WALTER Magazine - July/August 2019

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Volume VII, Issue 10 JULY/AUGUST 2019

Eamon Queeney (SHOP); Smith Hardy (TENNIS)




NOTED: Bringing Home Burning Man Mind-shifting art in the desert




GIGS: Not ‘Normal’ Justin LeBlanc’s story as art


Letter from WALTER


NOTED: Say Tomato An ode to summer’s best fruit




Your Feedback


SHOP: Treasure Hunt Pigfish Lane celebrates one year


Happening Now


LOCALS: Dialogue Starter Danya Perry on equitable growth


GIVERS: A Sport that Serves Abilities Tennis for fitness and friends


SAVOR: Veg Out No need for meat at The Fiction Kitchen

115 The Whirl

Carson Vargas


130 End Note

On the cover: A Place at the Table meal tokens held by founder Maggie Kane; photography by Joshua Steadman


Juli Leonard (Farmers Market); Becky Joye (Painting)



94 12 | WALTER


SETTING A PLACE Maggie Kane’s pay-what-you-can restaurant serves the community by Hampton Williams Hofer photography by Joshua Steadman


BUILDING A BEACON A partnership between the YMCA, Wake County and Southeast Raleigh Promise creates a new model for education and wellness by Catherine Currin photography by Bob Karp


FARM FRESH A visual tour through the market by Catherine Currin photography by Juli Leonard


THE JOYE OF ART Becky Joye’s playful structures by Samantha Gratton photography by S.P. Murray

100 MODERN MASTERPIECE A Cary couple builds an indooroutdoor retreat by Ayn-Monique Klahre photography by Catherine Nguyen

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In May, WALTER visited A Chef’s Life stars Vivian Howard and Miss Lillie in the Kinston test kitchen. Learn more about our trip on page 116.


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his month, we feature people and projects that are paving new ways to support our community. In Setting a Place (pg. 68), Maggie Kane shared the experiences that led her to create pay-what-you-can restaurant A Place at the Table, a downtown venue that’s been getting buzz as much for its breakfast and lunch fare as it has for its business model. On another side of town, the YMCA—along with partners Wake County Public Schools and Southeast Raleigh Promise—is building a first-ofits-kind facility that will combat intergenerational poverty through education, housing, wellness support and more (Building a Beacon, pg. 74). And you’ll be interested to meet Danya Perry: in a newly created role, he’s fostering conversation around making Raleigh’s growth help all people (Conversation Starter, pg. 58). We’re proud to share the good work they’re doing in our pages. Of course, our pages are also filled with delicious, joyful, thoughtful and straight-up beautiful stories that are good works in their own right. A tomato expert weighs in on summer’s signature fruit (pg. 52), NCMA marketing director Marjorie Hodges shares her experience at Burning

Man (it’s not what you think—pg. 66) and a designer gives us a peek into a modern Cary home that’s all about working those angles (pg. 100). Plus, we caught up with fashion designer Justin LeBlanc on a stint back in Raleigh for a solo exhibition at CAM (pg. 50). Beware: This is a double issue, so you won’t find a new magazine in your mailbox come the first of August—but online, you can always find fresh content! Head to for even more good stories, including interviews with local players, concert photography and more to keep you tuned in to the city you love.

Ayn-Monique Klahre Editor P. S. It may be months away, but our annual WINnovation summit will be here before you know it! Head to page 113 to learn more about the women who will be sharing their experiences this year.











Advertising Sales Manager JULIE NICKENS


Senior Account Executive & Operations CRISTINA HURLEY

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Contributing Writers

Advertising Coordinator ROBIN KENNEDY

Address all correspondence to: WALTER Magazine, 421 Fayetteville St., Suite 104 Raleigh, NC 27601




JULY/AUGUST 2019 Published 10 times a year by The News & Observer Publishing Co. A McClatchy Company

WALTER does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Please contact Ayn-Monique Klahre 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.

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Breathing space Triangle Yoga

Hillsborough Riverwalk

From aerial yoga to brunch al fresco, there’s no one way to experience Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, and Carrboro. Find what you love, or discover something new. Whatever you do here, just do you. Acme Food & Beverage Co.




W R I TE R A creative professional with deep experience in marketing, public relations, development, art consulting and community engagement, Hodge’s most recent work has been with the North Carolina Museum of Art and CAM Raleigh. Her passion for arts, culture and community, as well as experience in contemporary art and exhibition planning, contribute to her effectiveness as an arts leader and community catalyst. This month, she shared her mindshaping experience with the art and environment at Burning Man.

P HOTO GR A PH ER Leonard has been a photojournalist for 19 years and has spent the majority of her career at The News & Observer. She resides in Raleigh with her daughter, partner and two naughty dogs. She believes that farmers markets are always a delight to photograph, with ample visual opportunities between the beautiful fresh food, farmers and diverse crowds.

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JOSHUA STEADMAN / P HOTO G R A P HE R Says Steadman: “I try to bring the same transformative energy to all my work, whether it’s a doc on an Israeli athlete’s Olympic dreams or a television spot about a new Krispy Kreme doughnut. Before our shoot, I didn’t know much about this pay-what-you-can cafe in downtown Raleigh, and nothing at all about Maggie Kane, its founder and executive director. During our session at the café, she was stopped multiple times for hugs—from patrons, volunteers, co-workers and passersby—and handled it all with such a routine exuberance you could tell it was a daily, probably hourly, occurrence. Maggie has such an incredible drive to help, and to lift up, that it fuels everyone around her. She truly embodies that bit of script on her left wrist with grace.”

W R I TE R LeHoullier is a gardener known as NC Tomatoman, and the author of Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varities of All Time. He shared his thoughts on diverse tomato varieties just in time for the fruit’s peak season. “For me, tomatoes—or gardening techniques, or heirlooms—are vehicles that I utilize to excite my readers with the ultimate goal of simply growing gardeners. Writing about tomatoes puts me in such an energized mood, hopeful of the harvests, teachings and meals to come. Having grown so many different varieties of tomatoes, I just hope that my piece will inspire gardeners to try something new and different.”

Courtesy contributors (HODGES, LEONARD, STEADMAN); Ben McKeown (LEHOULLIER)

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courtesy Dorothea Dix Park


SUNFLOWER CITY Dorothea Dix Park sets acres a-bloom


crowd favorite is back at Dix Park: a sea of sunflowers. For the second time, the City of Raleigh has planted thousands of the perky plants on a five-acre field at Dix Park off of Hunt Drive, open for all to enjoy from dawn to dusk. The idea grew out of a patch of sunflowers first planted along the Neuse River Greenway Trail in 2010 as an environmental initiative by the City of Raleigh to harvest seeds to create biodiesel. The photogenic spot became so popular that last year, the City decided to go bigger, right in the heart of downtown. Catch the sunflowers while you can: peak bloom is from July 4 to July 17, and the flowers will be visible for about one


week afterwards. A popular time to visit is just before sunset, when the “golden hour” lighting lends itself to flattering portraits (see: the more than three million social media hits the phenomenon garnered last year). On Saturday, July 13 Dix Park will be hosting Destination SunFest to draw crowds to the field. The event will include a Ferris wheel and carousel, food trucks, craft vendors, live music and a special fireworks display at the end of the night, all for free. —Sasha Schroeder For more information, visit

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MOVIES IN THE GARDEN Gaze on all the stars in July at the Louise “Scottie” Stephenson Amphitheatre. Raleigh Little Theatre’s Movies in the Garden ‘19 presents Mary Poppins Returns July 11; Bohemian Rhapsody July 18 and Beetlejuice July 25. This family-friendly flick-fest is free. Come early and enjoy food truck fare and on-site concessions, including adult beverages from Raleigh Brewing. Outside food and beverages are prohibited; all you need are a blanket and your favorite movie-watching companions. 8:30 p.m.; free admission; 301 Pogue St.;


Shall we gather at the river? This July marks the 40th anniversary of the Festival for the Eno held at the West Point on the Eno City Park in Durham. Part music festival, part craft festival, The New York Times best describes it: “like a giant backyard barbecue for the creative class: it’s homey and raucous, full of music, dancing, crafts and sweaty kids slurping giant glasses of lemonade.” The two-day event will feature over 80 performers on five stages (see website for the full line-up); over 80 artisans and a fleet of food and beverage trucks. And, for the ultimate feel-good: the festival benefits the Eno River Association, which works to protect the natural resources of the river (the beautiful, beautiful river). See website for dates and times; $11 - $35; West Point on the Eno City Park, Durham;

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Aaron Thaddeus (MOVIES); Chuck Liddy (ENO)


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Theatre Raleigh presents I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright July 10-21 at the Kennedy Theatre in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and 2004 Tony Award, the oneman play is based on the life of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an openly gay German transgender woman who lived through Nazi oppression and the communist East German regime. See website for show dates and times; from $30; 2 E. South Street;

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Get in touch with your yin and yang at Tai Chi in the Garden at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design July 11. Imari Colón, instructor and owner of East Cloud Kung Fu, will lead a class in the ancient Chinese martial art in the tranquil Pollinator Garden.

Take a break from the hot summer sun with a sunset paddle on Falls Lake in Durham County July 12. Guides from Frog Hollow Outdoors will lead a group out to a prime sunset-viewing location on the lake, then paddle back after dark. Get wet behind the ears and experience a whole different kind of nightlife. 7:30 p.m.; $30; Falls Lake, Durham;


6 p.m.; free; 1903 Hillsborough St.;


J.C. Leyendecker, Couple in Boat, oil on canvas, 1922. © 2019 National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI. Photo courtesy American Illustrators Gallery, New York, NY.

For “For men men who are particular in all matters pertaining to dress.”

AN EXHIBITION of paintings and illustrations by J.C. Leyendecker, the American illustrator who shaped 1920’s visual

AUG 31–DEC 31, 2 1

culture and defined the modern man. Debuting in August at Reynolda, in Winston-Salem. Get tickets and plan your visit at

Reynolda House is grateful for the generous support of the exhibition from Major Sponsors Joseph M. Bryan, Jr.; Michael Felsen, in honor of the Family Equality Council; and Wake Forest University.


courtesy Centerpiece Gallery




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A new venue offers art and classes


Loose, Vibrant Creative Florals,” “Atmospheric Watercolors” and “Taming the Green Disease” (a class focused on getting just the right shade of green for landscapes). There are beginner and “beyond beginner” classes, too, for someone who’s just taking up the hobby or wants to return to it after time away. “Many of our students are plein air painters and have their own easels and paints, but we can give you everything you need if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush,” says Brown. Often, the gallery will display the work of an artist who is teaching a class while they’re there. Brown is especially excited to be in this neighborhood, she says. “The community is so accepting and welcoming of the arts. We’ve had so many people pop in on morning walks or after brunch to say hello.” And the dropping in—whether you’re there to buy, browse, learn or just say hello—is what she loves most. “I’d always rather talk to people who are walking in than sit on my computer!” —Ayn-Monique Klahre


ucked inside a red-brick exterior, The Centerpiece Gallery is sleek and white, blessed with tons of natural light and a roomy, flexible floor plan that lets the art speak for itself. “We wanted our guests to be able to look at a single painting and focus on it, so they can connect with how it would look in their house,” says owner Katie Brown. The art changes once a month, just before First Friday; in July and August expect work from locals Kathleen Deep and Dawn Rozzo, among others. The gallery opened in February on the Person Street corridor in the space formerly known as Nicole’s, when the previous owner, Nicole Kennedy, decided to paint full-time. It’s not just a facelift: the gallery’s focus is shifting towards contemporary art, while continuing to offer custom framing and painting classes for a range of skill levels. “The workshops were so popular that we wanted to continue them,” says Brown. “Plus, they’re a great way to connect with our community.” In July and August, look for one- and two-day workshops including “Creating

Visit for hours and class schedules. Brightleaf Square, Downtown Durham 919-683-1474 •


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Birdwatching in the park just got more interesting. Singer-songwriter, violinist and whistler Andrew Bird performs at the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park July 13. He is joined by Raleigh’s own Tift Merritt, who frequently collaborates with the indie rock darling, for a relaxed evening of melodic birdsong. 8 p.m.; from $30; 2110 Blue Ridge Road;


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The 24th annual North Carolina Gay + Lesbian Film Festival (NCGLFF) returns to the Carolina Theatre August 15-18. The second largest film festival in the Southeast of its kind, the NC-GLFF presents films about gay, lesbian and transgender life and brings the community together to celebrate one love. See website for festival schedule and tickets; 309 W. Morgan St., Durham;

Parker Fitzgerald (MERRITT); Cameron Wittig (BIRD); Getty Images (FILM)

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Coluber jeremi by Beauvais Lyons




Fantastical beasts and where to find them: the Gregg Museum of Art & Design exhibit Fantastic Fauna-Chimeric Creatures by Beauvais Lyons opens July 18. Dr. Lyons is the director of the Hokes Archives and an art professor at the University of Tennessee. He is also a creative zoologist, as is reflected in his realistic, but fictitious scientific illustrations of animals including the Giraffe Boa (above), the Monkey Centaur and the Nordic Hare Falcon. See the evidence of these rarely-seen creatures at the opening reception in the Thomas E. Cabaniss Historic Residence gallery at 6 p.m. July 18. See website for museum hours; 1903 Hillsborough St.;

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30 for 30: Merge Records celebrates its 30th anniversary with a music festival featuring over 30 bands past and present that have made the Durham record company a pioneer in the independent music scene. MRG30 takes place July 24-27 in multiple venues including the Carolina Theatre, Motorco Music Hall in Durham and the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro. The festival kicks off with a special performance by Hiss Golden Messenger, H.C. McEntire and the Mountain Goats at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. Festival passes have already sold out, but single-day tickets are still available for some shows. Rock on. See website for festival schedule and tickets;

Hello muddah hello fadduh, here you are at... AfterHours: Adult Summer Camp at the Museum of Life + Science in Durham. This 21+ event unleashes the kid inside. Make crafts, play with a bow and arrow, climb a wall, hide in a treehouse, flit in the Butterfly House and ride the train. Fuel the fun with adult beverages and camp-inspired fare. Mmm, s’mores! 6:30 - 10 p.m.; from $20; 433 W. Murray Ave., Durham; life-and-science.







