Countdown to Spring begins!
This year, Spring will arrive on Sunday, March 20, at 11:33 A.M. EDT. Does this mean we can officially put away our cold-weather clothes?
Carrboro Town Council passes resolution in solidarity with Ukraine
The Carrboro Town Council passed a resolution on Tuesday, March 8, in solidarity with Ukraine and in opposition to the Russian invasion, assault and atrocities against the Ukrainian peoples.
The resolution states: "The Town of Carrboro stands in solidarity with Ukrainian sovereignty and her territorial integrity as an independent and democratic Ukraine, and with the Ukrainian peoples as they resist Russian aggression, military invasion and the threat to their existence. The Town of Carrboro calls for an immediate ceasefire, sincere negotiations, a humanitarian corridor for Ukrainians seeking safe passage, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in peril and to war refugees."
Further, the resolution states that Carrboro is a peace-loving community that advocates human rights and the well being of all peoples. The people of Carrboro oppose tyranny, unprovoked aggression and war, and "we hold that war is never an acceptable response to human conflict."
The Town Council's resolution also encourages residents to give to organizations which advocate for humanitarian aid, ensure safe passage and haven for refugees, and provide support for the Ukrainian people and organizations, such as these:
Read the full resolution of the Carrboro Town Council at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/10815/Carrboro-Council-Solidarity-with-Ukraine-Resolution-3_8_2022
Music Maker Foundation's Eighth Annual "Freight Train Blues" Concert Series returns in-person May 13-June 10
The Town of Carrboro, North Carolina, will present the Music Maker Foundation’s Freight Train Blues series of live concerts every Friday evening between May 13 and June 10 at the Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St. The series is a collaboration among the Town of Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources; the Music Maker Foundation; and WUNC 91.5FM. The concert series was held virtually the past two years in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic safety measures.
More information: www.freighttrainblues.com
An annual event, the concert series highlights GRAMMY-winning folk and blues artist and North Carolina Music Hall of Famer Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten, born in Carrboro, North Carolina in 1893. Cotten’s soulful voice and unique guitar style have rendered her a legend in the world of blues, leading her to receive National Heritage Fellowship in 1984 and a GRAMMY award in 1985. She lived to be 104 years old and died in 1987. Her songs, like the iconic “Freight Train,” have been reimagined by artists like The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan.
Music Maker Foundation honors Cotten’s legacy in the world of roots music by emphasizing the cultural diversity, complexity, and vitality of her music and the music of many other artists local to her community and all over the country.
May 13- Hermon Hitson, Harvey Dalton Arnold
Hermon Hitson boasts an impressive 50-year career, blending psychedelic rock, blues, R&B, and soul influences into an eclectic music style. The artist has worked closely with a number of notable artists, including Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Joe Tex, Bobby Womack and Wilson Pickett.
North Carolina’s Harvey Dalton Arnold has demonstrated his love for playing the bass since he was a teen, earning him a spot in the renowned southern rock group, The Outlaws, which played arenas in the 1970s and early 1980s. He has since branched off into solo work, releasing a soulful blues album and a southern rock/outlaw country album. Arnold collaborated with Music Maker Foundation on Stories to Live Up To, showcasing a set of stories and songs that embody his creativity and influences.
May 20- Sacred Soul of North Carolina Revue; Weaver Gospel Singers Tribute
Surviving members of the Weaver Gospel Singers — in song and with an oral history – will pay tribute to group leader Susie Weaver, who passed away in 1984. Susie Weaver’s original song “Freedom in Chapel Hill” was recorded live at First Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina by JCP Records during the Civil Rights era. In addition to singing, Mrs. Weaver owned a funeral parlor and was active in the Civil Rights movement. The music will be accompanied by praise dancer Joshua Weaver, Susie’s nephew. This set is presented in partnership with the Marion Cheek Jackson Center.
The Sacred Soul of North Carolina Revue features Bishop Albert Harrison & the Gospel Tones, Big James Barrett & the Golden Jubilees, The Johnsonaires and The Glorifying Vines Sisters. These artists appeared on the “joyous” (MOJO Magazine) fall 2021 compilation album Sacred Soul of North Carolina (Bible & Tire / Music Maker), which earned praise from NPR Music and DownBeat Magazine.
Bishop Albert Harrison, leader of the Gospel Tones, has been traveling and singing gospel music solo since the 1980s. Harrison hails from the experimental planned black community of Soul City in Warren County, while the Gospel Tones make Ahoskie, N.C., their home base.
