“Keep It Fresh – the Real Foods Rap” is a short, sweet and smile-inducing music video by a few dozen students and young-at-heart grownups associated with Rappahannock County Public Schools’ Farm-To-Table program and nutrition services department – and you’ll just have to visit YouTube immediately to see it (search for “keep it fresh real foods rap”).
Chief instigator Trista Grigsby, director of nutrition services for RCPS and former head of the Farm to Table program offered by the school division and Headwaters Foundation, credits the dozen rapping, dancing F2T sixth- and seventh-graders, eight adults (including first-time rapper Grigsby herself and toe-tapping food service worker Betty Lu Koplaski) and assorted passersby and volunteers for making the on-again, off-again project so much fun.
The video – shot last October by Jennings Hobson and Andrew Grigsby, edited by Hobson and with music recording and songwriting help from local-music star Noah Waggener – is meant “to show that our school food is delicious, nutritious, student-grown and locally grown when possible, and that we are excited about vegetables and fruits on our plates!” We don’t have room here to credit everyone, but the complete credits follow a shot where student Miguel Lorenzo-Day, rapping in a field at Waterpenny Farm, holds up a familiar red root vegetable as the camera zooms in, and asks: “Do you like the beet?”
The Rappahannock Historical Society presents an afternoon with Janet Kerig, longtime Rappahannock resident artist, at 3 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 17). The program consists of a lecture and hands-on demonstration of fabric dyeing using botanical dyes, both local and exotic.
Local dyes, such as those from black walnut and butternut trees, provide delicate color for the silks, cottons and roving that Kerig uses in her fabric creations. The butternut dye was used for the color of the Confederate uniforms used in the Civil War. Exotic dyes include cochineal insect, an ancient dye used by the Aztec Indians.
Kerig is an active teacher and exhibiting fiber artist, was a National Park artist-instructor for 25 years and has taught at public and private schools over the years. She has shown work at the Heritage Harvest Fest at Monticello, the Hearthstone Bazaar, the Rappahannock Farm Tour and Christmas in Little Washington. She is teaching at a summer camp this summer (July 29-Aug. 2 and Aug. 5-9) at Hearthstone School in Sperryville.
Admission is free, but donations for the Rappahannock Historical Society are appreciated. For more information, call the RHS at 540-675-1163.
The Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection (RLEP) welcomes Tom Wood as guest speaker at 2 p.m. this Sunday to enlighten us on living with black bears in Virginia. Wood is an associate professor at George Mason University and director of environmental studies on the Piedmont.
RLEP board member Marshall Jones, a senior conservation advisor at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), is introducing Wood. Both gentlemen are on the advisory committee in charge of writing the new black bear management plan for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Their talk covers “the bear facts” for Virginia (particularly Rappahannock and surrounding counties), how to best live with and manage bears, myths about bears and some great shots of bears in the wild. Admission is free. Afterwards there will be a question and answer period.
Carole Pivarnik, the Rappahannock-based author and artist of “Doggitude” – her self-published whimsical dog-themed art and haiku book – has her first public book signing this Saturday (Feb. 16) at River District Arts in Sperryville from noon to 4:30. Signed books and “Doggitude” note cards and prints are for sale, with 10 percent of the proceeds donated to the Rappahannock Animal Welfare League (RAWL). Pivarnik also offers hourly demos of how she creates the signature lifelike eyes in her watercolor dog paintings, and answers questions; for kids, there’s a coloring table with free outline drawings of dogs from the book and lots of crayons. For more information, contact RDA’s Jim Allmon at email@example.com or call 540-987-8770.
The Studio School in Flint Hill has two workshops this weekend and another Feb. 23 – starting with a two-hour class in gouache, sometimes referred to as the opaque watercolor, at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 15), with artist and school co-owner Tom Mullany, and an all-day workshop on drawing and painting with Mullany the following Saturday (Feb. 23).
This Saturday (Feb. 16) is an Intro to Mosaic workshop with Candace Clough, a Flint Hill landscape gardener and mosaic artist whose fantastical 2009 work, “Sidonea menageria,” was one of 18 international entries chosen from among 500 entries to be featured in the design annual Mosaic Art Now. The mosaic class is 9:30 to 3; the $65 fee includes all materials for making a mosaic mirror project. Call 540-878-3687 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The RAAC Community Theatre is holding auditions from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday (Feb. 18) for three small parts, including one female understudy, in Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” to be performed at the Theatre May 17-18. For more information, contact RAAC Theatre artistic director Peter Hornbostel at 540-987-9620.
The Virginia Department of Transportation emailed County Administrator John McCarthy today to say that Harris Hollow Road (Route 622) would be closed from through Feb. 22 at Roberts Retreat Lane for a bridge replacement. Addresses east of Roberts Retreat Lane (which is between Mount Marshall Road and Old Ski Lodge Lane) can still be accessed from Main Street. Harris Hollow Road addresses west of Roberts Retreat will have to be reached by taking Gid Brown Hollow Road from U.S. 211.
Three great jazz musicians – Ken Peplowski, clarinet and saxophone; Chuck Redd, drums and vibes; Tommy Cecil, bass – return to the Theatre at Washington to play “American Jazz Classics” at 3 p.m. Feb. 24.
Redd says he and Peplowski have been working together for more than 20 years, and their sense of musical adventure has never waned. Redd has appeared at the Theatre more than any other jazz musician and is exceptionally popular with the audience. As one audience member put it recently, “He’s the best drummer we’ve ever heard . . . his drumming is pure art!”
Peplowski has not been to the Theatre for several years but his superb playing and charismatic personality are memorable. Based in New York, he gives concerts all over the country, has sold out the Hollywood Bowl, played on the soundtrack for Woody Allen films and worked with numerous jazz greats, including Benny Goodman (who hired him to play tenor sax in the band Goodman started in 1984).
Cecil has a vast repertoire of music at his fingertips. He is much in demand in the Washington metropolitan area and has made many recordings as a sideman and a few as leader, including last year’s “Side by Side: Sonheim Duos” with pianist Bill Mays.
Tickets for the concert are $25 for adults ($10 for 17 and younger). To make reservations, call 540-675-1253 or email TheatreVA@aol.com.
The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) published its list of the “Top 10” lesser known (but just as romantic) travel sites for Valentine’s Day (the list is online at satw.org/blog) and right there at No. 7 in the list of great places to pop the question is Washington, Va. – specifically the Inn at Little Washington.
Gray Ghost Winery began the 2013 competition season winning gold for the 2011 Adieu (late harvest Vidal Blanc) at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world. The win marks the eighth consecutive year Gray Ghost has medaled in a competition dominated by California wine entries. The vineyard’s Vidal Blanc and Reserve Chardonnay both took home bronze.