WALTER Magazine - December 2017

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66 RALEIGHITES Dix Park takes shape by Liza Roberts 72 WALTER PROFILE Carolina Ballet: two decades young by Jessie Ammons photographs by Juli Leonard 80 STORY OF A HOUSE Kelly Shatat’s happy house by Jesma Reynolds photographs by Catherine Nguyen 90 AT THE TABLE Raise the bar by Fanny Slater photographs by Andrew Sherman 98 ARTIST’S SPOTLIGHT Gretchen Quinn’s pottery by Iza Wojciechowska photographs by Juli Leonard 112 WALTER EVENTS An evening with Bob Timberlake photographs by Jill Knight

80 On the cover: Kelly Shatat entertains at home; photograph by Catherine Nguyen


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54 54

OUR TOWN The Usual: Algebra Club Game Plan: Scalawag magazine Shop Local: N.C. Made Off Duty: LimeBike by Jessie Ammons photographs by Christer Berg and Madeline Gray


OUR TOWN SPOTLIGHT Peter Lamb and the Wolves by David Menconi photographs by Geoff Wood


DRINK Aging whiskey by Kevin Barrett photographs by Keith Isaacs

104 GIGS Betty Debnam Hunt by Elizabeth Lincicombe photographs by Madeline Gray 108 GIVERS N.C. Hunters for the Hungry by Hampton Williams Hofer photographs by Jaclyn Morgan



104 130 END NOTE Spin a yarn by Catherine Currin


Your Feedback


The Mosh


Raleigh Now



Triangle Now


Letter from the Editor

119 The Whirl



128 Scribo


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Beauty, Artistry, Tradition

As we put the finishing touches on this final WALTER issue of 2017, the latest Wake County growth numbers came in: the population now exceeds 1 million. It’s a number the county has neared for a while, which makes it no less remarkable. This is a place people want to be. It’s easy to see why. There’s the 307.9acre Dorothea Dix Park in the beginning stages of a sweeping, community-driven transformation (read more on p. 66). There are arts institutions such as the Carolina Ballet, who produce an incredible amount of nationally renowned work (read more on p. 72). There are celebrated musicians who live here, work here, volunteer here, and still play at the neighborhood’s weekly jazz night (read more on p. 62). There are trendsetting jewelry designers (p. 80), innovative journalists (p. 104), and outdoor enthusiasts (p. 56 and p. 112). My time at WALTER has proven to me that these stories, these many varied Raleighites, are an important part of why the county is one of the country’s fastest

growing. People want to be somewhere rich in culture and opportunity, and a way to connect to both. It’s why WALTER is possible; it’s why we will steadfastly continue to celebrate the layers of our community, from high school social clubs of yore (p. 54) to charity-minded hunters (p. 108). I recently had a moment that reminded me why the work within these pages – celebratory storytelling – matters. WALTER’s September issue spotlighted a fundraising dinner for Project CATCH, a local iniative that provides services to and advocates for homeless children. After reading the story, the folks at Parlor Blow Dry Bar and The Merrimon-Wynne House were inspired to organize a fundraiser for the group. CATCH Me at the Casino will be held the day this issue goes to press. It feels like kismet, but I know it’s not: It’s a reflection of the Raleigh spirit. Thank you for supporting WALTER by not just reading these stories, but acting on them. In a season of reflection and starting anew, I couldn’t be more heartened or excited.

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Advertising Design and Production DAVID BAUCOM, LAURA PITTMAN, CAROLYN VAUGHAN Circulation BILL MCBERKOWITZ Administration CINDY HINKLE Published 10 times a year by The News & Observer Publishing Co. A McClatchy Company, 215 S. McDowell St., Raleigh NC 27601

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017-18 Walter is available by paid subscriptions for $10 a year in the United States, as well as select rack and retail locations throughout the Triangle.




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For customer service inquiries, please email us at or call 919-836-5661. Address all correspondence to Walter Magazine, 215 S. McDowell St., Raleigh NC 27601. Walter does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Please contact editor in chief Jessie Ammons at for freelance guidelines. © The News & Observer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the copyright owner.



3 2 01 J O H N H U M P H R I E S W Y N D | R A L E I G H , N C



Photo by Harden Furniture

Creating Inspiring Interiors

In addition to working with local interior designers, showrooms, and stores, she is currently the still photographer for the Raleigh-based episodes of HGTV’s Love It or List It. “What I loved about shooting Kelly Shatat’s home for this month’s Story of a House was the way she’s infused her sense of fashion into every room. I especially loved the wonderfully curated collection in her black library — handbags, books, art, magazines, and so much more! She and her team were an absolute delight to photograph.”


IZA WOJCIECHOWSKA / W R I T E R This Durham-based freelancer writes about culture, food, and travel in the Triangle and beyond. She was delighted, she says, to have the opportunity to chat with Gretchen Quinn in her lovely studio for this issue’s Artist’s Spotlight and learn about the imperfections that make pottery such a perfectly interesting art form.

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JULI LEONARD / P H O T O G R A P H E R Of the photojournalist’s 17-year career, she has spent 13 of them working for The News & Observer. In this issue, she captured potter Gretchen Quinn; she also previously took the Carolina Ballet’s lively dancer portraits, as seen in the WALTER profile. “This month’s assignments combined some of my favorite art forms – dance and pottery. It is always a joy to collaborate with artists to document the person behind the art.” She resides in Raleigh with her daughter, partner and two naughty pups.

The home-taught food enthusiast won Rachael Ray’s The Great American Cookbook Competition; her cookbook Orange, Lavender & Figs, was published under Rachael Ray Books; and she has appeared regularly on The Rachael Ray Show. Her Wilmington-based company Fanfare specializes in everything from playful cooking videos to sassy social media eats. In this issue, she shares her love for a winter meal in At the Table. “Cooking for people I love is an opportunity to share a piece of myself, and cold-weather meals can be like a really good hug if executed just right.”


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@ WALTERMAGAZINE Your article in WALTER helped highlight the work of Project CATCH and bring awareness to the issue of child/family homelessness. We are so grateful for this coverage and all the wonderful ripple effects. You may have heard that, thanks to your article, Merrimon-Wynne, Dry Parlor, and the Lion House chose CATCH as their nonprofit recipient for their upcoming event, CATCH Me at the Casino. –Sarah Sabornie, Project CATCH Advisory Council Chair (September, p. 62) Placed my (Share the Pie) order today! –@maalleninteriors (November, p. 24) Wow. Just read the (Our Town) story. Had no idea we even had (downtown safety ambassadors). Hope to run into James one day. It would be an honor to meet him. –@sliceo oy (November, p. 58) Alriiiiiight @jillianknightphotography!!! Awesome shots (of Melisse Shaban’s house)!!! –@aim.wage (November, p. 66) Great article, and a very deserving person (in Melisse Shaban)! –@jaslett3 (October, p. 70) (Charlotte Smith is) such a beautiful, dear, creative, joyful soul! A bright light in this world! –Mary Virginia Swain @maryvirginiaswain (October, p. 88) Many of you agreed! The Facebook post about this Story of a House feature Mary Virginia references (above) broke all WALTER records by reaching 21,982 of our followers.

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D e s i g n i n g a n d B u i l d i n g t h e We l c o m e H o m e s i n c e 1 9 8 4

“A new heart for a New Year, always!” – Charles Dickens

Why not...

A LA MODE Winston’s Grille in North Raleigh has a cult following for its homemade ice cream. Turns out: You can buy a pint to take home. Visit the restaurant during its normal hours – you don’t need to have dined there – and head to the bar, where a cooler features a selection of seasonal and classic flavors for around $6 per pint.

Buy a sustainably grown Christmas tree from Farmers’ Collective downtown…sip holiday cocktails beneath upside-down Christmas trees at The Haymaker’s Miracle pop-up bar…splurge on a pair of sneakers from Social Status...grab a stocking stuffer for the geek in your family at the GeekCraft Expo in downtown Durham Dec. 16…meet local cookbook authors at the Southern Fried Fiction panel in Chapel Hill Dec. 7…


HOW SWEET Looking for a gift for an outof-towner? Try Sweet Tea and Cornbread, Tonya Council’s newest venture at Crabtree Valley Mall. With local goods from cheese straws to homemade jam, this gourmet food shop is the sister to Tonya’s Cookies in Chapel Hill. Council is the granddaughter of Mildred Council, proprietor of Mama Dip’s Country Kitchen – serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Chapel Hill for over 40 years.

The North Carolina Symphony will perform “Music for a Winter’s Eve” at the recently opened, vast-ceilinged Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral Dec. 9. Talk about acoustics. 8:30 p.m.; $46; 715 Nazareth St.

HOLI-DIY You can join Gillian Galdy of Bloomin’ Rose Flowers for a wreath workshop Dec. 3. at Indio Durham. You’ll create personalized holiday foliage to bring home with you. If you can’t make this class, visit Indio’s website for their diverse workshop and class schedule. 3 - 5 p.m.; $45 per person; workshops


HERE’S A TIP Have an oddly shaped package to give? DECO gift shop suggests tucking the item into a reusable tote bag as a practical wrapping solution. Or, the staff at Charlotte’s say: “Anything will look fabulous, as long as there’s a big bow on it!”

mylu/Fotolia (WREATH); CHUCK LIDDY, News & Observer; (CATHEDRAL); News & Observer Archives (COOKIE); Courtesy Social Status (SNEAKERS); Adobe Stock (WRAPPING PAPER); Juli Leonard (ICE CREAM)


THE DATEJUST 41 The new generation of the essential classic, with a new movement and design that keep it at the forefront of watchmaking. It doesn’t just tell time. It tells history.



oyster perpetual and datejust are






LITTLE CHRISTMAS Times to be together throughout the Triangle We’ve made our list and checked it twice. Here are a few ways to make merry across the Triangle during the month of December, if the fates allow.

Dec. 6 - 10 Theatre in the Park presents A Christmas Carol Wed. - Sat. 7 p.m., Sat. - Sun. 2 p.m.; $32 - $92; 2 E. South St.; theatreinthepark. com/whatson/a-christmas-carol-2017

$37 - $111; 2 E. South St.;

Faithful friends To experience a really Raleigh Christmas, plan ahead for these City of Oaks traditions.

Dec. 7 - 17 Holiday Express at Pullen Park 4 - 9 p.m.; $11.29; 520 Ashe Ave.; articles/holidayexpress.html

Light heart Children of all ages will delight in these shining stars. Catch a new spin on a holiday classic complete with Red Rider BB guns, Charlie Brown Christmas trees, reindeer games, and big bad wolves. Then, jam on some gingerbread house building at Marbles Kids Museum. Troubles will be guaranteed out of sight.

Dec. 6 State Capitol tree lighting ceremony 5 - 7:30 p.m.; free; N.C. State Capitol, 1 E. Edenton St.;

Dec. 15 - 24 Carolina Ballet presents The Nutcracker See website for dates and times;

Dec. 1 - 4 The Cary Players present A Christmas Story Fri. Sat. and Mon. 7:30 p.m., Sat. and


Travis Long, News & Observer


Sun. 3 p.m.; $18 - $20; 101 Dry Ave., Cary;

students 16 and under; Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St., Apex; etix. com keyword: Great Big Holiday Bakeoff

Dec. 1 - 10 Theatre in the Park presents A Charlie Brown Christmas See website for dates and times; $12 general admission, $10 season member; 107 Pullen Road;

Dec. 9 Gingerbread Jamboree 10 a.m. - 12 noon and 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.; $12 members, $15 non-members, $20 per household; Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E. Hargett St.; gingerbreadjamboree

Dec. 5 Carolina Puppet Theater presents Rudolph 11 a.m.; $5; 300 W. Ballentine St., Holly Springs; keyword: Carolina Puppet Theater Dec. 8 - 10 A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol and The Great Big Holiday Bake Off Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m.; $10 general admission, $6

Happy golden days of yore You can make a date to experience Christmas as in the olden days. Take the wayback machine to the 19th century Dec. 9 for a taffy pulling party at Leigh Farm Park in Durham, then travel over to Bennett Place State Historic Site to learn about Christmas during the Civil War. Or make a stop in the 20th century for an evening of holiday music in the style of Glenn Miller’s big-band swing.

Dec. 9 A Kid’s Life: Taffy Pulling at Leigh Farm Park 10 a.m. - 12 noon; free, but a small donation is suggested; 370 Leigh Farm Road; Christmas in the Piedmont during the Civil War 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; free; Bennett Place State Historic Site, 4409 Bennett Memorial Road, Durham; Dec. 15 - 18 In a Holiday Mood Fri. 7 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.; $20 adults, $18 students; $10 children under 12; N.C. Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton St.; events/holiday-mood –Katherine Poole


1 Brooklyn-based artist Robert Box cannot be put into a box. As a musician, his band, The Shirts, were a punk fixture at CBGB in the late ’70s, playing alongside the Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel. He’s also a painter, and his style is as bold as his music. He began as an abstract colorist painting geometric shapes in vivid hues, which brought him modest success. On a whim, he painted a coffee mug: It sold quickly so he continued to train his eye on everyday objects – a chocolate cake, an ear of buttery corn. He went from selling paintings on the street in front of The Met in New York City to showing in nearby galleries and then the Brooklyn Museum’s Brooklyn Bridge Show. Gallery C downtown can now add its name to the list. Pop Realism: New Works by Robert Box opens Dec. 1 with a First Friday reception. You can meet the colorful Mr. Box and add a pop of color to your day. Reception Dec. 1, 6 - 9 p.m.; see website for regular gallery hours; free; 540 N. Blount St.;

2 ALL THAT JAZZ Kamasi Washington pushes boundaries. The jazz saxophonist, bandleader, composer, and producer ignited the music scene in 2015 with his critically acclaimed and aptly titled album The Epic. His genre-bending sound defies categories, incorporating notes of swing, funk, African-American church music, and hip-hop. He has collaborated with a diversity of artists (Herbie Hancock, Snoop Dogg, Chaka Khan, Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar) in a variety of venues (Central Avenue Jazz Festival, Coachella, Bonnaroo), and Dec. 2, he will mix it up in Raleigh featuring tracks from his latest, and once again perfectly named, album, Harmony of Difference. Woke. 7:30 p.m.; $28 - $95; 2 E. South St.;

courtesy Gallery C (BOX); Janice Wang (JAZZ)


Corey Lowenstein, News & Observer (HORSE); Stacey Sprenz Photography (FLAVOR)


4 2-3

FLAVOR OF THE MONTH Taking the beef out of beefcake and serving it up with a side of goodness, Tabletop Media Group and Taste Nutrition Consulting will host a launch party for the inaugural Hottest Chefs of the Triangle calendar. Twelve of the most smoking, sizzling, hot chefs are featured in this cheeky calendar, including Chef Cheetie Kumar of Garland and Kyle McKnight of Fullsteam Brewery. The launch party Dec. 4 takes place at Big Boss Brewing, and each chef-of-themonth will be in attendance to mix and mingle. The cover chef will be announced that evening and calendars will be available to purchase for $19.99. All proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and let one of hottest chefs in the Triangle do it for you. 6 - 9 p.m.; free; 1249 Wicker Dr.;; calendars can be purchased online at or at Glover Printing, 401 Atlantic Ave.

