Friday, September 13, 2019

Archaeologist to examine Historic Bethabara’s cultural diversity in Asheboro library talk

ASHEBORO -- Artifacts recovered from the Bethabara historic site in Forsyth County offer a glimpse into the relationships between the village’s Moravian founders, their Cherokee neighbors and enslaved Africans who toiled in the fields and workshops.

Dr. Andrew Gurstelle, director of the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University, will explore this dynamic in “A House Divided: Tri-Racial Tensions at Historic Bethabara,” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 30, at the Asheboro Public Library. The talk is free and the public is invited.

Gurstelle, whose research focuses on the rise of kingdoms and empires in West Africa, the early slave trade, and Indian Removal policies in the 19th century U.S., will explore how the Moravian colonization of the area in the mid-1700s sheds light on the impact of the Cherokee removal and African-American emancipation in the 19th century.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Eric Montross to revisit UNC ‘glory days’ in Asheboro Sunset Series talk

Eric Montross
ASHEBORO – Join Tar Heel basketball titan Eric Montross as he relives “Glory Days with UNC Basketball” at 7 p.m. Saturday, September 21, in downtown Asheboro’s historic Sunset Theatre.

Montross’s appearance is free and the public is invited. It’s the final installment of the 2019 Friends of the Library Sunset Signature Series, sponsored by the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, the City of Asheboro and the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library.

Montross was a two-time All American at UNC, and an integral part of the Tar Heels team that won the 1993 NCAA National Championship against Michigan.

At the professional level, he was ninth overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft and was selected by the Boston Celtics. In his rookie year, he averaged 10 points per game and was named 2nd Team All-Rookie.

He also played for the Dallas Mavericks, the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Nets, the Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors before retiring in 2003.

Montross currently is major gift director in the UNC athletics department, and provides color commentary for the UNC Basketball radio broadcast alongside Jones Angell.

He also is heavily involved in philanthropic work. He founded the Father’s Day Basketball Camp benefitting the North Carolina Children’s Hospital, and serves on the boards of Super Cooper’s Little Red Wagon Foundation, Be Loud! Sophie Foundation, and Vaccine Ambassadors, which promotes equitable access to lifesaving vaccines and which Montross co-founded.

A native of Indianapolis, he attended Lawrence North High School where he was a McDonald’s All American. He and his wife Laura live in Chapel Hill.

The Sunset Theatre is located at 234 Sunset Ave. For further information, call the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau at 800-626-2672.


Three of four presenters have been selected for the 2020 Friends of the Library Sunset series: Elizabeth Smart, who survived a nine-month abduction in 2002 to become an author and child safety advocate, 7 p.m Saturday, February 15; speed painter Tim Decker, who creates large paintings before the audiences eyes — sometimes painting with both hands — all set to music, 7 p.m. Saturday, March 14; and Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 18.

A fourth event will be announced soon.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Learn to decipher early American handwriting in Asheboro library genealogy workshop

ASHEBORO – Pick up tips and tricks for reading flowery script in old documents in “Understanding Early American Handwriting,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 12, at the Asheboro Public Library.

Led by Kendra Lyons of the Randolph Room staff, the workshop is free and the public is invited.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. Call 336-318-6815 for further information.

Asheboro library offers Instagram class

ASHEBORO – Learn about the social media photo app Instagram in two free classes at the Asheboro Public Library, at 10 a.m. Monday, September 9, and repeated at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 25.

With 800 million users, Instagram allows users to share photos and videos from their lives; add captions and filters; and engage with others. The class, led by Digital Services Librarian Harris Mason, will help participants become savvy users without becoming overwhelmed.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Asheboro library to offer course on living with chronic pain

ASHEBORO – People who have a diagnosis of primary or secondary chronic pain can gain insight into their condition in “Living Healthy with Chronic Pain” at the Asheboro Public Library. 

The six-week chronic pain self-management workshop runs from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursdays, September 12-October 17. Facilitators are Gail Sherred and Dr. Althea Taylor-Jones, who are peers with chronic pain themselves.

Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than 3-6 months, or beyond the normal healing time of an injury. The “Living Healthy” program also may benefit those with conditions such as persistent headache, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetic neuropathy or muscular pain from a condition such as multiple sclerosis.

Space is limited, so registration is required; call 336-318-6803 to sign up, or visit the Reference desk at the Asheboro library.      

The library is located at 201 Worth Street.