The Johnsonaires recently marked two decades of performing in their hometown of Greenville, N.C., and on the road. The group is made up of all brothers whose musical education came from their father, their uncle, and their dedicated church attendance. Tony Johnson remembers one life-changing Christmas morning when his father surprised the brothers with real instruments — guitar, drums, microphones. When their uncle’s group disbanded, the Johnson brothers created their own group to “carry on the mantle” and continue the family’s musical legacy.
The Glorifying Vines Sisters are a thriving musical institution. Based in Eastern North Carolina, they’ve been tearing up the road for decades and tearing up every church they visit. But they don’t confine themselves to churches; they’re comfortable playing secular venues, too. Their music is steeped in the traditions of quartet gospel and they have shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the genre, including the Mighty Clouds of Joy and the Swanee Quintet. With over four decades of experience, the Vines Sisters continue to travel, record, and perform. And they’ve instilled gospel music into their children and grandchildren, who keep the tradition alive and thriving.
May 27- Hard Drive, The Branchettes
Tatiana Hargreaves, Aaron Tacke, Sonya Badigian, and Nokosee Fields come together to form a modern, yet traditional bluegrass group known as Hard Drive. The group infuses old-time bluegrass music with a whimsical spin. Known for their unique modern touches, others in their field have accredited Hard Drive’s ability to “subvert expectations of what bluegrass is supposed to be.”
Lena Mae Perry will perform with accompanist Angela Kent as The Branchettes, which originally came together in Benson, NC. Their musical style draws from African American traditional music and hymnal singing. Since their founding, the Branchettes have accumulated a number of accolades, including the North Carolina Heritage Award in 1995. They are the subjects of the new documentary film Stay Prayed Up and have performed and recorded with Phil Cook (of Hiss Golden Messenger).
June 3- La Banda de los Guanajuatenses, Joe Troop w/ Larry Bellorín
Since its founding in 1999 in Guanajuato, Mexico, La Banda de Los Guanajuatenses has been heard on radios all over the state of North Carolina. The thirteen members of the group prove to be fan-favorites among many Mexican immigrants residing in the state.
Joe Troop is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter hailing originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The founder of GRAMMY-nominated stringband Che Apalache, Troop’s music is deeply embedded with and inspired by his activism. The radical folk singer’s first proper solo album Borrowed Time. The record features music luminaries like Béla Fleck (who produced Che Apalache’s GRAMMY-nominated album), Abigail Washburn, Tim O’Brien, and Charlie Hunter, but the visceral songwriting is influenced both by Troop’s time spent living abroad as well as his upbringing as an openly gay bluegrass musician in rural North Carolina.
The last place you’d expect to hear one of the world’s finest Llanera harpists is in a dimly lit warehouse in Durham, NC. Larry Bellorín grew up in Punta de Mata in the state of Monagas, Venezuela. By age 6, he built a faithful clientele as a shoe shiner by singing as he polished. As an adolescent, he was supporting himself through music alone and was well-versed in the folk music of his region (valse, pasaje, joropo, música oriental) as a multi-instrumentalist. internationally acclaimed harpist Urbino Ruiz, affectionately known as the King of the Strong Harp, later mentored Bellorín on the instrument, on which he has become a master.
With the collapse of Venezuela, he arrived in the United States with only thirty dollars and slept on the floor of an unfurnished room while doing construction day labor. Larry and his family of now four are still waiting for their asylum case to be reviewed. Last year, he met and began to collaborate with North Carolina Bluegrass evangelist and human rights activist Joe Troop, who has long drawn connections between Appalachian roots music and folkloric traditions from Central and South America.
Larry is excited at the opportunity to begin working with the Music Maker Foundation. He has dedicated his life to mastering the musical traditions of Venezuela, sharing it with audiences and teaching eager students.
June 10- Music Maker Blues Revue featuring Gail Ceasar, Tad Walters & Lil’ Jimmy Reed
The roots of Gail Ceasar’s’ music run deep into the Virginia soil. Music Maker met an elderly blues guitarist from Pittsylvania County, VA named Pete Witcher. Returning several times to record Pete, he made a point of taking Music Maker staff to see his niece Gail Ceasar. She plays with incredible precision.
Since his youth, Tad Walters has played the guitar and harmonica, using his skills to join the band of Bob Mangolin (Muddy Waters) in 1996. After years of making music with another group, the Big Bill Morganfield Band (led by Muddy’s son). He has played with luminaries like GRAMMY-winning pianist Pinetop Perkins, Howlin’ Wolf lead guitarist Hubert Sumlin, Blues Hall of Famer Billy Boy Arnold.
