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LOCAL BRIEFS: Farmers market, theater classes, nominate educators

Here is a roundup of local briefs:


Farmers Market seeks volunteers

Henderson County residents can now visit one website,,
to find and sign up for volunteer opportunities at local non-profit agencies.
The Friends of Downtown organization is looking for volunteers to assist with the Hendersonville Farmers Market at the historic train depot on Maple Street. Volunteers are needed to assist on Saturdays through Oct. 31. Volunteers are needed to help with setup, breakdown, greeting customers and cashiering. If interested, visit or contact volunteer coordinator Malisia Wilkins at or 828-692-1636 ext. 1108.


Ed Foundation accepting Hall of Fame nominations

The Henderson County Education Foundation is now seeking nominations for the 2021 Education Hall of Fame. Honorees for the Hall of Fame have demonstrated measurable influence or made significant contributions to the growth and development of education in Henderson County.
The Hall of Fame provides an opportunity for special recognition of men and women who have led our community’s focus on educational excellence in Henderson County for decades. The Hall also provides the community with a focus for preserving the county’s exciting educational history. One of only five Education Halls of Fame in North Carolina, membership in the HCEF Hall of Fame involves the selection of up to five nominees for induction each year. More than 130 teachers, administrators, support staff, school board members and donors have been honored since the Hall of Fame was founded in 2003.
Those selected for induction into the 2021 Class will be announced in February and honored at the annual Education Celebration event planned for April 27 at Jeter Mountain Farm. Members of the Hall are also honored in a display at the Central Office of the Henderson County Public Schools.
Nominations of candidates for inclusion in the 2021 Education Hall of Fame class and required supporting materials must be submitted to the Foundation by Nov. 30. Detailed guidelines for nominations and selection criteria can be found at For questions call 828.697.5551 or email

Delia Jovel Dubón wins Taylor Award

During a recent virtual presentation, Community Foundation of Henderson County and the Arts Council of Henderson County presented local artist Delia Jovel Dubón with the Betty Taylor Memorial Award.
A native of El Salvador who came to Henderson County in 2014, Dubón holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master’s degree in political science. Her career has spanned from teaching Spanish in France to instructing local GED Spanish programs in Henderson County. As an emerging storyteller artist, Dubón will be using her award to study under a Master Storyteller so that she may advance her own craft that is focused on telling and recording stories of Latin American tales, myths, and legends.
“I am passionate about writing and have promoted arts and culture throughout my life,” she says. “Now I feel the commitment to use my skills to become a storyteller honoring my roots, my language, my culture and traditions. I have always wanted to be able to develop and integrate my personal passions into an artistic medium that involves education and culture.”
Betty Taylor was an artist for life after taking her first lesson at the young age of 8. After her death in 1990, her husband, Ross Taylor, made arrangements with the Community Foundation of Henderson County to establish the Betty Taylor Memorial Fund to promote emerging artists in need of financial support.