History prof Smallwood to return to Asheboro library for talk on origins of NC

Dr. Arwin Smallwood
ASHEBORO – Native Americans, European settlers and enslaved Africans shaped — and were shaped by — North Carolina and its landscape.

Learn how this mixture of influences contributed to “The Origins and Early History of North Carolina” with N.C. A & T history professor Dr. Arwin Smallwood at 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 9, at the Asheboro Public Library.

Smallwood’s appearance, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, is free and the public is invited.

Smallwood, chair of the History Department at N.C. A & T, left the audience here spellbound in May with his discussion of the fate of the Lost Colony.

In his new talk, he focuses on the long history of North Carolina and describes how its people, at first limited by the landscape, radically altered it to support their needs. The state’s waterways and forests sustained Native American villages that were replaced in the eighteenth century by English plantations, cleared for whites by African and Indian slaves.

All the state’s inhabitants successfully developed and sustained a wide variety of crops including the “three sisters” — corn, beans and squash —  as well as the giants: tobacco, cotton and peanuts.

Smallwood traces the story of the Native Americans, largely gone from the state for over 200 years, except for small populations; African slaves and their descendants through the struggles of slavery, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Era; and Europeans in their rush to tame the wilderness in a new land.

The entwined histories are visible through dozens of maps Smallwood has created especially for this presentation, along with vivid illustrations of forgotten faces and moments from the past.

Smallwood was born in Windsor, North Carolina, and raised in Indian Woods – areas that feature prominently in his talks. He earned a bachelors degree in political science and a masters in history from North Carolina Central University, and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

He taught at Bradley University in Illinois, and the University of Memphis, where he helped develop at Ph.D. program in African-American history, the only one of its kind in the country. He also is recipient of numerous awards, fellowships and grants, and participated in the award-winning UNC-TV documentary “The Birth of a Colony: North Carolina.”

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Company K playwright, actors, to talk about ‘Telling Our Stories’ at Asheboro library

Ali Evarts, Isaac Klein, Jason Lott and Barbara Presnell
ASHEBORO – Along with poet/playwright Barbara Presnell, three actors from the upcoming theatrical production Company K: From Asheboro to the Fields of France, have experience publishing or producing their original work.

The three – Ali Evarts, Isaac Klein and Jason Lott – will join Presnell to discuss their experiences putting ideas on paper and sharing them with the world in “Telling Our Stories: Company K and Beyond,” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 20, at the Asheboro Public Library. The discussion, sponsored by the library in conjunction with Rhinoleap Productions, is free and the public is invited.

The four have a broad range of writing experience, including poetry, playwriting, screenwriting and nonfiction.

Evarts is a native north Carolinian and UNC-Chapel Hill graduate who acts, writes and produces for stage and film. Klein, a graduate of UNC School of the Arts, is a Winston-Salem based writer, director, teacher and performer, and author of the book The School of Doing: Lessons from Theater Master Gerald Freedman. Lott, based in Los Angeles, is an actor and filmmaker whose darkly awkward buddy road trip comedy Burying Yasmeen is currently available on iTunes.

Asheboro native and Lexington resident Presnell is a poet and playwright whose most recent book of poetry, Blue Star, recounts the impact of war on her family from the Civil War to the present day. Her grandfather served in Company K; his letters served as the backbone of her script for the Company K production.

One of her previous books, Piece Work, about her father’s experience in the textile industry, was adapted by the Touring Theatre of North Carolina and was performed across the state for four years.

The Rhinoleap production of Company K: From Asheboro to the Fields of France takes the stage Friday, August 23-Sunday, August 25, at the historic Sunset Theatre in downtown Asheboro. It recounts the story of Randolph County’s Company K of the State Militia (later the National Guard) from its founding in 1911 through World War I, when it was sent to France and into battle.

In creating the play, Presnell used letters home and other original documents to bring to life the soldiers in the trenches and their loved ones at home. The production, directed by Rhinoleap Artistic Director Jeremy Skidmore, includes original music by Mark Dillon.

Originally, the play was scheduled for a one-time only performance on September 29, 2018 – the hundredth anniversary of the pivotal battle of Bellicourt, in which Company K led Allied forces in breaking the German Hindenburg Line defensive position, hastening the end of the war. The unit suffered heavy casualties, including 23 killed – a shocking loss to the small communities of Randolph County.

Back by popular demand, the play is a co-production of Rhinoleap, the library and the City of Asheboro. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For more information, call 336-318-6803.