A juvenile alligator from a previous Reptile Festival. Courtesy of the Virginia Museum of Natural History.
A juvenile alligator from a previous Reptile Festival. Courtesy of the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

Here’s a roundup of events around Southwest and Southside this weekend and into next week. Send yours for possible inclusion to news@cardinalnews.org.

April 20: Salem Museum hosts behind-the-scenes talk

The Salem Museum’s newest gallery, Through Their Eyes: The Moments That Made Salem, was the biggest project that the Museum had undertaken in many years. The Gallery relates a local history that spans 350 years of Salem and Roanoke County history. The project took more than a year to complete, with a majority of the time spent in research and design.

On Thursday, April 20 at 7 pm, Alex Burke, the Museum’s assistant director and chief exhibit designer, will provide a “behind the scenes” look at what went into the Gallery’s development.

This in-person event is free and open to the public.

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April 20: Book signing at Ferrum College

Penny Edwards Blue will hold a book-signing on April 20 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for her book “A Time to Protest: Leadership Lessons from My Father Who Survived the Segregated South for 99 Years,” chronicling her father’s personal story through historical facts and events.

For more information, call 540-365-4412 or email bri@ferrum.edu.

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April 20-22 and 27-29: ‘The Terrible Infants’ at UVA Wise

The UVA Wise Theater Department presents Oliver Lansley’s play “The Terrible Infants” April 20-22 and 27-29 with performances beginning at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for the public, or free with presentation of UVA Wise I.D. Through
partnership with the Pro-Art Association, Pro-Art season ticket holders are also free to
attend. Tickets may be purchased in person before the shows or at etix.com (service fee
applies). The Box Office opens one hour prior to the start of each performance.

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April 21-22: Reptile festival in Martinsville

Rattlesnakes, copperheads, pythons, tortoises, and many additional live reptiles are set to take the spotlight during Reptile Festival at the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) in Martinsville on Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The festival — which aims to educate visitors about the importance of reptiles and dispel misconceptions about these often misunderstood animals — also offers visitors the opportunity to interact with reptile experts and participate in a wide variety of festival activities ranging from reptile-themed crafts to balloon animals and face painting.

Some of the live animals scheduled to appear at Reptile Festival include:

  • Blacktail Rattlesnake
  • Sidewinder Rattlesnake
  • Timber Rattlesnake
  • Tangerine/Albino Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Cottonmouth
  • Eastern Copperhead
  • Northern Copperhead
  • Broadband Copperhead
  • Cobra
  • Cantil Viper
  • Longnose Viper
  • Puff Adder
  • Eastern Rat Snake
  • Leucistic Rat Snake
  • Corn Snakes
  • King Snakes
  • King/Corn Snake Hybrid
  • Ball Python
  • Woma Python
  • Boa Constrictor
  • Louisiana Pine Snake
  • Jaguar Carpet Python
  • Calabar Burrowing Python
  • African Egg-eating Snake
  • Crowned Leafnose Snake
  • Coachwhip
  • American Alligator
  • Bearded Dragon
  • Crested Gecko
  • Leopard Gecko
  • Argentine Black and White Tegu
  • Blue-tongued Skink
  • Box Turtle
  • Alligator Snapping Turtle
  • American Snapping Turtle
  • Musk Turtle
  • River Cooter
  • Cherry Head Red-footed Tortoise
  • African Spurred (Sulcata) Tortoise
  • Russian Tortoise

The festival also features some of the region’s most prolific reptile experts, including the museum’s own Assistant Curator of Herpetology Dr. Arianna Kuhn, who will be one of multiple presenters providing live stage shows during the event. A complete list of presenters and show times will be made available on the museum’s website prior to the festival.

For more information about the festival, visit www.vmnh.net/events/reptile-festival.

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April 20-22: Burton Center to present musical at Hidden Valley High School

The Center for Performing Arts at the Burton Center for Arts & Technology will present “Oceans – Stories, of Sea, Sand & Sky” – a full length musical that includes live music. This is a highly collaborative event. All performers and musicians are Roanoke County students, and it features set pieces built by BCAT students in the Building Trades program. Those pieces were then painted by students in the Center for Visual Arts.

