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333 W. Highland St.
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
Fax: 706-632-5922

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July 2016

Monday, July 25th-Friday July 30th
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM at the Visitor's Center
Eco Kids: Caring for the Winged Ones
COST: $95/student or $100 after July 16th.
Eco-Kids learn ways to support winged creatures in this active, hands-on camp. Kids will build their own bat house and bluebird house to take home. Campers will be in age-based teams in order to maximize learning potential. For ages 6-14. $100 or $95 if pre-paid by July 16. For further information call 706-878-3087 or www.gastateparks.org/smithgallwoods


Tuesday, August 2nd
5:00 PM at the Education Cabin
Friends Meeting
Join Smithgall
s advocacy group, Friends of Smithgall Woods, for an informal monthly meeting. Learn about volunteer projects and initiatives. Meet volunteers and Friends who help care for the park. Meeting takes place in the parks Discovery room, located inside the Visitor's Center. Call for further information. 706-878-3087 or www.gastateparks.org/smithgallwoods

Saturday, August 6th
10:00 - 11:30 AM at the Visitor
s Center
First Visit Tour
COST: $5 park pass per vehicle or a Friends Annual Pass
Learn about Smithgall Woods State Park on a brief walking tour of the Visitor Center area and a van tour through the park. See the covered bridge, the famous Dukes Creek, and the park
s renowned cottages. Learn more about the vital part volunteers play in this beautiful park. Donations for park programs appreciated. Register in advance. For further information call 706-878-3087 or www.gastateparks.org/smithgallwoods

Saturday, August 6th
1:00-2:30 PM at the Visitor Center
Stream Ecology
COST: $5 per person plus $5 park pass per vehicle or Friends Annual Pass
Come get your feet wet! Join the interpretive ranger for some fun in Dukes Creek. We will be looking for aquatic insects and other organism that call the stream home. We will catch them with seining nets and then identify them. Please wear close toed water shoes and clothes that you do not mind getting dirty. Call for further information. 706-878-3087or www.gastateparks.org/smithgallwoods

Saturday, August 6th
10:00 - 11:30 AM at the Visitor
s Center
First Visit Tour
COST: $5 park pass per vehicle or a Friends Annual Pass
Learn about Smithgall Woods State Park on a brief walking tour of the Visitor Center area and a van tour through the park. See the covered bridge, the famous Dukes Creek, and the park
s renowned cottages. Learn more about the vital part volunteers play in this beautiful park. Donations for park programs appreciated. Register in advance. For further information call 706-878-3087 or www.gastateparks.org/smithgallwoods

Saturday, August 13th
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM at the Visitor
s Center
Second Saturday Hike- Wetland Loop Trail
COST: $5 park pass per vehicle or Friends Annual Pass
Enjoy a guided hike of the Wetland Loop Trail at Smithgall Woods State Park. This hike will be guided by Tom Hennigan, a professor of Ecology from Truett McConnell College. The Wetland Loop is an approximately .5-mi., easy hike. We will discuss habitat ecology while observing beautiful scenery the trail offers. There is a beaver pond and wetland area with a wooden boardwalk. Please wear good hiking shoes. Limit 15. Call the Visitor's Center for reservations and information at (706) 878-3087 or visit our website: www.gastateparks.org/smithgallwoods

Saturday, August 20th
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM at the Visitor's Center
Gold Fever
COST: $5 per person plus $5 park pass per vehicle or Friends Annual Pass

Gold mining is a fascinating part of the history of Smithgall Woods and the surrounding area. Hear about the history of gold mining with local historians and enjoy a guided hike to the Martin's Mine Trail. THere will be gold panning demonstrations as well. $5.00 plus $5 parking. Call the Visitor's Center for information and to register at (706) 878-3087 or www.gastateparks.org/smithgallwoods

Saturday, August 20th
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM at the Visitor's Center
Full Moon Frog Calling
COST: $5 per person plus $5 parking pass per vehicle or a Friends Annual Pass
*This month our hike will fall a few days after the full moon.*
See a different side of the park and join us for a guided night hike of the Wetland loop trail. This easy, .5-mile loop passes a beaver-made wetland, and will be active with calling frogs. The full moon is known to increase amphibian spawning, and will produce a symphony of sounds. Call the Visitor's Center for information and to register at (706) 878-3087 or www.gastateparks.org/smithgallwoods







Upcoming 2016 Art Center Classes

Quality art classes in a range of mediums and prices. There is something for every artist!


To register, simply follow the link to our website and register with Paypal!

