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JCVB Blog

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau BLOG is published weekly with news and feature articles on visiting the county.

Up-coming Event Celebrates JoCo Art & Food

Up-coming Event Celebrates JoCo Art & Food


The Johnston County Arts Council will host its eighth Annual Art and Food Festival Gala on March 16, 2017 at the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium on the Johnston Community College Campus. The event is from 6:00-8:00PM and tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Executive Director of the Arts Council, Darlene Williford, at 919-738-9622; she noted that if she is unavailable when you call to be sure and leave a message stating you want tickets. Or you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Tickets are $40 each or 2 for $75.

The fundraiser will generate monies to assist the Arts Council with funding for the 2016-2017 Artists-in-the-Schools program, to provide scholarships for Johnston Community College students studying Fine Arts, and to fund free community programs including: visual artists paint-outs, Johnston Health art exhibits, and Music for the Lunch Bunch.


Showcasing Local Artists & Chefs


There will also be an art show for the event. Artwork will be on display and available for purchase from Johnston County’s most talented visual artists. There were over 50 pieces in the categories of painting, photography, and pottery in last year’s show.

In addition, attendees will be treated to delicious sample dishes from twelve to fifteen of Johnston County’s finest restaurants. And participating restaurants will compete for awards like Best Entrée, Best Dessert, Best Presentation, Best Side Dish, Most Original Dish, and Best Appetizer. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for ‘People’s Choice Award’ of Best Restaurant.  Participating restaurants last year included Anthony’s Pizza and Pasta, Parkside Cafe, The Serving Spoon, Sherry’s Signature Cheesecakes, and Simple Twist.


Last Year’s Winners


Winners last year included artists Christer Berg, Mary Jones, Kyle Wilson, and Frank Grubbs while restaurant winners included Anthony’s Pizza & Pasta, The Serving Spoon, and Parkside Café. For the full list of 2016 winners please click here to view our blog on last year’s event.

The mission of the Johnston County Arts Council is to provide quality opportunities in the arts for every Johnston County resident. For more information on their events and initiatives please visit their Facebook page.

For a list of events happening in Johnston County, including arts and entertainment events like this one, please visit johnstoncountync.org/events.

 

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Come for the Art. Bring Your Appetite.

Come for the Art. Bring Your Appetite.

The Johnston County Arts Council recently hosted its Seventh Annual Art and Food Festival Gala last Thursday, March 17th at the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium on the campus of Johnston Community College in Smithfield. The fundraiser generates money to assist the Arts Council with funding for the 2016 Artists-in-the-Schools program. It also allows the council to provide scholarships for Johnston Community College students studying Fine Arts and host free community arts programming and project installations throughout the year.

The gala treats ticketed guests to sample dishes from Johnston County’s finest restaurants. And participating restaurants competed for awards like Best Entrée, Best Dessert, Best Presentation, Best Side Dish, Most Original Dish, and Best Appetizer. Attendees had the opportunity to vote for ‘People’s Choice Award’ of Best Restaurant.  Participating restaurants included Anna’s Gourmet Breads, Anthony’s Pizza and Pasta, Bistro on Third,  Casey’s Floral & Catering Service, Chick-fil-A, Golden Corral, Glenda's Sweet Shoppe & Grille , Parkside Cafe, The Serving Spoon, Sherry’s Signature Cheesecakes, Simon’z Restaurant, and Simple Twist.


The results of the Johnston County Arts Council art show featuring local artists was also announced with local artwork on display and available for purchase from Johnston County’s most talented visual artists. There were over 50 pieces in the categories of painting, photography, and pottery. An auction of 2 collaborative pieces was one of the highlights of the evening. There was also a silent auction for individual works. Music was provided by Issac Bruton. Raffle tickets were sold for a chance to win a grand prize donated by Evans Jewelers, a gorgeous necklace that featured a two-tone yellow and white gold pendant valued at $1,200.

Darlene Williford, Executive Director of the Johnston County Arts Council, stated, "our 7th Annual Art and Food Festival was a great success this year. We included the new art category of pottery, and had new local restaurants and artists participating. If you didn't make it this year, I invite you to attend next year."

For a full list of winners see below. If you are interested in serving or supporting the Johnston County Arts Council please contact Darlene Williford at 919.738.9622 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 

Winners of the Art Show

Best of Show:  $350            Christer Berg             “Ben Williams”

Painting:

1st place:   $200                Mary Jones               “Sapphire Fantasy”
2nd place:  $100                Joanne Dunn             “All the Way”
3rd place:   $ 50                Carolyn Howard          “Poetry of Trees”

Honorable Mention:             Carolyn Allen              “Grace”
                                      David Lennon             “River Walk”
                                      Ann Ragland              “Write On…”
                                      Jo Tucker                 “Snack Time”

Photograhpy:

1st place:   $200            Kyle Wilson                  “I Will Crab Until My Heart Stops”
2nd place:  $100            Christer Berg                “William Ivey Long”
3rd place:   $50             Kyle Wilson                  “The Dressing Table”

Pottery:
1st place:  $200            Frank Grubbs              
2nd place:  $100           Marsha Rogers              
3rd place:  $50             Kristin Sasser

Honorable Mention:       Betsy Whittington


Restaurant Winners

Best Entrée:                 Anthony’s Pizza & Pasta        
Best Presentation:         Casey’s Floral & Catering Service    
Best Dessert:               Anna’s Gourmet Banana Nut Bread                
Best Side Dish:             Bistro on Third    
Most Original Dish:        The Serving Spoon        
Best Appetizer:            The Serving Spoon
People’s Choice:           Parkside Cafe  

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Hospitality Training Program, “Hospitality Heroes” Updated

Sign up for the FREE Hospitality Heroes Program offer at Johnston Community College -- become a tourism ambassador! Sign up for the FREE Hospitality Heroes Program offered at Johnston Community College!

