Connect with other enthusiastic jammers for an invigorating musical experience. Develop and practice the skills to enjoy leading and playing along with songs around a campfire or in a band. Come enjoy the valley’s great pickers at the Center for the Arts’ Campfire Ring and hone your jamming skills.

Led by Justin Leflar of the bands “Tater, Mater & Squarsh,” and “Sunny Downpour,” you will get a professional musician’s take on how to play well with others and lots of opportunities to jam in a setting where the music feels like it should at every jam.

Whether you want to improve at leading songs or following others, this clinic is for you. Learn how to play along with others’ chords, how to find complementary chords, how to place fills, how to take the melody, how to design solos, how to sing vocal harmony, how to harmonize with your instrument, how to improvise fluidly, and so much more.

The four-hour-clinic will include perspectives on the best practices for thinking like a musician, playing well with others, and expressing yourself creatively on your instrument featuring both group and individual instruction.

In an effort to keep our audience members, artists, volunteers, and staff members safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Center for the Arts will require proof of full vaccination (via vaccination card) or a negative COVID-19 test within 48-72 hours for entry to events.
Children under 12 are required to wear masks or present a negative test result.

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Cash'd Out

September 19, 2021
The Steddy Theater at the Center for the Arts

show at 7 pm // doors at 6:30

$20-$30

Join us for the premiere Johnny Cash cover band, Cash'd Out!

The band’s live shows respectfully reference the late, great Man in Black's Sun Records and early Columbia era sound, combined with the energy of the classic multi-platinum live recordings from Folsom Prison and San Quentin. The group's genuine love (and authentic recreation) of Johnny Cash’s music and its universal appeal fans of all ages and of virtually all musical genres makes each Cash’d Out show a must-see event.

We've got a variety of seating options for this show!

Join us in the dance pit, directly in front of the stage, for $20.

Sit in the general seating area for $20.

Or enjoy more private seating with great views on the side balcony for $30.

In an effort to keep our audience members, artists, volunteers, and staff members safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Center for the Arts will require proof of full vaccination (via vaccination card) or a negative COVID-19 test within 48-72 hours for entry to events.
Children under 12 are required to wear masks or present a negative test result. 

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Lecture Series: Water in the West

 Discussion with Paolo Bacigalupi and Ashley Bembenek.

Tuesday, September 21

5:30 - 7 pm

Center, Steddy Theater


In partnership with Townie Books, join us for a discussion of water in the West from the best-selling author of The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi, and water expert Ashley Bembenek.

Pay what you can, even if that's nothing.

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Join local watercolor artist, Karen Hill, for a step-by-step painting class. Karen guides the group through a watercolor painting from start to finish, giving instruction on setting up to paint, wash and watercolor painting techniques, composition, and more. Wine and beer are provided to participants 21 and older, so you can relax and create! All watercolor supplies and your drinks are included. Absolutely no watercolor experience is necessary!

In the Center's King Community Room.

Thursdays
4:30 – 7:00 p.m. $55

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A Play in a Day

Saturday, September 25

9 am - 1 pm $55

Learn to write your own, complete, short play in one day! Actor, director, playwright and WCU Theatre Director Steven Cole Hughes leads you in learning the basics of playwriting, dialogue and more before diving into guided writing in this four-hour playwriting blitzkrieg. Lunch break included. All level writers welcome. Scholarships and student pricing available. At the Center.

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Laura Raborn’s paintings have been exhibited in Arkansas, the U.S. and the Bahamas and are in multiple collections such as the CARTI Collection, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Bill and Hillary Clinton private collection. Her work has earned numerous awards and she has a thriving portrait commission business, one of which was presented to the former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Beebe. An interview about her most recent work can be found at https://www.arkansasartscene.com/home/interview-with-artist-laura-raborn.

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Murder in the Mountains Festival

Serial Thriller Pass: $225 ($280 value)

Access to all festival programming including workshops, live theater, murder mystery dinner, special fx makeup workshop, screenings, panel discussions, readings, dance classes, and discounts at local businesses.

Details and festival events rsvp sent upon registration.


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Murder in the Mountains Festival

Petty Offender Pass: $120 ($180 value)

Access to all festival programming including workshops, live theater, screenings, panel discussions, readings, dance classes, and discounts at local businesses.*

Details and festival events rsvp sent upon registration.

*Murder Mystery Dinner, and gore makeup workshop not included

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Murder in the Mountains Festival Kick-off Reception

Friday, October 29

5 - 6:30 pm

Gather with other festival-goers and meet best-selling and award-winning authors David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Deb Coonts, Chuck Greaves, Kathleen Kent, Addie Tsai, and others for happy hour, bites, teaser readings, and a bit of mystery. Appetizers and cash bar available. 

Pay what you can, even if that's nothing

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Murder in the Mountains

Thrilling Trivia with Quiz Quiz Bang Bang

Friday, October 29

7 - 8:30 pm

Team entry: $25

Individual entry: $5

Join us for a lively evening of trivia, prizes and lots of laughs! From the dynamic duo behind the hugely popular Quiz Quiz Bang Bang podcast, get ready to test your smarts on all things mystery, noir, horror, and monsters in literature, pop culture, movies, television, and more.
Tables limited to teams of 6 per table/ per team. You must have a reserved table to participate.