4 weeks of incredible art classes available. Come check out our full schedule of art classes for children ages 5+. Classes are filling quickly, so do not hesitate to register at (706) 258-4322.
Click here to visit the website.

July 2016

July 29-31 (Friday - Sunday)

5:30 - 8:30 pm (Friday; 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (Saturday); 1:00 - 5:00 pm (Sunday)

Sculpting A Portrait with Alan Clement

with Alan Clement

$115 non-member;

$103.50 *BRMAA Member*

Interested? Follow me!
Are you ready to experience the joy and peace of sculpting? Joy, in creating a portrait sculpture of someone important to you, a tribute that will last forever, and peace in your fingers moving the clay. Sound too poetic, too spiritual? There is a lot of spirit in the spiritual, and a lot of fun in this workshop. You will be working step by step alongside a master craftsman, learning techniques that will serve you for a lifetime. You will have created a unique frontal portrait sculpture, finished, and ready for firing. The schedule provides 14 hours of hands-on experience. All materials provided. Make your reservation early. This class will be limited to 8 participants.





Summer 2016 Art Center Classes

We continue to offer quality art classes in a range of mediums and prices. There is something for every artist!


To register, simply follow the link to our website and easily register online with Paypal!

*Looking for the ideal gift for the artist in your life? Want to give a creative gift that will leave lasting memories?

Contact the Art Center for class gift certificates and give the gift of art!

August 2016

August 2-6 (Tuesday - Saturday)

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Abstraction from Nature: From Study to Final

with Larry Moore

$575 non-member; $517.50 *BRMAA Member*

Interested? Follow me!
Let's take a slightly different path with our art. This studio workshop focuses on not just what you choose to paint but how you paint it. We will play with new surfaces, new paint ideas and new tools with emphasis on thinking and painting more abstractly. This is way more than a how-to-paint-stuff class. The number one stumbling block that I see time after time in a class is drawing, so let's move drawing to the bottom of the list of the 8 characteristics of great painting and focus on the other 7. Color, surface, edge, mark making, composition, methods and materials and the other thing. It's fun and creative play and learning without getting too caught up in that pesky drawing thing. I have 35 years of experience making art as an illustrator and as a fine artist and have worked in every medium and style you can think of...What you learn here will translate nicely into whichever path you wish to take. If you want to put more joy into your paint jar, this is the class for you. This class is open to all mediums but be advised we will be painting with house paints.

August 3 (Tuesday)

10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Sterling Silver Earrings; Forged Wind Swirl and Forged Contemporary

with Barbara Chatham

$30 + $30 supply fee

Interested? Follow me!
Join jewelry artist, Barbara Chatham, to make two pairs of incredible earrings. Learn to dome sterling silver, finish edges, forge patterns with jeweler's hammers, and make French Ear Wire. You will learn designs for a wind swirl and a simple lined contemporary look. The best part: apply the knowledge you learn in the classroom to make your own jewelry designs at home! All supplies are included.

August 5 (Friday)

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Merlot's Open Studio

with Vicki Wagoner

$25; optional $15 supply fee

Interested? Follow me!
Get ready for an evening of fun, relaxation, and creativity as you work on an art project (new or in-progress) while enjoying a glass of wine and meeting new friends. Merlot's Masterpiece is the perfect experience for individuals looking to network and socialize with local artists while in an open studio atmosphere. Vicki will assist you to discover untapped resources of creativity! Class fee includes: one canvas and one glass of wine. There will be beginner sets of acrylic, oil, and watercolor paints available for an additional $15 (a discounted price for the class), or you may bring supplies from home. Additional glasses of wine are $3.00. You must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol and we ask that you please drink responsibly. Let the art party begin!

August 10, 17, 24 (Wednesdays)

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Watercolor Series for Beginners

with Joyce Clair

$120 non-member; $108 *BRMAA Member*

Interested? Follow me!
This series of 3 classes is for the student who has completed an introductory watercolor class (like Watercolor Basics Workshop) or the student with some watercolor painting experience. Classes include demonstrations and practice of watercolor techniques, color mixing, and glazing using 7 colors, value planning, and composition tips. Joyce will guide you to complete a small painting at each class. You will complete a landscape, a waterscape, and a still life subject. The instructor will provide photo references, or students may bring photos from home. Students may bring their painting supplies, or purchase start-up supplies from the instructor for $30. Transparent and semi-transparent watercolor paint is required.