Make a little summer magic happen for the family July 26 at Lake Benson Park in Garner when Garner Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources present Friday Family Flicks & Camping: Mary Poppins Returns. Enjoy the new classic film outdoors; bring a picnic or purchase concessions on site. And, for the adventurous, pitch a tent and camp out for the night for a small per-family fee. Registration is needed only for those who wish to camp. Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious!

The fast and the not at all furious come together for Kirby Derby July 27 at Harvey Hill in Dorothea Dix Park. This wacky, familyfriendly event is a good, old-fashioned pinebox and soapbox derby that was started by neighbors in the Pullen Park Terrace neighborhood in 2002. The kids’ pinecar derby is at 3 p.m., followed by the infamous Kirby Derby Day Parade at 5 p.m. The day concludes with the soapbox derby at 6 p.m. Dress to impress, enter the competition or just cheer on your friends. Derby dos: Registration is required to participate and there are strict rules for qualifying cars. Gentlepeople, start your creative engines.

8:30 p.m. - 8 a.m. the following day; $12 (camping registration); 921 Buffaloe Road, Garner;

See website for derby schedule, registration, rules and regulations;


Jonathan Birch (MERGE); Getty Images (CAMP, FLICK, DERBY)

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Potter Donna Craven adds salt to a kiln at 2400 degrees; vase by Travis Owens

NCT STAGES ANNIE Plus a look forward with artistic director Eric Woodall


ver 30 orphans will take the stage at Memorial Auditorium this month. Annie, presented by North Carolina Theatre, runs from July 23 to 28 at Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts, and the theatre’s new artistic director, Eric Woodall, is thrilled about their take on the classic. Woodall, who grew up in nearby Benson, says he wanted to approach these classic musicals by presenting them in a new, fresh way. He began at NC Theatre last November, after decades in New York as everything from an actor to director and casting director. For this show, Woodall strove to “combine top local talent 36 | WALTER

with some of Broadway’s best,” including Tony-award winner Karen Ziemba as Miss Hannigan and John Eric Parker as Daddy Warbucks, who’s joining the cast on hiatus from The Book of Mormon on Broadway. As for all those orphans? Woodall says he “was so impressed with the talent of our young folks here” that he kept adding them to the cast to get them onstage. The beloved show is the last of the 2018-19 season, and Woodall has carefully selected each show in the upcoming 2019-20 lineup, including iconic musicals like West Side Story and Kinky Boots. Woodall says he’s thrilled to return to his roots in North Carolina. “It’s a full circle moment and it feels like

an honor to pass on what was given to me; the love of theatre and the love of the arts propelled me into a career in one.” Woodall says his overall vision for the theatre has inclusion at the forefront. “After my experience of 16 years as a Broadway casting director, I’ve realized that diversity and inclusion are so important in casting today. I want to bring that into regional theatre and share that it’s important to me,” he says. “I want to tell stories that entertain by introducing new ways of thinking and to revisit older stories in a new way.” —Catherine Currin For tickets and more information on NCT’s upcoming season, visit

Curtis Brown Photography (HEADSHOT); Kayce Lomas (POSTER); courtesy The News & Observer archives (ANNIE)

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NCT 2019-2020 SEASON West Side Story October 15-20 Having Our Say November 8-17 Kinky Boots February 11-16, 2020 Memphis March 24-29, 2020 Edge May 1-10, 2020 The Sound of Music July 28- August 2, 2020

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Rock of ages… If your glory days happened in the 70s, 80s or 90s, then you have a chance to catch a part of that soundtrack at one of Raleigh’s many music venues in August. Here is just a sampling: moe. and Blues Traveler play Red Hat Amphitheater August 4; enjoy An Evening with Lyle Lovett and His Large Band at the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park August 7; The Flaming Lips hit Red Hat August 7; Heart loves on Walnut Creek August 10; Mother’s Finest jams at Lincoln Theatre August 10; Big Head Todd & the Monsters get large at Koka Booth Amphitheatre August 18. There's plenty of time yet to relive the best years of your life.;;;;



Catch a rocking Raleigh mashup August 9 at PLAYlist, Durham Central Park’s free concert series. Breakdance crew the Raleigh Rockers open for alt-country band New Reveille. Enjoy this eclectic collaboration while dining on food truck fare and local craft beer vendors. Park it: seating is open lawn, so bring blankets and chairs. Picnics are welcome; outside alcohol is not. Pop and lock it in. 7 p.m.; free; 501 Foster St., Durham;




If you build it, they will come. Join fellow cranks (an old-timey term for fans) for a humdinger of an evening of Vintage Base Ball at the Historic Durham Athletic Park presented by the Duke Homestead Education & History Corporation. A team of vintage ballers take on local sports and media personalities in a game played by historic rules. There will be activities and crafts for kids, food truck fare and cold brews from Bull Durham beer. And you can even buy some peanuts and crackerjacks. Proceeds from the evening benefit Duke Homestead. Huzzah! 4 - 8 p.m.; $5; 500 West Corporation St., Durham;, keywords: vintage baseball game



Chillax: Summer Daze Music Festival Vol. 2 is happening August 17 at Coastal Credit Union Midtown Park in North Hills. Gather your crew for a day of music featuring DJ Nevy, The EFunk Experience and 90’s cover band Here’s to the Night. Local vendors, food trucks and adult beverages will help keep the party turned up to eleven. Don’t be dazed and confused: alcohol must be purchased with special tickets. A portion of all proceeds will go towards Arts For Life, a North Carolina nonprofit that provides educational art programs to support people facing serious illnesses and disabilities. 12 - 9 p.m.; free entry; 4011 Cardinal at North Hills;

Allen Ross Thomas (MOTHER’S FINEST); Getty Images (BASEBALL); Jillian Clark (NEW REVEILLE); Gus Samarco (RALEIGH ROCKERS); courtesy Summer Daze Music Festival (FESTIVAL)


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Meet your veggies at Triangle Vegfest 2019 August 17-18. The two-day event celebrates the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle and promotes the health benefits of a plant-based diet. August 17 is Presenter Day, which takes place at the Durham Arts Council PSI Theater. Come hear speakers and see cooking and food preparation demonstrations. August 18 is Vendor Day at the Durham Armory. Browse the marketplace featuring vegan-friendly businesses, sample free food and enjoy live music and food truck fare. See website for festival schedule and hours; free;



Paint the town of Cary red (and every other color of the rainbow) at Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival August 24-25. The beloved festival draws thousands of visitors to downtown Cary for music and entertainment; food and beverage; kids activities; and, of course, art. Browse the stalls of artisans representing all of the arts from sculpture, drawing, painting and mixed media to jewelry, printmaking and photography. See website for all festival details; events/festivals/lazy-daze-arts-and-crafts-festival



PACKAPALOOZA Packapalooza is back to back the Wolfpack. From the Pullen Roundabout to the Brooks Roundabout, Hillsborough Street will be in the red with over 300 vendor booths welcoming rabid fans to browse, shop, eat, drink, schmooze, learn and celebrate N.C. State University. Booths include everything from student organizations, campus departments, student athletes to Hillsborough Street merchants, nonprofit and for-profit organizations and food and beverage trucks. Three stages will showcase a variety of student performers, capped off by headliner Delta Rae and fireworks. Woof! 2 - 10 p.m.; free admission; Hillsborough Street;


CHAKA KHAN We’ll tell you something good: Chaka Khan will rock the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park at the North Carolina Museum of Art August 29. The ten-time Grammy Award recipient is one of the most revered voices in popular music. R&B, funk, pop, jazz, musical theatre—she’s done it all, and at 65, continues to share her powerhouse vocals with audiences who definitely feel for her. 8 p.m.; from $50; 2110 Blue Ridge Road;

Getty Images (VEGETABLES); Becky Kirkland/N.C. State University (PACK); Harry Lynch (LAZY DAZE); Macon (CHAKA KHAN)




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PRESERVING A LEGACY Lisa Simone performs at NCMA


t’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life… for Nina Simone’s historic birthplace in Tryon, that is. Celebrate efforts to preserve the legendary singer and civil rights activist’s local(ish) roots August 17 with an evening of feel-good Simone classics performed by her daughter, Lisa Simone, at NCMA’s Theater in the Museum Park. “The legacy of Nina Simone is North Carolina history,” says Tiffany Tolbert, senior field officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), one of many groups partnering to present the concert. “We want to connect people across the state to her.” Connecting through music is a Simone family trait. Daughter Lisa Simone has made her own name for herself as an award-winning actress and jazz vocalist: she was on the original cast of both The Lion King and Rent on Broadway, earned a Grammy nomination as part of the band Liquid Soul, and co-


produced the Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary about her mother’s life, What Happened, Miss Simone? This time, Lisa Simone takes the stage to support the rehabilitation of her mother's childhood home in western North Carolina. Last year, the NTHP designated the site a National Treasure—one of only two in North Carolina and less than 100 nationwide. Since then, the N.C. African American Heritage Commission (NCAAHC) has led the charge to channel “a lot of love and effort and support offered into this legacy space in order to preserve it,” says NCAAHC director Angela Thorpe. Restoration of the circa-1930 660-square-foot house began in April, and in May a group of visionaries and engineers met to imagine a creative next use. It might be a community art center; it might be an artist workspace. Plans are still in the works, certain to “demonstrate how art and preservation practice can combine to honor her legacy… and inspire new


generations of creators and preservationists,” says Tolbert. “Preserving and activating places like the Nina Simone childhood home uplift stories of African American achievement and bring those stories to life.” The concert anchors Nina Simone Weekend at NCMA, presented by the museum, the NTHP, the NCAAH, the N.C. Arts Council and Come Hear North Carolina. Proceeds from the event, which also include music master classes, other performances and a documentary screening, benefit rehabilitation of the Nina Simone childhood home. —Jessie Ammons Rumbley For tickets and more information: For more ways to get involved in saving the home, follow @NationalTrustforHistoricPreservation on Facebook and @savingplaces on Instagram and Twitter


Take part in the African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County at City Plaza this Labor Day weekend. Now in its tenth year, the festival brings together a diverse group of artists, performers, media personalities and business owners to celebrate African American culture in North Carolina. Catch a variety of musical and dance acts on the Main Stage, stroll the Art Gallery Walk, then shop the Vendor Marketplace for specialty items. Keep wee festival-goers busy in the Family Village with make-and-take crafts, storytellers and hands-on experiences. And when it’s time to break for a bite, enjoy food and beverages from a variety of food vendors. See website for a festival hours and schedule; free; 400 Fayetteville St.;


Get ready to Bull City Rumble Labor Day weekend in downtown Durham. Bull City Rumble is a vintage motorcycle and scooter rally presented by Ton Up NC, a nonprofit group of bike enthusiasts. Jumpstart the weekend at the Rumble Registration Party at the Green Room in Durham August 30, then cruise into the weekend with the Vintage Motorcycle, Scooter and Cafe Racer Show at Social Games and Brews. This is a juried bike show that is big on style and personality. Highlights include the bike show awards, Rumble After Party at Social Games and Brews, and a nail-biting performance by AMDC Wall of Death, an extreme motorcycle thrill show. See website for Rumble schedule, times and to register a vehicle; downtown Durham;

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WAY-BACK MACHINE Celebrate what has been with what is to come.