REIN IT IN Saddle up and trot on over to the Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex at the N.C. State Fairgrounds for the Holiday Classic Open Horse Show Dec. 2 and 3. The North Central District 4-H Horse Council puts on the popular show featuring competition for all ages and experience levels in the following divisions: dressage, field hunter, over fences, huntseat, working western, and Western pleasure. Proceeds from the horse show benefit the Equestrian Western Club at N.C. State, the UNC IHSA Team, and the North Central District 4-H Program. Giddyup. 7:30 a.m.; free; 4601 Trinity Road;















DOWNTOWN RALEIGH SINCE 1949 S T R E E T | 9 1 9 . 8 3 2 . 3 4 61 | R E L I A B L E J E W E L R Y . C O M


13 Rolling Stone named Tig Notaro one of the 50 best stand-up comics of all time, and she will step up to the mic at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts Dec. 13. Haven’t twigged onto Tig? The comedian, writer, and actor has earned Emmy and Grammy nominations for her work, and her book I’m Just a Person is a New York Times bestseller. She was a writer for Inside Amy Schumer and is a darling of public radio and the late-night comedy show circuit. Currently, she stars in the critically acclaimed semi-autobiographical Amazon series, One Mississippi. Notaro is perhaps best-known for Live, a stand-up set she performed just days after being diagnosed with invasive bilateral breast cancer (she’s in remission now). The recording of the performance went viral and became an instant classic. Notaro does not shy away from nolaughing matters and she deftly lets her audience in on the joke. 8 p.m.; $38; 2 E. South St.;

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COMING ON STRONG Ready to pump it up? Dorton Arena is the site of the Official Strongman Finals Dec. 15 - 17, where men and women will compete for the title of world’s strongest. Gyms and individual athletes join the powerlifting organization to formally track personal bests by performing under a set of uniform testing conditions. Official Strongman ranks lifters, and the best of the best are invited to the finals to compete for the weighty title. This is your chance to come out and cheer on the powerful athletes. Who knows? Maybe the dude pumping iron next to you at gym is the world’s strongest man. You can visit the website to view current rankings, purchase tickets, and muscle in on the action. See website for ticket information and times; 1025 Blue Ridge Road;

Victoria Will (TIG NOTARO); AdobeStock (WEIGHTS)




follow us on instagram @eatmansinteriors

courtesy The Avett Brothers (AVETT); courtesy First Night Raleigh (OHNO)


31 31 THE AVETT OF THE SEASON Usher in 2018 with your favorite native sons. The Mount Pleasant, North Carolina based band The Avett Brothers bring their folk-rockbluegrass vibe to PNC Arena for a New Year’s Eve show with Mandolin Orange and The Felice Brothers. Come out for Auld Lang Syne and find a cutie to kiss at midnight, because there will be plenty of I And Love And You. The parking lot opens at 6:30 p.m. for pregaming the countdown (parking fees apply). 8:30 p.m.; $45.50 - $70.50; 1400 Edwards Mill Road;

OH NO, LET’S GLOW Light up the night Dec. 31. Artsplosure presents First Night Raleigh: Let’s Glow Crazy, a New Year’s Eve party celebrating the art of neon, the magic of light, and the razzle-dazzle of downtown. First Night is for all Raleighites. Early birds can enjoy afternoon activities like crafting at the DIY Festival at Bicentennial Plaza, viewing art installations, and taking a spin on the First Night ferris wheel. Night owls continue the fun past dark with music, performances, and the Jolly Raleigh Singing Trolley. First Night culminates at City Plaza with the WRAL Countdown to Midnight, the famed Acorn Drop, and fireworks. Start 2018 all aglow. See website for businesses participating in advance ticket sales. 2 p.m. - 12 midnight; $11 in advance, $14 day of; Fayetteville St.;

Tickets 919.792.3853


Tom Bagby



Historic Oakwood candlelight holiday tour returns


here’s no place like home for the holidays, and you can enjoy a few historic ones at the annual Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour this month. The self-guided tour Dec. 9 - 10 invites visitors to bundle up and stroll among open houses in Oakwood, the neighborhood just east of downtown Raleigh. Homes date mostly from the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, and their residents deck the halls with character. Some stops include traditional decorations, a roaring fire, and homemade treats; others, an eclectic mix of modern and historic flair. The ramble becomes especially cozy come sunset, hence its “candle-


light” name. And the whole neighborhood catches the holiday spirit: You’re likely to be invited to a nearby front porch for a mug of hot cider or to hear the faint melody of resident Christmas carolers. Who knows, you might be tempted to chime in. –J.A. You are recommended to dedicate 3 - 4 hours for the tour. Tickets are $30 and available at select retail locations, online at, and day-of at The Tucker House, 418 N. Person St.






12/18-1/4 NEW NORMAL




16-17 FUN YUN


Ni hao! Time travel through history and across regions and dynasties to experience 5,000 years of Chinese civilization played out in dance and music Jan. 16 - 17. Shen Yun production is grand, featuring nearly 100 performers, 400 lavish costumes, and an orchestra including both western and Chinese instruments. This is the first company to bring classical Chinese dance to American audiences on such a large scale, and it stops in Raleigh each new year. Shen yun translates to the beauty of divine beings dancing: acrobatic dancers, commanding vocalists, and masterful musicians await. Jan. 16 and 17 7:30 p.m., Jan. 17 2 p.m.; $74 - $141; 2 E. South St.;

Mike Marsh (PUMP UP); courtesy Shen Yun (FUN)

Burning Coal Theatre will stage The Normal Heart Jan. 18 - Feb. 4 to begin the new year with a bang. Larry Kramer’s contemporary masterpiece sent shock waves through the theater world when it opened off-Broadway at The Public Theater in 1985. The gay activist’s semi-autobiographical play shone a very public light on the HIV-AIDS epidemic in early ’80s New York City. The New York Times declared, “A great silence has been broken.” 33 years later, The Normal Heart still speaks volumes. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; $25 general admission, $20 seniors, $15 student and active military; 224 Polk St.;


Adobe Stock (HEART); Courtesy Irregardless Cafe (MAKE)




PUMP UP THE BASS Fall hook, line, and sinker for the Bass and Saltwater Fishing Expo at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. It’s a three-day event Jan. 12 - 14 showcasing the latest and greatest the fishing industry has to offer. With more than 120 vendors and dealers, tackle your ultimate gear wish list and shop for your dream boat. Meanwhile, there’s a pond simulator where young anglers can try to catch a farm-raised rainbow or brown trout. Or make time for a seminar from a pro, complete with a 4,0000-gallon simulation tank stocked with largemouth bass for viewing tips and techniques in action. Stay ashore and don’t let this big one get away. Tickets available Jan. 1; Jan. 12 and 13 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Jan. 14 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; $9 adults, $8 seniors and military, $5 for ages 6-12, free for ages 5 and under; 1025 Blue Ridge Road;






22-28 MAKE DINING ROOM Mark the calendar, re-up the gym membership, and start studying menus – Triangle Restaurant Week returns Jan. 22 - 28. This is your chance to indulge, delight, and dive into the excellent food scene happening in our area. Participating restaurants will offer special three-course menu options with fixed pricing. No reservations, tickets, or passes are required. Enjoy a 3-course lunch for just $15 or a 3-course dinner from $20 - $35. Prices are per person and do not include beverages, tax, or gratuity. Elastic waist pants suggested. You can visit for participating restaurants.




BLUE CHRISTMAS A twangy holiday pick


here will be a down-home holiday hootenanny in Raleigh Dec. 14 - 16. A Bluegrass Christmas music festival returns to the Hilton North Raleigh/ Midtown, bringing a weekend of nearly nonstop live music. Organized by Hemilright Entertainment, the same folks who put on the popular Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival each October in Manteo, the festival’s jam-packed lineup runs for three straight days from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with only a 90-minute dinnertime intermission. Each day begins with performances by artists from Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars, a group that supports and promotes up-and-coming young musicians. Each evening concludes with headliners including Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Isaacs, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, and the Malpass Brothers.


While single-day tickets are available, the festival is worth experiencing in its entirety. After the main stage shuts down, artists get together all over the hotel for impromptu jam sessions into the wee hours. To keep guests toe-tapping until the sun goes down, snacks and drinks will be available for purchase, and the Hilton’s Skybox Grill & Bar sets up a full buffet. There are also arts and crafts vendors as well as door prize giveaways. A blue Christmas has never been so much fun. –K.P. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; $45 single pass, $125 three-day pass, $155 three-day reserved seating; 3415 Wake Forest Road;

courtesy Hemilright Entertainment


Ring in 2018 with us! RALEIGH’S Life & Soul

Subscribe to WALTER MAGAZINE and participate in Raleigh’s life & soul.





or an aspiring young ballet dancer, performing in The Nutcracker might be a dream as vivid as the one Drosselmeyer conjures up for Clara. For the past 25 years, Raleigh’s City Ballet has made that dream come true for hundreds of area youth. The North Raleigh dance studio’s rendition of The Nutcracker, this year Dec. 8 and 9, is an annual crescendo. Students from ages 7 to grown-up perform in a professional-caliber production: it is a full-length, artfully choreographed, skillfully staged version of the Tchaikovsky classic. On stage, the Christmas tree grows twenty feet, snow falls, and toy soldiers come to life. It takes much more than a sprinkling of fairy dust to crack this nut. City Ballet’s instructors and staff rely on parents and volunteers to produce and rehearse



courtesy Carolina Ballet

EN POINTE City Ballet’s Nutcracker turns 25

DECEMBER-JANUARY the show. Auditions are held in early September and the cast of nearly 100 dancers intensely prepare right up to opening night. Undeterred by the serious time commitment, the student dancers bring an infectious enthusiasm to the rehearsal process. Their enthusiasm is equalled come showtime when, to help bring the show to life, students are joined on stage by three guest artists from Carolina Ballet: Ashley Hathaway as the Sugarplum Fairy, Marcelo Martinez as the Cavalier, and Nikolai Smirnov as the Nutcracker Prince. In the show’s familiar final act, the curtain closes on Clara and her dream is over. For the talented young dancers of The Nutcracker, the dream is just beginning. –K.P.



Friday Dec. 8, 7 p.m. and Saturday Dec. 9, 11 a.m and 3 p.m; $15 - $30; Stewart Theatre at N.C. State, 2610 Cates Ave.;



courtesy Will Reuther



THOUGHTFUL THINGS Ideal Space at N.C. Museum of Art


his month’s Ideal Space exhibition at the N.C. Museum of Art showcases the tactile talents of N.C. State College of Design students. “Everybody has a bunch of stuff in their houses, in their offices. To many, it’s just stuff. To us, that stuff is important. It really says a lot about us as people and how we live our lives,” says Will Reuther, a master’s candidate in industrial design who envisioned the show. “We want people to re-think space, specifically in their home.” He called on a group of 10 fellow design school students, undergraduate and graduate, to contribute to the final product. “We want people to experience what we’re making in an intimate way,” Reuther says. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the collection of home products, including tables, chairs, planters, mirrors, and room dividers. Reuther says the invitation to touch is unexpected – “usually, you go to a museum and you’re trained not to touch things” – and allows viewers to connect with the work. “We think through picking things up, feeling their texture, understanding their weight, that’s how what we’re making will resonate. … There’s an intermingling of people and ideas and products.” –J.A. Jan. 6 - 25;

Brightleaf Square, Downtown Durham 919-683-1474 •



N.C. State’s new on-campus hotel is for all of Raleigh


here’s a new hotel in town, this one on N.C. State’s Centennial Campus. The StateView Hotel opened this fall, a sleek, modern venue meant for both university-related business and Raleigh visitors. There are nods to the Wolfpack throughout: guest rooms are called “dens,” bright red books stud bookshelves in the common area, and featured beers on tap rotate from the department of food, bioprocessing, and nutrition sciences’ Sheppard Brewing Lab. College of Textiles professor and artist Susan Brandeis, whose work has been featured at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., donated two fabric pieces permanently on display in one of the StateView’s lobbies. Outside, the hotel overlooks Lake Raleigh and connects to a protected forest and walking trails. The spot feels secluded from campus and from downtown, but it’s convenient to both. If you’re in need of somewhere for a last-minute holiday visitor to stay, the StateView might be just the place. –J.A.


courtesy StateView




Locally made puzzle celebrates North Carolina


f you’re in the mood to hunker down this winter, you can pass the time by piecing together a puzzle created by local painters. Three artists from Carolina Meadows retirement community in Chapel Hill painted a lively mural, All Things Carolina, celebrating North Carolina: The detailed scene includes landmarks – lighthouses, the state capitol, and the Biltmore Estate – and cultural icons such as canoers in the mountains, racecar drivers near Charlotte, and native birds flying over the coast. The original 7-and-a-half-by-6-foot canvas captured the interest of a puzzle-maker in WinstonSalem, and now puzzle versions of the work are for sale. The artists will donate all of their their proceeds to UNC-TV, and Heritage Puzzle Company will donate a portion of sales. Lead artist Margaret Zircher says supporting UNC-TV is a way for she and collaborators, Susan Gaca and Bill Davis, to give back to the mural’s inspiration. “North Carolina is a treasure


trove of history and culture … and UNC-TV is multimedia communication for all of North Carolina.” Much like the mural and puzzle, Zircher says UNC-TV “educates, inspires, and entertains audiences of all ages.” While much of the vivid work is self-explanatory, All Things North Carolina includes a key providing background information and fun facts about all 53 landmarks pictured. Zircher says the key is one of the best parts, because there’s always something new to learn about North Carolina’s history. Even Zircher, Gaca, and Davis learned new facts while painting the state. “This month, Susan, Bill, and I are going to Lake Mattamuskeet to observe the winter bird migration, thanks to interest generated when we painted the mural. What fun we had painting!” –J.A. The 18-by-24-inch puzzle is available for $16.95; product/all-things-nc-puzzle

courtesy Rivers Agency





Scott Sharpe (CROSBY); courtesy Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University (DOLCI)

He’s been a Long Time Gone, so fans will thrill to catch the twotime Rock & Roll Hall of Famer David Crosby and friends on his Sky Trails tour at Carolina Theatre Dec. 2. The ’60s counterculture icon who co-founded The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is in the midst of a prolific and fruitful creative period producing songs already praised as among his best work. The Carolina Theatre is a relaxed, intimate space – just the venue to experience this venerable musician strum tunes old and new. 8 p.m.; $50.50 - $100.50; 309 West Morgan St., Durham;

1-4 DOLCI VITA Carlo Dolci certainly lived the sweet life: As a favorite of the Medici court, the Renaissance artist enjoyed great success in his time. However, by the 19th century, Dolci’s style had fallen out of favor and his name was merely a footnote in the history of Italy’s grandest royal house and political dynasty. The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University offers an opportunity to restore the reputation of the Old Master painter in a new exhibit of never-before-seenworks. Embrace la dolce vita and take in The Medici’s Patiner: Carlo Dolci and 17th Century Florence. The show closes Jan. 14. Museum hours vary; $14 non-members, $12 seniors, $7 children, military, and students; free to museum members; 2001 Campus Drive, Durham;

Happy Holidays! THE SHERI HAGERTY GROUP 919.862.6258 3200 Wake Forest Road | Raleigh, NC 27609 Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated.