All performances will be held at Hidden Valley High School in the Auditorium. Show times are at 7 p.m. on April 20, 21, and 22 with a matinee performance at 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 22.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Cash only for admission. Roanoke County Public Schools employees showing their ID badge will be admitted free of charge.

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April 21: Virginia Gentlemen seek new members around Roanoke

The Virginia Gentlemen a cappella chorus is in search of male singers to join the group to perform around the Roanoke Valley.

The group will host a guest night from 7:30 to 9 p.m. May 1 at Grace Church, 2731 Edgewood St., Roanoke. Refreshments will be served.

RSVP by April 21 to Larry Shepherd, 540-525-0709.

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April 22: Foraging for edible weeds at the Salem Museum

Historian Peggy Shifflett grew up in the Appalachian hamlet of Hopkins Gap, Virginia, learning survival skills from the mountain women in her family and community. On Saturday, April 22, at 10 am at the Salem Museum, she will describe the wild, edible weeds that can be found in this area. After her talk, she will lead participants outside to forage for these plants on the Museum’s grounds.

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April 22: Rainier Trio in Wytheville

The Wytheville Concert Series will present the Rainier Trio’s new “All-American
Program” in Wytheville Community College’s Snyder Auditorium on Saturday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. The trio will play excerpts from Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Porgy and Bess” and “An American in Paris,” Copland’s “Hoe-Down” from Rodeo, and Joplin Ragtime, plus Broadway songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim
and others.

The Rainier Trio is comprised of brothers, Kevin and Bryan Matheson, on violin and viola and pianist Brenda Wittwer.

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to support the Wytheville Concert Series and
the Wytheville Community College Food Bank. 

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April 22: Panel discussion on civil rights in Farmville as part of Moton Museum fundraiser

In the third edition of an event that has raised more than $90,000 over the past two years, the Robert Russa Moton Museum will host Moton Live 2023 on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at the museum’s campus in Farmville.

The fundraising and educational event will take place at Moton Museum and stream live online at MotonMuseum.org/live. Moton Live 2023 will include programming and panel discussions from American civil rights historians and members of the lockout generation, as well as anniversary content detailing the summer of 1963 in Farmville and a 10-year retrospective of Moton Museum’s transformative self-guided exhibit, The Moton School Story: Children of Courage. 

Launched in 2021, Moton Live’s purpose is twofold: to raise funds that support the museum’s outreach and education efforts in Virginia and beyond, and to share the Moton story through both historical and modern perspectives. The first two Moton Live events raised more than $40,000 each, which has funded the creation and distribution of educational materials to schools; hosting museum visits for local youth and professional organizations; community programming for Prince Edward County and the surrounding area; and many more initiatives to better the community.

The third edition of Moton Live on April 22 will follow on the heels of the museum’s recognition as a Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Park by the National Park Service. In May 2022 President Joe Biden and the National Park Service honored Moton Museum for its role in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education United States Supreme Court case alongside other NPS Affiliated Areas in Delaware, Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The Moton Museum is one of seven institutions involved in the Brown v. Board case to receive the recognition, which aligns the communities who worked toward fighting segregation in education. 

Moton Live 2023 is free to attend and stream. More information is available at www.MotonMuseum.org/Live. Patrons can make a gift to the museum now at www.MotonMuseum.org/Give and contribute to Moton Live 2023’s fundraising goal by directing their contribution to Moton Live.

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April 22: Color Run in Wise

On April 22, the “Color Me Healthy: Brain Health 5k Color Run” kicks off at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise (UVA Wise) after a four-year hiatus. The event hasn’t been able to reconvene since its debut in the spring of 2019, when nearly $1,000 was raised by participating students and community members for mental health-related expenses. Now, UVA Wise and co-sponsor Frontier Health Prevention Services announce its return.

All runners and walkers are invited to join the event. Registration is available online or on-campus at 9 a.m. on the day of the event, outside of the Slemp Student Center. The race starts at 11 a.m., and the entry fee is $20.

Runners are encouraged to wear white while running through the College’s scenic campus. At each kilometer mark, runners will be doused with non-toxic, food-grade colored powder and will end the race completely covered in a rainbow of color.

