always, Sedaris is often shockingly candid. He shares his phobia of looking at his own teeth (this checks out: have you ever seen a photo of him smiling with them visible?), a touch of regret about the last words he said to his father, and the immensely uncomfortable tension of being the subject of at least one youth’s sexual awakening. Just a heads up, the most uncomfortably frank essay investigates his father’s consistent sexual comments about his daughters and one daughter’s accusations of sexual abuse. Sedaris has often relied on the alternate insight and obliviousness of children to highlight the comedy of everyday life. (Well, he uses them to highlight the comedy of his everyday life, which I’ll admit has a higher level of inherent humor than I can find in my own.) Earlier collections focused almost entirely on Sedaris’s own childhood, but he spends a good amount of time in HappyGo-Lucky focusing on other children, through exercises such as imagining what it might be like to be a child in a time of school shootings. It works well to highlight the whole uneasy aging thing.

Sedaris is often thoughtful, attacking uncomfortable topics in a darkly funny way. But at least one essay, the one about his father’s death, made me feel the way Bo Burnham’s Inside or Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette did: that I’d fallen prey to a bait and switch where I did not get the laughs I thought I would. Other essays even take a similar path to some of Burnham’s more poignant moments in Inside. Sedaris considers, for example, the fact that he gets to profit off of his own trauma as long as he can frame it in a way that makes people laugh. Sedaris describes both the freedom that can come from turning trauma into comedy gold and into actual revenue and the necessity of an actual audience for what he does. (Zoom just doesn’t cut it some days, does it?) He doesn’t linger in this place of self-reflection (indulgence?) for too long, though. He also arrives at a different conclusion than many of us when we reflect on varying levels of emotional exploitation in our own careers: Sedaris likes his job. He likes it when you and I are there to laugh at the trials of his childhood. I found myself touched by his gratitude that we continue to support him in that line of work. And then, there’s the book cover: on it, a small child smiles while leaning on the arm of a truly grotesque clown who’s holding a small white dog—a poodle maybe? As uncomfortable as the artwork might be, it’s fitting for this collection. If you or I sat down and drew a clown face right now, we’d all probably do similar versions of exaggerated features. Double those to get the scope of this clown’s raggedy face, and trim the mouth down to three painted-on teeth in a Joker smile. I probably wouldn’t allow this snapshot in my house in any form other than as a necessary attachment to Sedaris’s essays, but I couldn’t imagine a better representation of them. Children watch or attack or ignore Sedaris throughout the collection. He uses their innocence to highlight the creeping horror of confronting his own mortality or, more hauntingly, that of the kindergarteners across the country practicing active-shooter drills. If you’re looking to be entertained by another round of lightly self-effacing elitism and Sedarian “can he really say that?”—well, he did, and in just another month or so, Happy-Go-Lucky can be yours to have and to hold. 2


MEGAN MAYHEW BERGMAN READINGS Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh | Wednesday, Apr. 6, 7 p.m. Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill | Thursday, Apr. 7, 5:30 p.m.

Megan Mayhew Bergman PHOTO BY NINA SUBIN

A Woman for All Seasons In Megan Mayhew Bergman’s haunting new short story collection, women find footholds in the past and future. BY SARAH EDWARDS


nly one of the stories in Megan Mayhew Bergman’s new short story collection, How Strange a Season, takes place in North Carolina: “A Taste for Lionfish,” the story of Lily, a college student employed by a conservation organization, who travels to Alligator, North Carolina, to try and persuade coastal residents to incorporate lionfish, an invasive species, into their diet. It goes about how you’d expect: “You’re trying to tell these poor folks how to fix a rich folks’ problem,” a character bluntly tells Lily. The other seven stories in the collection cast a wide geographic net, from Italy to Arizona, and lurch back in time; the years 1792 and 1979 both make appearances. But Bergman, who grew up in Rocky Mount and spent years in Raleigh and