Lil’ Jimmy Reed comes from an era of Louisiana bluesmen who tell stories of poverty, segregation, and hard work. Though most of the artists of his era have passed on, Jimmy still makes Louisiana Blues music to this day. Though not related to his famous namesake, he was once booked by a promoter as Lil’ Jimmy Reed and kept the moniker, as he is a master of the elder Reed’s style and repertoire on guitar and harmonica.
North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC creates, acquires, and distributes programming that enhances and reflects the diverse communities it serves. Through a blend of newscasts, feature radio, and digital reports, WUNC provides balanced information in a manner designed to help listeners make informed decisions as citizens. WUNC also produces culturally rich music programming that celebrates the diverse musical community in North Carolina. As an NPR affiliate, the station provides a 24 hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week news and public affairs service to listeners each week throughout the state of North Carolina. WUNC serves a wide geographic area with broadcasts that reach into more than half of North Carolina’s 100 counties.
The broadcast license of North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC is held by the Board of WUNC Public Radio, LLC. More than 90 percent of WUNC’s annual budget comes from the support of individual donors, businesses, and foundations.
For more information about the station, please visit www.wunc.org
Carrboro is located just west of Chapel Hill in the Central Piedmont region of North Carolina. Home to a thriving local arts scene, Carrboro was recently named one of the country’s Top 5 Small Arts Towns by 24/7 Tempo. In addition to the Freight Train Blues Concert Series, the town also sponsors a variety of other signature events including the Carrboro Music Festival, Carrboro Film Fest, and the West End Poetry Festival.
Registration now open for entrepreneur class
Calling all aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs! The Town of Carrboro is partnering with The Business Accelerator Group (BAG) and the Durham Tech Small Business Center to host some business accelerator programs starting in April.
Get practical, actionable business training from experienced advisors and support from peers in the same boat.
There are two groups (or cohorts) that will meet once a week for five weeks:
- Cohort 1 is for aspiring entrepreneurs, folks looking to launch their idea.
- Cohort 2 is for small business owners who have been in business from one to five years.
Ten to 15 members will be accepted into each cohort. Each BAG cohort meets weekly for five weeks, from mid-April through late May. Sessions are 1.5 hours in length and are in-person in Carrboro, NC. We will follow local masking guidelines and keep social distance during sessions.
What To Expect
- Education on essential small business topics.
- Coaching on how to implement the work for your business.
- Support from a cohort of entrepreneur peers.
The Business Accelerator Group is $195 per business, with scholarships up to $170 available (a cost of $25 to the business). A second business owner may attend for no additional cost.
The application is due by 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2022. Selected applicants will be notified by April 1. Please direct all questions to Kate Wiggins at firstname.lastname@example.org
BIPOC business owners are encouraged to apply. Register at bit.ly/sbcbag
You can listen to a brief radio piece about the sessions here https://www.carrboronc.gov/2678/Business-Accelerator-Group-BAG
Show your love for Orange County’s waterways during the first-ever Orange County Creek Week, held March 12-19
Come volunteer, hike, learn, and celebrate with a variety of activities the entire family can enjoy. The week of events is designed to help people of all ages learn about, take care of, and enjoy Orange County’s waterways. Residents will have a chance to join trash clean-ups, nature hikes, community science activities, a virtual 5K, and other events throughout the county.
Visit Orange County’s Creek Week webpage at https://www.orangecountync.gov/2887/Creek-Week to see all the fun events planned for Creek Week.
Learn more about Creek Week at https://nc-cleanwater.com/regional-creek-week
“We hope that by celebrating our town’s unique waterways and how they connect us as a community, we can foster a deeper knowledge of your watershed and how you can play a part in promoting clean and healthy creeks,” said Heather M. Horner Holley, stormwater specialist for the Town of Carrboro. “The stormwater staff is excited to share Orange County Creek Week with Carrboro."
Questions? Contact Heather Holley at 919-918-7426 or HHolley@CarrboroNC.gov
The inaugural event is part of the Clean Water and Education Partnership’s (CWEP) second annual Regional Creek Week. This year’s theme is “Water Connects Us.” The initiative will engage the public on the importance of clean and healthy waterways. This year’s Orange County Creek Week is made possible by Orange County Department of Environment, Agriculture & Parks & Recreation (DEAPR); Orange Water and Sewer Authority; the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough; UNC Energy Services; UNC Environment, Health and Safety; UNC Institute for the Environment; and Sustainable Carolina.
March is Women's History Month
Throughout Women's History Month, we celebrate the contributions of women. While it's important to celebrate women's history during the other 11 months, too, during March we can remember the sacrifices and contributions made by women to help improve our community, our country, and the world.