DRAW IN FRANK Gallery’s latest exhibit mixes media and perceptions


he pages of an artist’s sketchbook are where ideas for other works take shape. Sketches are studies for paintings, blueprints for sculptures. At least, that is the perception, one the FRANK Gallery in Chapel Hill challenges with its current exhibition, Drawn Together. Drawn Together celebrates the mastery and mystery of drawing by taking the composition out of the notebook and into full view. The exhibition, on display until Dec. 22, features three artists known for work rich in detail and symbolism, despite distinct styles. Raleigh-based artist Kiki Farish creates pencil paintings inspired by nature that are, in her words, “fleeting, uncertain, shifting.” Farish’s work is joined by that of Jean LeCluyse, who draws, literally, on her diverse experiences – as a farm laborer, a printmaker, a freelance scientific illustrator, and a nurse – to create windows into secret narratives. To complement the 2-D works, the exhibit includes mixed media pieces by Aggie Zed. South Carolina native Zed grew up riding ponies on the beach, studying her father as he repaired TVs, and passing time by drawing and playing with cheap plastic toys; she combines it all into intricate 3-D art rooted in a curiosity with the beauty and strangeness of human activity. All together, the exhibit’s point is clear: drawing need not be the beginning. It is art in and of itself. –K.P. 109 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill;


JOIN THE ARMY The Salvation Army of Wake County helps over 15,000 community members each holiday: You can be a bell ringer, adopt an angel from the Angel Tree at Crabtree Mall, volunteer in the Toy Shop, or prepare and serve a meal. wakecounty/getinvolved/christmasopportunities HOLIDAY BAZAAR You can donate a new, unwrapped gift to InterACT of Wake County for its in-shelter “holiday store.” interactofwake. org/holiday-bazaar ON A MISSION Be a part of Raleigh Rescue Mission’s work with the homeless and hurting by baking cookies, participating in a food drive, volunteering at the RPM Thrift Store, preparing meals, and providing gifts. raleighrescue. org/get-involved/ volunteer

courtesy FRANK Gallery

TO THE SHOP At Activate Good’s holiday shopping market, vendors donate some or all of their proceeds to a local cause. Sat. Dec. 2; Marbles Kids Museum;


Lee Giles III (WANNABEE); Randall Benton (SHOWER)

1/13,27&2/10 WANNABEE If being a beekeeper is what you really, really want, then enroll in bee college. The Wanna Bee a Beekeeper? 2018 Bee College will be in session Jan. 13, 27, and Feb. 10 at United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall in Vass, North Carolina, about an hour-anda-half southwest of Raleigh. The course is offered by N.C. Bee Education and Training, Inc., an organization that advocates for bees and provides beekeeping training through its mobile bee school. Bee College is designed for beginner and intermediate levels and is open to all, including those whose only experience is with bee stings. Taught by a N.C. Master Beekeeper with more than 30 years of experience, students will receive hands-on training, from handling bees to hive safety. Lunch and refreshments are provided. Bee cool and stay in school. 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; $185 if registered before Dec. 31, $200 if registered before Jan. 12.; 111 N. Alma St., Vass; keyword: wanna bee

14 SHOWER BEFORE BED The Geminid meteor shower will bathe the night sky in spectacular light Dec. 14. It will be the most prolific shower of the year, with predictions of 120 meteors per hour. Set the alarm for zero dark thirty, bundle up, and head over to Valley Springs Park in Durham. The park has little ambient light, making it ideal for lying back on a warm blanket with a favorite someone and enjoying the shower up above. 1:30 - 3 a.m.; free; 3805 Valley Springs Road, Durham; keyword: meteor


GOODWILL TO ALL Mitzvah Day celebrates giving


ore than 500 Triangle residents will gather Dec. 25 to give gifts, but not the bought and wrapped kind. They’ll be tying fleece into no-sew blankets for Blanket Durham, playing bingo with residents at Hillcrest Convalescent Home, delivering desserts to on-duty police officers, and serving meals to families at the Ronald McDonald House in Chapel Hill. It’s all in observance of the 12th annual Mitzvah Day: a time of volunteerism, activism, unity, and fellowship organized by the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill. Mitzvah means good deed, and Mitzvah Day is about service more than religion. Christmas Day, a nationally observed holiday, finds many nonprofits and local agencies understaffed and in need of volunteers. This area-wide outreach event creates opportunities for Jewish community members to meet the need by turning a day off into a day on. The Jewish Federation partners with local synagogues and organizations like the Levin Jewish Community Center of Durham to organize service projects. Levin JCC’s director of engagement Madeline Seltman says many local families yearn to give back in a meaningful way, but busy schedules make it difficult to find time. On Mitzvah Day, more than 30 different projects suit volunteers of every age, skill level, interest, and availability. Each year Mitzvah Day expands its reach further in an effort to fully reflect the diverse Triangle. This year, new projects include helping the Accessible Icon Project spray-paint accessibility markers on city parking spaces and organizing furniture at the LGBTQ Center of Durham. While serving the community, volunteers build one, too. Mitzvah Day kicks off with a group breakfast before participants depart for their various service projects. Everyone reconvenes at 5:30 p.m. for a Chinese dinner, movie, and fellowship. Seltman says there has been a “ripple effect in the community”: volunteers often continue working with the nonprofits they connect with Dec. 25. –K.P. For more information about Mitzvah Day, including specific volunteer opportunities:


Casey Toth




courtesy Honey Magpie (LISTEN); courtesy Duke Performances (STAGED)

LISTEN HERE Who says you have to go to the big city to experience great music? The Wake Forest Listening Room is a music series that started up in June 2017 and features local artists and established regional musicians. The room may change from coffee shop to cafe depending on the night, but good music is always on the bill. Durham-based fourpiece indie-folk band Honey Magpie will perform at Sugar Magnolia Cafe Dec. 21 – doesn’t that sound like a delicious combination? You can take a break from the holiday hustle, indulge in tasty baked goods, and hear some cool music. It’s always worth saving room to support local businesses, the arts, and the community at large. 7 - 9 p.m.; free; 219 S.White St., Wake Forest;

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In 1999, novelist Don DeLillo granted a rare interview to Jody McAuliffe, a professor of theater studies at Duke University. He also personally gave the award-winning director, writer, and actor permission to stage an adaptation of his novel Mao II for Theater Previews at Duke. Eighteen years later, the collaboration continues with the world premiere of Don Delillo’s The Body Artist, adapted and directed by Jody McAuliffe. You can see it Jan. 25 - 27 at Reynolds Industries Theater in Durham. The Body Artist is both a ghost story and a love story about a performance artist on a spiritual journey following a catastrophic event. 8 p.m.; general admission $20, Duke students $10; 125 Science Drive, Durham;


Models/lifestyle photos do not reflect racial or ethnic preference. Price subject to change without notice. Copyright © 2017 Lennar Corporation. All rights reserved. Lennar and the Lennar logo are U.S. registered service marks or service marks of Lennar Corporation and/or its subsidiaries. (23242) 10/24/17


BEST FOOT FOWARD New Year’s Day hikes Interested in hitting the trails before chowing down on blackeyed peas and collard greens this Jan. 1? You can kick off your resolutions with an organized first day hike at one of the state parks around the Triangle. From kids’ scavenger hunts to posthike snacks, there’s an opportunity for every member of the family to hit his or her stride. CHLOE ISABEL MARANT

Eno River State Park Choose from two guided hikes at 2 p.m., followed by hot chocolate, marshmallows, and popcorn. Tip: Arrive early to fuel up with some good luck black-eyed peas. 6101 Cole Mill Road, Durham


north hills, raleigh 919.787.9780

Falls Lake Two first day hikes trek around Falls Lake at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Bring the little ones along for a guided scavenger hunt with park rangers. You can park at the swim beach parking lot and begin the hike at Track Trail. Advice from the park: dress warmly and bring snacks! Call the park office to sign up, 919-676-1027; 4201 Baptist Road, Durham Jordan Lake State Recreation Area Here’s a double-header hike option. The first begins 9 a.m. at Blue Loop Trail in New Hill with lake and forest views along the 2.7 miles. You can also meet at the Old Oak Trail for a 1-mile loop at 1 p.m. No registration required; 919-3620586; Blue Loop Trail at New Hope Overlook (339 WH Jones Road, New Hill), Old Oak Trail at Ebenezer Church (2582 Beaver Creek Road, Apex) –Catherine Currin

Harry Lynch, News & Observer


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Take your Tuesday night to the next level with some live-action puck at PNC Arena Jan. 30. The Senators are making the coastal trek down for the matchup. While the Ottawa team is down a Stanley Cup win to the Hurricanes, their consistent playoff appearances are reason to tune into the rink. 7 p.m., Jan. 30; $12 - $170; 1400 Edwards Mill Road.;

Nathan Perkel (KID); Chris Seward, News & Observer (HURRICANES)

Catch this rising star. Comedian and actor John Mulaney stops by Durham Performing Arts Center Jan. 26 on his Kid Gorgeous Tour. The former Saturday Night Live writer (he created the Stefon character with Bill Hader) recently starred in the Broadway hit Oh, Hello on Broadway alongside Nick Kroll, with whom he often collaborates (think: a younger version of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner). Mulaney hit the stand-up circuit in 2009 and has garnered critical acclaim, and also a throng of fans that can’t get enough of his quirky, cerebral brand of observational comedy. So much so that DPAC added a second show this year. Get a load of that kid – he’s hilarious. 7 and 10 p.m.; $35; 123 Vivian St., Durham;

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Scrooge photo credit - Curtis Brown Photography David Wood IV will play Scrooge at Saturday all Saturday matineesScrooge photo credit - Curtis Brown Photography *Ira*Ira David Wood IV will play Scrooge at all matinees

“Ebenezer Scrooge is celebrated as one of literature’s most selfish and stingy people. But he really happens to be one of the most unselfish characters I’ve ever known, and he’s certainly given me more gifts over the past 43 years than I could possibly count. I look forward to meeting him again each year and seeing how he’s changed since the last time we were together. I believe that those who come back each year to see the show feel very much the same way. The production has been a blessing to my life in more ways than I could possibly describe. It was a warm and nurturing home for my two grown children and is now a special place of wonderment for my five-year-old son who refers to me as “Daddy Humbug” when rehearsals begin anew each year. The show introduced me to my amazing wife who continues to be such an incredible blessing to my life. It also allows me, each year, to once again grow close to my father who passed away when I was only twelve. His once distinct features and reassuring voice have become a bit blurred with the passing of time. Our production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL brings him back into grateful focus for me. When Bob Cratchit sings the Christmas Lullaby to Tiny Tim, I sit some distance away in the dark. It’s such a bittersweet moment for me. There’s no acting involved, only feeling the moment. The words Bob Cratchit sings are the words I never got to hear … words that at least I can give to every parent and child in our audience … a reminder of one of our most priceless gifts … our time on this earth, our chance to make a difference, to draw our loved ones closer, to celebrate the moment, to become a better person than we were. That message hit home for me six years ago when I underwent heart surgery. Like Scrooge, I was given a second chance, and every day since has been a blessing and a celebration! That year, I was allowed to sit in the audience and watch my oldest son, Ira David Wood IV, step into the role. That too was an indescribable blessing. I suppose we all would like to think that we’ll leave something worthwhile behind when our time in this world is over … that we’ve managed to do the best we could with the time and talent God gave us. Watching my son take over my role was that moment for me … and filled my heart to overflowing with a sense of humbleness and pride. Last year, a lady called the theatre to ask when tickets to the show would be going on sale. When she was given the information, she also asked, “The man who plays Scrooge … Ira David Wood … is he still alive?” All of us had a huge laugh about it, but it also caused me to think as I drove home that day. In our production, the Ghost of Christmas Present tells Scrooge, “The thing is to do the most you can with the time you have left on this earth to make a difference.” Scrooge took that lesson to heart and got about the business of changing himself. In doing so, he touched and changed the lives of everyone around him. In fact, he became a wonderful example to us all. It wasn’t too late for him and it’s not too late for me ... or you, for that matter. Those of us in the production want to play it forward ... to pass the gift of love and laughter along to those who’ve come to share their time with us. We all benefit from those few hours together and we hope the joy of Christmas will take on an even deeper meaning. So, thank you, Ebenezer Scrooge - the most unselfish person and greatest mentor I’ve ever known. I can’t wait to see you again this year! We’ve still got some work to do!”

Ira David Wood III, Director & Scrooge A Christmas Carol Exec. & Artistic Director Theatre In The Park



Algebra Club members Rich Harr and Hart Huffines reminisce at the Players’ Retreat.

