The check presentation to the Fayette Area Historical Initiative. Courtesy of the Harvest Foundation.

Here’s a round-up of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Harvest Foundation makes grant to Black history museum in Martinsville

The Harvest Foundation in Martinsville has made a three-year grant of $254,468 to the Fayette Area Historical Initiative to grow the capacity of the museum to develop and implement a targeted strategic plan. The museum also plans to invest in board development and training while creating a marketing and business plan.

 “FAHI’s preservation of African-American history is vital to our community, and its presence in the Fayette Business Corridor is needed for success in uptown revitalization,” Harvest Foundation program manager India Brown said in a statement. “Even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, FAHI saw more visitors, more schools taking field trips, and more people using the facility for meetings and small gatherings. We have an opportunity to set a standard of excellence for investing in African-American history. Visitors that come to FAHI broaden their cultural knowledge and join the effort to eliminate systemic racism. When we embrace factual history and learn about the contributions of African-Americans to our society, we create a community where all can feel appreciated, valued, and seen.”

FAHI opened its current location, the former Imperial Savings and Loan bank building, in 2011. It includes exhibit space and special collections for artifacts. The museum plans to offer additional hours and days of operation as it develops its infrastructure.

Visitors are welcome Wednesdays and every third Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will schedule group tours upon request. Call (276) 732-3496 or visit to learn more.   

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Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival will feature wines from outside Virginia for first time

For the first time in its 32-year history, the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival will include wineries from outside the state of Virginia, including premier brands such as Caymus, Catena, Zuccardi and Yalumba.

“In our efforts to keep the Wine Festival fresh and exciting, the committee decided to expand the offerings so attendees will have some new and different brands to taste,” said Andy Bruns, executive director of the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce in a statement. The chamber will host the event Sept. 17-18 at Mariners Landing. 

Representatives of Wagner Family of Wine, Winebow Fine Wine + Spirits, and Wine Sellers LTD will pour tastings in the tent hosted by Bottles & Bites, the gourmet wine shop at Mariners Landing. 

Saturday’s headline band will be The SteelDrivers, a Nashville-based bluegrass group that has been nominated for several Grammy Awards and won for Best Bluegrass Album in 2015. On Sunday, eight-piece soul band St. Paul & The Broken Bones will perform in the headliner spot. 

Also slated for Saturday are The Suffers, a soul band from Houston that blends elements of classic American Soul and rock and roll to crowds that love to dance. Local favorites The Eric Wayne Band and Blueprint round out the lineup.

North Carolina-based brass funk band Empire Strikes Brass and Three Sheets to the Wind, a popular yacht rock band from Richmond, will open up for St. Paul and the Broken Bones on Sunday.

An assortment of vendors will be on site selling handmade jewelry, leather goods, clothing, accessories and gif A complete list may be found at

Tickets are on sale now at General admission tickets are $65 and VIP tickets are $195. In addition, a limited number of boat slips may be rented for $95 per day.

The Wine Festival is the Chamber’s largest non-dues fundraiser with proceeds used to grow and develop programs to promote tourism and business in the lake region. For more information or to purchase tickets, log on to

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SML Pavilion to open in Moneta October 1

The SML Pavilion will open October 1. Located in downtown Moneta, the pavilion features a large covered space for events.

A ribbon cutting with the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce will be held at noon on October 1 as part of a free grand opening party.

The pavilion space will be open from noon-5. A community jam session will be held from 1-4. Community musicians are invited to take the stage and share their talents.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Every event hosted at the pavilion will benefit local non-profits, according to a release from the SML Pavilion, the non=profit behind the venue.

The pavilion features a 40×100 tent with seating and protection from rain and sun. There is seating for 220 people and space for up to 450 guests.

The website offers information and an events calendar. Local talent and vendors who are interested in participating at pavilion events are invited to register at the website. 

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Milk Carton Kids sold out at Lime Kiln

Lime Kiln Theater’s concert with The Milk Carton Kids and opener Kaia Kater on Saturday, Sept. 17, is sold out. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the music begins at 7:30 p.m.