Archive for July, 2010

Bringing Near-Extinct Birds Back to the Scenic City

July 22, 2010


Ted and Zenith, two peregrine falcons, are currently living at Rock City and are preparing to be released into the wild.

John and Dale Stokes, from SOAR (Save Our American Raptors), are partnering with Rock City to bring peregrine falcons back to our area.  These birds spent many years on the Endangered Species list because pesticides nearly wiped them out in the 1960s and 70s.  Captive breeding projects are re-stocking the population of these apex predators.

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From the press release:

On Monday, July 12, at approximately 5 pm, two male peregrine falcons were placed in a hack box at Rock City, in preparation for their release on Wednesday, July 28*. The month-old birds flew here (by plane) from Minnesota, bred by Andy Kramer.

Fitted with transmitters, the birds are expected to take flight back into their natural habitat, hopefully to make this region their home since there are currently no nesting pairs in this area.

This Peregrine release program is an ongoing project for Rock City Gardens. Previous releases have included birds named “Garnet and Frieda” after the founders of Rock City, Garnet and Frieda Carter, as well as “Rocky.” This is the third hacking effort at Rock City since 2006.

Rock City offers Birds of Prey shows every Thursday through Sunday at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. and a special 4:30 p.m. show on Saturdays. This show features the popular “Rock City Raptors” and is hosted by John and Dale Stokes.

*This release date is set according to the continued progress of both birds, Ted and Zenith. If one is slower to adapt, the release could be postponed a few days in order for both birds to be able to take flight.

This is Bonnie, a peregrine falcon in John and Dale Stokes’s care.  Bonnie was brought by our studios for a visit.

Listen to John and Dale Stokes talking about the meaning of Bonnie’s unique markings.


Honey Harvest at the Creative Discovery Museum

July 22, 2010


Bees are all a-buzz at the Creative Discovery Museum this weekend.  It is time for the Honey Harvest and the honey bees that live in the roof top of the museum will be the center of attention Saturday and Sunday afternoon.  The green roof on top of the Creative Discovery Museum provides for an improved habitat for the honey bees.  The museum has maintained honey bee hives and an observation hive on the roof for more than a decade.  The Honey Harvest provides an opportunity for museum guests to safely watch experienced beekeepers remove the frames from the beehive and bring them inside to extract the golden honey.

Members of the Tennessee Valley Beekeepers Association will be on hand to demonstrate how to care for honey bees.  They will also be extracting the honey from the museum’s own hives and offer a taste of honey samples from around the world.  There will also be crafts and projects that teach about uses and products derived from the honey bee and hive.

Weather permitting, the beekeepers will be opening the hive at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 as well as extracting honey at 12:30 and immediately after opening the hive.    The activities of the Honey Harvest are included with the price of admission to the Creative Discovery Museum.

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Greenway Farms 5 Mile Trail Race

July 21, 2010


The Rock/Creek Trail Racing Series presents the Greenway 5 Mile Trail Race on August 7th, 2010. This is the fourth year for this trail race that is very popular with beginner wilderness trail runners.  Wilderness trail racing has been a growing sport that offers an alternative to track or road marathons.  The trails around the Chattanooga area provide for breathtaking views and great diversity in running environments.

Pre-registration for the Greenway Trail Race is encouraged and everyone who registers online before midnight on July 29th will receive a t-shirt.  Online registration closes August 4th.  You can still register on the day of the race, August 7th, beginning at 8:00 am.  The race begins at 9:00 am at Greenway Farms in Hixson Tennessee.  You can find more information on Facebook.

Proceeds from this race will benefit Wild Trails, a nonprofit organization that promotes the use, protection and expansion of trails in the Chattanooga area.

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Arts Grants Awarded To All Types of Chattanooga Non-Profits

July 20, 2010


The Tennessee Arts Commission is awarding grants to Hamilton County non-profit organizations.  They’re called “Arts Build Communities” grants, and they allow area non-profits to collaborate with Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga to produce exhibits, lectures, performances, and other projects.

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From the Allied Arts Web site:

Allied Arts will host an Arts Build Communities (ABC) application orientation workshop on July 29, 2010, at 4:00 p.m. at Allied Arts for non-profit organizations interested in collaborating on arts activities in Hamilton County.

ABC is a grant program funded by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered by Allied Arts in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission. ABC grants offer a total of $23,001 annually in financial support for arts projects in all arts disciplines such as dance, music, theater, visual arts, crafts, photography, and folk arts.