BOY BAND BLITZ Get back in touch with your tween self at PNC Arena. July 7 New Kids on the Block: The Mixtape Tour

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August 14 Jonas Brothers: Happiness Begins Tour August 20 Backstreet Boys DNA World Tour


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Love these films to the moon and back. July 20 First Man Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing at NCMA’s Museum Park August 2 Alien 40th anniversary screening at NCMA’s museum park August 19 Easy Rider 50th anniversary screening at the Rialto


INSTRUMENTAL ICONS Swing and sway to these true American classics. July 15 Glenn Miller Orchestra Duke Energy Center July 19-20 Footprints American Dance Festival performance featuring works by Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor Page Auditorium, Durham

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The N.C. Symphony Independence Day Celebration concert is at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. Visit the historic Joel Lane Museum House—there will be a free open house in honor of Independence Day.

The Finley YMCA hosts its Freedom Festival June 30—a family friendly celebration with music, activites, food vendors and a fireworks show. You do not have to be a YMCA member to participate. Bring the whole family to the Children’s Independence Parade at Durham Central Park. Decorate bikes, wagons and strollers with items from the Scrap Exchange, then enjoy popsicles and fire truck tours.


FLAGS ON THE FIELD The North Carolina Football Club will play Charlotte Independence at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. The 8th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series is July 4 and 5 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Run the Keep RLGH Independent 4-miler at Dorothea Dix Park presented by Runologie and Trophy Brewing.


Don’t miss Raleigh’s fireworks display! The city’s official fireworks will be held in West Raleigh near Carter-Finley Stadium and PNC Arena. Fireworks launch at 9:32 p.m. Heritage High School in Wake Forest hosts the 2019 Fireworks Spectacular July 3. There will be food trucks and concessions available and the band Sleeping Booty will headline the celebration.

INDEPENDENT SPIRITS Wear red, white and blue on Glenwood South for Crawl Raleigh—you’ll find themed music and drink specials beginning July 3 at 9 p.m. and ending in the early morning of July 4. Oak City Brewing in Knightdale hosts its July 4th Bash with music, food trucks, beer and fireworks.

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11 ways to celebrate Independence Day around the Triangle.


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From left to right: Designed For Joy co-founders Kristen Sydow and Cary Heise

NOT ‘NORMAL’ Fashion designer Justin LeBlanc explores his own story through art by SUSANNA KLINGENBERG


tep into Justin LeBlanc’s new exhibition at CAM Raleigh, Probable Normal Hearing, and you step into a story. It’s likely an unfamiliar story—disorienting, surreal, even haunting—unless you’re part of the five percent of the population that is deaf. But good storytelling can disorient and reorient, create distance from its audience and inspire empathy. 50 | WALTER

photography by GUS SAMARCO

Probable Normal Hearing strikes that balance, telling a story that’s challenging, vulnerable and intensely personal. LeBlanc was born deaf, though it wasn’t discovered for several years. The last note scribbled on his medical chart before his doctor realized the diagnosis was “probable normal hearing.” That prominent and unreachable word so long at the top of his audiology charts—

“normal”—haunted his early years. In retrospect, LeBlanc says, “I tried to be normal for so long that I forgot what it was like to be Deaf.” LeBlanc received a cochlear implant at the age of 18, which provided an artificial semblance of sound. He studied architecture, found his calling in fashion design, met great success on the 2013 season of Project Runway and launched his

own clothing label. But he says he is only now, at age 33, beginning to reckon with his identity as a deaf person: “Deaf culture and hearing culture… I don’t belong to either of those. I have one leg in one and one leg in the other.” This space between cultures frames the arc of his CAM installation, which he designed to inspire dialogue with visitors. “First and foremost,” says LeBlanc, “Probable Normal Hearing is an exhibition for the Deaf. And I want to invite the hearing population to be part of the Deaf experience.” To that end, every piece in the exhibition explores a question that members of the Deaf community are frequently asked: Can you repeat after me? Can you see me? What can you hear? What is your favorite sound? LeBlanc is quick to answer the last question: his favorite sound is silence. He wove a play on the old adage “silence is golden” through the exhibition’s narrative to emphasize his point. Twenty-four karat gold leaf glitters on every piece: on five percent of the 3D cast and printed ears; on thread connecting pairs of ears, symbols of the micro-community of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing; on the oversize audiology charts—LeBlanc’s own— showing his range below normal; on a single pair of ears, dripping with gold, that represent the artist’s experience. As LeBlanc unfolds his story in the exhibition, it becomes clear that “normal” is no longer his goal. He believes the Deaf experience should be celebrated as a way of being in the world that opens fresh possibilities and enables unexpected strengths. And though this exhibition is a departure from LeBlanc’s usual work for the runway, those familiar with his fashion design will still recognize the artist’s aesthetic here, low on color and high on texture and shape. LeBlanc designed the exhibition specifically for CAM, and Gab Smith, CAM’s Executive Director, says the museum welcomes the opportunity to spotlight the work of talented artists outside their usual medium. “We love creating opportunities for artists to think in new

ways about making art.” In celebrating LeBlanc for thinking differently about his art, CAM is also celebrating an expansive approach to who makes and shows art in a professional setting. These opportunities are much less available to people with disabilities, due to either access issues or unfounded assumptions about their talent. Betsy Ludwig, Executive Director of Arts Access NC, applauds CAM’s thoughtful inclusivity: “Exhibiting work

and presenting content made by people with disabilities is an important part of arts inclusion. As one advocacy saying goes, ‘We want not only to be guests at the table, but also to help plan the meals and cook the food.’” Probable Normal Hearing runs through August 18 at CAM Raleigh. LeBlanc wants everyone to feel welcome at his exhibition. To make the most of it, he advises with a grin, “Just be silent.” JULY/AUGUST 2019 | 51

Craig Lehoullier (TOMATOES); Ben McKeown (LEHOULLIER)


SAY TOMATO Something old, something new. something borrowed, something… blue? by CRAIG LEHOULLIER


h, how we crave tomatoes—anticipating that first sun-warmed, home-grown orb of delight. Whether we find plants at garden centers or go through the angst of starting from seed, we tomato-growers endure threats of frost, poor soil, inconsistent weather, heat, humidity and stealthy critter attacks to arrive, finally, victorious at the finish line come summer. Unlike other crops that can be overwhelming (the plethora of cucumbers and squash covertly left at neighbors’ back doors), it’s rare to hear someone complain about their abundant supply of home-grown tomatoes. So using the old English wedding paean for good luck, let’s explore the world of tomatoes:


Something old To me, this means “heirloom,” a cherished tomato variety passed down by family or between gardeners for decades. These are the tomatoes with their own stories; relating them to your visitors can be a way to entice and create new gardeners. It is easy to grow “something old” in your garden, thanks to the preservation efforts of the Seed Savers Exchange and many other companies that focus on heirlooms. Can there be a more charmingly-named tomato than Mortgage Lifter, a variety developed in West Virginia in the early 1930s? (Sale of the largefruited tomato did indeed lead to pay-off a home mortgage.) Cherokee Purple—a variety dear to me, as it was my pleasure

to name it—Lillian’s Yellow Heirloom, Kellogg’s Breakfast… the choices are limitless, colors diverse and flavors memorable.

Something new Seed companies and amateur plant breeders alike continually seek to fulfill the needs of gardeners with new tomato creations. Red tomato lovers looking for productivity and flavor can seek out the recent hybrid tomato variety Big Beef. Spacechallenged gardeners looking for container-friendly plants for patios and decks can seek out some of the more than 100 new types created by the Dwarf Tomato Breeding project, which I’ve co-led since its inception in 2005. Gardeners can also seek out the small-fruited, delightfully colored, striped tomatoes from the Artisan series or the wild striped varieties created by Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms.

Here, I am being liberal with the term “borrowed;” let’s call it “shared.” I mean joining a seed sharing exchange or visiting a seed library (Durham’s libraries provide excellent variety). Borrow a tomato variety that sounds exciting, grow the tomatoes, save the seeds and return some to the library to share with other tomato enthusiasts. My own love affair with tomatoes began this way, back in the mid-1980s, through seed swaps in gardening magazines; in fact, much of my 5,000-plus variety seed collection is “borrowed!”

Something blue





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While not strictly blue (as in Duke or Carolina blue), you can find tomatoes with a dark indigo tint, particularly where they face the sun. Over the past decades, plant breeders have been taking advantage of a tomato found in the wild that possesses a genetic trait of a blackish-blue coloring on the fruit shoulders, signifying high levels of anthocyanin. Starting with Indigo Rose, there has been a great proliferation of these unique colorful types. You can easily grow a conversation piece in your garden with some of these striking colored varieties. With a staggering diversity of types (over 10,000 cultivars available to grow) and the attendant array of flavor nuances, colors, shapes and sizes, tomatoes can make talented chefs out of the most rank amateurs and easily find their way into every meal (including dessert!). Whether plucked and consumed in the garden, seeds dripping onto our T-shirts, or sliced, pureed, roasted or canned, tomatoes are summer’s eternal gift.

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Something borrowed

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Co-owners Robert and Lynne Knowles in the Antiek Louis booth of Pigfish Lane

TREASURE HUNT Antiques market Pigfish Lane offers finds for everyone by AYN-MONIQUE KLAHRE photography by EAMON QUEENEY


ust at the edge of Hillsborough Street—beyond downtown and even past the fairgrounds—you’ll find Pigfish Lane Antiques and Interiors. This sprawling indoor antiques market celebrates its one-year anniversary in August, the fruit of a bit of luck and an innate talent. “I grew up with antiques,” says co-owner Lynne Knowles. “My great-aunt was an antiques dealer in the 30s, so my mother always said I had it in my blood.” Knowles had been dealing antiques for about 25 years, 56 | WALTER

picking through flea markets and selling her wares at other antiques markets. But when her husband Robert, who works in real estate, saw the former home of Wayside Furniture for sale, he suggested she create a market of her own. “I already had all the connections, and I thought that as Raleigh was growing, it would be nice to have another space to find antiques,” she says. Inside, you’ll find antique and vintage furniture from a span of decades and provenances. Pigfish Lane hosts more than 50 dealers, each of whom curate their own booths according

to their specialties and tastes. As you wind through the space, each alcove has its own personality, from solid early American pieces to leggy Mid-Century moderns to artfully distressed French country furniture to estate jewelry and more. There are finds at every price point, for every style, and the inventory changes nearly daily. And there’s The Back Room, where you can find bargains when vendors want to move something along. “Some people start there,” says Knowles. “It’s a very popular spot!” There are new products as well. “That’s where the ‘and interiors’ comes in,” says Knowles. These include booths with original art—she has two artists who share a studio space on-site, plus pop-up shops from time to time—plus custom framing, upcycled and reupholstered pieces, handbuilt rustic furniture and custom pillows, too. Knowles donated a booth to The Green Chair Project, where they sell items selected from their donations to benefit the organization. There are even a few pieces for sale from Wayside—Knowles said they had the space, so why rush them out?—and they’ve kept their iconic sign by the front door. Knowles has her own booth, too, but has to practice a strict “one in, one out” rule as she uncovers finds from her neighbors. “I just love to find interesting things—that’s why I got into this business.”