“The Algebra Club is meeting this Friday night at the Camp’s farm at 8 p.m.” –former assistant principal, Needham B. Broughton High School, circa 1970


here have been many student clubs at Needham B. Broughton High School over the years. A look back at the school’s yearbook, the Latipac, during the ’70s shows an Algebra Club. The club’s photos always featured a fast car or two with many long-haired boys gathered around it. This sharp-minded group listed its meetings in the morning announcement lineup: typically weekend evenings, at a vaguely referenced location. They printed invitations, hung posters, and ordered refreshments. Before long, the administration wised up: The Algebra Club wasn’t studying math skills. The Algebra Club is not unique in concept. Before them were the Dirty Dozen and the Casuals, other social clubs who got together to hang out, relax, and by senior year drink a few

beers. (The legal drinking age was then 18.) The Algebra Club is perhaps unique in ingenuity: Without social media, they managed to gather via those morning announcements. At each “gathering” (also known as party) club members took donations for future meetings; when there were funds leftover, the AC rented a beach house at Atlantic Beach for spring break. Many Algebra Club members still live in Raleigh and spend time together. Hart Huffines, one of the club’s founding members, says he counts himself lucky to consider his high school friends among his closest. “We have kept those relationships through all the years,” he says. “They mean a lot. We still like to have a good time.” –CC Parker

photograph by CHRISTER BERG






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“I’m looking forward to shifting from planning to doing in the new year.” –Evan Walker-Wells, co-founder, Scalawag magazine


calawag takes nothing at face value, including its own success. The nonprofit politics and culture magazine based in Durham is approaching its third anniversary in the new year, and it has already earned recognition from national outlets including The New York Times. The early momentum is but motivation for improvement, says co-founder Evan Walker-Wells. In December, the staff will retreat for a weekend of reflection and planning. “We want to build a more engaged and accountable relationship to the communities we serve,” says Walker-Wells. Walker-Wells is the magazine’s only full-time employee, working from Durham to serve communities throughout the Southeast. He relies on a few part-time contributors in the Triangle, co-founder and current law student Jesse Williams, and more than 250 freelance writers and photographers spread out from rural Mississippi and Kentucky to urban Atlanta. “The most important and most meaningful contributions to what we’ve done, in my opinion, have come from having this broad team.”

Scalawag magazine cofounder Evan Walker-Wells, center, with two of the magazine’s team members: Lizzy Hazeltine, left, and Cierra Hinton, right

Among the contributions are in-depth coverage of race relations in the South and community-focused reporting from the region’s most rural areas. Both will continue, Walker-Wells says, as well as a new initiative: “Southern joy … telling the stories of artists and other people who are doing cool and interesting works in the South. We want to make sure we get at the diversity of the region, and understand the reasons why people choose to stay in the South.” The end goal, Walker-Wells says, is to create a quarterly product that educates, questions, challenges, and ultimately empowers. “We hope to have a role in moving Southern culture forward: focusing on solutions and the work people are doing already and every day.” With goal in mind, come January, the team will be off and running. Walker-Wells will be the leader of the pack. “I enjoy the planning aspect,” he says with a laugh, “I like the execution a lot better.” –J.A.

photograph by MADELINE GRAY


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N.C. Made founder Nicole Bogas, left, and co-owner Cathleen Cueto, right

“The boxes support local food makers, and they’re a chance to practice gratitude. The sentiments that come with gifts are inspiring.” –Cathleen Cueto, co-owner N.C. Made


icole makes amazing pies. She’s the friend who always brings something extra delicious to parties.” Cathleen Cueto moved to Durham from Brooklyn, New York City in 2014 and says she still remembers the first time she met her friend and now business partner Nicole Bogas. “Amazing food is memorable.” It turned out to be especially true for the duo, who today work together to curate gourmet food gift boxes at N.C. Made. Bogas first founded the company as a side business in 2014 while also working in digital advertising. “I was so excited about the food in our area, and inspired by how many of them had beautiful product design.” She wanted to share her favorites with friends and clients across the country, so she decided to do it herself. “We hang our hat on things that are typically North Carolina,” Bogas says. N.C. Made’s first boxes remain among its most popular: the N.C. Barbecue themed package includes barbecue sauce, hushpuppy mix, and a N.C. BBQ map; the N.C. Beer one

includes a beer-and-bacon barbecue sauce, spiced apple beer jam, and gaelic ale mustard. There are snack boxes, customizable corporate gifts, and wedding welcome boxes. As business grew, Bogas brought Cueto on board. Winter is an especially sweet time of year at N.C. Made. “We can’t send any boxes with chocolate in the warmer months,” Cueto says, because it melts in the mail. The holidays mean the return of boxes with cocoa candy: in particular, city-themed boxes. If you want to send an Oak City box to a loved one, inside will be Slingshot Coffee Company cascara tea, Crude shrub syrup, Benny T’s Vesta dry hot sauce, a note card letterpressed by One and Only Paper, and a bar of Videri chocolate. No matter the theme choice, every box comes with a handwritten note. Sometimes, Bogas and Cueto use the front and back of note cards to transcribe customers’ thoughts. “Even if they’re really long, we write it out,” Bogas says. After all, a personal touch combined with amazing food is bound to be remembered. “Those are the aspects we get excited about.” –J.A.


photograph by MADELINE GRAY

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“This gives you the flexibility to ride around anywhere in Raleigh.” –Sarah Williams, LimeBike program coordinator, N.C. State University department of transportation


ou’ve likely seen the neon green bikes: they’re a familiar site near N.C. State’s campus, in downtown parking lots and parks, and even in neighborhoods. “They’re pretty much everywhere,” LimeBike program coordinator Sarah Williams says. The aptly named cycles are dockless, which means they can be left anywhere by a rider: they automatically lock and await the next person. N.C. State introduced 300 bikes this fall, and they’ve quickly spread beyond campus. Since August, almost 16,000 users have used the bikes more than 50,000 times. “They’re for anybody to use.” Williams works for N.C. State’s department of transportation, where she says she and her colleagues have sought to bring a public bicycle system, called bike share, to campus for a few years. Bike shares usually include bike racks, which is both an initial investment and a logistical challenge. Racks also limit where users can pick-up and drop-off bikes. When the start-up LimeBike launched in California last January, promising a rack-

less program, it caught the Raleigh team’s eye. In June, UNCGreensboro released the first-ever LimeBike installation. It was successful, and “we followed suit pretty soon after.” To use a LimeBike, you download an app and load your credit card information. When you’re ready to ride, you scan the QR code located on each bike to unlock it. Rides cost one dollar per half-hour, or fifty cents per half-hour for students. User fees pay a small local LimeBike staff to pick up, service, and maintain the bikes. “It’s exciting how easy it was to implement,” Williams says, “and to see how many people want to ride bikes. Now that they have this option, it’s almost constantly used.” Hopefully there will be more LimeBikes come spring, Williams says, and adds that the campus initiative wants to work cohesively with the City of Raleigh and its BikeRaleigh plan. “The best part of this is that it’s shown how Raleigh really wants to have a bike share.” –J.A. photograph by MADELINE GRAY


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“Peter is such a dynamic player. So kinetic, always in motion like a boxer, weaving and punching.” –Dave Tilley, music producer, about band Peter Lamb & the Wolves



t’s fitting that Peter Lamb and the Wolves, a party band’s party band, first formed to provide the soundtrack to a celebration. Back in 2009, the manager of Humble Pie in downtown Raleigh asked Peter Lamb to assemble a band to play at a party in honor of incoming President Barack Obama’s inauguration. “I put together the Wolves,” Lamb says, “and we’ve been there at Humble Pie ever since, two Wednesdays a month.” Along with serving as Humble Pie’s unofficial house band for most of the past decade, Lamb and company have played countless gigs beyond its friendly confines, from the Hopscotch Music Festival to most every club in the area. The Wolves have also released three very fine albums. They’re in-demand for the teaching workshops and clinics they play at public and private schools around the Triangle. And four years after that first gig, they got a nice upgrade: an official performance slot at the second Obama inauguration in Washington, D.C., in 2013.

‘Whatever it takes’ The quintet has had pretty much the same lineup for most of its existence: Lamb on saxophone, his brother Paul Rogers on trumpet, Mark Wells on piano and vocals, and a rhythm section of bassist Pete Kimosh and drummer Stephen Coffman. Everyone in the group is a North Carolina native except for the San Francisco-born Lamb, who moved to Raleigh at age 8. Ask just about anybody familiar with the Wolves to describe them, and the word “fun” will invariably come up. Whether playing clubs or classrooms, it’s rare for them to encounter an audience they can’t win over. But of course, it helps that they’re willing to drop the likes of the soundtrack theme to Spiderman into their set list, rendered with a cool swing groove. “I can’t tell you how many gigs we’ve played where we did


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something like the Super Mario Brothers theme, and all of a sudden the audience was with us,” says Wells, Lamb’s longtime co-pilot in the Wolves. “We’re kind of a ’50s and ’60s R&B band with some jazz. That’s our crossover point. And we have to be willing to do whatever it takes to engage an audience, whether it’s John Coltrane or some video-game theme. The great thing about Peter is, if he likes something and gets excited, he just goes for it.” Prior to the Wolves’ formation, Lamb put in seven years playing saxophone with Countdown Quartet, another party band whose lineup included members from local legends including Squirrel Nut Zippers, Whiskeytown, Dag, and 6 String Drag. Countdown had just wound down when Lamb got the word about that Humble Pie party. His first call was to


Wells, a versatile musician who has provided piano accompaniment for everything from Carolina Ballet to hip-hop DJ Apple Juice Kid’s Remix Project. Early on, Lamb and the Wolves played it pretty straight, sticking to the great American songbook of jazz standards. But that restraint didn’t last long, mostly because Lamb isn’t the type to hold back. A whimsical sort with a natural exuberance in manner as well as playing, Lamb is given to over-the-top pronouncements like what he told a News & Observer interviewer a few years back: “We want to spread our music around like venereal disease!” It wasn’t long before Lamb was writing original material and also changing up the cover choices to take the music into more oddball directions. His approach has been particularly effective for the band’s teaching gigs at schools. “To

get kids interested in Coltrane, I have a video-game tune from The Legend of Zelda that I combine with a tune off of his Crescent album,” Lamb says. “It really gets their attention. So yeah, we have little tricks to get people aware of things, make them fit together in ways you wouldn’t expect. Another thing I do a lot is arrange Russian folk songs with a New Orleans groove – which absolutely works great, believe it or not. Really plays off the whole ‘Peter and the Wolf’ thing with our name, too.”

Constant motion Lamb is practically incapable of playing saxophone while standing still, which makes for a lively stage performance but a recording challenge. Dave Tilley, who has produced all three of the group’s albums, says that recording the Wolves requires a lot of creativity as

well as technical flexibility. “Peter is such a dynamic player,” Tilley says. “So kinetic, always in motion like a boxer, weaving and punching. Whenever I work with him, the goal is to capture what he’s doing, which isn’t just standing perfectly still in front of the microphone. I want to get all the goodness he’s putting out.” There is goodness aplenty on Lamb and the Wolves’ latest album, 2016’s Carolina Tiger Milk. Recorded in the upstairs room at Lamb’s former workplace Marsh Woodwinds (he’s now a partner in the Flying Squirrel Music woodwind repair shop), Carolina Tiger Milk is an all-star super-session featuring some of the best of North Carolina’s roots, jazz, and blues players – The Old Ceremony frontman Django Haskins, Sidecar Social Club singer Lisa Wood, bluesman Bullfrog Willard McGhee and even the legendary James Brown sideman Maceo Parker. “I’m really proud of Carolina Tiger Milk,” Lamb says. “It’s not jazz so much as an album with some jazz – and also funk, a French waltz, a classical piece. There are 27 players on it and the whole point was to show off all the talent that’s here in North Carolina. Maceo especially was incredible. He came up from Kinston and was the first to arrive, the last to leave, and a total gentleman the whole time. Dressed to the nines, too. He played the very last solo on the record and it’s gold. If I never get to do another record, there’s always that.” Still, onstage is the Wolves’ primary, best medium. Luckily, they play out enough that if you don’t see them, it will be your fault and not theirs. “The Triangle really is a great, great place to be a musician,” Lamb says. “There’s so much amazing talent ON DEMAND around here, and great audiences, Peter Lamb and the Wolves too. I rarely have to leave. We’ve got regularly teach workshops at public and private area four gigs this week, all here. I love schools. Above: Lamb helps that.” a group of Cary Academy musicians. Below right: Lamb’s brother Paul Rogers takes a solo turn on the trumpet at Humble Pie.



THINKING BIG Dix Park Conservancy president Sean Malone and City of Raleigh senior planner Kate Pearce in Dorothea Dix Park.


photograph by MADELINE GRAY

PE This is your


What do you want to do with it? DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017-18 | 67



f you ever have the chance to tour the land that could become America’s next great public park with senior City of Raleigh planner Kate Pearce, count yourself lucky, but don’t expect a leisurely stroll. These 307.9 acres – the grounds of the former Dorothea Dix Hospital – are just too big, and she’s got too much to tell you about what they were, are, and will become. A tour of Dix with Pearce is a workout, a history lesson, a colloquy on community; it’s a treasure hunt, an adventure, and a peek into the future. “This,” she says, gesturing broadly to a wide field in a western corner, “is one of the great spots. This is where you can have your Sound of Music moment. You’re less than a mile from downtown Raleigh, but you feel miles away.” Raleighites first became the rightful owners of the property in 2015 when the city bought the sprawling site from the state for $52 million. Some citizens have already made the parklike grounds their own: playing flag football, riding bikes, walking dogs, doing tai chi. But a real central park doesn’t happen ad-hoc. It’s purposeful. It takes its mission seriously, it’s easily accessible and community-

This is the moment when the community at large gets to have its own impact, weighing in on what it wants its park to be. focused; it offers amenities like performance venues, dining options, public art, and playgrounds; it’s busy with programs for people of all kinds. Pearce heads up the city’s effort to create that kind of awesome park out of this lavish land. It’s “one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to do something amazing and have an impact.” The impact will be felt by the city and state as a whole, and her tour comes at an important time – the moment when the community at large gets to have its own impact, weighing in on 68 | WALTER

what it wants its park to be. People already steeped in the work have a hard time containing their enthusiasm. “There’s a drive to create something that’s truly amazing, to create a world-class public space,” says Sean Malone, president and CEO of Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy, the nonprofit group working with the city to make it happen. “I feel pretty confident that what is created here will get huge national attention.” Now, after hiring world-renowned landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and spending months looking in at the land and assessing what’s there, planners are starting to look out at the community and ask questions. “How can this be a park for everyone, that’s built by everyone?” Malone asks. Adrienne Heflich, project manager for Dix Park at MVVA, says her mandate is to listen well, and to honor the land and the people who will use it. “There is enormous potential for the park to be really relevant to daily lives,” Heflich says. “We’re thinking really long-term, 10, 30, 100 years from now: what the property will be in the context of Raleigh, the region, and the state.” She’s researching the writings of Dorothea Dix, who was an activist on behalf of the mentally ill, and the writings of famed landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted, who was a contemporary of Dix’s. Both believed in the healing power of nature and the importance of public investment in bringing the outdoors to urban environments for spiritual and mental health. MVVA, rooted in a belief that “a strong sense of place helps enhance everyday experience, healthy communities, and quality of life, which are the heart of a livable city,” has designed awardwinning public parks including New York’s Brooklyn Bridge Park and Hudson River Park; plazas like the ones at the Boston Children’s Museum and New York’s Jacob Javits Plaza; and university campus landscapes at schools including Harvard, Princeton, and Amherst. They’re taking that broad expertise

courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

BIRD’S EYE VIEW The 12-foot-by-12-foot model of Dorothea Dix Park as it is today. This version, created to scale, conveys the park’s vastness.

on the road all over Raleigh and the state, inviting interested people to brainstorm. Armed with a 12-foot-by-12-foot scale model of the park property to show people just how expansive it is, planners are hearing all kinds of suggestions. For “the kinds of people who don’t go to community meetings,” there’s also an online effort to gather ideas, says Malone, who left his job as president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in Milwaukee and moved to Raleigh to lead the Conservancy. Once people grasp the possibilities, he says, ideas pour out. “It’s an unparalleled opportunity, and that’s not hyperbole,” he says. “You just don’t find this kind of acreage in a city anywhere … you don’t see places like this, and you don’t see communities able to take advantage of them.”