August 13 (Saturday)

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Heart, Hands, and Healing Art

with Vicki Wagoner

$45 non-member; $40.50 *BRMAA Member*

Interested? Follow me!
After having a profound experience while participating at an art workshop, hypnotherapist and artist, Vicki Wagoner, was inspired to create Heart, Hands and Healing Art. Her program encourages creative and personal expression through a process of painting with your hands - no brushes, rules, or artistic abilities required! The painting creates itself! Each participant starts with the same blank canvas, and when the session is over, Vicki assists you to discover the epiphanies of new perspectives, possibilities, and insight that have been subconsciously created during the painting process. It will transform your life!

August 16 (Tuesday)

12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

A Touch of Glass: Suncatchers

with Lenzy Griffin Bond

$60 non-member + $20 supply fee;

$54 *BRMAA Member* + $20 supply fee

Students will touch upon the art of copper foil method of stained glass. Starting with an idea, participants will make a pattern, choose, score and grind glass, wrap glass in copper foil, learn fluxing and soldering, apply patinas and polish, and produce a one-of-a-kind 6x6" suncatcher! Each student must bring personal safety glasses, a black sharpie, and a pencil.

August 20 (Saturday)

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Beading Basics

with Vicki Wagoner

$15 + $15 supply fee

Interested? Follow me!
Jewelry artist, Vicki Wagoner, teaches the basics of stringing, jewelry design and application of basic tools to assist you to unleash your imagination and create your own one-of-a-kind bracelet or necklace. By the end of the class you will be wearing your new creation home! Supply fee includes either a necklace or a bracelet.

August 26 (Friday)

6:30 pm -8:30 pm

Merlot's Masterpiece

with Camille Day

$45 non-member; $40.50 *BRMAA Member*

Interested? Follow me!
Learn and laugh and create a masterpiece! Candy Day will lead you step-by-step in the creation of your painting as you enjoy a glass of wine! No painting experience needed. You'll be surprised by what you learn along the way, but even more so, you'll be surprised by what you are capable of! All painting supplies and a glass of wine will be provided. We ask you to be 20 years of age or older, and suggest you wear old clothes, in case of an incident with a wet brush or clumsy elbows near loaded palettes.

August 27 (Saturday)

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Not Your Mother's Wrapping Tissue: Expand Your Mixed Media Techniques

with Rhonda Roddy

$20 non-member; FREE *BRMAA Member*

Interested? Follow me!
This class taught by 3rd quarter Artist in Residence, Rhonda Roddy, will focus on preparing and making painted tissue that can be used in a collage piece. Students will learn how to apply medium to Art tissue paper to strengthen it for the further application of paint, stamping and ephemera. Roddy will demonstrate how to apply acrylic gel medium to art tissue. Then, in a second piece, she will show the students how to apply a paint mixture with a polymer (GAC 100) for strength and color using a plastic pipette and brush. The students will be given prepared tissue papers. Using cardboard, covered with parchment paper, I'll demonstrate how to build a collage using Mod Podge and tissue and invite students to use their materials to do the same. Students will be able to take their piece home and when dried, peel it off the parchment paper and use it in any way they desire.

August 30 (Tuesday)

10:30 am - 4:30 pm

Black Eagle Leather Bag Course

with Tom Slavicek

$40 non-member + $30 supply fee;

$36 *BRMAA Member* + $30 supply fee

Interested? Follow me!
Who said fine art couldn't be functional? Join the Black Eagle Leather class and make a leather bag you'll be proud to wear and/or give as a gift! You'll learn the basics of cutting, pounding, and stitching leather, as well as how to inscribe a design using a wood burning tool (called pyrography). All materials, tools and designs are provided - no experience necessary! Students will design a bag with the shape, style and design of their choosing. The selection is vast, so each student will walk away with a unique piece. Bring a bag lunch to class, and be prepared to stay late if you would like a more intricate design.




Ducktown Basin Museum

Presents our 2nd Annual

Autumn Arts & Crafts Festival

September 10th – 9am till 5 pm

September 11th – Noon till 5 pm

In the Hoist House, Ducktown TN

Vendors welcome, spaces limited

Contact – 423-496-5778




Children Across Georgia Have Access to Free Meals This Summer

 ATLANTA, GA – Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is partnering with Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) and United Way of Greater Atlanta to raise awareness that free meals will be available this summer for children who may otherwise not have access to well-balanced meals throughout the day. The meals will be provided through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered in Georgia by DECAL.


Over one million of Georgia’s school-aged children are eligible for free or reduced lunch when school is in session; in the Metro Atlanta region over 60 percent of school children are eligible. The SFSP provides access to free meals to students in low-income areas throughout the state when school is not in session. Working together, DECAL, DFCS and United Way hope to promote greater awareness and encourage increased access to this resource.