“The value of these grants is enormous to Chattanooga and Hamilton County. We’re reaching deep into the community and reaching underserved organizations through the ABC grants,” says Marilyn J. Harrison, Vice President of Allied Arts.

Last year, 19 projects received funding through ABC grants. Examples of ABC grants include art lecture series, jazz concerts and community festivals.

“Since the grant programs are not restricted to arts organizations, the program brings the arts to a larger segment of the community though arts projects at community centers, schools, and other non-profit organizations,” Ms. Harrison said.

The program’s objective is to build communities by nurturing artists, arts organizations, and arts supporters in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. The grant orientation workshop will address eligibility, grant guidelines, examples of programming, and the grant application process. First-time applicants are strongly encouraged to attend. All organizations should then plan to meet with Ms. Harrison before submitting grant applications.

The grant application deadline is August 27, 2010. Programs should be scheduled to take place between October 15, 2010 and June 15, 2010.

For more information, contact Ms. Harrison at Allied Arts at (423) 756-2787, ext. 11. To review the ABC grant application, visit the Tennessee Arts Commission website at

Theatre Centre’s Circle Series continues with “The Book of Liz” by David and Amy Sedaris

July 20, 2010

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

The Chattanooga Theatre Centre continues its circle series with a comedy by the “Talent Family,” siblings David and Amy Sedaris.     The Theatre Centre writes:

Sister Elizabeth Donderstock is Squeamish, has been her whole life. She makes cheese balls that sustain the existence of her entire religious community, Clusterhaven. Feeling unappreciated, she tries her luck in the outside world. Along the way, she meets an immigrant couple who find her a job waiting tables at Plymouth Crock, a family restaurant run almost entirely by recovering alcoholics. The alcoholics love her. The customers love her. Her Danderfrock fits right in. Things are going great for Liz, until she’s offered a promotion to manager. Liz has a sweating problem, and to get the job, she’ll have to fix it. Back at Clusterhaven, Liz’s compatriots can’t seem to duplicate her cheese ball recipe, and it’s going to cost them their quaint, cloistered lifestyle. Panic-stricken and desperate, they’re sure she sabotaged the recipe. Can the Squeamish be saved? Will the cheese balls ever taste good again?
The answers to these questions can be found in the new comedy from the Talent Family, David and Amy Sedaris.
Directed by Lebron Benton.

“The Book of Liz” opens this Friday, July 23 and runs Friday and Saturday nights through August 11th.    All performances begin at 8:00pm.

The above comes from a 2001 production of this comedy starring Amy Sedaris.

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Through the Eyes of a Child

July 20, 2010


Bluegrass Bands, Helping Hands is a project supporting DOC-UP, the Dalton Organization for Churches United for People. Regional and national bluegrass and mountain musicians donated various tracks in support of this nonprofit organization that helps families effected by unemployment in Whitfield County and Dalton, Georgia.

The CD contains 22 tracks with a special bonus tribute to Porter Wagoner.  Donated tracks were provided by national names like Louisa Branscomb, Jeanette Williams, Janet McGarry as well as regional artists like Lou Wamp, John Boulware, Steel String Session and Earl Brackin.  All of the proceeds raised from the sale of this CD benefit DOC-UP and will  help with rent and utilities for families that lost their jobs in the recent economic crisis.

The CD release party will take place this Saturday, July 24th at the Historic Dalton Freight Depot at 305 S Depot Street in Dalton Georgia.  The party is from 7 to 9 pm with entertainment provided by the Lou Wamp Band.

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The Land of Shadow

July 19, 2010



TheRabbiThe Land of Shadow is a unique multimedia puppet installation with two performances this week at Loose Cannon on Rossville Ave.  This production is the combined talent of New York artists Daniel Fay, Melanie Patterson, musician Andrew Livingston with local artists John McLeod and Will Jackson.  The puppets in this show are unlike anything you have ever seen.  Daniel Fay took his love of puppets to new levels of experimentation and incorporates new techniques learned while studying under shadow puppet masters in Bali, Indonesia.  Daniel’s vision combines with the music, talent and imagination of a select group of artists to create a world unlike any previous puppet show.  This is a multimedia Grendelperformance that removes the distance between audience and characters and literally brings you into the experience.

The Land of Shadow will be performed at Loose Cannon Friday, July 23rd at 8:00 pm and also at 10:00 pm.  Tickets will be available at the door or in advance from

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“Southern Journeys” Exhibited at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center

July 18, 2010

"Noon Nap" by Dean Mitchell

The Bessie Smith Cultural Center is currently exhibiting “Southern Journeys, African American Artists of the South” a traveling collection which will remain in Chattanooga through August 11, 2010.        This exhibit contains the work of many significant African American Artists works in multiple mediums  ranging from 1941 through 2009.