Legacy, future “There’s the old steam plant – the Norfolk

Southern freight line – the great field – the cemetery.” Pearce’s tour takes half a day, and it’s a trip into the past as much as a look toward the future. “The old dairy barn for the hospital is back here – here are the old chicken coops – this was one of the old worker cottages – that’s a pecan grove – there’s the old kitchen facility.” All of it represents the legacy of the self-contained, self-sufficient universe that was Dorothea Dix Hospital. The residential psychiatric facility grew its own food, generated its own power, and kept to itself from the mid 1800s until about 1970. The last patients left in 2012. Today, many of its old buildings are filled with state Department of Health and Human Services workers, who will stick around for the seven-and-a-half more years on the department’s lease. “We’ve got a list of interesting challenges and opportunities on this property,” Pearce says. “It’s still a working

campus. How do we create a park but respect their work?” That’s one question they’re studying. Some others: What to do with the hospital’s 85 buildings now, and once HHS leaves? What about the roads built to serve those buildings? What about transportation and circulation in general? How will people access the park? Also, more thematically: How will the park honor its complicated history as a psychiatric hospital? How about its 1700 1850s incarnation as a plantation owned by pioneering Wake County settler Colonel Theophilus Hunter, or its stint as an encampment for Sherman’s troops? How will it celebrate and preserve its ecology? How will it encourage mental and physical wellness? How will it embody and build on Raleigh’s creative identity? How will it reflect, educate, and celebrate the city and state’s presentday, multicultural community? DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017-18 | 69

courtesy City of Raleigh

COMMON GROUND “This is North Carolina’s central park,” Malone says. “In the same way that New York City’s Central Park is everyone’s central park, Dix is North Carolina’s.”


“We’re in the treasure hunt phase,” Pearce says. Some of the treasures she’s finding are actual historical artifacts – at least 6,000 of them – discovered in and around the hospital buildings and grounds. Hundreds of old maps, photographs, portraits, and hospital china have been unearthed; so has equipment like wheelchairs and an electroshock machine; relics, too, from the 16,000 Union troops who camped on Dix Hill in April 1865 as part of Sherman’s March to the Sea. Together, these objects will form the basis of a fall 2018 exhibit at the City of Raleigh Museum, and could also form the collection for a park museum, if one comes to pass. “It’s one of the hats I never thought I’d wear: The Historian,” Pearce says. The other treasures Pearce, Malone, and the designers seek are the less tangible kind: ideas. Ideas are free, but they don’t always sing in harmony. Needless to say, not everyone agrees what this park

should be, what it should represent, and how it should serve the community. But Pearce and Malone say that’s actually what will make it great, because people here care, they say; they’re invested enough to have strong opinions, but they’re still community-minded enough to work together for solutions. “I find the collaborative spirit in this city just remarkable,” says Malone, who has become a proud Raleighite in short order. “The shared sense of purpose and sincere desire to do something good here puts us in a position to do something that will actually transform people’s lives.” “It is remarkable,” Pearce agrees, “to see this community coming together to preserve this place for public use. Other cities and states have developed this kind of land.” Now, she says, the question is clear: “This is your park. What do you want to do with it?”

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VISIONARY Carolina Ballet co-artistic director Zalman Raffael in the company’s rehearsal studio. Below, left to right: Luke Potgieter, Kathleen Black, Max Isaacson, Elizabeth Ousley Munoz, Raum-Aron Gens Ostrowski Opposite page, left to right: Reigner Bethune, McKensie Van Oss, Sophie Nelson, Bilal Smith, Amanda Babyan


TWO DECADES YOUNG Carolina Ballet’s fresh perspective by JESSIE AMMONS photographs by JULI LEONARD When the curtain fell on Carolina Ballet’s first performance in 1998, the audience exited Memorial Auditorium to a hushed downtown Raleigh. “There weren’t even restaurants open after the theater,” says Melissa Podcasy, ballet master and founding company member. Today, audiences exit Memorial Auditorium to a lively downtown Raleigh with plenty of options for a post-show bite or drink. “Raleigh has grown up around us,” says principal dancer Margaret “Peggy” Severin-Hansen, another founding company member. It’s an energy reflected in the nationally renowned professional dance company: As Carolina Ballet celebrates its 20th anniversary, new co-artistic director Zalman Raffael brings both fresh perspective and seasoned vigor to the troupe. His approach is rooted in tradition and talent, with a renewed emphasis on community DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017-18 | 73

engagement. “We’ll always push to innovate and bring the highest level of technique to the stage,” Raffael says, “but realistically, we can’t do that without the support of the community.” Under Raffael, Carolina Ballet in the next 20 years will be plugged-in but still studious, both innovative and traditional. Raffael wants to continue to “institutionalize Carolina Ballet,” so that dance becomes a necessary part of Raleighites’ art diet. “My hope is to reach people in a meaningful way, so that they understand the importance of what art is, and what it can do to, or for, their own lives.”

“As a choreographer, your clay, your medium, is the dancers.”

The foundation Since its inception in 1997, Carolina Ballet has produced a large volume of high-caliber shows. “Here we are 20 years later because of a lot of tenacious hard work and excellent product,” ballet master Podcasy says. Podcasy has had a front-row seat from her roles as a founding company

member and former principal ballerina, and as wife to founding artistic director Richard Weiss. Carolina Ballet is Weiss’s vision and his career’s work; his latest act is his protege, Raffael. “As a choreographer, your clay, your medium, is the dancers,” Weiss says. “If you’re lucky, you get to also teach a young choreographer.” Raffael, known as Zali, came to Raleigh in 2005 to dance for Carolina Ballet. He trained at the School of American Ballet in New York City, an education shared by much of the Raleigh dance company. (Weiss began his career at the New York City Ballet, where he was eventually a principal dancer.) Weiss says Raffael’s talent for choreography was always evident, but “it’s an expensive, risky investment to mentor a choreographer, because you have to get them studio time, you have to get them dancers. The work can’t be done alone.” Raffael, he says, was worth the investment. When Weiss considered the future of Carolina Ballet, he says he knew it would involve the young choreographer as more than a dancer, in a larger creative role. Now, at 32, Raffael is Weiss’s first-ever co-artistic director. Raffael has been tran-

This page, left to right: Alyssa Pilger, Keifer Curtis, principal dancer Margaret SeverinHansen, Taylor Ayotte, Nikolai Smirnov


This page, left to right: Courtney Schenberger, principal dancer Marcelo Martinez, principal dancer Jan Burkhard, Scott “Ike” Hawkersmith, Mandy Gerhardt

sitioning into the role for two years and says he feels that he has found his creative voice. It’s with this voice he plans to impact the public, but it’s also a voice that speaks a language largely taught to him by Weiss. “While he is on planet earth, I will always consult with him,” Raffael says of working for and alongside Weiss. “The relationship I have with my mentors are what give me energy and enthusiasm. We have an unmatched rapport.” Weiss and Raffael’s mutual respect is evident in Carolina Ballet’s anniversary season, which began in September and runs through May. Of the eight productions – each production includes five to 11 performances – many of them are Weiss originals. “He has created a repertoire of ballets that are the foundation of this company: his Messiah (in November), his Nutcracker (this holiday season), his Sleeping Beauty (in May), his Romeo & Juliet (in February). They are the bread and butter.” Mixed in are a guest-choreographed world premiere set to Ravel’s Bolero (in March); the return of New York City Ballet co-founder George Balanchine’s Serenade, which was performed by Carolina Ballet in its inaugural 1998 season; and a Weiss-Raffael collaboration, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Haunted Tales, that premiered in October. There’s old, there’s new, there’s tried-andtrue. “We bring more ballets to the stage

than almost any other American company annually.” Behind the curtain, in the company’s studio on Atlantic Avenue, the pace is constant, nearing relentless. Like Weiss before him, Raffael sees no other way. “We have to push to have this as a part of the thread of Raleigh.”

‘Just go’ At this point, the ballet is certainly a thread of Raleigh’s cultural identity. From day one, there has been a devoted audience, one that has continued to grow. The company estimates its more than 1,000 performances have reached 1 million people, and the past two years have seen a consecutive 20 percent growth in ticket sales. The growth can be attributed, in part, to consistency. “We have been so consistent in the amount that we perform, in the amount that we are out in the community, and in the quality of the work,” SeverinHansen says. The growth can also be attributed to new audiences. Principal dancer Yevgeny Shlapko, who joined the ballet in 2007, has especially noticed a younger demographic. “Zali’s fresh perspective on things is bringing in a new crowd,” Shlapko says. “He’s loyal to the traditions Ricky (Weiss) set up for us, and he’s building on it.” Raffael says the arts community in RaDECEMBER/JANUARY 2017-18 | 75

This page, left to right: Lauren Wolfman, Alicia Fabry, Nicholas Fokine, Lindsay Purrington O’Hara

leigh today is robust and eager, providing an opportunity for dancers to be involved beyond the studio, and in turn bringing a broader audience into the theater. “We have these young, beautiful, talented, intelligent people that are the vessels of this art form, dance. They’re interesting and they should be. My hope is that they become immersed in the community. … When they are accessible, the place becomes accessible.” Accessibility is key and has been, by all accounts, the constant challenge to overcome. “People always ask me, ‘What does the ballet mean?’ and ‘Would it have been more helpful with a narrator?’ … If you’re watching it and you’re trying to figure it out, you’re never going to understand. You have to give it time,” Raffael says. “My hope is that we can get people to come enough to … understand that whatever the ballet makes you feel is the feeling it’s supposed to.” “Just go,” Podcasy says. “You just go to the ballet. The lights go down, the curtains go up, and there it is. I don’t think it needs

“We have these young, beautiful, talented, intelligent people that are the vessels of this art form, dance. They’re interesting and they should be.”


to be explained.” An even younger audience can be found in the dancers’ own students. Most of the core performers also teach at local dance schools, including principal dancers Severin-Hansen and Shlapko. “Performing is something that I give to myself and that I give back to the audience,” SeverinHansen says. “It’s my learning process: how my body works, how I connect to the audience. What I really enjoy, also, is to be able to give that experience back to the kids.” She leads Carolina Ballet’s summer intensive; is the assistant director of Triangle Academy of Dance in Cary; and teaches at Triangle Youth Ballet in Chapel Hill. Teaching allows her to give back to her vocation, she says, by taking what she learns on a professional level and “translating it to the next generation.” Shlapko considers teaching another Carolina Ballet thread woven into Raleigh. “I remember being a student and seeing one of my teachers perform at the ballet. Seeing them on stage, applying the corrections they had told me in the studio to themselves – everything clicks. It’s really something incredible to experience.” Shlapko’s experience came full-circle last fall, when he danced a lead role in Sleepy Hollow. “I went to do my bow and I saw this group of kids standing in the audience – they were my students. I’m sure it was

DANCE DRIVEN Raffael still rehearses with the company most days. Below, left to right: Christian Gutierrez, principal dancer Lara O’Brien, principal dancer Yevgeny Shlapko, Carmen Felder, principal dancer Richard Krusch


This page, left to right: Sam Ainley, Randi Osetek, Lily Wills, Sokvanna Sar, Jacqueline Schiller

a big deal for them to see their teacher on stage. And I will not forget looking out and seeing them. It’s fulfilling.”

Forward thinking When Weiss arrived in Raleigh 20 years ago, he hoped to create an avenue for “professional art,” Podcasy says. “The product we put on stage is very diverse. It’s a mix of classical and contemporary and it’s very theatrical. The audience demands that of us, and we have given it to them since the beginning. We don’t talk down to our audience.” Raffael’s task is to interpret the legacy for a fast-paced, diversions-aplenty culture. What can we expect? At first, “subtle little things that I believe will make a difference.” Take this season’s company headshots: Each dancer chose his or her own outfit and was encouraged to be candid for the photos. In a disciplined, ensembledriven operation, the portraits are a chance for individual personalities to shine through. The mix of old and new will continue. “We create new ballets and we preserve the old ones. That is the ballet.” Increasingly, the

“We bring more ballets to the stage than almost any other American company annually.”


new might run the gamut, with a spirit of measured experimentation. If something doesn’t work, Carolina Ballet will move on to the next production. Now that the groundwork is laid, there is a companywide faith that there will always be the next production. “It will still be here in 20 years, I am certain of that,” Podcasy says. “Having the co-artistic direction of Zali is like having two Michelin star chefs in the kitchen,” Shlapko says. “You know you’re going to have really good dishes.” Raffael is at the helm, with Weiss’s steady guidance. While the two decades of work is not lost on either of them, in characteristic fashion, Raffael flips the paradigm. He cites the hundreds of years of ballet before them, and the dynamism of Carolina Ballet’s dancers today. “This is a humongous milestone. It is so incredible what Ricky has done. But it really is just the beginning.”

The backbone Carolina Ballet founder Richard Weiss began dancing professionally when he joined the New York City Ballet at age 17. After 17 years in New York and 8 years as artistic director of the Pennsylvania Ballet, in May 1997, Weiss and wife Melissa Podcasy moved to Raleigh to build a professional dance company from scratch. “Not to take anything away from the talented people who have helped him, but the amount of work that Ricky has done here – you cannot compare it,” Raffael says. “He gives his everything to this company.” Weiss and team raised $1.2 million and sold 2,600 subscriptions before staging the first performance in 1998, and the number has grown by at least 10 percent every season since. The New York Times has called the founding artistic director and CEO a “trouper” for his devotion to build a company, or troupe, of “national significance” in a mid-sized city. He relies on world-class talent, including the core ballet masters pictured at right.