“The Summer Food Service Program fills a critical need during the summer when children are out of school by providing free, nutritious meals,” said Falita Flowers, DECAL’s Director of Nutrition Services. “For children who receive free breakfast and/or lunch during the school year, this program fills the gap and contributes to their overall health and well-being.”


Parents and children can find area sites where meals will be served by visiting the Summer Meals locator at http://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks or at http://decal.ga.gov/Nutrition/Search.aspx. Additionally, sites can be located by calling 1-855-550-SFSP (7377) or by texting “FOODGA” to 877-877 (standard messaging and data rates apply).


“Throughout the 13-county region, more than 350,000 children run the risk of losing one or more meals each day during the summer,” said United Way of Greater Atlanta President Milton J. Little, Jr. “No child should go hungry. Last year through United Way’s summer feeding program, our community stepped up and provided more than 30,000 meals to children. This year, through partnerships with the Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services and the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, we hope to double last year’s success by connecting more than 60,000 children with meals they need to enjoy summer and to be ready to learn in the fall.”


DFCS, meanwhile, will be promoting the program through its local county offices across the state. “As the administrator of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help pay for food, we are keenly aware that child nutrition programs like this make a positive difference and are pleased to be raising awareness of this program through our local DFCS offices,” said DFCS Director Bobby Cagle.




Murphy Public Library
Story time for preschoolers and caregivers every Monday at 10 a.m. Enjoy books, music, rhymes, and fun. It's free! For more information, call Children's Librarian Maureen McGee at 828-837-2025.




Blue Mountain Jam

at Kiwanis Fairgrounds 

Jones St & Austin St
Experience real mountain Blue Grass Music. Musicians are local players. Free admission all donations go to the efforts of the Kiwanis Club. Call before you come just to make sure. 706-258-2736 Sponsored by Blue Mountain Music & Treasures. 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.




Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays
Morganton Music Park

Thursdays nights at 8pm - Karaoke! $5.00 & snack bar will be open, too! 
Open year round, every Friday & Saturday night, closed only on Christmas Day. The kitchen begins serving at 7:00 PM and the band plays from 8:00 to 12:00. The Morganton Music Park is a place where both adults and children can go to dance and have a great time listening to live country music bands. It is a nonalcoholic entertainment center.
Visit their
website for more info.



5:30 p.m.
Horseshoe Bend Park, McCaysville, GA
Pickin' in the Park
A series of weekly jam sessions that nurture local old-time and bluegrass musical traditions. It is held alongside the Beautiful Toccoa River at Horseshoe Bend Park. This weekly event is for pickers, not scheduled performances. Jam sessions abound in various sizes and styles throughout the park.
Admission is free. And the park is Handicapped accessible. Come out, bring the whole family to enjoy the experience.
Scattered picnic tables available, nice grassy lawn but you are also welcome to bring a blanket or chair.


Pickin & Playing at Clay's Corner, Brasstown, NC every Friday Night. Call 828-837-3797 for more info.

7:30 p.m.
John C. Campbell Folk School
Offers free concerts with various artists with folksongs, hammered dulcimers, fiddles, banjos, guitars, bluegrass, gospel and many more types of music. For information, call 1-800-FOLK-SCH or check
www.folkschool.org for schedule.


Are you seeing stars?
You can every Friday night at the Young Harris College Planetarium. Shows begin promptly at 8:00 pm. Seating on a first-come first-served basis and groups of 10 or more may reserve seats by calling the office at 706/379-3111 ext. 5130. Telescopes will be set up after the show. Visit their website


Friday Concert Series
Union County Courthouse, Blairsville (706) 745-5493


Music in the Shops of Murphy
The 1st Friday of each month, March thru October, a live band performs from 7-10 p.m. The 3rd Friday of each month is Dance Night at the Daily Grind. Other events include wine tasting. For more information contact the Daily Grind at 828-835-7322.


Children's Story Hour
Every Saturday at the Curiosity Shop Bookstore beginning at 11:15 am. Contact Linda at Curiosity Shop Bookstore for more information 828-835-7433.


Murphy Mornings
Every Saturday from 10 am- 2pm, April-October in the pocket parks on the corners of Peachtree and Tennessee streets, downtown Murphy, featuring Cedar Valley Farmer's Market; quilters and crafters welcome. For more information, call Jeremiah Smith, 828-837-5143.