BSCC is open 10am to 5pm Monday through Friday and noon to 4pm on Saturday.     For more information, call 423-266-8658 or visit the Chattanooga African American History Museum website.      There is also a video online made by BSCC using pieces from the “Southern Journeys” collection along with traditional banjo music.

Carmen Davis, Curator for the BSCC says this exhibit is on loan from Stella Jones, a doctor with a gallery in New Orleans who has collected these pieces over many years, including ones from famous artists like Elizabeth Catlett, Hughie Lee Smith and Romare Bearden.     Here is artist Elizabeth Catlett’s  Block Print of a Sharecropper:

"Sharecropper" 1952 writes about Elizabeth Catlett:

“Catlett is best known for her work during the 1960s and 70s, when she created politically charged, black expressionistic sculptures and prints. Catlett, a sculptor and graphic artist, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1919. She attended Howard University where she studied design, printmaking and drawing. In 1940 Catlett became the first student to receive a Master’s degree in sculpture at the University of Iowa. In 1946 Catlett received a fellowship that allowed her to travel to Mexico City where she studied painting, sculpture and lithography. There, she worked with the People’s Graphic Arts Workshop, a group of printmakers dedicated to using their art to promote social change. After settling in Mexico and later becoming a Mexican citizen, she taught sculpture at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City until retiring in 1975.”

I found this Romare Beardon’s painting called “Couple” on the University of Pennsylvania website:

The following is taken from a short biography of Bearden at the National Gallery of Art website.

“The complex and colorful art of Romare Bearden (1911-1988) is autobiographical and metaphorical. Rooted in the history of western, African, and Asian art, as well as in literature and music, Bearden found his primary motifs in personal experiences and the life of his community. Born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Bearden moved as a toddler to New York City, participating with his parents in the Great Migration of African Americans to states both north and west. The Bearden home became a meeting place for Harlem Renaissance luminaries including writer Langston Hughes, painter Aaron Douglas, and musician Duke Ellington, all of whom undoubtedly would have stimulated the young artist’s imagination.”

Carmen Davis spoke about the locally crafted “topsy turvy” doll which was made for and added to the BSCC’s exhibit.       An article written by Valerie Borey on Suite101 describes this historical doll:

The Topsy-Turvy design dates back to before the American Civil War, when many of these dolls were actually mixed race – white on one side, black on the other. Often they featured a well-turned mistress of the house, backed by a raggedly dressed black servant. According to expert collector Jamila Jones, some of these dolls were sold with the slogan, “Turn me up and turn me back, first I’m white, and then I’m black.” (Siek, 2003)

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

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Best Beginnings Early Learning School Open House

July 16, 2010


Best Beginnings Early Learning School is having a grand opening for their newest facility this Saturday from noon to 6:00 pm.  The ribbon cutting will take place at 11:00 am.  The new school incorporates multicultural elements in the building design and classroom furnishings.  They also include multilingual activities in their daily programming.  The new location is at 2029 Hickory Valley Road.

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Home Rescue Fair in Dalton

July 15, 2010


The Alliance for Stabilizing Our Communities and the Dalton-Whitfield Community Development Corporation are hosting a Home Rescue Fair to help families facing foreclosure. The event is being held at the North West Georgia Trade and Convention Center in Dalton Georgia on Saturday, July 17th.  The Alliance hopes to provide home owners with the information and resources they need to avoid foreclosure and keep their homes.  Representatives from Bank of America, Chase, Wachovia/Wells Fargo and Suntrust will be on site to work directly with homeowners to address their mortgage issues.  If your mortgage lender is not represented, the Dalton-Whitfield Community Development Corporation will provide counseling to assist you with the next step in avoiding foreclosure.  There will also be housing counselors, attorneys, foreclosure prevention workshops and tips on tax incentives for home owners.

If you are interested in seeking assistance at the Home Rescue Fair please bring the following documents:

  • Current pay stubs
  • 2008 and 2009 income tax returns
  • Three months of bank statements
  • Household budget expenses
  • Copy of closing documents
  • Most recent correspondence from your mortgage company
  • Property insurance and mortgage statements
  • A letter explaining reasons for your current financial situation

The North West Georgia Trade and Convention Center is located at 2211 Doug Gap Battle Road off Hwy 75 Exit 333 in Dalton Georgia.  The Home Rescue Fair is Saturday, July 17th beginning at 10:00 am.  Registration for counseling appointments ends at 2:00 pm.

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