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DIALOGUE STARTER Danya Perry leads the conversation around growth by JESSIE AMMONS RUMBLEY


aleigh is growing—that’s old news. The new news is that Danya Perry wants to be sure the growth is fair. The New Bern native planted his roots in Raleigh after graduating from N.C. State in 1998, and he’s the first-ever Director of Equitable Economic Development for Wake County Economic Development (WCED), a pro58 | WALTER

photography by EAMON QUEENEY

gram of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. Perry’s charged with adding thoughtful layers to our city’s evolution: corporate inclusivity, citizen mobility and workforce diversity. “We are going to be on the right side of history and we’re going to be comfortable being uncomfortable,” he says. “That’s where we’ll see growth.” Perry’s post is the answer to years

of data tracking by the WCED, which mapped Wake County using a U.S. Census Bureau index that measures poverty, unemployment, housing and education. The results were clear: not all community members have benefitted from, or been able to participate in, the county’s economic growth. A strategy to create economic inclusivity is necessary. And the man for the job is not an economist

or business recruiter, but one with a background in sociology and community development. “We knew we needed someone who could bring partners together, understood that strategies would be both place- and people-based and had a passion for the work,” says Chamber President Adrienne Cole. “Danya demonstrated both his ability to lead and to be a strong team player. All economic development, at its best, is a team sport—we wanted Danya on our team.” In an arena of bottom-line priorities, Perry brings a people-focused approach informed by prior work in school violence prevention, juvenile justice and improving statewide graduation rates. Much of this passion comes from years of mentoring local kids, and raising his own 13-year-old. “I don’t see data, I see stories. That’s all I see, people.” That’s why, soon after accepting his job in January 2018, Perry spent six months on a listening tour that spanned the county. He targeted areas like Southeast Raleigh and east Wake County to hear what challenges small business owners face to develop strategies for action. Perry’s focus is threefold: inclusive economic mobility, small business support, as well as talent and workforce development. What he’s focused on, in essence, is constant dialogue about equality—across races, genders, sexual orientations, generations—as Raleigh grows. One of his team’s first initiatives was the Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI) Conference last summer. The goal was to spark conversation. “We were going to be happy if we had 150 people show up,” Perry says; instead, they had to cap the registration at 500. They discovered a community hungry to figure out these nuanced topics. “Seeking equitable outcomes for our students as they join the workforce is a priority for Wake Tech, so I was relieved that the first DEI Conference was so well attended. People in our community care about equity, which is essential to our quality of life,” says Gayle Greene, executive vice president of Wake Technical Communi-

ty College. Now, the conference will be annual—the next one is August 9—and Perry heads up the Chamber’s Triangle DEI Alliance to keep momentum going. “It’s not a cookbook approach. We can’t have one conference and say ‘add water and a couple of eggs and flour to create a solution.’ This is an opportunity to continue conversations.” Another of Perry’s projects is a series of small business seminars called Black Business Momentum. It’s the same content as any other small business seminar, Perry explains, but titled to “make an invite to communities that don’t typically see themselves as having access [to the Chamber]. It’s an all-call.” And these seminars aren’t only in Cary meeting rooms or downtown Raleigh offices, which can be difficult for many to get to at the end of a long workday—they’re in town halls and community centers in Garner and Zebulon and Rolesville. No conversation, if Perry and team can help it, is one-sided. “The work of equitable economic development is not only trying to connect with the person who feels underrepresented, but also trying to prepare the table we’re inviting them to to be receptive,” Perry says. To that end, the DEI Alliance hosts gatherings called Courageous Conversations, where Perry and team break down topics like structural racism and gender identity. “To use an analogy, diversity is being able to go to the school dance. Inclusivity is being asked to dance. Equity is, how are you going to get to the dance in the first place? It’s about building bridges or removing barriers. It’s not a social service, and it’s not taking from one person to give to somebody else, it’s about bringing folks up.” Perry says he has a captive audience among Chamber members, WCED leaders and beyond. “We have people who are ready to talk about an equitable economic ecosystem and people who are ready to ideate around it. We have the right partners. The mindset is there. Now, it’s about organization and will.” Perry’s in place to captain this team.


A SPORT THAT SERVES Abilities Tennis offers fitness and friendship by HAMPTON WILLIAMS HOFER photography by SMITH HARDY


evin Ratliff used to spend all year waiting for the annual Special Olympics tennis tournament, his lone opportunity to play competitive tennis. In 2007, his mother, Debbie Ratliff, decided that he and his friends should be able to play the sport they love all year long, so she—along with


fellow founders Kirstie Marx and Sue Wisdom—collaborated with the North Carolina Tennis Association to create a program to provide tennis opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities. It is now called the Abilities Tennis Association of North Carolina (ATANC), and it offers free clinics and tournaments to athletes ranging in age from eight to

70 who have intellectual disabilities like Autism, Down Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome. Under the leadership of a dedicated board and passionate volunteers, the program has taken off, and people all over the country are noticing. The United States Tennis Association shined a spotlight on the nonprofit, awarding ATANC the prestigious 2018 USTA National

Adaptive Tennis Community Service Award. As for Kevin Ratliff, he now plays tennis weekly. And this fall, he will be one of twenty-four ATANC athletes to walk out onto Arthur Ashe stadium in New York City—the biggest stage in tennis—before a U.S. Open primetime match. It’s the first-ever pre-match demonstration by an adaptive program on Ashe Stadium at night. Area coaches in cities from Wilmington to Asheville teach backhands and topspin, but the benefits for the athletes in the Abilities Tennis program far exceed the tennis skills they learn. Jinni Hoggard, head coach in Greensboro, says ATANC has formed a family of tennis lovers all over the state: “The clinics and tournaments give the athletes so much. They get to meet other athletes with disabilities, make new friends, get great exercise and just have fun. We’re a tightknit group,” she says. While intellectual disabilities include certain limitations in cognitive functioning—things like communication and social skills—when the athletes are on the court, they can let loose, play at any level and enjoy a program suited just for them. Executive Director Lou Welch has grown the organization to give over 400 athletes across North Carolina the chance not only to learn tennis, but to form meaningful relationships, gaining the skills to succeed on the court and off. “Until I started this job,” Welch says, “I had never seen a tennis player run to the net to high-five their opponent after just being aced.” Conversely, there is no shortage of joy at ATANC events. “There are so many huggers that sometimes Allan has to designate a no-hugging zone,” Welch says of Raleigh coach Allan Goldberg. A major goal of Abilities Tennis is “unified doubles,” whereby those with intellectual disabilities partner up to play doubles with non-impaired players in a competitive setting that promotes inclusion. Last summer, through ATANC, Welch befriended a mother whose twelveyear-old daughter has autism and loves tennis. When Welch saw that mother again eight months later, she was stunned

From left to right: Cameron Rosenow, Gabi Angelini and Adam Martin

to find that the woman had lost more than 100 pounds. “She told me that Abilities Tennis motivated her to do it,” Welch recalls, “her daughter needed a unified doubles partner.” The mother-daughter duo competed together in last year’s tournament in Wilmington. It’s not the first time Welch has seen the way her program can change a whole family. “It gives you so much perspective,” says ATANC President Cameron Rosenow, “And if it weren’t for Lou, none of this would be happening.” At venues around Raleigh—often Millbrook Exchange Park, the Raleigh Racquet Club and North Hills Club— tennis enthusiasts volunteer to teach and play through ATANC. Some are retired coaches, former players or paid professionals, and all are invested in the players and the mission of increasing the availability of tennis through a ninety-minute clinic that, for many athletes, is the highlight of their week. And it’s not just about the athletes themselves; it’s about the parents and siblings standing outside the fences, families with commonalities who can connect and create a community. When the representatives from ATANC stand out on the court at the U.S. Open August 28, thirteen-year-old Brogan DeBuhr of Raleigh will flip the coin for the professional players to see

who serves first. DeBuhr, who has participated in the Abilities Tennis program for four years, says, “Winning medals is my favorite part, but I also love going to the tournament in Lake Junaluska! I love that I get to play doubles with my dad and play in the mountains. Last year, we had a blast,” she says, “I didn't want to leave when it was over." DeBuhr’s mother, Dana DeBuhr, is so grateful for ATANC that she can’t help but get emotional at her daughter’s tennis matches: “Little moments of kindness and joy are just sprinkled throughout this organization,” she says. A few years ago, Brogan DeBuhr was playing one of her first-ever short-court matches against a more experienced player who could tell she was struggling. “Her opponent just stopped playing, walked to the net, and told her how great she was, that she could do it, and not to give up,” Dana DeBuhr says. “For the remainder of the match, he continued cheering her on, and she did the same for him.” There lies the real value of the program, the reason the tennis world is looking at ATANC and taking notes: it is tennis in a different light, where someone is always lifting up someone else, where “love” isn’t just a word for keeping score—it’s the name of the game.

JULY/AUGUST 2019 | 61



The Fiction Kitchen dishes up delicious vegan and vegetarian food by JASON FRYE


t The Fiction Kitchen, the food’s about as Southern as it gets—but it’s no “meat and three.” At this long-standing restaurant, it’s more like meat-free and three. Chef-owner Caroline Morrison puts it this way: “Good food is just that: good food.” She speaks the truth: The menu


photography by BEN MCKEOWN

may all be vegetarian and vegan, but above all else, The Fiction Kitchen offers plain old good food. “The Fiction Kitchen is the brainchild of my wife, Siobhan Southern, and myself,” says Morrison. “At Fiction Kitchen, we do our best to make food that looks and sounds appealing to all kinds of diners.” Case in point: the

Eastern N.C. Style BBQ Pulled “Pork,” a plant-based protein smoked and seasoned with pitch-perfect vinegar sauce, which lures hungry carnivores away from traditional barbecue just for a taste and keeps them coming back for more. That dish arose from a challenge: A native of Halifax County, Morrison grew up steeped in Eastern North

Above: Caroline Morrison, co-owner of Fiction Kitchen; pulled “pork” with slaw and roasted vegetables; housemade cocktail syrups

Carolina foodways, but converting to a vegetarian diet in college (more on that later) left her holding an empty plate, so to speak. Like any good chef, she worked to replicate a dish that spoke to the foods of her childhood and culture of the place where she lives, while holding true to her own food philosophy. “I’d made the choice not to eat pork anymore, but I still wanted something juicy, smoky, chewy and perfectly sweet and salty to bring to family cookouts,” she says. And thus, a carnivore-converting dish was born. The Fiction Kitchen has had their pulled “pork” on the menu for years, and it seems that the rest of the world has caught on to what vegetarian chefs of Morrison’s caliber have been do-

ing. With a growing number of diners choosing vegetarian or vegan diets, restaurants have had to keep up. A good example: the Impossible Burger. This ground-beef substitute is on the menu here, but it’s also making appearances at food festivals, on the menus of celebrity chefs and even at Burger King (don’t laugh—if BK is willing to jump into the vegetarian market, the rest of us should pay attention). Special burgers pop up with regularity, like a carrot

“bacon” BLT sandwich or an Impossible Burger topped with Vidalia onion rings and a spring onion-dill mayo. “The popularity of the Impossible Burger shows the growing demand for more accessible vegan and vegetarian options,” she says. “At The Fiction Kitchen, most of our regular menu items are dishes you’ll find in all kinds of restaurants, just tweaked to be vegan.” Fried mock-chicken and waffles. Tacos with chipotle tinga mock-chicken or

The menu may all be vegetarian and vegan, but above all else, The Fiction Kitchen is good food.

JULY/AUGUST 2019 | 63


Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos FRI/SAT, SEPT 20-21 | 8PM Grant Llewellyn, conductor Alessio Bax, piano Lucille Chung, piano Weekend Sponsor: Clancy & Theys Construction Company Concert Sponsor: Templeton of Cary

New World Symphony FRI/SAT, NOV 15-16 | 8PM André de Ridder, conductor


Leslie Odom, Jr. FRI/SAT, OCT 18-19 | 8PM Leslie Odom, Jr. joins the Symphony for a selection of Broadway and jazz hits. Concert Sponsor: Causey Aviation – Private Jet Management

The Music of Elton John

Featuring Michael Cavanaugh FRI/SAT, JAN 17-18 | 8PM Concert Sponsor: BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina


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bulgogi seitan. A “cheese” plate with house-made vegan nut cheese. A fried “chicken” biscuit. These dishes shatter the myth that vegan and vegetarian food is bland, boring, unfamiliar or unappealing, and instead focuses on North Carolina produce to deliver big flavor in healthful, diet-friendly and environmentally-conscious bites. Morrison’s turn to a vegetarian diet grew out of twin concerns for animal welfare and environmental care, and her focus on locally-sourced produce and a vegetarian-vegan menu makes good on that promise. Take The Fiction Kitchen’s Locavore Salad: Rather than plate up a standard side salad of locally-grown lettuce and a few sprouts, Morrison looks at salad as a complex and flavor-packed dish deserving of a starring role in a meal rather than an afterthought. “To me, a good salad has several components: textures, acids, brightness, symmetry, salt and sweet. For our Locavore Salad, I usually start with the idea for the dressing and then back into

the composition of the salad, adding seasonal items that will round out the dressing,” says Morrison. The Locavore Salad makes for a colorful, filling meal, but also a jumpingoff point to bring more local food, and a more healthful diet, into the home kitchen. With the bounty of North Carolina’s forest, fields and waters at our disposal—plus the State Farmers Market (see pg. 82), c0-ops, farm stands and more—it’s easy to be a locavore, even if it’s just for a meal or two. “If people want to eat more local food, I recommend they pay a visit to the farmers market for their produce before they head to the grocery store,” says Morrison. That works when you're cooking at home, but when you need inspiration—or just an amazing meal out—head to The Fiction Kitchen. Morrison says that creating beautiful food is easy with fresh produce at her fingertips, and it’s become her version of art. “Creating dishes is the only art I have found myself to be good at. I kept searching for some type of career

where I could use my hands, my brain and creativity.” For Morrison, that means using a variety of ingredients, pulling recipes from various cuisines and more. “Diversity in life feeds my soul and diversity in eating colors feeds my nutrition—and together they bring about a feeling of holistic health,” she says. That diversity is a pillar of Morrison's business, ensuring that all of the community feels included, from vegans to carnivores. “That’s one of the best things about Raleigh and dining at The Fiction Kitchen,” she says. “When you look around and see all types of people—ages, races, genders and walks of life—you realize all are represented, and all are welcome.”