Durham in adulthood, evidences no shortage of love for the state, and the book bears an affectionate dedication to “My North Carolina Family.” This week, Bergman—who now teaches literature and environmental writing at Middlebury College in Vermont—is back locally in support of the new book, with stops at Quail Ridge Bookstore and Flyleaf Books. In-person readings have been slow to come back, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, so events like these feel extra special. Time and setting may vary in these stories but the characters have plenty in common: How Strange a Season is haunted by strong women in search of themselves. Or, maybe better put, the women in Bergman’s stories—strong-willed

activists, artists, and athletes—have a grip on who they are but are less sure how to squeeze into a world shaped by men. Climate change lurks like a specter, though not ornamentally; Bergman is a gifted, observant scribe of the natural world. Sex, regret, and desire run amok. (“It seemed to her that adulthood was a series of mundane years punctuated by transgressions and apologies,” one character thinks to herself.) Money also plays a strong hand, and most characters have the luxury of not wanting for it. (This isn’t a criticism: the afflence of some characters thrusts the needs of other characters into sharp relief, as with Marie, a Norwegian wet nurse who is drawn, conditionally, into the lives of a dysfunctional old-money family in the story “Indigo Run.”) What these characters do long for, though, is purpose and home. In “Indigo Run,” the novella-length story that anchors the collection, the older generation of a family is obsessed with sinking their teeth into the traditions of their ancestral South Carolina plantation, even if it makes them sick, while the youngest woman in the family believes she can only find her own sense of belonging by burning it all down. “Girls understand what home means in a way men don’t,” one character explains. It’s a Southern Gothic story that takes a few pages to get into—it has no shortage of diversions, especially in the beginning—but once you do get into it you’ll feel pulled in by its sensual, uneasy current. I was reminded, while reading, of Lauren Groff’s ambitious novel Fates and Furies, with its lyrical Southern sprawl and damaged characters hell-bent on a collision course. In “Wife Days” a champion swimmer makes dark agreements with her wealthy husband, while in the surprising (and maybe a little uneven) “Workhorse” a heartsick floral artist has already separated from her husband and spends her days crafting an elaborate terrarium while trying to avoid the demands of another man, her father. It’s the first story in the book, and the rare botanical flowers the artist seeks to cultivate are a perfect stand-in for the book’s themes. The flowers are beautiful and expensive but have to be coaxed into their environments. They’re only destined to thrive that way for a little while. 2

April 6, 2022



Please check with local venues for their health and safety protocols.

Genesis Owsu performs at Motorco on Sat., Apr. 9. PHOTO COURTESY OF MOTORCO MUSIC HALL

Queer Agenda! $5. Sat, Apr. 9, 11:55 p.m. The Pinhook, Durham. Steamroom Etiquette $12+. Sat, Apr. 9, 8:30 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh.

music 2CELLOS $200+. Wed, Apr. 6, 8 p.m. DPAC, Durham. Black Midi $20. Wed, Apr. 6, 8 p.m. Haw River Ballroom, Saxapahaw. Duke Symphony Orchestra Wed, Apr. 6, 7:30 p.m. Baldwin Auditorium at Duke University, Durham. The Ghost of Paul Revere $15. Wed, Apr. 6, 8 p.m. Cat’s Cradle Back Room, Carrboro. Jelly Roll: Work in Progress Tour $35. Wed, Apr. 6, 8 p.m. The Ritz, Raleigh. Patrick Sweany $15. Wed, Apr. 6, 8 p.m. Local 506, Chapel Hill. Voices of Mississippi $15+. Wed, Apr. 6, 7:30 p.m. Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill.

A Tribute to Pauli Murray and Four World Premieres by North Carolina Composers $10+. Sun, Apr. 10, 3 p.m. Hayti Heritage Center, Durham. Gershwin Piano Concerto with the North Carolina Symphony $56+. Apr. 7-9, various times. Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Durham. Car Seat Headrest $25. Thurs, Apr. 7, 7 p.m. The Ritz, Raleigh. Girl Named Tom $20+. Thurs, Apr. 7, 8 p.m. The Carolina Theatre, Durham. Larry Bellorín $20+. Thurs, Apr. 7, 7 p.m. The Fruit, Durham. Maxine Eloi $5. Thurs, Apr. 7, 8 p.m. The Pinhook, Durham. MØ $25. Thurs, Apr. 7, 8 p.m. Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro. Together Pangea $18. Thurs, Apr. 7, 8 p.m. Local 506, Chapel Hill. North Carolina Opera: Magic Flute $23+. Apr. 8-10, various times. Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh.