Beginners Line Dance class 
Bill's Skating Rink
Blairsville, GA
6:30-7:30 pm
Cost $5.00
Come and have fun learning new dances.

For more info contact Evelyn

706-835-6250 or 706-994-3323


May to September Free Outdoor Concerts every Saturday night from 6 P.M. til 8 P.M. on the Square in Hiawassee. Enjoy music, food and fun for the entire family. Bring a blanket - Bring a lawn chair. Come enjoy an evening under the sky in the heart of this enchanted valley. - visit
www.otmga.org for information

8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
John C. Campbell Folk School
Every other Saturday, Contra & Square Dancing
For information, call 1-800-FOLK-SCH.


Appalachian Jam on the Square Dahlonega, Ga. April through October Saturdays 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Live music on Downtown Dahlonega's historic square. Dahlonega - Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce 800-231-5543
Visit Website


Bear Ridge Mall
Bear Ridge Mall offers free music and events every weekend. Check local papers and radio for each weekend's events. Also located on site is Christopher's Steak House coming this summer) and Jackson River Trading Co. home furnishings. Mall is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 8am to 6pm. Located off Hwy 19/74 in Andrews, NC, 2.2 miles east of Andrews-Murphy Airport. Turn left on Beaver Creek Rd. Call 828-321-2386 for more information



Community Services


Logan's Run Rescue




  is a program of great interest to parents and teachers everywhere.  It is a non-profit, nationwide service whose mission is to make reading fun again for thousands of reluctant teenagers by using best-selling thrillers, heroic non-fiction, and motivational books.  Middle and high school teachers receive numerous free curriculum materials and enjoy classroom interaction with best-selling authors either via phone or personal appearances.  In just eight years, this successful program has received numerous credible endorsements and has registered over 8,000 teachers, representing over 100,000 students, proving that it has returned creativity to the classroom. 



The Gateway Animal Rescue Center is looking for volunteers. Extra hands are needed at pet adoption events, answering phones, writing articles and picking up donations of food, equipment, etc. Gateway is always looking for donations of GOOD pet foods. Check out their "Pet of the Week" at the Saturday's adoption in the Blue Ridge City Park. Call Robyn in Ellijay at 706/698-1355 or Karen in Blue Ridge at 423/496-3892, e-mail


Bosom Buddies of Georgia
Offers monthly support groups for cancer survivors. Another program offered is the Low-cost Mammogram Program, which offers qualified applicants a mammogram at discounted rates. For more info visit the
Bosom Buddies of Georgia website www.gacancerfoundation.org/bb


>^,,^< WHISKERS PROJECT >^,,^<

The Whiskers Project is a Non-Profit, Trap, Neuter-Return (TNR) program that spays & neuters feral and stray cats in Union and surrounding counties in North Georgia. We are part of the Feral Friends Network with Alleycats in Washington DC. If you can volunteer to help trap and transport once a month, please contact us.

We are always looking for farms, barns and stables to relocate sterile and rabies vaccinated cats that need homes. Please contact us if you can provide feeding and location assistance. Sometimes we rescue strays and kittens that have been domesticated that need homes. Those cats/kittens are posted on our adoptable list.

PO BOX 575
Blairsville, GA 30514
Phone: 706-745-0936



FLEX Arts Center at 21 High Point Dr. in Blue Ridge is offering free dance awareness seminars to area Girl Scout troops. The 1 ½ hour session includes a dance class with a certified instructor (also a former Girl scout leader), arts lecture and fun exercises to meet all the elements required for earning the Jr. dance badge or Brownie Try-it patch.  The school also offers a similar program for earning theater badges. Daisy troops may schedule a dance  or theater awareness session for fun as well. Participants are each given a certification of achievement, and troops are invited to spend additional time at the facility to complete their normal meeting business or to plan a ceremony.   FLEX Arts Center is also a certified yoga facility, and Jr. troops or cadet levels may schedule a free “introduction to yoga” seminar for health and fitness awareness projects as well.   For more information, or to schedule a seminar call Ginny Hendry at the school at 706-258-9642.


MOPS International, a non-profit mothering organization, creates communities and resources to help make "better moms who make a better world." A MOPS group is a place where moms can come-just as they are-to build friendships, receive mothering support, practical help and spiritual hope.
To find a group near you, please visit us online at
www.MOPS.org .  Join now - because better moms make a better world!

Mothers of Preschoolers meets on the Third Thursday of each month in the new fellowship hall at First Baptist Church of Blairsville from 6-8pm.  Call the church office at 706-745-2469 for more information or email us at


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Cherokee County NC Chamber of Commerce
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