Ingredients: 1

/3 cup cleaned and rough chopped fresh turmeric (finely diced if you don’t have a good blender) 1 cup seasoned rice vinegar 1

/2 cup sesame tahini


/4 cup lemon juice


/4 cup grapefruit juice

1 tsp salt 1

/2 cup sesame oil

2-3 cups canola oil

LOCAVORE SALAD DRESSING We enjoy this dressing with local tomatoes, berries, cabbages and lettuce. It's also great as a dressing/sauce on a sandwich or with a raw vegetable crudités plate.

Blend all ingredients (except oil) in a blender on low. Slowly add the sesame oil. Then, slowly add the canola oil. Stop after the two cups and taste. If it is too bright, acidic or sharp for your liking, slowly add more oil. You can also add more salt, or either of the juices if you need more flavor. Dressing should keep for two weeks stored in the fridge.





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NOTED NCMA Marketing Director Marjorie Hodges describes a mind-shifting voyage to Black Rock City

courtesy Marjorie Hodges

Bringing Home BURNING MAN


he phenomenon known as Burning Man began on the summer solstice in 1986, when artist Larry Harvey erected an eight-foot tall wooden sculpture of a man on a beach in northern California, then gathered friends to watch it burn. From those humble roots, Burning Man has morphed into a global event that attracts more than 70,000 people every year. The site has also shifted, to the vast


Black Rock desert, about 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada. For a few days, seven square miles of an ancient former lakebed, now known as the Playa, transform into Black Rock City (BRC), the temporary home of Burning Man. There, a community of artists, technologists and designers collaborate to create a public space filled with art, contemporary culture, music, merriment and more. Last year, a close friend invited me to attend this remarkable event—tickets

are difficult to obtain, so I feel privileged that I got to go. Many people go to Burning Man for the all-night parties and music, but I was drawn by the prospect of seeing nearly 200 large-scale art installations in the Black Rock desert. It’s a totally blank canvas, with miles between each work to breathe. Art and community are my passion, so I hoped to be inspired and bring innovative and collaborative ideas back to North Carolina. Many internationally

known artists participate every year, including my friend Hank Willis Thomas, a conceptual artist who works primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. Hank describes Burning Man as “…the most amazing, terrible experience you will ever have. It’s lonely, dusty, hot, you are dehydrated, nothing goes as planned and that’s when it happens: You realize that everything you don’t like about a situation is because you haven’t done enough creatively to change or creatively accept it.” And so it was that late August 2018, I dropped my dear daughter off at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, to begin her freshman year, then rushed back to begin the journey to Black Rock

thousands of Burners who survive for a week in this completely inhospitable environment. Many of the camps offer “public service” assistance—tax advice, yoga classes, Japanese silk rope bondage techniques—it’s all at Burning Man. All of this without a conventional fee for products or services, as Burning Man is a cashless society. De-commodification is a rule: no money changing hands, no visible logos on clothing, no commercial activity of any kind. The only items you can buy with money are ice and coffee. Towering above the tents: the art. The scale of each work and the scope of the playa created an other-worldly viewing experience. Thomas’ stunning installation, All Power to All People, was

36-foot-tall polar bear, molded from discarded white automobile hoods. The towering sculpture seemed to look across the boundless vista of BRC. This installation was designed to encourage “the long view” as it relates to thoughts on climate change and survival. These three were just a few of the works by emerging artists from all over the world. Beyond the art, I was inspired by the sense of community. Geographic difficulties, extreme temperatures and an absence of electricity and infrastructure require strong collaboration amongst strangers. The conditions on the Playa were harsh: We wore eye goggles to ward against the frequent dust storms that led to loss of visibility—especially when

During the evenings, wild fur coats were common. But in the heat of the day, the dress code was, well, anything or nothing, from stylish and sexy to dystopian or bare. City, a place that’s intentionally remote and not “on the way” to anywhere. My friend and I flew to Reno, then boarded the Burner Express, a private air service that operates just once a year, to fly Burners to the Playa. The alternative would have been a three-hour-minimum drive, culminating in a single road entering BRC, with a four- to twelve-hour wait for traffic to enter… so we were grateful for these entrepreneurial folks. Once on site, the world changed. I’ll admit that, as a brand-new empty-nester, I was feeling a bit emotional as I approached the funky welcome center. They checked me in and immediately required a “dust angel”—so I found myself flat on my back, working my arms and legs through the thick, talc-like dust that is central to the life on the Playa. But getting dusty early was a good idea: it eliminated any thought of staying clean. A bus ride toward camp revealed the first look at the remarkable “city” built on desert wilderness. Every imaginable form of shelter, from tents to RVs to tarps, serves as home for the tens of

monumental—a 25-foot-tall Afro Pick sculpture to honor and celebrate cultural identities of the African diaspora and symbolize community and comradeship. The metal sculpture was interactive, large enough to climb on (see photo at left). Thomas is known in North Carolina, with multiple works in the North Carolina Museum of Art and Nasher Museum of Art collections, and it was stunning to see his work here, in the desert. Another noteworthy installation was the ORB. The much-anticipated project by Danish architects Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) served as a beacon in the desert, both day and night. The 85-foot-diameter inflatable sphere was designed to hover over the Burners, reflecting the expanse of participants and the desert itself. This installation was partially crowdfunded on Indiegogo, where it was described as a “mirror for earth lovers,” at a scale of 1/500,000 of the earth’s surface. The Long View: a polar bear stands in the desert, by Santa Fe, New Mexico artist Don Kennell, was a surprisingly lifelike

riding a bicycle—sometimes to the point where I had to stop and take cover. The dust got everywhere. Temperatures soared over 100 degrees during the day, then fell to the 40s or 50s by sunrise. During the evenings, wild fur coats were common. But in the heat of the day, the dress code was, well, anything or nothing, from stylish and sexy to dystopian or bare. These unusual conditions add to the surreal, almost alien experience. Burning Man was not a vacation, it was a mindshift. The unique and harsh setting, the thousands of fellow Burners living outside of convention, the music and the art were starkly different from my hometown reality. The principles of Burning Man decreed by Harvey in 2004—including inclusion, self-expression and civic responsibility—are intended to be radical, and yet they’re adopted for a week by thousands of humans who have never met. Simple and profound, the experience was a reminder of what we all can do if we make an intention to live creatively, cooperatively and peacefully—even back here in Raleigh. JULY/AUGUST 2019 | 67


Maggie Kane’s unique restaurant model welcomes diners from all walks of life

Setting a



hen Maggie Kane first sat down to eat at a soup kitchen in Raleigh, the dining experience was different than what she was used to. “When I go to a restaurant, I get to eat whenever I want, have a choice of food and be served,” Kane says. At the soup kitchen, however, resources were limited—the menu, the allotted time, the seating. Meeting over a meal was still the best way to connect with her friends, many who were homeless, that she’d met while volunteering and working at local nonprofits. So she started taking her friends from the soup kitchen out for meals at restaurants. They chose to go to places like Golden Corral or K&W Cafeteria—friendly, casual spots where “we would sit for hours, have a meal, enjoy refills and no one ever told us to leave,” says Kane. “Everyone deserves that dignity.” JULY/AUGUST 2019 | 69

Starting from scratch Kane, then just 23 years old, fresh off a degree in International Relations and Italian from N.C. State, had planned to move to Italy. But these meals shifted her gaze to her own city, where she’s lived her whole life. “Raleigh was a happening place to be… for people with money. It felt divided, and I knew that food was our tool to fix it,” she says. Based on her experiences, Kane founded A Place at the Table, Raleigh’s first pay-what-you-can café, where diners enjoy chef-prepared meals from a breakfast and lunch menu that includes items like sun-dried tomato quiche and Caprese paninis. If people can pay for their food, great, if they can’t, they can volunteer in the restaurant to cover the cost. Since the opening of the café on Hargett Street in January of 2018, A Place at the Table has provided nearly 11,000 meals to people in need. When Kane first became interested in pay-what-you-can cafés (there are around 60 others in the global One World Everybody Eats network) she decided to visit the only one in North Carolina at the time: F.A.R.M. Café in Boone. Kane walked right in the door, found owner Renee Boughman and started asking questions. It’s what Maggie Kane does, and it’s why she’s a game-changer: she opens doors, she listens, she rallies. On her 25th birthday, in November of 2015, A Place at the Table (APATT) officially received nonprofit status, after numerous trips to the Secretary of State office in downtown Raleigh (one time Kane went in the wrong door; more than once she brought the wrong papers). But that’s another thing about Kane: She’ll keep on coming back. “If you need someone to meet with you, to hear you out or help you, and you ask three or four times, they will probably say yes. But if they don’t, you just keep moving,” she says. Every time Kane met with someone in those early years, she would ask, “who’s the next person you

can connect me with?”—a habit that helped her curate a diverse community of support for her cause. Creating a community These days, 40 to 60 volunteers come through the doors of APATT every day. It’s hard to know who is there for a free meal or not, because plenty of people with the means to pay still choose to volunteer, enjoying the relationships and community they find there. The paywhat-you-can model allows diners several payment options: they can pay the full suggested menu price, pay as little as half if needed, pay it forward by buying a meal for someone else, or pay for a meal with an hour of volunteer work in the restaurant—doing things like washing windows or clearing plates. One particular diner who frequents the café used to come in every morning after sleeping outside, eat, then volunteer for his meal. He never talked. He preferred doing dishes, head low, meticulous in his work. One day, a

food, which can then be redeemed for a meal at APATT. “I live in downtown Raleigh and take them with me when walking to events, to catch the train or walking my dog,” she says. Henderson once saw a mother and three young children in Nash Square Park on a particularly hot summer day. The foursome had been staying in the park for days, so Henderson shared tokens with them and pointed them to the restaurant, where they met Kane, who gave them more tokens. Like many families battling homelessness, this family was transient and soon moved on, but while in Raleigh, they had a place to eat, to escape the heat, to sit, to be served and to feel human. Expanding service In late fall, APATT plans to complete their expansion of the café into the space next door. The new addition means everything can get bigger: menu, seating capacity, employment and impact. Perhaps the best upgrade will be to the kitchen. Right now, chef Andrew Gravens works his magic with rudimentary amenities (think, a waffle maker and a sandwich press) and a lone, small oven with no hood, arriving at 4 a.m. alongside his sous-chefs to get cooking. APATT’s nine-person team, each of whom gets health insurance and is paid a living wage, contributes to the exceptional food and service. “We don’t just want to be one of the best pay-what-you-can cafés,” says Kane, “we want to be one of the best cafés, period.” Kane says Gravens’ work in the kitchen has been transformative; APATT is as much a part of Raleigh’s booming culinary scene as it is a destination for people who are

Anyone can buy a $10 token to hand out to someone else who needs food, which can then be redeemed for a meal at A Place at the Table.


fellow kitchen volunteer got him to say a little more than his name. “A few months later, you couldn’t shut him up,” Kane says. He doesn’t complete his volunteer work in the kitchen anymore, but instead prefers to run food to the tables, meeting people, interacting. It’s the crux of what Kane hoped to do, which is to feed people with not just meals, but community. Sherri Henderson, a volunteer, is often at the point of sale, taking orders. Like almost everyone in the café, she’s passionate about the mission and the community. One part of the nonprofit that Henderson particularly likes is the tokens: Anyone can buy a $10 token to hand out to someone else who needs

Opposite page, clockwise from above: A tally of the good work inside the restaurant; diners outside; Maggie Kane greeting a friend; daily quiche with a side salad and fruit cup

Dr. Scott Ralls tours the Perry Health Sciences Campus, where students learn skills to meet our region’s healthcare needs.