Boy Harsher $17. Fri, Apr. 8, 8 p.m. Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro. Brit Floyd $40+. Fri, Apr. 8, 7:30 p.m. DPAC, Durham. Dock & Cover $18+. Fri, Apr. 8, 7:30 p.m. Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh. Duke Jazz Ensemble $10. Fri, Apr. 8, 8 p.m. Baldwin Auditorium at Duke University, Durham. Geographer: Down and Out Tour $13. Fri, Apr. 8, 9 p.m. Local 506, Chapel Hill. Jennifer O’Connor $12. Fri, Apr. 8, 9 p.m. The Pinhook, Durham. Runaway Gin: A Tribute to Phish $15+. Fri, Apr. 8, 9 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh. Yumi Zouma $15. Fri, Apr. 8, 9 p.m. Motorco Music Hall, Durham.

The Magnetic Fields $49+. Apr. 9-10, 8 p.m. Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh. Bon Jovi $19+. Sat, Apr. 9, 8 p.m. PNC Arena, Raleigh. Duke University Wind Symphony: Gala Concert Sat, Apr. 9, 8 p.m. Baldwin Auditorium at Duke University, Durham. Genesis Owusu $15. Sat, Apr. 9, 8 p.m. Motorco Music Hall, Durham. Ian Sherwood $27. Sat, Apr. 9, 7:30 p.m. Cary Arts Center, Cary. Jerry Cantrell $40. Sat, Apr. 9, 8 p.m. The Ritz, Raleigh. Koo Koo Kanga Roo $16. Sat, Apr. 9, 1 p.m. Motorco Music Hall, Durham. The Mayflies USA $10. Sat, Apr. 9, 8 p.m. Cat’s Cradle Back Room, Carrboro.

Chris Renzema $18+. Sun, Apr. 10, 8 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh. Fuzz $20. Sun, Apr. 10, 8 p.m. Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro.

art UNC Universe Week: The Art of Science Tour Apr. 7-8, various times. Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill.

Lunchtime Lecture— Container/ Contained: Phil Freelon Design Strategies for Telling African American Stories Thurs, Apr. 7, 12 p.m. NCMA, Raleigh. 2nd Friday ArtWalk: Sunsets Dance Party with WXYC Fri, Apr. 8, 5 p.m. Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill.

Fundraiser Benefiting Ukrainian Artists Sat, Apr. 9, 5 p.m. PS118 Gallery, Durham. Guided Tour: Explore the Ackland’s Collection Sun, Apr. 10, 1:30 p.m. Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill.

The Big Lebowski screens at Alamo Drafthouse on Sun., Apr. 10 & Mon., Apr. 12. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE

Hot Flash Heat Wave $15. Sun, Apr. 10, 8 p.m. Cat’s Cradle Back Room, Carrboro. Music in the Galleries Sun, Apr. 10, 3 p.m. The Nasher, Durham. Johnnyswim: The Johnnyswim Show $30. Mon, Apr. 11, 8 p.m. The Ritz, Raleigh. Songversations Mon, Apr. 11, 8 p.m. Local 506, Chapel Hill. Live Jazz with The Brian Horton Trio Tues, Apr. 12, 9 p.m. Kingfisher, Durham. Mono $15. Tues, Apr. 12, 8 p.m. Motorco Music Hall, Durham. Mt. Joy $69+. Tues, Apr. 12, 6:30 p.m. The Ritz, Raleigh.

screen 25th Annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival $8+. Apr. 7-10, various times. Online; presented by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Brunch $10. Sat, Apr. 9, 11 a.m. The Alamo Drafthouse, Raleigh. The Big Lebowski Movie Party $18. Apr. 10 and 12, 7:30 p.m. The Alamo Drafthouse, Raleigh.


