South Charlotte

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Wingate University

Wingate University will celebrate “The Fine Arts of Being Southern” Oct. 7-10. The week will feature “Front Porch Talks” with southern writers, poets and musicians in the George A. Batte Jr. Fine Arts Center. Most events are free unless otherwise noted.

The symposium kicks off at 4 p.m. Oct. 7 with a talk by David Mitchell on southern history. The Southern Fried Jazz Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. that evening. Tickets to the concert are $15 and may be purchased online at www.wingate.edu/culture or by calling 704-233-8300.

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Oct. 7, a Wingate University faculty art exhibit will open at 6 p.m. in the C. Douglas Helms Gallery of the Batte Center.



Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. Wingate University's Writing Center Director and author Kevin Winchester will talk about southern fiction.



Oct. 9, a front porch talk on the topic of Brer Rabbit and Friends will be at 4 p.m. with retired communication professor Leon Smith. Freeman Beard, a signature artist from the Watercolor Society of North Carolina, will present an artist's talk at 7:30 p.m. His works range from detailed realism to impressionism.



Oct. 10, Kevin Winchester will return for a 4 p.m. discussion on song writing. At 6 p.m., Deborah Ford, author of “GRITS Friends are Forevah,” will share stories of fabulous southern women. The event includes a reception and book signing. Cost is $10.



Oct. 10-11, premiere of the musical “GRITS Friends are Forevah”, based on Ford's book and written by Erica McGee, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. The show portrays four southern women who represent four generations of stories, singing four different styles of songs. Cost is $15 per ticket.



Oct. 12 at 3 p.m., contemporary songwriter and storyteller Timmy Abell will perform hammered dulcimer, English concertina, bowed psaltery, lap dulcimer and penny whistle, guitar and banjo. His story-telling includes adventure stories, tall tales, fairy tales and mountain “Jack Tales.” Tickets are $10.

Wingate University

“Songs of the Soul,” a fall choral concert, will be held at the George A. Batte Jr. Fine Arts Center on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The concert, free to the public, is the first in a series of music and art events offered at Wingate throughout the year.

Walter Bickett Elementary

The school in Monroe will host its first annual Bingo and Hot Dog night at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 3. RSVP at 704-283-8520. Space is limited. Proceeds support programs and activities at Walter Bickett.

Also, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 17, the school will be part of a Family Food Night at the Cold Stone Creamery on Roosevelt Blvd. beside Salsarita's. Proceeds benefit the school.

Weddington High School

During the kick-off to Graduation Awareness Week held in Raleigh early this month, Weddington was recognized as having the highest graduation rate of any high school in the state with graduation classes of its size.

This means 93.3 percent of students who began the ninth grade at Weddington in 2004 graduated with a diploma within four years. The statewide rate for 2008 graduates was 70 percent.

“This award is testimony to the hard work of our students, staff, and parents, and their commitment to finish what they started four years ago,” school principal Brad Breedlove said. Union County Public Schools

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