Town Council Update
Meeting agendas and updates are issued from the Town Clerk’s Office. To receive these by email or text, sign up for Carrboro Town News at carrboronc.gov/signup
Civic involvement is a valued tradition in our community. Reach the Town Council with your ideas, views, and questions at Council@carrboronc.gov
The Town Council will meet next virtually at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, to consider an agenda https://bit.ly/3vZVMzg that also will be posted at carrboro.legistar.com
To view, access livestream at carrboro.legistar.com or YouTube.com/CarrboroNC OR Cable TV 18 (in Carrboro).
To participate via zoom and receive access to the zoom meeting to provide public comment, please contact email@example.com
The Carrboro Town Council met virtually Tuesday, March 8, and took the following actions on the agenda posted at https://bit.ly/3q04idz
- The Council passed a resolution in solidarity with Ukraine and in opposition to the Russian invasion, assault and atrocities against the Ukrainian peoples. Read more at https://www.carrboronc.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2057
- The Council authorized the Town Manager to sign a 2022 amendment to an existing Interlocal Agreement between Orange County and the towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill to extend the agreement’s term to June 30, 2025.
- Carrboro Community Gardens Update – The Council received a presentation on the town’s community gardens. Jeanette O’Connor and Heidi Paulsen shared information about the Family Garden and the Carrboro Community Garden Coalition Garden in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Eric Allman shared information about the Baldwin Park garden.
- The Council authorized a compensation and class study with Management Advisory Group International Inc.
- The Council held a work session on the Carrboro Connects 2022-2042 Comprehensive Plan. The Council continues to receive public comment as it considers adoption. View the draft plan at https://www.carrboroconnects.org/public-hearing-draft
About the Town Council
The Town Council is the legislative and policy-making body for Carrboro, consisting of the following: Mayor Damon Seils, Mayor Pro Tempore Susan Romaine, Council Member Barbara Foushee, Council Member Randee Haven-O’Donnell, Council Member Danny Nowell and Council Member Sammy Slade. More information is available at http://carrboronc.gov/248/Town-Council
Kite Flying Day in Carrboro a high-flying success!
The skies over Hank Anderson Park became bright and colorful this past Sunday, March 13, as more than 300 people gathered to fly their kites, brave the chilly weather, and welcome Spring.
Thanks to all who participated! Catch the highlight video at https://youtu.be/CflDV3VEgrU
You know what Carrboro could really use? You!
Our town has a long-standing tradition of civic engagement. It makes no difference if you've never done such a thing before. Check out all the vacant positions where you can help the town at https://townofcarrboro.org/817/Advisory-Boards-and-Committees
Take a walk on the wild side!
Did you know that taking just a 30-minute walk can have huge health benefits? It's true! Join us as we celebrate National Take A Walk In The Park Day on Tuesday, March 30, 2022. Explore Carrboro’s Hank Anderson Park, breathe in some fresh air, and re-energize before heading back to the real world.
- All Ages
- Wednesday, March 30, 2022
- Noon to 1 p.m.
- Location: Hank Anderson Park Pond Trail
- 302 Hwy 54 West Carrboro, NC 27510
- Cost: FREE
Please welcome Wesley Barker, our new town clerk!
Following a comprehensive recruitment effort, the Town Council has selected Wesley Barker as Carrboro’s new town clerk.
Since sworn into service on March 1, 2022, he has been busy organizing his office at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St.
“I am excited to join the Carrboro team and begin work with the mayor, Town Council, Town leadership and employees – and all our residents,” Mr. Barker said. “I am happy to be part of the team and look forward to making a difference in this community.”
A native of Ashe County, N.C., Mr. Barker said he was drawn to Carrboro by its reputation as a welcoming, accepting and creative community. He is the former planning director for Ashe County, where he was born and raised. His duties included land use ordinance work and interpretation. While employed by the Town of West Jefferson from 2010 to 2017, he wore several hats including town clerk, human resources officer and zoning administrator.
"Wesley brings several years of experience in municipal and county government to his new role as Carrboro's town clerk,” Mayor Damon Seils said. “We're thrilled to welcome him from his lifelong home in beautiful Ashe County to his new home in beautiful Carrboro."
Mr. Barker obtained the designation of Certified Municipal Clerk from the NC Association of Municipal Clerks. He holds a bachelor’s degree in city/urban, community and regional planning from Appalachian State University and an associates degree from Wilkes Community College. He has served as a board member on the Ashe County Arts Council and the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce. He also served a 10-year stint as marketing manager for the Christmas in July Festival in West Jefferson.
“I appreciate the strong sense of community, and a feeling of openness and acceptance from everyone,” Mr. Barker said. “I look forward to delving into the arts and culture scene in Carrboro.”