April 6, 2022

CULTURE CALENDAR Paperhand Puppet Intervention will perform at The Carolina Theater on Wed., Apr. 6 PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CAROLINA THEATER



in your inbox every Friday

Megan Mayhew Bergman: How Strange a Season Wed, Apr. 6, 7 p.m. Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh. Thurs, Apr. 7, 5:30 p.m. Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill.

stage The Dresser $24+. Mar. 25-Apr. 10, various times. Theatre in the Park, Raleigh. A Wrinkle in Time $20+. Mar. 30-Apr. 17, various times. Playmakers Repertory Company, Chapel Hill. The SpongeBob Musical $32. Mar. 31-Apr. 10, various times. Titmus Theatre at Frank Thompson Hall, Raleigh. Arts Discovery Educational Series: Paperhand Puppet Intervention $8. Wed, Apr. 6, 9:45 a.m. The Carolina Theatre, Durham. Cascade $10+. Apr. 7-23, various times. Swain Hall Black Box Theater, Chapel Hill. The Life of Galileo $15+. Apr. 7-24, various times. Burning Coal Theatre Company, Raleigh.

Urinetown $10. Apr. 7-11, various times. Kenan Theatre, Chapel Hill. Frankenthaler Dance Project Thurs, Apr. 7, 8 p.m. The Nasher, Durham. Letterkenny Live! $205+. Thurs, Apr. 7, 8 p.m. DPAC, Durham. Words Unspoken Thurs, Apr. 7, 7 p.m. Garner Performing Arts Center, Garner. Vir Das: Manic Man World Tour $33+. Fri, Apr. 8, 7 p.m. The Carolina Theatre, Durham. Eclipse SOLD OUT. Apr. 9-10, 7:30 p.m. CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio, Chapel Hill. Brian Regan $49+. Sat, Apr. 9, 8 p.m. DPAC, Durham. The House of Coxx Drag Show $10+. Sat, Apr. 9, 10 p.m. The Pinhook, Durham.

I ♥ Purim: 007 Diamonds Are Forever $42+. Sat, Apr. 9, 7:30 p.m. NCMA, Raleigh. Kountry Wayne: Straight Out the Mud Tour $35+. Sat, Apr. 9, 7:30 p.m. The Carolina Theatre, Durham. Spring Dance Concert Sat, Apr. 9, 8 p.m. NCCU Theatre, Durham. The Fire of Freedom Mon, Apr. 11, 7 p.m. The Carolina Theatre, Durham. The Comedy Experience Presents: Maddie Wiener and Kenyon Adamcik $10+. Tues, Apr. 12, 8 p.m. The Matthews House, Cary.

Stacy McAnulty: Our Planet! There’s No Place Like Earth Wed, Apr. 6, 5:30 p.m. Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill. M. Ruth Little: The Book of Ruth Thurs, Apr. 7, 7 p.m. Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh. Jeffrey Beam: Verdant Fri, Apr. 8, 5:30 p.m. Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill. Poetry Alive! An Evening with Past and Present North Carolina Poet Laureates Fri, Apr. 8, 7 p.m. NCMA, Raleigh. Laura Whitfield: Faith, Failure and Solid Ground Tues, Apr. 12, 5:30 p.m. Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill.

the Triangle’s Arts & Culture Newsletter

Virtual Book Launch—Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah: The Sex Lives of African Women Tues, Apr. 12, 7 p.m. Online; presented by Rofhiwa Book Café.



April 6, 2022





If you just can’t wait, check out the current week’s answer key at, and click “puzzle pages” at the bottom of our webpage.


In-Store Shopping Curbside Pick Up 720 Ninth Street, Durham, NC 27705 In-store and pick up hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10a-6p

su | do | ku

this week’s puzzle level:

© Puzzles by Pappocom

There is really only one rule to Sudoku: Fill in the game board so that the numbers 1 through 9 occur exactly once in each row, column, and 3x3 box. The numbers can appear in any order and diagonals are not considered. Your initial game board will consist of several numbers that are already placed. Those numbers cannot be changed. Your goal is to fill in the empty squares following the simple rule above.

If you just can’t wait, check out the current week’s answer key at, and click “puzzle pages.” Best of luck, and have fun! solution to last week’s puzzle


April 6, 2022




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April 6, 2022


It’s almost time to vote for your Triangle favorites FOR BEST OF 2022! Vote for your favorite bar, veterinarian, bookshop, hiking trail— whatever it may be, there are over 300 categories in which you can profess your favorite Triangle treasures


Monday, April 11th!

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