Proceeds of the race will go towards financial support for mental health-related needs for services beyond what Counseling Center offers. They will also go toward programming to raising awareness for suicide prevention. Register online at: https://tinyurl.com/UVAWiseColorRun.

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April 25: Roanoke libraries to host Family Resource Fair

The Roanoke Public Libraries will be holding a Family Resource Fair from 10:00-11:30 on Tuesday, April 25th, at the Williamson Road Branch Library. This event is geared towards new parents and families with babies and very young children. The fair will feature local organizations that support Roanoke’s youngest children and their caregivers, including LeadSafe Roanoke, Early Intervention and WOMB Roanoke. Carilion SafeKids will be on hand to conduct car seat safety checks as well.

The Family Resource Fair coincides with the final session of the first series of the Nourishing Your Baby Lactation Support Group, which was held by the Roanoke Public Libraries as part of its Feed, Read, and Grow partnership with local pediatricians. This project was made possible by a Community Focus Grant from the Junior League of the Roanoke Valley allowing Roanoke mothers the opportunity to learn more about feeding their baby, to connect them to resources, and to build networks of support.

The Family Resource Fair will take place from 10:00 until 11:30 on April 25th, and is free and open to the public.

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April 27: Public spelling bee at Danville winery and brewery

JeopardBee 2023 returns on Thursday, April 27th at 2 Witches in Danville, sponsored by Project Literacy, which provides free tutoring for low-literate adults. Spectators are welcome to come watch this great competition. 

Besides the spelling competition among 13 teams, there will be a 50-50 raffle, silent auction, dessert table, lots of fun! A food truck, “Everything but the Kitchen Sink,” will be on the premises and open by 5 p.m. Also, 2 Witches Winery and Brewery will be open for the JeopardBee teams and the general public. The JeopardBee contest will begin at 6 p.m.

The low-literacy rate among adults in Danville is eighteen percent, which means almost one in five adults is reading below a fourth-grade level. As a non-profit organization, Project Literacy is dependent on grants, donations, and our fundraiser for operating expenses.

Danville Project Literacy is always looking for new adults who might benefit from its services. Project Literacy offers confidential one-on-one tutoring for adults 18+ years old in reading, writing and math. Tutors are trained volunteers who spend at least an hour a week with each client. Tutoring is also available for English Language Learners and for those who want basic lessons in technology. Materials for clients and tutors are free. ​For more information, or to make a referral, visit www.danvilleliteracy.org or call 434-483-7994.

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April 27-30, May 4-7: ‘The Women’ at Showtimers in Roanoke

Showtimers Community Theatre in Roanoke present its production of “The Women,” by Clare Boothe Luce, April 27-30 and May 4-7.

The shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $14 for adults, $7 for students.

Showtimers is located at 2067 McVitty Road Southwest in Roanoke. The box office is 540-774-2660.

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April 28-29: Mill Mountain Theatre hosts concert series

The concert series Mill Mountain Music returns to the Trinkle MainStage with the
“Best of Broadway” an ode to some of Broadway’s fan favorites on April 28th
and April 29th.

Music includes selections from shows such as “Wicked,” “Les Misérables,” “My Fair Lady,”
“Rent,” “West Side Story,” “Music Man,” “South Pacific,” and “A Little Night Music.”

The “Best of Broadway” will feature a live band of local musicians JT Fauber, Teresa
Hedrick, Mike Havens and Caroline Moledor.

Returning to the Trinkle MainStage as featured vocalists throughout the performance
are Matthew Carter, Sarah Coleman, Larry Kufel and Josh Polk. MMT has also enlisted
top regional youth talent from local high schools, Elise LeGault and Ben Armstrong.
Making her Trinkle MainStage debut is Francesca Reilly, a member of MMT’s education
department. In addition to Reilly, Both Kufel and Polk are administrative staff members
at Mill Mountain Theatre.

The creative team consists of Seth Davis (Music Director), Ginger Poole (Staging
Director), Savannah Woodruff (Lighting and Sound Designer) and Matt Shields (Director
of Production).

The “Best of Broadway” begins performances on April 28th and runs through April 29th
on the Trinkle MainStage. Individual, season tickets and group tickets can be purchased online
at millmountain.org or by calling the box office at 540-342-5740.