Studio 52 announces virtual theater classes

Flat Rock Playhouse’s Studio 52 is offering virtual classes this fall for students near and far.
There are classes open to students in kindergarten all the way through high school seniors with options for acting and musical theatre. Classes will be taught by theatre professionals and Vagabonds including new Studio 52 Director of Education Anna Kimmell, Flat Rock Playhouse Artistic Director Lisa K. Bryant and Matthew Glover, Betsy Bisson, Tania Battista and Flat Rock Playhouse newcomer TJ Medel. The semester begins the week of Sept. 21 and runs for nine weeks.
For younger artists, there are classes available for K-2nd grades and 3rd-5th grades where students learn the basics and “fun-damentals” of theatre including improvisation, acting through movement, and creative play. For older artists, there are classes for 6th-8th grades and 9th-12th grades that dive further into theatre and music theatre with self-scripting, scene work and audition prep. Full and partial scholarships are available through the Dave Hart Scholarship Fund. Scholarship applications are on the Studio 52 website and the deadline is September 4. For those inspired to donate, contributions to the Dave Hart Scholarship Fund are accepted on a rolling basis through the Flat Rock Playhouse website.
Kimmell, the new director, comes to the Playhouse with years of performance and theatre education experience, most recently as director of education at Arkansas Repertory Theatre. A native of Atlanta, Kimmell is a former Flat Rock Playhouse apprentice. She says she is delighted to return to the beloved place that jump-started her career in professional theatre and instilled the guiding philosophy to “play hard, work harder and nap wisely.”
Since that formative summer in 2007, Anna has performed in regional productions at Rhode Island’s Theatre by the Sea, Colorado’s Lake Dillon Theatre, Virginia’s Mill Mountain Theatre, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare and Theatre of the Stars, on “The Wizard of Oz” national tour and others.
“Theatre has never been more important than it is right now,” she said. “Not only do these classes give students a chance to connect through a shared passion and develop their talents in theatre arts, but they’re also learning valuable life skills like communication, problem solving, and creativity. All of these have proven instrumental during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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For a full list of classes including dates, times and instructors visit Register online or call (828) 693-073. Registration closes on Thursday, Sept. 17.


United Way seeks volunteers to pack back-to-school kits

The United Way of Henderson County is seeking support from across the community for the fifth annual Day of Action, taking place virtually across the county to help Henderson County Public Schools students and staff get back to in-person learning safely.
United Way is spearheading an effort to fund and assemble 13,000 Back to School hygiene kits in preparation for the start of in-person learning later this month. Each kit will include hand sanitizer, masks, and helpful handouts about how students and their families can stay safe while at school or at home.
Sponsored by Pardee UNC Health Care and in partnership with HCPS, Day of Action is traditionally a county-wide morning of service to help our local schools get ready for the upcoming school year. Last year, over 500 volunteers came together on 22 HCPS campuses to complete service projects. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Day of Action has shifted to just one project that allows for safe and socially-distanced volunteering by the community, in support of all HCPS students.
‘United Way is committed to assisting our local schools as they are operating with new costs and severely stretched budgets,” said UWHC Executive Director Denise Cumbee Long. “HCPS has alerted us that many of our students and their families lack essential items - masks, hand sanitizer, and information about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Families will need these hygiene items and comprehensive information about how to stay safe, and our schools are the best way to reach families with school-aged children.”
"A safe return to school, even in a hybrid remote and in-person model, will help ensure our students can continue their learning, receive needed nutrition, increase access to behavioral health services, and re-engage with their peers in a positive setting," Associate Superintendent for Administrative Services and incoming Superintendent Dr. John Bryant said. "We know that many of our families have been experiencing increased challenges since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources like these Back to School Kits will be critical tools in preparing students for a healthy return to campus, while reducing risk of COVID-19 transmission."
Volunteers are needed to help assemble sets of 100 kits, and the community is asked to donate funds for the purchase of materials in each kit. Individuals and organizations can sponsor one kit for $5, an entire classroom for $125, or any amount they choose. Pardee UNC Health Care is continuing their support as the lead sponsor for this annual event and Pisgah Health Foundation has awarded a grant that will be put towards the total cost of supplies.
“We are proud to join with United Way to mobilize community resources and make Day of Action happen in a different way this year," Pardee CEO Jay Kirby said. "We recognize that volunteers currently cannot gather at the schools to mulch, paint hallways and prepare for students to return, but that doesn’t mean students don’t need our help. By equipping each student with a hygiene kit, we can make a positive impact on the health of our students and teachers."
Individual bottles of hand sanitizer for the 13,000 kits will be donated by local herbal products manufacturer Gaia Herbs. Sets of reusable cloth masks to fit middle and high schoolers were acquired through FEMA's free mask distribution. Smaller sized masks for elementary students, as well as bags and print materials, will be purchased with money raised through the Day of Action mobile site.
Community members who want to volunteer and/or donate funds can do so easily by texting ACTION to 71777 or by visiting United Way’s website at, and clicking “Day of Action” on the homepage.
Direct questions to Malisia Wilkins at or 828-692-1636 x1108.