Chief Brewing Officer Les Stewart at Trophy’s brewing facility on Maywood Avenue.


food-insecure. Her favorite menu item is Smiling Eggs Benny—a take on Eggs Benedict that finds the poached eggs over a Belgian waffle, with maple hollandaise and a bacon smile. APATT’s first Board Chair, Allison Connors, became interested in a nonprofit restaurant as a way to provide affordable, healthy food to help improve North Carolina’s rankings for obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Connors, who now runs the Financial Development Committee, volunteers at the café several times a week. Recently, she offered a ride home to one of the volunteers who comes in most days to work for his meal. The man, who had learned how to mop from his father, a janitor, now does the mopping at APATT, with high standards for how it should be done. During the car ride, he told Connors what the café community means to him: “He talked about how we are his family, how much he enjoys being there and how he will keep coming back,” she says, “And I feel exactly the same way.” Now, at 28 years old, Maggie Kane has solidified a name for herself in both the nonprofit and Raleigh food scene, racking up a slew of awards, including the Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award and The Thad Eure, Jr. Memorial Award, which honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Wake County hospitality industry. Her work with APATT landed her a feature on The Today Show, she was named “Tarheel of the Month” by The News & Observer and she received the Outstanding Young Alumna Award from N.C. State University. “I want people to know that this is not me

doing this,” says Kane with modesty. “It is Raleigh that made this happen—everyone who dined, donated, volunteered and brought their talents, the people who come every week… they are the ones who make this happen every single day.” Building connections Kane’s penchant for service revealed itself early. Her twin sister, Annah Deters, recalls living with Kane in college at N.C. State: “Each week she would run random errands to people living on the street or in low-income situations. She would make me go with her to deliver pizzas on cold nights or drop off things they needed.” And Kane doesn’t just hand out biscuits and socks; she sits down close, she looks people in

business, but with the goal to do good and not profit.” He and his volunteers value the contact with the community they find there: “At the café, we work alongside people who are homeless, have food insecurities, are recovering or have some other challenge… It’s a great opportunity to get first-hand knowledge of the people who are in need.” Thriving in place A Place at the Table is thriving with a diverse array of diners, and Kane herself is usually a feature at one of the outdoor tables, where she greets most diners by name. She arrives at seven each morning and spends her days in meetings, planning for the future of the bustling café she wasn’t sure would ever be anything more than a dream. Every day, an older couple who lives nearby walks to the café to have coffee. Today, as they round the corner onto Hargett Street, a diner who sits outside reading poetry jumps to her feet. “Grandma! Grandpa!” she says, hurrying to embrace the couple. She is a young woman of color, in no way related to them, who just finished volunteering for her meal. They hug her and chat for a while before heading inside for smoky chipotle pimento cheese sandwiches and home-style chicken noodle soup. There are doctors in scrubs sitting at the community table, next to a man who sleeps outside, who is chatting with a businesswoman on her laptop. “Everyone has to eat. Everyone wants to eat,” Kane says, “So why not do it together? Community just makes life better.”

“It is Raleigh that made this happen— everyone who dined, donated, volunteered and brought their talents, the people who come every week… they are the ones who make this happen every single day.”

Opposite page, clockwise from above: Maggie Kane poses with restaurant patrons and volunteers; club sandwich; APATT meal tokens

the eye. “Maggie wants to know everybody’s story and how they got to where they are,” says Deters. “She sees every individual person.” Kane’s engaging personality, along with her ability to create meaningful connections, is the root of her nonprofit’s success. One such connection she made was with Sean Degnan, co-owner of the restaurants bu•ku and so•ca, an early supporter of her cause who now serves as chair of the APATT board. “This all happened because of Sean and his belief in us, and the support from his bu•ku and so•ca staff, who helped us open our doors,” says Kane. Bill Halvorsen, a project leader and board member of Activate Good, who has been leading a team of volunteers at APATT, says the leaders there “work as if they are building a Fortune 500

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A partnership between the YMCA, Wake County and Southeast Raleigh Promise creates support in an underserved area



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n the morning of August 26, 357 children will wake up for their first day at a brand-new school. But Southeast Raleigh Elementary School is not just any school—it’s different. Created as a public-private partnership between the YMCA of the Triangle and the Wake County Public School System with the support of Southeast Raleigh Promise, this Pre-K through 5th grade facility is adjoined with a new branch of the Y to offer not just education, but wraparound services to families that live in the Rock Quarry Road/Southeast Raleigh corridor. The first of its kind in North Carolina, YMCA of the Triangle CEO Doug McMillan says that this partnership has been years in the making. “Six years ago, a new vision crystalized. YMCA of the Triangle Board members, community leaders and neighbors challenged us to provide opportunities for all in Southeast Raleigh and to think bigger than just a new YMCA facility.” For decades, this area of Raleigh has been widely underserved: the unemployment rate is 50 percent higher than the rest of Wake County as is the number of single-parent households, plus the reading level of children is much lower than the city’s average. Southeast Raleigh YMCA Executive Director Dexter Herbert says that this initiative is just a step in the right direction. It’s been coined the Beacon site—describing its one-of-a-kind role in guiding this community forward. “We want to close the gaps of inequity and injustice. We want to engage and support and appreciate the diversity in people’s age, race, gender, income and education.” YMCA of 76 | WALTER

the Triangle’s Senior Regional Vice President, Jon Mills, says that while the YMCA owns this land (a whopping 32 acres), it takes an entire community to get something like this done. “This project is a lot bigger than just the Y. When we refer to it as the Beacon site, I think everyone has made a commitment to be innovative and think creatively. While we’ve had programming in this area of town for decades, this site allows us to serve more people in a more tangible way.” Forward-thinking facilities Every detail of the 35,000 squarefoot space is designed thoughtfully and deliberately. The wall of the lobby, which separates the school from the YMCA, is punctuated with vintage signage (salvaged from the Alexander branch) and dotted with scattered footprints of neighborhood residents, from work boots to tiny sneakers, earthcast by local artist Thomas Sayre. Every room is flooded with natural light. There are collaborative community spaces for the students, including an instructional kitchen and two large outdoor garden areas, plus two outdoor heated pools that will be utilized by both the YMCA and the school. “Every child will have swimming lessons built into their P.E. curriculum,” says Herbert, who notes that they plan to work with Southeast Raleigh High School to train students as lifeguards and swim teachers. While the students will enjoy the school facilities during the day, the Y hopes to open up the resources to the larger community as well, for cooking classes and other wellness programming. The school’s incoming principal, Cheryl Fenner, was born and raised in Southeast Raleigh, and says that she feels

YMCA of the Triangle Senior Regional VP Jon Mills, left, and Dexter Herbert, right, Southeast Raleigh YMCA Executive Director, inside the basketball court.

JULY/AUGUST 2019 | 77

Above: The YMCA/ elementary school lobby, featuring art from Thomas Sayre; Opposite page: The school cafeteria


a special connection to this place. “I am a product of the Wake County Public School System. I grew up in Southeast Raleigh, so there are a lot of allegiances to this area.” She was most recently the principal at nearby Fuller Elementary School and was the 2015 Magnet Principal of the Year. Fenner says that the school will be unique in many ways, especially in its Pre-K offerings. “The students in our four Pre-K classrooms will be guaranteed a space at the school. They will not be reassigned and will stay in a place that they’re already familiar with.” The YMCA section of the campus will operate as a traditional branch, with state-of-the-art fitness equipment and group class options, and if you’re a member of any Triangle Y, you’re also a member of this location. “I believe that with the YMCA addressing the health and wellness of our

community, we can’t help but to help the entire city of Raleigh thrive,” says Fenner. “It will help create a more balanced society in Wake County.” Wrap-around support The Pre-K plan, along with the special offerings like cooking classes and swimming lessons, is part of a unique partnership based on a model created by Purpose Built Communities, a national network that partners with local organizations, in this case Southeast Raleigh Promise. The goal of the model is to “help create vibrant new communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive”—and specifically in Southeast Raleigh, to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Fenner says that bringing more people to the table to share space, information and decisions can be crucial

to making an impact. “You have to begin the process at the foundation, where you have the opportunity to shape and mold the students. The earlier you can get to the students and the families, the better.” Kia Baker, executive director of Southeast Raleigh Promise, says that her organization is the ‘community quarterback’ for this initiative, working on bridging the gaps in support through after-school programming, managing collaborations as well as generating additional funding. “As hard as our school system works to make sure everything is available, we help fill those gaps in funding. This includes things like paying for full-time school psychologists when budget only allows for part-time.” Fenner says that the YMCA will be the framework that can provide more enrichment for the students at the

school, including wellness facilities and after-school programming. “There is tremendous potential and brightness, but students really need a chance to demonstrate it. One of our focuses is to build awesome and courageous leaders.” The goal is to create a community-responsive school, she says. “What that means is we are working with our partners to address the holistic needs of the families that we serve in Southeast Raleigh. We believe in getting to the core, which means building solid relationships.” People first While the innovative facilities will lend to learning and wellness, Herbert believes that it’s the people who interact with the space—from students and teachers to fitness instructors and Y members—that will make this project a success. The Y’s mission statement, after all, is We Build People. “I’m most excited to bring communities together. Proximity is key: get people in proximity, then they get involved, and involvement leads to relationships. Relationships lead to empathy.” Herbert says it’s not just about donations and showing up, it’s about getting people from different backgrounds interacting with one another. He

says to stay tuned for exclusive programs only offered at this branch, designed in part to draw people specifically to this Y, in this neighborhood, from other parts of Raleigh. “To me, this is a place that will represent what we as human beings are supposed to be to each other and for each other,” says Herbert. Mills, who has worked at the Y for over a decade, hopes that this partnership serves as an example to other neighborhoods and communities: “We have an opportunity to do something that could be replicated across Wake County and across our state. It gives me hope. We can address very complex issues together, ones that we typically try to solve in our silos.” He says that the Y has built a significant and trusting relationship with this community over the past decade through YMCA programming in Southeast Raleigh like after-school care, Camp High Hopes and Community Hope Mentoring. Mills says that these impactful programs have ultimately led to this initiative. Baker says she hopes this initiative is a big step forward in revitalizing this neighborhood, fostering the ‘cradle to career’ pipeline. “Our children and their families will now have a safe space to go. One of the issues that we have is that our JULY/AUGUST 2019 | 79

You have to begin the process at the foundation, where you have the opportunity to shape and mold the students. The earlier you can get to the students and the families, the better.” – Cheryl Fenner

young people don’t have safe or protective spaces where they can play and develop themselves.” The next phase By 2020, the Beacon campus will also include 120 units of affordable housing, sponsored by the Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation (DHIC). That happens to be the exact number of short-term rental rooms that were formerly at the Alexander YMCA on Hillsborough Street before its 2015 renovation. The development, Beacon Ridge, will include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that offer much more than just housing. Natalie Britt, DHIC Vice President of Real Estate Development says that this is a family property, taking advantage of its unique location and directing focus to kids and a 80 | WALTER

family’s overall health by connecting families and individuals to the resources and training that lend to a healthier lifestyle. To that end, 75 seats across grade levels will be reserved at the elementary school for its younger residents. But Britt says the goal is to provide wraparound services for the entire family, not just the child. “I’m most excited about being able to follow the kids and families to see the progress that they make in school or health goals. Stable housing is just as important to better health as it is to education.” Fenner agrees, as family is also a focus of the elementary school: Teachers and staff have already met with many neighborhood families and will continue to keep them deeply involved throughout the school year. Because this is a new model in Wake

County, the team expects it to evolve as they go. They’re still figuring out, for example, the best ways to incorporate volunteers and interact with the community at large. “This is not traditional for us,” says Herbert. “It’s appreciating how all of these things interact and mix together. I hope we can learn and benefit from people from all walks of life.” “A healthy Southeast Raleigh is a healthy Raleigh and a healthy Wake County,” Herbert says. “The sharing of space, sharing ideas, the intentionality behind how we serve the teachers, students and their families, as well as the membership base, is all wrapped up in that. The culture we create together at the Beacon site is going to be the most important piece to this initiative. If we can create that culture here, the future is bright for everybody.”