Adobe Stock (FILM REEL)

Clockwise from top left: Founding artistic director and CEO Richard Weiss, founding member and ballet master Melissa Podcasy, ballet masters Debra Austin and Marin Boieru, founding member and ballet master Dameon Nagel

This page, left to right: Jenny Palmer, Miles Sollars, Ashley Hathaway, Sara Roe, Rammaru Shindo



of a house

Kelly Shatat’s


photographs by CATHERINE NGUYEN

HAPPY HOUSE The Moon & Lola founder

opens her home for the holidays by JESMA REYNOLDS


elly Shatat was driving down Saint Mary’s Street on her way to purchase a house when a sign in a yard caught her eye: “Coming Soon – For Sale by Owner.” Calling the number listed, the CEO and founder of Moon & Lola, a highly successful, trendsetting jewelry business whose products are sold locally in stores and across borders online, asked the owner if she could take a look inside. After several back-and-forth persistent phone calls, Shatat convinced the seller to let her in to preview the home that afternoon. By evening, she had signed a contract to purchase and provided a deposit check, sealing the deal with a champagne toast with the seller. “I always wanted to live in an old house with character, and I knew from stepping into the foyer that it was my house,” she says. Recently divorced, she was DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017-18 | 81

looking for a fresh start in a neighborhood close to all the places she liked to go. The 1925 Dutch colonial in Hayes Barton fit the bill. “This is the heart of Raleigh,” she says, adding that she was born down the street at what was then Rex Hospital on the corner of Wade Avenue and Saint Mary’s Street. Dubbing it “Lola’s Happy House” (she’s the ‘Lola’ in the business named for her friendship with Avis Wicher, aka ‘Moon’), the double ivy Xs on the side of the house only confirmed she had found her new home. “I always sign everything ‘xx lola’,” says Shatat. With the help of her friend and designer Emily Johnson, the pair set out to create interiors reflecting her proclivity for fashion and femininity. Walking through the home, there are special touches around every corner. A custom pink lucite chandelier in the dining room pays tribute to her business – it was use of that material in necklaces, earrings, and bracelets that helped turn her side hustle into a multi-million-dollar company. Glass lavender door knobs enhance the exterior of a pair of French doors. There’s hand-applied gold leaf on the mouldings in the dining room, and hand marbling on the foyer walls. As Shatat says, there is “character in every nook and cranny.” A character herself, Shatat has stories associated with nearly every object or piece of art she’s collected. She’s quick to share sources and give credit to those who have helped her along the way, understanding the importance of collaboration. Gilded metal sconces from friends Lance Jackson and David Ecton of Parker Kennedy Living flank an abstract painting by Apex artist Cathy Martin in the dining room, and a pink painting from her Lumberton pal TomTom (whose collaboration with Moon & Lola on a jewelry and home accessories line debuts in January 2018) hangs above the living room sofa. As she talks, a constant stream of texts seem to confirm that she is, as she says, “the great connector.” On a recent sunny afternoon, she hosts a gathering for some women who work for her. Over lively conversation in the garden, Shatat raises her champagne glass for moment of gratitude: “To my Moon & Lola girls – and to pink!” And with that toast, Lola’s Happy House lives up to its name.


KELLY’S WORLD In the living room, a pink ombré painting by Shatat’s friend TomTom hangs above a sofa she bartered for Moon & Lola jewelry when her business was still fledgling. Mongolian sheepskin throws rest on a pair of X-base stools. The vintage velvet chair to their left was purchased from Charlotte Smith of Union Camp Collective. The mirrored console came from Palm Beach Revival.



CURATED COVETABLES Clockwise from top left: Shatat specified the custom pink colors for the acrylic prisms of the dining room chandelier. When it arrived unassembled, she put it together herself. The black lacquer kitchen has a jewelbox feel. A “She Shed” in her back garden has been transformed into a workout room. A menagerie of ceramic white animals take prominence in the breakfast room, a testament to her strong affinity for animals. A supporter of shopping local, she purchased the white upholstered chair, just shown in right foreground, from The Green Chair Project auction. In the library, Shatat’s keen fashion sense translates into striking compositions of treasures from family, friends, and travels. She says she her passion is to design handbags but chose jewelry because she could “figure it out.”


CHIC AND PINK Clockwise from top: Shatat’s bedroom is soft and feminine. A lucite and brass bed from Anthropologie was a new purchase for her home. Chinoiserie linen panels came from Canopy Designs Limited, and Steins Furniture and Lacquer Studio transformed the chest of drawers. Shatat’s jewelry cabinet, one of several in her dressing room, features a mix of vintage and Moon & Lola pieces. The star ottoman was her first purchase after college from the Spiegel catalog.


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AT THE table



remember partying in the ’80s. I was 4 and no taller than the hairy, high-socked legs of my grandparents’ friends. While many middleage couples elect to eventually slow down their social calendars, my dad’s parents were in no hurry to cease celebrating life. Or Passover, or the Super Bowl, or any other occasion that called for a six-foot-long sub sandwich and an open bar. As a child visiting my grandparents’ New Jersey home, I remember silently observing caterers as they scattered lastminute tufts of parsley over platters of lox moments before the first guests arrived. I remember my Uncle Mitch effortlessly snapping the cap off of a chilled Mexican lager and handing it to a nearby partygoer. I’m sure my family’s love of entertaining influenced the hostess I am today – well, that and my unbridled enthusiasm for eating and drinking. What I learned from my family is that the point of gathering is not just about where, it’s also about how we do it and what we designate as the star of

the show. For my grandparents, it was smoked salmon and everything bagels. Recently, for me, it’s beer. You read that right: I’ve been elevating dinner parties by thinking beyond what’s on the plate.

Bottle share

I’m a product of my generation, in that I’d rather spend my paycheck on an experience than a material good. I’ll take a trip instead of invest in a new car, and, on a smaller scale, maybe even pass up some new shoes to attend a local food truck festival. I also love to frequent craft breweries, a trend that’s seemingly here to stay. As interest in specialty microbrews grows, I’ve noticed another trend within it: Open a bottle, or order a pint, and pass it around among friends. It’s an informal take on beer flights. Translated to entertaining, my friends and I like to buy a bottle, open it at home, and share sips alongside appetizers. This is a way for hop-lovers, no matter particular preferences, to expand their brew knowledge and their palates. photographs by ANDREW SHERMAN


SPREAD OF PLENTY A cheese and charcuterie platter can pair with many styles of beer: stout, IPA, witbier, and winter spiced ales.


BEER SHARE MENU Cheese and charcuterie board with brown-sugar-ginger-pumpkin jam Pairs well with: spiced winter ale for the smoked meats and cheeses, creamy stout for a mild blue cheese such as Stilton, hazy American-style IPA with creamy Camembert-style cheeses, and witbier with fresh cheeses like goat Coconut, chili, and lime grilled chicken wings Pairs well with: cloudy, citrusy Belgian- style witbier, crisp pilsner, and fruity gose Sticky stout and molasses braised short ribs Pairs well with: Baltic porter Date, brie, and Nutella s’mores Pairs well with: bold barley wine

Here’s how to throw your own bottle-share soiree. First, instead of planning your menu and then selecting drinks to serve alongside courses, reverse the formula and begin with the booze. While you’ll want to choose the beers to complement the weather (no one craves a coffee milk stout in July), don’t get too boxed in. You won’t want only light ales in the summer or only dark styles in the winter. (You would still drink a smooth, light pinot noir with a filet in the spring, right?) Begin by learning a bit about the many beer varieties. Chose several familiar faces, like West Coast IPAs and porters, as well as novelties like a Berliner weisse or farmhouse ale to delight and unite novices and beer nerds alike. As the host, it’s your job to provide and pop a few bottles, but invite your guests to


bring one or a few for sharing, too. When it comes to pairing the cuisine, once again do your research – and I don’t just mean turn to Google. Start up a conversation with the bartender at a local bottle shop or brewery. They’ll likely let you taste-test, within reason, beer profiles you didn’t even know existed. Ask these experts what they would serve as a complement, and go from there. To get you on the right track, here is what I know: Spicy dishes require crisp, clean sips; dark flavors are balanced by sweet, caramelized, and charred; and spice marries well with smoke. As is always a good rule of thumb, make sure your menu covers a wide spectrum of flavors that spark the taste buds in different spots. If you can achieve this, everyone is practically

guaranteed to find a dish that elevates or uncovers complex characteristics of the brew they brought. Throw another log on the bonfire, because now is the time to break out winter warmer ales erupting with holiday aromas like clove. To kick things off for my chilly weather celebeer-ation, I start off with one of my favorite, practically effortless appetizers for a group: cheese and charcuterie. An elegant platter is an expert way to have a variety of pairings in one single dish. Take it up a notch by adding homemade brown-sugar-ginger-pumpkin jam. Did a friend bring a bold, full-bodied stout? Its residual sugar will magically match a buttery blue cheese’s salt. I recommend Stilton. For citrusy IPAs, their fruity bitterness will parallel the floral pungency of a stronger, slightly

funky, washed-rind cheese. Next up, I like to serve another crowd-pleaser: chicken wings. I bathe these handhelds in an unexpected blend of coconut milk, fresh chilies, and lime juice, bake until almost done, and then toss them onto the grill. No grill? Clear an indirect spot on your fire and finish them in a tinfoil package over the flames to achieve the same smoky essence. These fiery flavors need something fresh and citrusy to cool them down, and this is where your lighter styles come in handy. A cloudy Belgian-style witbier or a refreshing Pilsner will help to tame the heat. For a real treat, keep an eye out for gose, a salty, tart wheat beer usually spiced with coriander, especially one featuring Asian notes like ginger and lemongrass. Since it is the holidays, you might as well end with an indulgence and go beef or go home. I slow-braise thick slabs of short ribs in sticky molasses spiked with a stout, and then caramelize them on the grill for the win. The slightly bitter, robust flavor of a Baltic porter brings out the roasted malty flavor of the beer-infused meat. A few hours later, for dessert, replace traditional marshmallows in-between Nutella-slathered graham crackers for an oozy soft cheese like brie. Add sweet dates for a meaty chew, and wash it all down with a robust, toffee-scented barley wine. When the last sticky short rib has been cleaned and the final hop drops have disappeared, pat yourself on the back for thinking outside the basic dinner party box and pulling off a lively evening that brought people together. And of course, don’t forget a moment of gratitude for the ingredient that inspired it all. Here’s to the beer!

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CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE BOARD WITH BROWNSUGAR-GINGERPUMPKIN JAM For the board: 4 ounces fresh cheese, such as a local goat’s milk chevre 4 ounces sharp, aged cheese, such as manchego or Parmigiano-Reggiano, sliced into shards 4 ounces soft-ripened or semisoft cheese, such as Camembert

Place the pumpkin flesh into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer the purée to a medium saucepan over low heat, and add the juice and peel of the orange, the vanilla bean seeds, ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt. If mixture is too thick, thin with ¼ cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook until visibly thick, about 10 minutes. Remove the orange rind and serve the jam chilled or at room temperature. Yields 2-3 cups. Total recipe serves 12 - 14

4 ounces salty, pungent cheese, such as Stilton or Gorgonzola 4 ounces smoked cheese, such as Gouda or cheddar 4 ounces cured, hard sausage, such as sopressata, sliced 2 ounces whole-muscle cut meat, such as prosciutto, shaved crostini rounds, toasted

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crackers, for serving chunks of honeycomb (or a ramekin of honey) mixed olives For the jam: 1 ½ pounds baking pumpkins (or 1 15-ounce can pumpkin)


juice and peel of 1 orange

24 graham cracker squares

½ fresh vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out

1 cup hazelnut spread

1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground

½ cup pitted medjool dates, sliced thinly long-way

½ cup light brown sugar

1 cup orange marmalade

salt, to taste

Preheat a grill to medium heat (or your oven to 350 degrees).

Assemble meats and cheeses: On a large platter, arrange the cheeses and meats and decorate with crostini rounds, crackers, honeycomb, and olives. Serve the pumpkin jam, recipe follows, in a small ramekin with a serving spoon. Make the brown-sugarginger-pumpkin jam: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice off the pumpkins’ stems, cut them in half, and scoop out the seeds. Place them cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 45 to 60 minutes. When they’re cool enough to handle, scrape out the flesh.

12 thin slices of brie cheese

Lay out half of the graham cracker squares. Top each one with a smear of hazelnut spread, a slice of brie, and a few date slices. Spread the other graham cracker with orange marmalade and then place it jam-side down on the s’more. Wrap each s’more individually in a foil package and then place them on the grill (or in the oven). Cook until the brie is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 10 - 12 Find more recipes online at









WITH TIME Experimenting with aging whiskey by KEVIN BARRETT


hen I was a child, I received a chemistry set for Christmas. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world, and I was excited about its possibilities. I envisioned mixology of the sort you see on TV: I thought I was going to solve crimes with my sudden forensic aptitude. I thought I was going to be Batman. I planned to make smoke bombs and Batarangs…but Santa swindled me.

The picture on the front of the chemistry set box was of a boy wearing safety glasses, protective gloves, and a lab coat, to me the image of modern-day Archimedes in a eureka moment. Within the box, however, were instructions for me to combine sugar and water before dangling a string in the mixture to watch a crystal form. It took weeks. It was underwhelming. Did Batman do this?! I’m happy to report that after many years, while I’m still not Batman, I do

have a new chemistry set of sorts, and this one is no disappointment. Today I have a barrel instead of a test tube, and it’s full of whiskey instead of sugar water. Here’s an interesting scientific fact: Whiskey gets up to 80 percent of its flavor and all of its color from the barrel. My grown-up chemistry experiment is to play with this knowledge. Hypothesis 1: Whiskey served from a barrel will change in flavor after a few months. To test this hypothesis, I bought an entire barrel of Buffalo Trace Single Barrel Select bourbon and put it back in its original barrel to continue the aging process. I expected the liquor to have a slight but noticeable flavor change after a few months. It turns out, the whiskey changes much faster than hypothesized. A local photographs by KEITH ISAACS


DRINK bourbon club tasted from the barrel for several months, and some members detected changes after just two weeks. This is an important discovery for both bourbon lovers and craft cocktail bartenders. Hypothesis 2: Whiskey kept in a bottle will change in flavor if given enough time. Conventional wisdom holds that liquor doesn’t change in the bottle. But if you have a bottle from decades ago, I believe it will today exhibit nuanced new layers in its taste profile. I put this to the test by avidly acquiring a collection of antique whiskies. Sure enough, there is a distinct bottle aging. What happens to whiskey is not comparable to what happens to wine, but it most certainly gets better and richer with time. This holiday season, consider asking friends and families for whiskies of the past and sampling them along with their modern-day versions (try Wild Turkey 8 Year from the ’80s next to Wild Turkey 101 Proof bought today). History and

nightcaps make a fine duo and a rewarding experiment: The result might not be hard science or a Batarang, but it sure beats rock candy. A LOVELY VIEW OF HEAVEN Barrett’s barrel-aged Buffalo Trace is available at his whiskey bar, Dram & Draught. You can request this offthe-menu cocktail there through the new year. Or make it at home: 2 ounces Buffalo Trace Single Barrel Select (available locally at Dram & Draught) ½ ounce coffee (hot or cold brew) ½ ounce honey 4 - 5 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters lemon zest, for garnish Combine all ingredients in mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 15 - 25 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with lemon zest.