Since 2010, the Johnston County Visitors Bureau (JCVB) has partnered with Johnston Community College’s Small Business Center to offer the hospitality training course known as “Hospitality Heroes”.  This training course is offered online monthly and is FREE to new and existing tourism industry employees in the county.  Over the past three years, the program has had over 100 graduates.

“Having an easily accessible educational program for our visitor industry partners was a long-term goal of the bureau’s and with the help of Johnston Community College we are providing that service,” stated Donna Bailey-Taylor, Executive Director. “Knowing your product is the first step in sales and Johnston County is our tourism product; we consider every front line employee an ambassador for tourism.”

Over the summer break, Hospitality Heroes was updated to include information which will help students answer visitor questions when approached on the job.  Information important to know includes Johnston County’s new attractions, hotel openings, restaurants, and the many shopping and outlet opportunities available for visitors to enjoy.  Just having the basic information and knowing the Visitors Bureau provides marketing materials like the Visitors Guide, Visitor Maps, Event Calendars and Websites will help front-line employees find the resources they need to help visitors.

Facts and figures about national, state and local visitor spending, visitor demographic profiles and many additional resources have been updated.  The new Hospitality Heroes program features JCVB’s five new promotional YouTube videos based on the following themes: Agritourism, Arts & Entertainment, History & Heritage, Shopping New & Old, and Outdoor Recreation.  The new program also highlights the results of the Visitor Profile Study conducted by East Carolina University’s Center for Sustainable Tourism in 2013.

With course completion, each graduate will receive a Hospitality Heroes certificate, a gift bag from JCVB, and vouchers to local attractions within the county that they can visit complimentary.  Knowing more about the destination will help front line employees direct visitors, answer questions and help give them a better impression of our communities.

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Frank Creech Art Gallery Debuts On JCC Campus

Johnston Community College has officially opened The Frank Creech Art Gallery. The new gallery, located in the Arts Building on the JCC campus, is a collaborative project between the College Foundation, the Johnston County Arts Council, and the College’s Fine Art and Graphic Design faculty to recognize the late Creech’s significant contributions to the visual arts community.

Frank and Friends, the gallery’s inaugural exhibit, will include 20 pieces of Creech’s collection from various periods in his career as well as well as other art of his colleagues and students.

An open house to introduce the museum-quality exhibition space to the college and larger community is planned from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3. A private dedication ceremony will be held Thursday evening, Dec. 2.

JCC President David Johnson said the College is honored to house the art gallery in Creech’s name. The gallery will serve as an integral education component for JCC’s art students as well as a source of cultural enrichment for the Johnston County community.

“Frank was a unique individual who loved JCC, his community, and the expression of life through his art,” Johnson said. “It is fitting to have a specific facility on campus which memorializes his contributions as faculty member and artist. We are extremely grateful for all of Frank’s friends and family who have had a part in making this opening a reality.”

A graduate of Duke and Florida State universities, Creech was admired for his distinct collection of sculptures and paintings that reflected his passion for visual expression. Creech taught and later led the Art Department at JCC. His artwork is in private and public collections and in museums throughout the United States. His cast bronze and aluminum sculptures are displayed on the campuses of Duke, Yale, Delaware, Penn State and Francis Marion universities. Other public commissioned works include “The Story Teller” at the Gaston County Public Library and “The Reader” at the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield. Creech’s “The Rescue” is at the entrance of the Paul A. Johnson Auditorium on the JCC campus. In 2005, he was named to the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest civilian honor.

The 1,500-square-foot gallery contains state-of-the-art exhibition space as well as a 750-foot reception area to eventually be used for the public sale of artwork. The gallery interior is equipped with museum-quality lighting, climate control, hanging and security systems. With its grey, hand-finished concrete floors, contemporary white walls, and distinct crown molding, the exhibition space balances a modern feel with traditional Southern architecture.

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Beer Wine & Shine Trail

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Travel around the county to four award-winning wineries, two breweries and get a taste of brandy along the way!  Receive a Free $30 coupon book when you complete the trail.

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Meeting Planners

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Johnston County offers conveniently located and affordable conference facilities for meetings, reunions, and unique destination weddings sites.  Why not select a historic home or horse farm for your next event?

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Group Tour Operators

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Groups have discovered exits along I-40 and I-95 for outlet shopping, music theatre, museums and heritage sites.  Call today for custom itinerary planning.

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Hotel Packages

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We have created several special hotel packages including a Girlfriends Getaway for outlet shopping, we know you need a break and great deals on shoes!  Click here to book your getaway today.

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