The VMFA Artmobile will stop in Norton for two days next week. Photo courtesy of Sandra Sellars/Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Here’s a roundup of event briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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VMFA ‘Artmobile’ brings portraiture exhibit to Norton

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ Artmobile is coming to downtown Norton on April 11 and 12 with a new exhibition, “Revealing and Obscuring Identity: Portraits from the Permanent Collection.”

The climate-controlled 53-foot trailer will set up in the parking lot next to Doughmakers Pizza, where it will be free and open to the public from 4 to 6 p.m. each day.

This exhibition of paintings, photographs and prints explores portraiture through a variety of periods, cultures and styles and features works by more than 10 artists, including Kitagawa Utamaro (Japan), Gordon Stettinius (U.S.), André L’Hote (France) and S. Ross Browne (U.S.).
​In 1953, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts became one of the first museums in the world to have an Artmobile. For four decades, as many as four Artmobiles toured 59 exhibitions and served more than 2.5 million Virginians. Due to conservation concerns and the fragility of traveling works of art, VMFA replaced the program in the early 1990s with a strategy to develop stronger partnerships with schools, community centers and museums around the state.
VMFA relaunched its traveling museum and art studio, called VMFA on the Road, in October 2018. ​

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‘When I’m Gone,’ play about local bluegrass legends, comes to Dickenson County

The Jettie Baker Center in Clintwood is partnering with Mountain Movers Theatre Company, based in Louisa, Kentucky, to bring the story of bluegrass legends to the stage in the show “When I’m Gone.”

The show tells the story of the night that Ralph Stanley met Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley, and the rise to stardom that followed for the two young men.

The show features actors and musicians from all over the country, including Don Rigsby and Danny Davis.

The Jettie Baker Center is a performance and events venue owned and operated by the town of Clintwood. Built in the 1940s as the Mullins Theater, it was donated to the town and public funding went in to repurposing the building.

“When I’m Gone” will run April 14 and 15 at 7 p.m., and April 16 at 3 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the Mountain Movers Theatre Company Box Office at 606-331-8932

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Harvester adds Corey Smith, The Connells to its lineup

Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount will bring country music singer/songwriter Corey Smith to the stage on May 12 and The Connells, one of North Carolina’s most successful indie rock bands, on June 16.

Smith has released 11 albums and just finished recording a new record titled “Suburban Drawl,” slated for release this spring. His latest singles, “Still in the Running” and “Daddy’s Weed,” are streaming now on all platforms. 

The Connells, who first formed in Chapel Hill at the University of North Carolina in 1984, recently released “Steadman’s Wake,” the band’s first new music since 2001.

Tickets for Smith’s show start at $32 and are on sale now at Tickets for The Connells will start at $37 and will go on sale Friday.

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Local poets to read at Roanoke library for ‘Poetry Cafe’

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Raleigh Court Branch of Roanoke Public Libraries will host “Poetry Cafe,” an event featuring readings from five local poets, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 8

The event is free and open to the public, and free coffee and refreshments will be served.

The featured poets are T.J. Anderson III, Bryan “Harvest Blaque” Hancock, Dionte “Taye The Truth” Hall, Jeanne Larsen and Meighan Sharp.

Poetry Cafe will also include an open mic segment, where the community is encouraged to share their own work. The library will also hold a poetry-themed story time for kids at 10:30 a.m.

The event is sponsored by Roanoke Public Libraries, Virginia Tech Roanoke Center and the Roanoke Higher Education Center.

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Wytheville Community College hosts free music jamboree on April 15

Wytheville Community College is sponsoring its free monthly Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree, this time featuring Bluestone and the Twin Creeks String Band, from 7 to 9 p.m. April 15.

The Jamboree will be held in the William F. Snyder Auditorium on the WCC campus.

Bluestone will perform from 7 to 8 p.m. and the Twin Creeks String Band will take the stage from 8 to 9 p.m. The doors will open at 6 p.m., and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted to help defray the travel expenses of the bands.

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Cast and collaborators for Barter’s ‘Keep on the Sunny Side’ to speak in Bristol next week

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum will host members of the cast and other collaborators of Barter Theatre’s upcoming production of “Keep on the Sunny Side: The Songs and Story of the Original Carter Family” at 7 p.m. April 11, as part of the museum’s monthly Speaker Sessions series.

The public is invited to attend in person at the museum or online via Zoom. There is no charge to participate. 

Playwright Douglas Pote, director Nick Piper and Eugene Wolf, who did vocal arrangements, will join the program. 

When A. P. Carter convinced his wife, Sara, and his sister-in-law, Maybelle, to record with him at the 1927 Bristol Sessions, he had no idea he was about to change his life — and the world — forever. “Keep on the Sunny Side” features Carter Family classic songs such as “Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow,” “Keep on the Sunnyside,” “Wildwood Flower” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

“Keep on the Sunny Side: The Songs and Story of the Carter Family” is coming to the Barter Theatre April 22-May 20. Tickets are on sale now at

Anyone who would like to attend the Speaker Sessions program in person at the museum is asked to RSVP. To join via Zoom, please register. You may do either by visiting the Events page at

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Richmond Ballet brings performance to Big Stone Gap

Richmond Ballet II, the State Ballet of Virginia, will perform next week in Big Stone Gap.

The performance will be held at 7 p.m. April 15 at Union High School. Adult tickets are $10 at the door; children and students are free.

The program will include Stoner Winslett’s “Rachmaninoff Rhapsody,” Ben Stevenson’s “Three Preludes,” an excerpt from Colin Connor’s “Vestiges” and the world premiere of
Jennifer Archibald’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

For more information and reservations, visit


Museums at W&L celebrate international ‘Slow Art Day’

The Museums at Washington & Lee University will celebrate “Slow Art Day,” a quiet international art movement, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 15. F

Anyone interested in learning new techniques for viewing art can join Elizabeth Spear, curator of academic engagement, for a session of close-looking. Each session will focus on two current temporary exhibitions “Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists” and “Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women.” Sessions will consist of an exercise that encourages slow reflection, appreciation, and avoiding a rush to fix an interpretation of what we see.

There will be four 50-minute sessions at 11 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and can be reserved at

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‘American Idol’ finalist Colton Dixon to headline Henry County Fair

“American Idol” star Colton Dixon is set to headline the music lineup for the third annual Henry County Fair.

Dixon will take the stage Sept. 22.

The season 11 “American Idol” finalist set the record for the biggest first-week sales by a new solo Christian act with his debut album, “A Messenger.” The album went on to be the top-selling album by a new Christian artist in 2013.

Carrie Brockwell, another “American Idol” contestant, will kick off the fair on Sept. 20. Brockwell is a 16-year-old singer/songwriter from Chesterfield who competed during season 20 of “American Idol.”

The final act, which will perform on Sept. 21, is On the Border – The Ultimate Eagles Tribute.

The fair will run Sept. 20-23 at the Martinsville Speedway. All concerts will take place inside the fairgrounds. The concerts will be held at 7 p.m. each night and are included in the $5 gate admission. All-inclusive tickets will be available at