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ARTIST’S spotlight

A PERFECT MESS Potter Gretchen Quinn creates freehand designs in her downtown Raleigh studio.




Artist Susan Woodson, right, who creates expressive abstract paintings, collaborated with designer Lisa Hoang, left, to create a line of kimonos based on Woodson’s paintings. Both wear kimonos from the collection; Woodson’s features the bird from the painting behind her across its back.

BEAUTY Gretchen Quinn’s minimalist pottery is meant to be used by IZA WOJCIECHOWSKA photographs by JULI LEONARD


TAKE THE WHEEL Gretchen Quinn teaches wheel and hand-building pottery classes at N.C. State’s Crafts Center and the Pullen Arts Center. Quinn does not use templates to imprint her pieces, pictured below. She etches the patterns by hand.


retchen Quinn doesn’t shy away from messiness. She picks her daughter up from school with smudges on her face, and her puppy visits her pottery studio only to leave with his fur stained red from playing in the clay that’s strewn about. For Quinn, mess is just a necessary part of the process, the long road from rough clay to finished pot. “For a long time, it is not glamorous – there’s just dirt everywhere and everything’s under plastic,” she says. “But then when you get to the end of the process, and you take everything out of the kiln, and you line it up on the shelves, it’s incredibly satisfying. I love the thought that I can make something, and people will buy it, and it makes them happy.” Quinn’s final product is not messy. She makes minimalist pottery with a characteristic white glaze and geometric etchings. The large windows of her brightly lit Boylan Heights studio are lined with mugs, bowls, plates, trays, and vases marked with dots, vertical lines, chevrons, or understated petal-like patterns. They’re homey, welcoming, and meticulously crafted, and the mix of patterns mesh into a complementary collection. The appealing simplicity and neutral color palette makes this pottery an ideal blank canvas for flowers, dinner parties, or kitchen shelves. In fact, part of what drives Quinn is making sure the pieces she makes are functional and down-to-earth. “I like to make things you can use,” she says. “I don’t intend (a bowl) to be something super-special that you’ll leave on a shelf. I want people to be eating out of it and mixing in it and enjoying it.”

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Evolution Quinn began making pottery in college, when she studied sculpture at Providence College in Rhode Island. She then moved to Seattle, where she worked as a graphic designer and continued making pottery on the side. But when her husband’s job (and the prospect of nice weather) brought Quinn to Raleigh four years ago, pottery finally became a full-time endeavor for her. She supplements it by teaching wheel and hand-building pottery classes at N.C. State’s Crafts Center and the Pullen Arts Center. Though she’s always been drawn to making “clean, functional, thoughtful shapes,” Quinn’s pottery has evolved over the years, a result of both practicality and of her maturing aesthetic. She used to experiment with colors in her work and incorporate lace imprints. When she moved into her studio in Raleigh, she began using a single clay body and a single glaze, because it was easier to find and more affordable. She intended to go this practical route for just a year, until she got settled, but the techniques stuck. Now her narrow focus on materials unifies her work and distinguishes her among Triangle potters. Her designs also grew tighter and simpler. She identified ideal shapes for her pottery, ones that allowed her to move past a phase where she “could not sell a mug to save (her) soul.” She abandoned lace in favor of hand-etched designs that are rooted in her upbringing. Growing up in New England in the 1970s, Quinn’s world was filled with Scandinavian design, minimalist Shaker furniture, and floral Marimekko prints. She combined the clean lines and prints from these influences, toned them down a bit, and added her own graphic design aesthetic to land at her distinctive patterns.

‘Hands touched it’ She etches the patterns into her pottery freehand. Apart from deciding which design a certain bowl or vase will receive, she doesn’t use templates or plan extensively. She just begins: dots down the middle spaced out approximately so; a chevron design lining a tray, perhaps an extra little line here, a larger

space there, or a quilt-like petal pattern circling a mug. Doing it this way isn’t always perfect. Lines don’t always connect on the other side of a bowl, or a circle isn’t perfectly round, or dots aren’t always the same size. But these “flaws,” if one wants to call them that, are all part of the process, part of the beauty of the art. “It makes it obvious that hands touched it,” Quinn says. “Even if it’s not the most beautiful piece you’ve ever

FUNCTIONAL SCULPTURE Quinn designs her work, an array of distinct but complementary styles, to be used in daily life.

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017-18 | 101

seen, you can tell that somebody worked on it instead of it being factory-made and in a store with 10,000 that look exactly like it.” In part, Quinn credits her move to Raleigh with her ability to thrive as an artist. She delights in the vibrant and welcoming pottery community here, in her deep-dive into teaching (which she says also makes her a better artist), and in the people she encounters at craft markets and art walks who love her work, who want her bowls and vases and plates in their homes. Quinn still seems surprised every time someone wants to buy her work, still shocked that she’s been able to develop her hobby into a true career. But she’s already thinking ahead to new projects: She hopes to add lamps to her existing collection in the coming months, and she might even dip into color again.

INSPIRATION Designer Lisa Hoang poses in a kimono she made from silk printed with an image of the Susan Woodson painting behind her.

Quinn’s work can be found locally at NOFO @ the Pig and Visual Art Exchange;


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WELL READ The woman behind the Mini Page

Betty Debnam Hunt

photographs by MADELINE GRAY

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Pictures at an Exhibition FRI/SAT, JAN 12-13 | 8PM by ELIZABETH LINCICOME

Rune Bergmann, conductor Friday Concert Sponsor: Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown


etty Debnam’s zest for lifelong learning is contagious. “I feel very strongly that elementary education begins at any age,” Debnam says. “It can begin at age seven or eight, or at age 78, and that is essentially why I started the Mini Page.”

After 48 years, the weekly educational newspaper supplement founded by Debnam in 1969 continues to be a favorite of not just young readers, but also their teachers and parents. The Mini Page is loved for its snappy writing, its endearing illustrations, its fun-yet-educational games and puzzles, and its approachable recipes. It’s the right mix, and its 88-yearold creator remains insightful, affable, and young-at-heart at home in Raleigh today. “The Mini Pages tried to bring a caliber of education that had not yet existed in newspapers.”

Creative sell The first edition of the Mini Page ran Aug. 29, 1969, with a back-to-school theme that included a profile of Los Angeles Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel and a Faces in the News section asking readers to identify a photo of Spiro Agnew, the 39th U.S. vice president. Today, the pages’ subject matter remains diverse and indemand. The supplement is now syndicated through Universal Uclick and published in over 500 papers nationally and internationally, including in the Sunday News & Observer on the back of the Work and Money section. But in the beginning, it had a much smaller circulation, and it was Debnam’s hard work that created a product with

staying power. Debnam moved to Raleigh at the age of 12 and attended Saint Mary’s School and UNC-Chapel Hill before earning a master’s in education from Duke. She was working locally as a first and second grade reading teacher when she thought up the Mini Page. While serving on a social studies committee for city schools, “we were discussing the idea of offering a mini-unit for teachers and children,” Debnam says. She calls the Mini Page a “boiled down” version of the committee’s notion. “I would write it for kids, but it would be useful for teachers and parents, as well, because it was so easy to understand. It would also be useful for older kids or even adults who found reading the newspaper to be a challenge.” Her end goal, she says, was to raise the bar: to first capture young students’ interest, and then to “build their background knowledge about subjects that everyone needs to know to solve real-world problems and become curious citizens.” Debnam took her idea to the News & Observer. Then-co-publisher Frank Daniels Jr. liked the idea, and so did then-editor Claude Sitton; but first Debnam had to sell it to head of advertising (and later associate publisher) Dave Jones. Debnam approached revenue with a children-first approach: She proposed illustrated ads. Early Mini Pages included characters representing certain businesses: Frankie and Frances Furter sold hotdogs to represent Jesse Jones Hotdogs, Mickey and Minnie Mouse sold pianos to represent Maus Piano. Her idea proved innovative. “No one had ever seen these types of drawings,” Debnam says. And it worked. Debnam’s ads were so successful that by 1977, the Mini Page no longer needed advertiser support, and that’s when Universal Press Syndicate picked it up.

Few works match Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for orchestral color and sonic impact— paired here with Beethoven’s cheerful Symphony No. 4.

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Plan Your Ever After

LEGACY A photo of Betty Debnam’s grandmother, Birdie Speight Debnam, sits in her studio. Birdie Debnam ran the newspaper in Snow Hill, and Betty Debnam credits her family’s involvement in the news industry as one of the main reasons she decided to start the Mini Page.

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Meanwhile, today Debnam and Jones remain close friends. “I owe Dave Jones so much because he was my first mentor and gave me my first opportunity. He continues to be a great, great friend.”

Turning the page Debnam says she met many of her close friends through the Mini Pages. She even met her late husband, Col. Richard Hunt, when he was passing through Raleigh. Hunt had spent years as a reporter at the News & Observer, and on a return visit the two met. By 1978, Debnam moved to Washington, D.C. with Hunt, where he served as a military advisor to former Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Through the years, living in both Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, she has received all sorts of fan mail and letters of gratitude from those she has touched through the Mini Pages. She considers their authors

close friends, too. Among them, Don Graham, former publisher of The Washington Post wrote: “Dear Betty: Thank you, thank you. The color Mini Page is the only aspect of the ‘new’ comics no one criticizes.” A young Raleigh admirer wrote: “Dear Candy Can Do (the character representing First Citizens Bank): I like the Mini Page very much. My mother says that getting up early on Sunday morning to read the Mini Page helps me to get to church on time. If there were a mini paper every day, maybe I could get up early on school days, too. Please send me seven Peter Max covers for my books.” For about a decade, Debnam was the sole writer and editor of the Mini Pages. She eventually added a few other staff members, though never more than a handful. Running a newsroom, albeit an intimate one, came naturally to her, she says, because she comes from a › continued on p.127

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HELPING OTHERS Hunter Ronnie Dew gives every deer he kills to N.C. Hunters for the Hungry.

DEER DONORS N.C. Hunters for the Hungry by HAMPTON WILLIAMS HOFER photographs by JACLYN MORGAN


t food banks and soup kitchens around North Carolina, where canned carrots and cereal abound, a better option for protein is increasingly filling the freezers: ground venison. The meat is donated and harvested by a nonprofit called North Carolina Hunters

108 | WALTER

for the Hungry: The group encourages licensed hunters to donate deer meat, which is then processed locally and distributed to hungry North Carolinians. Most of the meat comes from the state’s abundance of whitetail deer. As the deer population creeps beyond a million, adverse side effects such as crop damage and deer-auto

collisions intensify. N.C. Hunters for the Hungry provides a way to utilize surplus meat and also alleviate statewide hunger. “The program is a success due to its network of support, including hunters, meat processors, donors, food relief organizations, and volunteers. All deer harvest, processing, and distribution occurs at the local level,” says Dr. Liz Rutledge, a N.C. Wildlife Federation wildlife specialist and N.C. Hunters for the Hungry board member. Deer are capable of diminishing crops from corn to cotton and cost farmers millions of dollars annually in crop degradation. Consequently, many farmers are forced to kill the deer themselves, often resulting in a wasted natural resource. Thanks to N.C. Hunters for the Hungry, the animal is harvested into a thick roll of meat marked

SHARING THE BOUNTY Reverend Steve Stephenson and Gary Farmer pass out donated venison at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church’s food panty in Wilson, N.C.

“wild game.” It looks a lot like hamburger meat and can be used mostly the same way – for chili, tacos, lasagna. Last year, over 1,000 deer were donated and processed, resulting in more than 20 tons of ground venison distributed to hunger relief organizations around the state. The organization utilizes existing food distribution systems like women’s shelters and church pantries to disperse the venison. Ronnie Dew, a hunter from Wilson, North Carolina, gives every deer he kills to N.C. Hunters for the Hungry. “Somebody once gave me the ultimate gift,” says Dew, who underwent a heart transplant twelve years ago. “After almost four months in the hospital, I got to get back to hunting, and when I heard about the program, I knew it was a way I could help others.”

Dew, who, along with his family, donated 22 deer last year (deer he helped keep away from the runway at the Wilson airport), attends a church where the food pantry is stocked with venison. Every third Saturday of the month, he gets to see the real individuals – veterans, mothers with children, people with disabilities – who come in and benefit from his efforts. “We always tell them it’s deer meat,” says Dew of the recipients, many of whom have never tasted venison and are often dubious, “and then they’ll come back asking, ‘got any more of that deer meat?’ the next time.” Ten statewide drop-off sites accept donated deer, field-dressed with the skin on (hunters unable to cool or transport their deer can utilize the program’s mobile

cooler). The deer are then processed at one of thirteen meat processors – who also accept donations directly – as far west as Yancey County and as far east as Beaufort County. An effort is made to return the processed venison back to the region from which the deer was harvested. It costs about a dollar per pound to produce deer burger meat, and one pound can provide more than four meals. Funding for that meat processing comes from grants, as well as donations from individuals, businesses, and civic groups. A new donation site in Lillington seeks to collect more than 30 deer this year. That’s 5,000 protein-rich meals for people in need. “There has been no hesitation from the hunters,” says Judy Gardner, who serves with her husband

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017-18 | 109

GIVERS Guy as site manager of the South Wake Conservationist N.C. Hunters for the Hungry donation site. “In fact, no less than 15 hunting groups have agreed to set aside at least one day this season to support the new site. The enthusiasm generated promises that we’ll be busy through to the end of this deer season in December.” So far, 310 pounds of venison have been collected in Lillington alone. Board member Rutledge, who works more on the deer collection side of the program, recalls a letter from a venison recipient last year who expressed heartfelt thanks for the program – a reminder that the benefits extend beyond the hunting community and touch the lives of real, local people in need. Deer donated to N.C. Hunters for the

Hungry account for less than 1 percent of the number of deer harvested in North Carolina annually, so there is plenty of room to grow. Organic lean meat, which is often expensive and a rarity at most food banks, could soon be within reach for all North Carolinians. The program man-

dates that donated deer are harvested and reported in accordance with the rules of the N.C .Wildlife Resources Commission. Even within all the legal regulations and a limited deer season (two or three months, depending on location and weapon), many hunters end up with more deer than they need, or enjoy the sport and want to help control deer populations. It’s all good news: for farmers, meat processors, hunters, and especially for the roughly one in six North Carolinians who does not know the source of his or her next meal. “Donors report satisfaction with involvement, and recipients express sincere gratitude for the help,” says Dick Hamilton, the nonprofit’s president. “It’s truly a win-win situation.”