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Back row, left to right: Brian Reid, President TowneBank Triangle; Greg Steele, President TowneBank Greenville; Scott Baker, President TowneBank Triad; Phil Jurney, President TowneBank Charlotte; Front row, left to right: Patsy Johnson, President TowneBank Cary; Matt Davis, President TowneBank North Carolina; Jack Clayton, President of Business Strategies North Carolina; Taylor Sugg, President TowneBank Northeast North Carolina

FULL BLOOM Neng Vang makes a floral arrangement at his booth at the State Farmers Market.


The colors, shapes and smiling faces we found at the State Farmers Market


photography by JULI LEONARD

JULY/AUGUST 2019 | 83


very summer, Raleighites flock to the State Farmers Market off Lake Wheeler Road. The space is open year-round—a massive, 30,000-square-foot covered area that would be bare-bones save for the bustle of vendors and buyers—but summer is when the market hits its peak. This time of year, it’s brimming with seasonal produce from the furthest reaches of North Carolina; when we stopped in, we found peaches from Dunn, apples from Taylorsville and strawberries from Mount Olive alongside dozens more. Every day, the Farmers Market brings together folks from all walks of life: foodies seeking peak produce, families going the economical route, chefs and just plain browsers, waiting to see what sparks the eye. Some vendors have been around for decades, travelling from all over the state to sell their latest harvest. Garner native Tonda Claborn has worked with Debra Lee’s Produce for five years, but the farm has been selling at the Farmers Market for over 50 years. “I love being outside and teaching people the difference between store-bought produce and fresh-from-the-farm produce.” Of course, the market has more than just vegetables. Lionel Vatinet sells his award-winning bread and pastries from La Farm Bakery; bouquets of freshly-cut flowers from Neng Vang’s booth start at $5; and you can fill your garden with everything from hanging plants to succulents to handmade garden decor. One a recent visit, shopper Shanita Dixon from Durham said she comes to the market for two reasons. “I’m here to support local farmers, but also to buy fresh and be more conscious of what I’m putting into my body.” Once you’ve picked out your summer haul—we love corn, okra, tomatoes and watermelon this time of year—you can head into the indoor section for a fresh-squeezed orangeade or lemonade while you select today’s catch at Locals Seafood. Just a few more reasons to be grateful to have the bounty of our whole state right here in Raleigh.


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SUMMER SMILES Left: Fresh greens; This page: Dieisha Edwards and her children Thaddius and Jasmine pose for a photo.

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AUBERGINE & GREEN This page: Japanese eggplant. Right: Cynthia Church of McLamb Nursery rearranges plants.


The MRF uses magnets to attract steel and repel aluminum, and puffs of air to separate different kinds of plastics. The glass is broken into bits and sold as cullet; it will be sent to another facility where the different colors will be sorted by light. Once the materials are separated, they’ll be pressed into bales.

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HAVE A PEACH Left: Fiona Quinn and her grandmother, Jean Cheney, stop for a bite to eat. This page: Sampling peaches.

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GARDEN GROWN This page: Chillin’ cucumbers; Right: Michele Core of Michele’s Fresh Fruits adds more tomatoes to her display.


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Visual artist Becky Joye captures a sense of childlike wonder in her work

The Joye of ART by SAMANTHA GRATTON photography by S.P. MURRAY

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ecky Joye appreciates lines and order— but to emphasize her instinct for precision belies the sense of wonder that filters through her mixed-media artwork. Combining familiar objects (water towers, diggers, Ferris wheels) with abstract shots of color, Joye’s work always tells a story, but you might not see it upon first look. Joye’s detail-oriented approach comes in part from her background: Born in Charlotte, Joye took art classes growing up and went on to study architecture at UNC-Charlotte, designing greeting cards and wedding invitations on the side to stay creatively engaged. She worked for several years as an architec96 | WALTER

tural designer, first in Charlotte, then in Austin, Texas, but then she was laid off in 2008. “It was a big moment for me—I realized I didn’t want to be an architect anymore.” “It was a low point in my life,” she adds with a bit of a laugh. “But it forced me to find the confidence to say that I wanted to be an artist, because I never thought it could be a career. And it’s true, it’s not an easy one. With architecture you know the steps you’re taking; artists don’t really know the path, you figure it out as you go along.”

Finding inspiration For Joye, forging her path—along with her own voice and style—started with classes at the local art museum (now known as The Contemporary Austin). She had done realistic pencil drawings before, but wanted to learn more

about painting, so she studied under contemporary painter Andrew Long. After a 2010 trip to West Texas, she was inspired by its wide-open landscapes and developed a series featuring kites, balloons and a lot of white. Titled In Search of Lightness, it captures the feeling of open space and an open mind. In 2012, Joye and her husband moved to Raleigh to be closer to their families, where she was chosen for the Regional Emerging Artist-in-Residence in 2013 at ArtSpace (she continues to rent studio space there today). It was there that she found a subject she’d come back to time and again: man-made contraptions. “I like structures,” says Joye.“I’ll see something like a Ferris wheel and think, ‘Oh, I want to do an exploration of that.’” For her Amusement series, she visited amusement parks and carnivals, then used acrylic, pencil and thread

on paper to create vivid scenes and mixed-media sculptures with moving parts. “That one was a fun one because I rode on rides,” she says, “though I discovered I was too old for them.” Similarly, Joye’s Hunting for Mysteries features lighthouses, boats and trucks influenced by a trip to Iceland. She worked on that series during a month-long residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, New York in 2015. The series became a solo show at the Wally Workman Gallery in Austin, Texas the following spring, and they continue to represent her and show other pieces of her work. Another series, Industrial Fabric, coincides with her style of whimsical structures and strong lines, but the medium moves toward Japanese fabrics in muted colors and geometric shapes sewn together onto the paper, in addition to the use of acrylic and pencil. For these, Joye

learned to sew and played with sewing on paper to create collages of man-made creations through fabric. Foy Joye, seeing anything from a turbine to a water tower along the side of the road can lead to visualizations of creatures or figures through color and fabric.

Art as therapy A few months after her solo show in Austin, Joye’s son Jack was born, an event that inspired her Labor Intensive series. While the work appears vibrant and playful, it actually has darker undertones, as she used it to work through the emotions of a difficult pregnancy, traumatic birth and tough recovery. “They’re colorful, but not joyful,” says Joye. In these paintings, twisted rope, knotted ribbon and pieces of fabric—signs of the anticipation and tension she felt through pregnancy and childbirth—pop against

deep red, blue and green backgrounds. “I used a colored background so I could get a little messier,” says Joye, a stark contrast to her previous habit of working against a white background. “My artwork had always been very meticulous and clean, but things didn’t feel that way anymore.” To create the paintings, Joye often worked from physical models, knotting rope or pulling clothing from the hamper. “I think I painted a lot of references to laundry because I was feeling really domestic at the time,” says Joye. Joye has had fewer art shows since becoming a mother, now that her time is limited to preschool and nap hours. “It’s good because I come and focus on it,” says Joye. “But I have a harder time getting my mind wandering and coming up with ideas.” Last summer, her younger sister Amy passed away. Joye processed that loss and JULY/AUGUST 2019 | 97

its impact on her family through therapy and through her art: A few pieces use layers of pink fabric and thread to represent a pretty exterior, with unknowns beneath the surface. In a piece titled Memento, a collage of cooling towers comes to represent her two sisters and herself; hers is in calming shades of green and her sister Melissa’s a mosaic of reds, but Amy’s is made only of thread, depicting her absence. “These all mean something to me, but not to anybody else,” says Joye. “I don’t know if I’ll ever sell them.”

On the horizon While Joye’s art has primarily served to process the upheavals in her personal life for the last few years, Joye feels like she is getting back to her old self now. “I really connect to the word transcendence for what I want to do now in my work— overcome grief, anxiety and physical set98 | WALTER

backs by connecting to my inner child.” One way Joye is doing that is by creating scenes for a children’s book proposal. Currently untitled, the book will focus on a young girl building a house. She received the 2019 Professional Development Grant from the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County to produce the artwork, which draws from pictures from her childhood. The scenes are reminiscent of many of Joye’s earlier pieces, featuring construction vehicles in playful colors, celebratory geometric shapes and wide-open spaces that spark a childlike curiosity. Whether it is through a children’s book, playful structures or moody collages, Joye wants people to feel, well, joyful when experiencing her art: “I want them to feel a sense of wonder, to step into their imaginations.”

833-655-6215 Offer Expires July 31, 2019. Minimum Purchase of 3 Windows Required. Call for details.

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A Cary couple builds an indoor-outdoor retreat, ideal for entertaining



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wo years ago, a couple found an image of the perfect house: sprawling, modern and squared-off, with floor-to-ceiling-windows, it offered a clean aesthetic completely different than the home they were in, or anything else they’d seen in Cary. They handed the photo off to Michelle Murphy of design firm Demi Ryan, giving her carte blanche to create it from scratch. “I was pretty psyched when I saw it, no one around here had done anything like it,” Murphy says. Because the couple has two older children, loved their neighborhood and didn’t want to move, they decided to build their dream home right where they were. The home would replace their traditional-style home on the same lot—a big design departure for the neighborhood— and over the course of the two years Murphy oversaw its construction and design, she often had folks walk up to the front door to ask about it. Upon the approach, you see right through the two-story tinted-glass windows to the backyard, a detail that hints at the interplay between indoors and out throughout the home. Murphy custom-designed the front door with thick metal strips so that people “can see in, but not all the way in.” The wing to the left holds the master suite downstairs and bedrooms for the kids upstairs; to the right is a generous kitchen that leads to the back patio. “They love to entertain so the flow from living to kitchen to dining to outdoors was important,” says Murphy. Murphy designed every detail, down to the vent grades, door jams and can lights, to turn the interiors into a sleek, hotel-like space. “Their other point of inspiration was the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas; they love it there,” says Murphy. Throughout the home, Murphy played with proportion and turned ordinary features into focal points. The stairs, for example: “I wanted these to go up a spine and added the glass railings so they would feel like artwork,” she says. In what could have been dead space, she installed a glass-encased wine cellar that glows from behind. A trio of hand-blown crystal orbs fills the two-story foyer (they hung balloons to get sizes just right). Each decision affirmed the commitment to modern design. “The client was very open to new ideas and really went all-out in terms of a modern house,” says Liz O’Connell, who worked with Murphy on the home. “There are no baseboards, no molding— it’s really cool.” In the end, Murphy and O’Connell created just what the homeowners wanted: All the style and luxury of hotel living, right in their own backyard. 102 | WALTER

Murphy worked with Hampton Kitchens of Raleigh on the kitchen that boasts two islands for entertaining. They used Dekton, a man-made surface out of Spain, from Rockin’ Interiors for the waterfall-edge countertops and as an accent on the wall next to the wood-look cabinets; painted glass makes the backsplash area shine. The window leading to the back opens up as a passthrough when entertaining outdoors.

YMCA of the Triangle Senior Regional VP Jon Mills, at left, and Dexter Herbert, at right, the Southeast Raleigh YMCA Executive Director.

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Left page: The channel-back sectional is from Baker; it surrounds a marble coffee table on top of a handmade rug. The fireplace is clad in Dekton; two swivel chairs near the window are a spot for coffee in the morning with a view onto the greens. An elevator is tucked into the hallway leading to the master suite. Right page: The view from the second floor into the living room. “The three spheres from Luxe Lighting are just spectacular, very dramatic,” says O’Connell.

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This page: Murphy thought leaving the space under the stairs as a blank wall would be a disservice to the design (they had to have it, because that’s how you access the crawlspace under the house), so she installed floor-to-ceiling racks to display wine, with an area below for boxes. Murphy had a metalsmith create the steps that go into the space. “I knew I wanted to stick to a black and white theme here to let the scenery pop,” says Murphy. Since the dining room, below left, was square, a round resin table was in order (“Plus, it’s better for conversation,” says Murphy). The square recessed lighting throughout the home is dimmable and positionable, and Murphy made the whole house smart for mood lighting and more. Right page: “It’s always important to have a mirror in the foyer!” says Murphy. She accessorized the Baker mirror and console with Arteriors stools that can be brought into the living room for additional seating.