$25/team, $5/individual entry

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Murder in the Mountains Festival

CRIMINAL MINDS; Elements of Crime Writing with Kathleen Kent

Saturday, October 30

9 - 10:15 am

Whether you’re writing historical fiction or crime novels, certain craft elements remain the same: an engaging story, robust, multi-dimensional characters, pacing, and building tension within the narrative. But, as the “slow burn” can work well for historical fiction, more energetic pacing and the element of surprise are crucial to crime and mystery novels. This presentation will focus on effective strategies for writing exciting stories in the crime and mystery genres: building durable, nuanced characters, the distillation of authentic dialogue, narrative pacing, and dynamic conflict resolution, as well as exploring one of the most important parts of your novel-in-progress. . .(hint, it comes at the end).

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Murder in the Mountains Festival

Live Theater at Lunch: The Dumb Waiter

Saturday, October 30

12:15 - 1:15 pm

Enjoy lunch on the edge of your seat with famed British playwright Harold Pinter’s classic comedy-drama, The Dumb Waiter. Starring Sam Robards and Steven Cole Hughes as hitmen awaiting their next target. " Live reading in the Steddy Theater. Food + drink available for purchase. $15, or included in festival pass.

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Murder in the Mountain Festival

Subversive Retellings; writing workshop with Addie Tsai

Saturday, October 30

1:30 - 2:30 pm

Classic retellings have always been part of what literature does, but perhaps that has never been truer than in this particular climate in which fanfiction, adaptation, and reimaginings of classic texts enable a kind of subversive resistance against old reinforcement of ideologies in order to speak to a new world. This workshop will take a look at some examples of classic retellings from various genres and disciplines in order to speak to what potential retellings offer, and what work they can do against the originals. $35, or included in festival pass.

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Murder in the Mountains Festival

Panel discussion; bending, breaking, and defying law

Saturday, October 30

3 - 4 pm

Our favorite characters in crime, mystery, thriller, and horror writing often go above, around, or beyond the law — some also breaking the “laws” of nature. In this panel, former and practicing lawyers turned crime writers, and writers with deep understanding of criminal and natural law, discuss their research and process for writing believable, compelling crime. Join scholar of Native American issues, law and political science, and author of the multi award-winning debut Winter Counts, David Heska Wanbli Weiden; novelist and lawyer best known for the Lucky O'Toole Las Vegas Adventures series of romantic, humorous mystery novels, Deborah Coonts; 25 year L.A. trial lawyer turned writer of the Jack MacTaggart series of legal mysteries, Chuck Greaves; New York Times best-selling author of the Detective Betty series, Kathleen Kent; and author of the forthcoming Unweildy Creatures, a queer gender reversal retelling of Frankenstein, Addie Tsai in getting the goods on lawlessness, villainy, misdeeds, and justice in some our favorite books.

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Murder in the Mountains Festival

Ghouls & Gore: introduction to gore and special effects makeup

2 sessions to choose from:

Saturday, October 30 4 - 5:30 pm

OR

Sunday, October 31 4 - 5:30 pm

Led by local artist & theatre designer William Spencer Musser, this interactive workshop includes discussion, demonstration and hands-on activities focused on creating wounds, scars, and other bloody trauma for those getting ready for Halloween, or fans of the horror genre. Attendees will have the opportunity to work on their favorite effect and leave ready to party like the dead.

$45 tuition includes professional makeup kit. Included in Serial Thriller All-Access Pass

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Murder in the Mountains Festival

Noir in the Bar; festival readings

Saturday, October 30

5:30 - 6:30 pm

Meet 'n' mingle with literary lions reading their work live! Bestselling authors David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Kathleen Kent, Addie Tsai, Deborah Coonts, and Chuck Greaves.


In the Steddy Theater. Book sales, bites, and bar available. Free but registration encouraged.

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Murder in the Mountains Festival

Murder Mystery Dinner: "Terror in Transylvania” 

Saturday, October 30

7 pm

All of the underworld is invited to Dracula’s birthday party! As the members of the haunting and haunted gather at the desolate Transylvania castle, this will be an evening away from mortals where the supernatural community can come together to celebrate and carouse! During the night of spooktacular fun, one of the party-goers will end up in a grave they have dug for themselves.

Character signup available upon registration. 

$65, includes dinner by the Divvy, and muuuurder. Included in Serial Thriller All-Acess Pass

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Murder in the Mountain Festival

True Crime Panel: Murder + Mystery in Colorado

Sunday, October 31

10 - 11:15 am

Join us for a cup of coffee and lively and absorbing discussion of murder, mystery, and intrigue in Colorado with County Coroner, Michael Barnes; Death Investigator, Lisa Merck; local historian, Duane Vandenbusche and a special surprise guest. Learn what it takes to solve crime, along with plenty of stories of gunfights, disappearances, mystery, and bloodshed — from first settlers, up to contemporary criminal cases. $10 or included in festival pass; $5 with student ID.

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Murder in the Mountain Festival

Pinot & (film) Noir; The Big Sleep (1946)

Sunday, October 31

6 pm

Join us for a flight of pinot noir and a very special screening of the justly celebrated adaption of Raymond Chandler’s classic novel. Private detective Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) is hired by a wealthy family and before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love. Chandler’s core story, the peerless sexual innuendo between Bogart and Lauren Bacall (that somehow slipped past the censors) stack up in a classic that “holds out its hand for a right turn signal, then takes a left.” $30, includes film and a flight of pinot noir. Included in your festival pass.

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