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An EVENING with Bob



ACCLAIMED REALIST PAINTER, DESIGNER, AND AUTHOR Bob Timberlake filled the house at WALTER’s autumn gathering. On the brisk evening of Oct. 25, 110 Timberlake fans convened at 214 Martin Street in downtown’s historic City Market to hear his stories: about life, about painting, about the outdoors, and about North Carolina. The room at Cobblestone Hall welcomed both outdoors and art lovers. Many of them, Timberlake included, drove some distance to be there. Also among them was award-winning outdoors writer T. Edward Nickens, whose book, Bob Timberlake’s Letter to Home, was published in April. Nickens led the evening’s program, a candid conversation about their shared love of the outdoors, people, and Southern craft. “This is North Carolina’s artist laureate,” Nickens said.

112 | WALTER

photographs by JILL KNIGHT

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017-18 | 113

“Painting is like reading the best book you’ve ever read. You’re telling stories.” –Bob Timberlake

After a meal of Western-style barbecue, a nod to Lexington, North Carolina, where Timberlake calls home, Timberlake shared the inspiration behind many of his iconic paintings. His work is celebrated for its attention to detail, a style he says offers time to meditate on each scene and subject. “My job was to watch shadows move over blackberries,” he said of one particular piece. Although he’s painted all of his life, Timberlake recieved no formal training and said he was 30 before he saw an original piece of art. Since then, and with guidance from his mentor Andrew Wyeth, the 80-year-old’s work has been exhibited at galleries nationwide. Timberlake is also a skilled furniture designer. His World of Bob Timberlake furniture collection is considered among the most successful in the history of furniture manufacturing. He 114 | WALTER

WALTER editor Jessie Ammons

At left: The prototype cherry wood dresser Bob Timberlake designed to launch his first licensed furniture collection Above: Wares from presenting sponsor Great Outdoor Provision Company

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017-18 | 115 NOVEMBER 2016 | 115

outdoors writer Eddie Nickens

donated the prototype cherry wood dresser that helped him launch that collection to the N.C. Museum of History, and it was on display at 214 Martin Street during the event. Timberlake’s warm candor left many audience members feeling as if they were spending an evening in the artist’s home. Whenever a guest asked about one of his dozens of awards and accolades, Timberlake would weave an answer out of an endearing tale. “It’s not our talents in life that make us successful, sometimes, it’s our choices.”

116 | WALTER

YOU HAVE UNIQUE REAL ESTATE CHALLENGES. WE’VE GOT ONE-OF-A-KIND SOLUTIONS. Leveraging Trinity Partners’ multidisciplinary method and carefully cultivated industry relationships, our specialized professionals are accomplished at finding creative solutions to complex needs. Overseeing every last detail, not only do we arrive at the best solution, we find the best way of getting there. One thing is certain: Timberlake’s love of the rural South and of the outdoors underlies his art, his designs, his businesses, his volunteerism, and his free time. The evening was made possible by the presenting sponsorship of Great Outdoor Provision Company. Lonerider Brewing Company, Raleigh Brewing Company, and Trophy Brewing tapped the suds; Westgate Wine poured the vino; TOPO organic spirits created a delightful menu of craft cocktails; and 214 Martin Street prepared the stick-to-your ribs meal (menu at left). Green Front Interiors provided a handsome setting for Nickens and Timberlake’s conversation; and Attended Events brought the audiovisual and lighting to life. Timberlake remained long after the event ended, signing copies of his books and chatting with guests who had already become friends.

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SATURDAY DECEMBER 2, 2017 10:30AM – 7:30PM Join WALTER magazine as we visit Kinston and take an exclusive look into award-winning Chef Vivian Howard’s world! Guests will spend the day with Vivian, learning how to make the perfect Southern biscuit followed by a private four-course lunch at Chef & the Farmer. You will end your evening with a viewing of husband Ben Knight’s artwork at Gallery 105, while sipping signature cocktails and dining at Vivian’s food truck. All guests will receive an autographed copy of Vivian’s bestselling cookbook, Deep Run Roots. Limited tickets available; for more information please visit supported by

courtesy Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner


ZOOCRÜ performs for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner


he Whirl is WALTER’s roundup of local happenings. From store openings to fundraisers, big galas, intimate gatherings, and everything in between, The Whirl has got it covered.

PAGE/PARTIES 120 Share the Pie 121 Gentleman’s Ride 122 Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner 123 Synergy Day Spa’s 15th anniversary 124 David Yurman at Bailey’s Fine Jewelry 125 ArtSource reception

Submissions for upcoming issues are accepted on WALTER’s website at

126 UNC REX Healthcare Cary anniversary 126 The Green Chair Sweetest Dreams event

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017-18 | 119

It’s the time of year when everyone’s having a Conniption.

Elizabeth Outten SHARE THE PIE KICKOFF PARTY Share the Pie kicked off the season at St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar Oct. 28. 100 partygoers enjoyed pie bites baked by restaurants including Boulted Bread, 18 Seaboard, Carroll’s Kitchen, Royale Raleigh, Mandolin, and K & W Cafeterias; and tunes from DJs Joe Bunn and Colin Bunn. Share the Pie is a Thanksgiving fundraiser supporting Alliance Medical Ministry and StepUp Ministry’s efforts to build stable families through employment and health care.

Ashton Smith , Doug Warf

With more than 15 international awards, Conniption is the world’s top-rated Navy Strength gin and the pride of Durham Distillery, named one of USA Today’s top three gin distilleries for the second year in a row. Conniption gins offer a botanical twist on traditional distillation methods for a balance of art and science. Shake up your holiday with the Conniption of your choice: Navy Strength or American Dry. Available at ABC stores and fine dining establishments throughout the Triangle. Kristi Koren, Ben Koren

Kristen Fitzgerald, Marisa Bryant, Lyn Maness

Carryl Tinsley, Natalie Holdstock

Mary Burr Edwards, Val Edwards

Alderson Neira

Alderson Neira, Jake Wolf

Stephen Sellars, Kait Gorman, Cassidy Vail

Mike Ferrell

THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN’S RIDE During Ray Price Capital City Bikefest Sept. 24, 95 Raleigh bikers participated in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. The national effort unites over 70,000 riders across more than 600 cities and 95 countries to raise funds for prostate cancer and men’s mental health. This year’s riders raised over 4.5 million dollars to support the Movember Foundation.

Chad Hamon, Nicholas Schiavarelli, Kait Gorman, Cassidy Vail, Mike Ferrell, Stephen Sellars, Jake Wolf, Alderson Neira

John King Cassidy Vail

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GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER Guess Who? Nov. 2 - 4 brought three nights of thematic dinners to Raleigh homes and businesses, including the home of Martha and Paul Michaels, Whitaker and Atlantic, The Executive Mansion, and The Cardinal at North Hills. Over 400 guests mingled with local artists at each event, all while raising support for the nonprofit United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County’s Artists in Schools program. The program integrates arts and education and benefits 140 Wake County K-12 Schools with 147,000 hours of programming each year.

Ryan Shuirman, Joel Holloway, Yolanda Rabun, Danielle Shuirman Gov. Roy Cooper, Yolanda Rabun, First Lady Kristen Cooper

Georgia Donaldson, Anne Bullard, Joyce Watkins King Thomas Sayre, Bob Rankin

Frances Morgan, Melinda Taylor, Joan Ellen Deck

Jen Bireline, Paul Michaels, Martha Michaels Don Carll, Michelle Carll

Brooke Bryand, Kendall Felix

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courtesy Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Andra Willis Photography

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Bloomsbury Band Pat Shuirman, Sara Jo Manning

Dr. Stewart Collins, Anna Churchill

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courtesy Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (GUESS); courtesy Synergy Day Spa (SYNERGY)

SYNERGY SPA & AESTHETICS ANNIVERSARY Synergy celebrated 13 years of beauty and wellness with their clients and team members at the spa Nov. 9. The night included complimentary services while guests enjoyed live music and bottomless champagne.

Carmen Felder, Kourtney Whicker, Christie Werner, Ashley Hathaway

Ruth Barnett, Ann Smith


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JULY 24 29



BAILEY’S FINE JEWELRY WELCOMES DAVID YURMAN Bailey’s Fine Jewelry welcomed 300 guests Oct. 21 to a personal appearance by world-renowned jewelry designer David Yurman. A portion of all proceeds benefited the North Carolina Museum of Art. David Yurman, Margarita Allen

Angela Keely White, David Yurman, Meghan Grant


North Hills Raleigh Adjacent to Renaissance Hotel 919-788-4200

Susah Prochnow, Claire Bellefeuille, David Yurman, Anne Siceloff, Kelly Crisp

Cindy Bailey, David Yurman

courtesy Bailey’s Fine Jewelry

Jane Bailey, David Yurman, Clyde Bailey

Jean Hughes, Kate Marshburn

Jane Faudree

Sharon Digiulio, Nancy McClure

Sharon Tharrington, Allison Chambers, Charlotte Foust, Nancy McClure

ARTSOURCE RECEPTION ArtSource featured Charlotte artists Allison Chambers and Charlotte Foust in September and October. 120 guests attended the opening reception Sept. 28 to meet the two painters, who share a passion for landscapes and for layers, texture, and a complementary color palette. Sharon Digiulio, Charlotte Foust, Jane Faudree


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20TH ANNIVERSARY OF UNC REX HEALTHCARE’S CARY CAMPUS UNC REX Healthcare celebrated the 20th Anniversary of its Cary campus Sept. 22. The 50 guests included UNC REX co-workers and surrounding community members. UNC REX Healthcare president Steve Burriss, Cary mayor pro tempore Ed Yerha, and Cary town councillor Lori Bush planted an honorary Eastern Red Bud tree donated by the Conservation Fund to celebrate the milestone.

David Wolfe, Jen-Ai Notman, Jackie Craig, John Replogle

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Kim Shirley, Jamie Diamonstein, Kim Glenn, Debbie Ratliff

THE GREEN CHAIR SWEETER DREAMS EVENT The Green Chair Project held a special event Oct. 17 to accept a donation of 110 new beds from Leesa Sleep. Board members from The Green Chair Project and Leesa Sleep attended the event that included a storytime with 10 children from a local preschool who will receive new beds through the Sweeter Dreams Bed Program. The Green Chair Project will deliver the beds to 110 Wake County students who do not have a bed of their own.

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WHITEHALL ANTIQUES › continued from p.106

long line of journalists. Debnam’s grandfather started the Greene County Standard Laconic in Snow Hill, North Carolina; her grandmother ran the paper; and her father later became a reporter there, as well as an editor and a television commentator. She also remained a teacher at heart, and letters like the one above to Candy Can Do bolstered her. “Trust me I loved it. There is no way I could have kept going for 37 years if I had not loved it.” When Col. Hunt passed in 2007, Debnam sold the Mini Pages to Universal Press and returned to Raleigh. She donated all of the archives from 1969 - 2007 to the Southern Historical Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill, where they are free and downloadable online. She still reads the current Mini Pages. “I think they are doing a good job with it.” The institution she founded remains invaluable in the classroom. Lacy Elementary School second-grade teacher Joy Ingallinera says she has taught the page for years. “I use the Mini Pages in my second-grade classroom to create a scavenger hunt questionnaire, in order to strengthen reading and comprehension skills. The students also love reading about what other students at various schools are doing.” Debnam has won numerous awards and honors, including from the Newspaper Association of America, the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame, the Newspapers in Education (NIE) Hall of Fame, the American Library Association, the American Chemical Society, the Freedom Foundation, and the Department of the Interior. Beyond the awards, Debnam’s legacy is her vision, nearly 50 years ago, to use newspapers to develop elementary reading skills. She hopes they will continue to do so, she says, because the Mini Page’s themes are evergreen. “These topics are still relevant today and will be for some time. The reality is, one issue of the Mini Page has as much information as a single children’s book.”

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The WALTER Scribo The answers to the following clues are in this issue. Happy reading!

ACROSS 2. This spot of downtown land is a whopping 307.9 acres 5. Catch this house-made liquor next time you’re at Dram & Draught 6. Send your holiday guests to this new hotel on Centennial Campus 7. The Broughton High _______ Club isn’t really interested in math 8. N.C. Hunters for the Hungry donate this meat to charity DOWN 1. Head outdoors on New Year’s Day to do this at one of our many local parks 3. Watch Ira David Wood III in this classic holiday tale 4. This fruit is Raleigh’s newest method of transportation

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FEBRUARY 2018 The Travel Issue Roadtrip Winston-Salem’s food scene

Learning the ropes Raleigh’s canopy park

Epic climb Traversing Mount Kilimanjaro

Field Guide to River Dunes

Corner of East Chatham St. and Maynard Rd.



Spin a

David Menconi, News&Observer



here’s a new mural downtown featuring blues singer and North Carolina native Nina Simone. The explosion of color plastered across the exterior wall of the Raleigh Convention Center is made entirely of yarn, a mosaic of 2-foot-by-2-foot squares stitched by community members last summer. The 40-foot-by-20-foot final mural is the third in a nationwide public art series called Love Across America by Polish-born artist Olek. Olek is best known for her eclectic crocheted installation that covered the bronze Wall Street bull in New York City. She came to Raleigh in honor of Tryon, North Carolina-born Simone: The late singer was recently nominated to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and Olek hopes the art will encourage fans to vote for her inclusion. The yarn will only stand the weather for so long: This local vision of Love is expected to hang through the early spring. –Catherine Currin;

130 | WALTER

We love what we do. Almost as much as who we do it for. WakeMed Children’s Emergency Department. We’re a highly skilled team of experienced physicians, nurses, therapists and techs who treat kids like kids. Not like pint-size adults. And we do it in a special place designed just for them. Where everything we do for these one-of-a-kind patients is backed by WakeMed Children’s, the community’s only children’s hospital. The result is child-friendly, child-approved emergency care from people who really know how to care for kids. And it shows. To learn more, visit WakeMed Children’s Emergency Department I 3000 New Bern Avenue I Raleigh NC 27610

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