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This page: Murphy used a simple grey and white strié tile throughout the bathroom. The door in the shower stall leads to another shower, outside—a special request from the husband. Right page: The fabric wall in the master bedroom was inspired by the Aria Hotel, with a higher-than usual platform bed to watch TV comfortably. Baker dressers flank the bed, and hanging fixtures frame the area to draw the eye upward. The opposite wall boasts an ultra-long floating hearth and recessed shelves. Murphy kept all the elements neutral in this room for the hotel experience, with low, wide furniture throughout: “I just wanted that blocky, chunky feel to contrast with the light and glass everywhere,” she says. The single-blade fan offers comfort without visual clutter (“Very important for us women as we age!” Murphy laughs). The husband’s closet echoes the surfaces in the kitchen. In the bathroom, the floating vanity and squared-off tub continue the long, lean look of the space.

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This page: The backyard offers a bar area (complete with a pizza oven), multiple seating areas, a pool and pool house. Phantom screens that surround the dining area retract completely when they’re not needed. Murphy installed a standard-size fireplace, then designed the Dekton-clad hearth and mantel to tie it back to the others in the home. “It’s just stunning,” says O’Connell. The floor is stained concrete. “It’s super-easy for pollen season, you can just hose everything down,” says Murphy. The sunken fire pit offers another outdoor space to hang out.

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WALTER EVENTS Join us for an evening of inspiration and creativity as local female entrepreneurs share their stories, from challenges and successes to ideas and lessons.





September 20 The Umstead Hotel & Spa For more information, please visit

Inspired. Empowered. Energized. That’s how we feel when we’re surrounded by hundreds of driven, successful women. On September 20, we’ll host our fifth annual WINnovation summit. The evening is headlined by leaders in our community from diverse backgrounds—their stories and paths are different, but they share the same entrepreneurial spirit. But the event is more than that: Opportunities to meet with other participants and to flex your strategic thinking make it an interactive opportunity to expand your skills and network, too. Here’s what you can expect: WORKSHOP Think outside of the box WINnovation opens with collaborative brainstorming sessions, this year led by the Council of Entrepreneurial Development (CED) and SCORE Raleigh, which offer ways to problem-solve, think creatively and develop tools for career growth. COCKTAIL HOUR Continue the conversation Following the workshops, there’s time to mingle with fellow innovators and entrepreneurs. This is a chance to expand your network—both for business and just for fun. DINNER Listen and learn Enjoy a three-course meal while hearing from our panelists. Listen as they share their entrepreneurial journeys, anecdotes and the wisdom they’ve learned along the way. Following the talks there will be a Q&A session where guests can interact directly with each panelist.

2019 WINnovation Panelists BILLIE REDMOND Founder and CEO, Trademark Properties The force behind the largest woman-owned boutique commercial real estate company in the Triangle, Redmond has won multiple awards for her business contributions.

DR. ANN ROSS Forensic Anthropologist, NC State University Department of Biological Sciences Ross has deployed on identification mission after national disasters and done humanitarian casework in the former Yugoslavia, Panama and Chile.

ANGELA SALAMANCA Chef and Owner, Centro & Gallo Pelón Mezcaleria Salamanca here from Colombia in her teens and went to UNC Chapel Hill. She opened Centro in 2007 and expanded her business to Gallo Pelón and Ex Voto in Durham Food Hall.

DONNA SYLVER SVP and CFO, Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Sylver has years of diverse financial experience, including five CFO titles and leadership roles in manufacturing, banking and aviation. She’s won multiple leadership awards.

We hope you’ll join us at WINnovation this year. If your business is interested in sponsorship opportunities, visit JULY/AUGUST 2019 | 113

THE WHIRL WALTER’s roundup of galas, gatherings, fundraisers and just-for-fun events around the Triangle.

Justin Kase Conder

Guests at WALTER’s A Day with Vivian Howard toast to an eventful day.

120 Green Chair Project’s Chairity event 122 N.C. Museum of History Spring Frolic 124 Grace Li Wang Art Show 126 Series of Fortunate Events 127 and BB&T Lighthouse Project Day of Service 128 North State Bank’s Summer Salute 128 Midtown Raleigh Banner Art Contest

The Whirl is online! Visit JULY/AUGUST 2019 | 115




n a sunny day in May, WALTER readers traveled to Kinston, North Carolina, to learn about cooking and sample local fare with Vivian Howard, star of A Chef’s Life and author of Deep Run Roots. Guests started the day with a private brunch at The Boiler Room Oyster Bar, Howard’s casual, family-friendly restaurant. There they enjoyed a sampling of the restaurant’s most popular items, including the Baked Pimento Cheese & Sausage Dip, the K-Town BLT Burger and the Brussels Sprouts Salad with Chicken. After their meal, guests made their way to Howard’s test kitchen and

private office, where she and Lillie Hardy (known as Miss Lillie), Howard’s counterpart on A Chef’s Life, bantered over the right way to make biscuits during a cooking demonstration. While a few guests sifted flour and kneaded dough, the two shared cooking tips, real talk about having life filmed every day and inside details about their new television show in the works. After the demonstration, there was time to wander through town. Mother Earth Brewing and Social House Vodka offered private tours and tastings for the event-goers, and a swing by the Lenoir County Farmers Market found local farmer Warren Brothers manning his

booth (sans shoes, of course). As the sun set, guests were seated in the private dining room at the Chef & the Farmer. Howard talked through the entire menu to highlight seasonal picks and recipes inspired by her cookbook, including an abundance of strawberries (even pickled!), a pork shoulder, squash casserole and—a crowd favorite— chocolate chess pie for dessert. Signature cocktails and wine pairings complemented the meal. WALTER would like to thank sponsors Renewal by Andersen and Bailey’s Fine Jewelry for their support in making the event a success. —Ayn-Monique Klahre

Guests learn to sift flour with Miss Lillie.

Getting dough just the right size for a biscuit.

Guests watch the demonstration.

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Chef Vivian Howard, star of A Chef’s Life, in her test kitchen.

Biscuits fresh from the oven.

Watching the demostration.

Howard signed cookbooks on-site.

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THE WHIRL A group tours Mother Earth Brewing.

A guide explains how the drinks are made.

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Tastings at Social House Vodka.

Guests on tour.

Enjoying a meal in the private dining room.

Plating in the kitchen of Chef and the Farmer.

A group enjoying dinner.

Howard explains the origins of her recipes.

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Breezy sophistication and fine quality women’s apparel and accessories.

THE WHIRL THE GREEN CHAIR PROJECT’S CHAIRITY 2019 The Green Chair Project’s Annual Benefit, Chairity was held April 25. The event raises money for the organization’s mission to provide all Wake County families with essential home furnishings, specifically those who are transitioning out of homelessness, disaster or crisis.

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Caroline Zamadics, Michelle Silvis, Katie Gillespie, Gretchen Kowalczyk, Bonnie Fusarelli, Phil Kowalczyk, Lance Fusarelli

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Kathryn Howard, Ken Howard

Duke Finley, Rose Finley, Caroline Plummer, Stephen Later

Caleb Whitby, Frank Jennings, Mary Rawls, Maggie Bizzell, Sarah Rawls, Mary-Alice Warren, Will Miars

Aesthetic Images Photography

N.C. MUSEUM OF HISTORY SPRING FROLIC The N.C. Museum of History’s 22nd Annual Spring Frolic was held March 30 at the Carolina Country Club. Lyl and Aaron Clinard and Mary Powell and Dunlop White were honored for their commitment to the Associates, Foundation and to the Museum of History. Museum friends from across the state gathered for the event benefiting the N.C. Museum of History, which surpassed its financial goal.


THE WHIRL GRACE LI WANG ART SHOW Will Dyson of Ameriprise Financial hosted an event at Raleigh HQ April 25 for renowned artist and jewelry designer Grace Li Wang, who specializes in customized freshwater pearl jewelry. D.S. Provance also autographed books from her book series Paw Smart, which features photographs taken locally.


We like to socialize. Follow along and don’t miss a thing. Grace Li Wang, TJ Jackson

Linda Schroeder, Chuck Schroeder

Donna (D.S.) Provance


Michael Mitchell

Grace Li Wang exhibits art and jewelry

THE WHIRL SERIES OF FORTUNATE EVENTS The 2019 Series of Fortunate Events is a series of four events presented by Arts Access NC highlighting the diversity and creativity that exists within the disabilities community. Members of the community gathered at AIA NC on April 27 and the Cary Theater April 28 for an evening of celebration.

Grand Opening Weekend Events August 2 - 4 • First Friday Culture Pop-Up, Fri. 6-8PM • Grand Opening Celebration, Sat. 11AM - 4PM • Moore Movies (Iron Giant), Sun. 7PM

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Diane Makgill, Deb Hillman, Eleanor Jones, Jeff Rezeli, Debra Rezeli

Eddie Cisneros, Noah Davis

Stan Petelinz, Michelle Davis Petelinz

Lilian Willis, Davian Thompson















DONATESPORT.ORG AND BB&T LIGHTHOUSE PROJECT DAY OF SERVICE One of Raleigh’s largest charitable service projects took place in the Bedford community on April 5. Over 30 volunteers, including Rick Suter and a team from the BB&T Lighthouse Project, teamed up with to sort and deliver over $105,000 worth of clothing and sports gear across the Triangle to organizations including the Raleigh Boys Club, Raleigh Rescue Mission, Oak City Outreach, Note in the Pocket, Children’s Home Society of N.C., Durham Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army. Rick Suter

Project Day of Service volunteers


BB&T volunteers organizing deliveries


Larry Barbour, Leslie Bristow, Charles Francis Tara Robbins, Bill Young, Laura Bunn, Heath Hilliker, Gina Stephens

INAUGURAL MIDTOWN RALEIGH BANNER ART CONTEST Midtown Raleigh Alliance announced Heath Hilliker as the winner of its first annual Midtown Raleigh Banner Art Contest May 16. The contest is a community engagement initiative to support local artists and help beautify the Midtown Raleigh community. Heath Hilliker, a Triangle native and mother of two, will have her artwork displayed on street banners across Midtown. Sponsored by Capital Bank, the annual competition also awards the winner a $1,000 cash prize.

Liz Branch, Jim Branch Mike Lau, Tara Lau


ACROSS 3. Thousands of these are blooming at Dix Park 4. Abilities _____ brings together sport and friendship 6. NC Theatre is presenting this classic musical 7. This organization is partnering with Wake County Public Schools and Southeast Raleigh Promise

1 2 3



5 6


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1. Marjorie Hodges shared her experience from this out-of-town festival 2. Craig LeHoullier is an expert on this fruit 5. The Fiction Kitchen serves this type of cuisine

courtesy North State Bank (SALUTE); MRA/D. Pitts (BANNER)

NORTH STATE BANK’S SUMMER SALUTE North State Bank’s 16th Summer Salute for Transitions LifeCare was held May 4 at North Ridge Country Club. Attendees enjoyed food, fun and the music of The Embers.

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Getty Images


ome of my favorite childhood memories revolve around my grandparents’ colorful metal porch swing. Unlike the wooden swings so popular in the South, this one had smooth, wide, vertical slats that bent to comfortably hug your body. I would take my grandmother’s couch pillows outside and spend whole afternoons in it, just reading and thinking. The ceiling groaned and the metal chains pinged, making my imagination run to tales of ghosts and pirate ships. My younger brother and I used to beg our grandfather to swing us. He’d dutifully drag a chair in front of the swing and raise the u-shaped metal footrest just above his ample belly. He had a rhythm where the footrest landed effortlessly in his hands on the approach, then, with the smallest downward motion, he’d send us back out past the edge of the porch. “Higher!” we would sing. “Grandpa, higher!” I’ve lived all over the South, walking wistfully by neighbors’ porches, never having had a proper porch of my own. But a few years ago, I moved to Raleigh. My future husband, Bob, and I found ourselves a rental in Historic Oakwood, where folks treat porches like a second living room. We had one, too, but it was too narrow for a swing. We looked all over town when it came time to buy, but in the end, we couldn’t leave the neighborhood. We moved only a few blocks, and I finally have a porch that fits a five-foot-wide swing. Bob spent an afternoon shor-

ing up the ceiling to accommodate 600 pounds; I requested there be no railing behind the swing to curb its path. The porch ceiling is twelve feet high, which means the chains are so long that a few good pushes send me high enough to make my hair blow. As Bob and I were working out the details of how to hang our swing,

I kept thinking of all the little legs that would dangle off the seat. I envisioned our future grandchildren, who will be far flung in these United States, forming memories of languid childhood days spent on our Southern swing. And I can hear them sing, “Higher, GiGi! Higher!” —Janna McMahan

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