Connect with us


Forbes Center welcomes Harrisonburg, Rockingham fifth-graders for live arts – Augusta Free Press

More than 450 fifth-grade students in Harrisonburg City Public Schools and Rockingham County Public Schools will get to see master storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston and jazz violinist Diane Monroe in Fiddlin’ with Stories thanks to the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts’ partnership with Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley.

The Forbes Center is the premier performance partner of Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley, a 501(c)(3) organization focused on ensuring equitable access in the arts for all children in grades K-8 in Harrisonburg.

Students will have the opportunity to attend a matinee on April 19. The 80-minute performance will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Alston and Monroe. Alston wrote the program with her late brother, jazz violinist John Blake, Jr. The show focuses on how ancient and modern stringed instruments have played an integral role in the African and African American communities through folktales, stories and songs.

The Forbes Center is actively involved in educational outreach and has committed to offering varying groups and age ranges within K-8 the chance to experience at least two live performances and one dance workshop per season, according to Regan Byrne, executive director of the Forbes Center and a member of the Board of Directors for Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley. When Byrne booked an evening performance of Fiddlin’ with Stories for the 2021–2022 Forbes Center Masterpiece Season, she also booked the school matinee. Byrne says she makes “a conscious decision to book ‘Forbes Family Fun’ shows that align with the HCPS and RCPS educational goals.”

Now in their ninth season, Forbes Family Fun shows were introduced by the Center to provide quality performing arts programming for young audiences and their families. This year’s Forbes Family Fun series is sponsored by Shenandoah Valley Airport and has included a free school matinee to Catapult, the world’s premier shadow dance company, for 450 HCPS sixth and seventh graders. Charlotte Blake Alston and Diane Monroe in Fiddlin’ with Stories is also tapped as a Forbes Family Fun show—which includes a ticketed performance on Tuesday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Byrne worked with the guest artists as well as J.R. Snow, director of Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley, to determine the appropriate age range for the Fiddlin’ with Stories school matinee. “We are excited to welcome fifth graders to this performance. It is the first time some of these students have had the opportunity to experience live arts in a professional theatre setting.”

This year’s partnership with Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley has also included two dance workshops at the Forbes Center. These interactive dance experiences introduced over 900 RCPS third graders to various forms of movement and dance terminology.

In addition, the School of Music hosted over 1000 fourth graders in HCPS and RCPS in February in the 1100-seat Wilson Hall as part of its Orchestra Discovery Concert series. The Conductor’s Spellbook program featured the JMU Symphony Orchestra with narration by Foster Beyers, JMU director of orchestras.

Forbes Center student matinees and Orchestra Discovery Concerts have reached over 7,500 students since 2019.

Tickets to Charlotte Blake Alston and Diane Monroe in Fiddlin’ with Stories are $34–35 with a $15 child’s ticket. For tickets, visit or call the Forbes Center Box Office at (540) 568-7000. For more information on Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley,
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Augusta Free Press launched in 2002. The site serves as a portal into life in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia – in a region encompassing Augusta County, Albemarle County, Nelson County and Rockingham County and the cities of Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro, at the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park and the Appalachian Trail.


Continue Reading


Jenny Craig is reportedly winding down its weight-loss centers and warning of mass layoffs

Jenny Craig is reportedly shutting down some of its weight-loss centers and warning employees of mass layoffs amid upheaval in the industry from popular new prescription drugs like Ozempic.

Jenny Craig alerted employees to potential layoffs as it begins “winding down physical operations” and hunts for a buyer, according to NBC News. Jenny Craig has nearly 500 weight-loss centers in the United States and Canada.

The company, founded in 1983, did not disclose to  how many weight loss centers will close or how many employees will be impacted.

“Like many other companies, we’re currently transitioning from a brick-and-mortar retail business to a customer-friendly, e-commerce driven model. We will have more details to share in the coming weeks as our plans are solidified,” a spokesperson for Jenny Craig said in a statement to .

Jenny Craig’s program provides nutritionally balanced menus, which include entrees, desserts and snacks, designed to help people lose weight. Bloomberg reported this week that the company has roughly $250 million of debt and is considering a bankruptcy filing if efforts to find a buyer for its assets fail.

It’s the latest sign of major changes in the weight-loss industry, brought on by popular new prescription diabetes drugs such as Wegovy, Ozempic, and Rybelsus.

These relatively new drugs work by stimulating the release of insulin, which helps lower blood sugar. They also slow the passage of food through the gut.

The FDA approved Ozempic for the management of diabetes in 2017 and Wegovy for weight loss in 2021.

Traditional weight-loss companies are scrambling to adjust. WeightWatchers is also getting into the prescription weight-loss drug business.

The company, now known as WW International, recently bought Sequence, a telehealth subscription service that connects patients with doctors who can prescribe weight-loss and diabetes drugs.

The $106 million acquisition of Sequence will give WW a foothold into the growing market for prescription drugs to manage weight loss.

Ozempic has gained popularity in part due to celebrities using it for weight loss.

But there are many concerns with using diabetes drugs for weight loss, including high costs and shortages that are making it harder for people with diabetes to obtain the drugs.

Continue Reading


Minnesota tops nation in wild birds confirmed dead from bird flu

The deadly bird disease is back this spring, and, in fact, never left over the winter.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is back killing domestic poultry and wild birds in Minnesota again this spring as huge flocks of migratory birds carry it north for another season.

But, in fact, the deadly bird disease never left the state, even over our long winter, with birds dying in December and January and some new research showing the killer flu virus may survive even in cold Minnesota lake water — with no host bird — during the winter.

That’s the update from wildlife biologists as the great spring migration descends on Minnesota, as the snow line recedes north and ice on lakes and rivers begins to let loose.

Since the disease was first reported in Minnesota just over a year ago, some 566 birds have been tested and confirmed carrying the H5N1 strain of bird flu that’s been expanding worldwide since 2020, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Wisconsin has had 211 confirmed cases and North Dakota 310 as of April 11.

Nationally, more than 6,500 wild birds have been confirmed dead from the virus over the past year, some from all 49 continental states, although wildlife experts say that’s likely a gross under counting of the total number, most of which die and are never found by people.

Continue Reading


Outdoors notebook: Hoeven, Heinrich introduce CWD Research and Management Act

Bipartisan legislation would empower state, tribal governments to address and prevent CWD outbreaks.

Bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday in the U.S. Senate aims to address the growing problem of chronic wasting disease in wild populations of deer, elk and moose.

Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., introduced the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act. The bill is a Senate companion to legislation the House of Representatives passed last December with an overwhelming 393-33 vote.

The bill would authorize $70 million per year, split evenly to support both the research and management of CWD. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would administer the funds through cooperative agreements with state and tribal wildlife agencies and agriculture departments.

The legislation also includes an authorization for USDA and state and tribal agencies to develop educational materials to inform the public on CWD and directs USDA to review its herd certification program within 18 months, according to a news release from Hoeven’s office.

“CWD is a growing threat to both wildlife and livestock, impacting sportsmen, ranchers and the local ecology of regions across the U.S.,” Hoeven said. “Our legislation would empower state and tribal governments to better manage and prevent outbreaks of this deadly disease, while also advancing new methods for detecting CWD and limiting its spread.

Continue Reading


slot777 slot thailand slot777 slot gacor hari ini slot gacor maxwin slot deposit pulsa slot deposit pulsa tri