App State's 20th annual Diversity Celebration will be held April 8–9 with a mix of virtual and in-person events. The Diversity Celebration features a wide array of music, eclectic dancing, delectable food, international films, and festivals.
Appalachian students, faculty, staff, K-12 schools, and members of the local community are all invited to join in this celebration of cultures through art and entertainment. This celebration provides a venue where diverse perspectives, cultures, and values are accepted, appreciated, and celebrated.
The event also supports and enhances the university’s commitment to be actively involved in addressing the educational, economic, cultural and societal needs of the changing region, state, nation and world.
This program is funded in part by the Watauga County Arts Council and Grassroots Funds of the North Carolina Arts Council.
Thursday, April 8
6–7:15 p.m. Performance by Paul Tran, the award-winning slam poet, and author. This is a virtual event, and registration is required.
Friday, April 9
9–11 a.m. Various virtual sessions.
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Diversity Celebration Festival on Sanford Mall, featuring DJ Trellz, special diverse menus at the food trucks, museum displays, dance lessons, and more.
2–2:50 p.m. Virtual session.
3–4:30 p.m. Creative writing/poetry workshop with Paul Tran, award-winning slam poet and author: Toward Freedom: Reimagining the myth we tell about ourselves
Participants in this generative writing workshop will read “Autobiography of Eve” by the poet Ansel Elkins. “I did not fall from grace,” Eve says. “I charged toward freedom.” We will write and share our own “Autobiography of...” poems, and in doing so, will talk about the myths constructed about us and how, from the classroom to the workplace, we reinforce or subvert these myths.
7:30 p.m. Drive-in movie night at State Farm Parking Lot, featuring “Zootopia.” Gates open at 7:30 p.m.
April 13, 20, 27: Launch Your Artist's Website
Tuesdays 2-3 PM
Learn how to easily set up your first website! No fumbling through buttons and templates, now wasted hours working on something only to realize you did it wrong.
This can save you valuable time and tons of money. Website designs cost anywhere from $3000 or more. You can learn to design your own website with the help of an experienced professional, in the comfort of your home.
This website building program will give artists an online foundation that they can build their artist's business on. In three hour-long sessions, launch your artist’s website.
Build your home page, about page, contact page and art portfolio, with my step-by-step guidance.
This event will take place over Zoom. The program will be a series of three sessions each 60 minutes long.
About the instructor: Sophia Ojha, a Squarespace Authorized Trainer, and Web Designer will give you a live demonstration on starting a new website specifically for artists, photographers, and creatives of all kinds. If you’ve wanted an easy to use website to showcase your work and eventually, sell your work online (shop covered in workshop 2), then this workshop is for you.
May 11, 18, 25: Sell Your Art Online
Tuesdays 2-3 PM
You have a basic website, now what? Sell!
After you have built your website, you can begin to sell your creations in an e-shop, hold workshops and create a commissions page to get commissions for custom art. This event will take place over Zoom.
This will be the next level program which gives the artists an online shop where they can sell their prints, originals and get commissions to do custom art. The program will be broken down into three sessions.
In order to take this workshop, you must have either completed the Launch Your Artist’s Workshop or have a current Squarespace website already.
Jump into the Craft Your Commerce Spring Workshop Series: The Craft of Selling.
This spring, Mountain BizWorks Craft Your Commerce workshops are focusing on The Craft of Selling. We have all learned that 2020 threw us a curveball that no one saw coming and those creative and craft based businesses that had diverse revenue streams are the ones who were able to pivot, grow their sales, and meet their customers’ needs most easily.
This series of workshops will explore a variety of skill development that will help you gain an understanding of how to create sales strategies, develop diverse revenue streams, and sell without having to feel “salesy.” Join us for this series of workshops where we are bringing in guest presenters who are subject matter experts in their field, exposing you to new ideas, and helping you find innovation and comfort in selling your products.
We are offering these workshops at Pay What You Wish (PWYW) prices, so get your tickets today before seats sell out! Craftyourcommerce.com.
March 17 from 2 – 4 pm - Selling With Intention: Creating Long Term Customer Relations With Digital Strategy
This workshop features presenter Casey Nifong, who has multiple years of experience in industries that focus on organic products, sustainability, and investing in the future of our world. It is an introduction to creating long term relationships with your customers through building an intentional digital strategy. This session will dive into how to approach building beautiful relationships (ideally turning customers into friends) through your digital channels like market research, brand messaging, and online engagement that then leads to brand loyalty. The workshop will be held over Zoom.
March 24 from 2 - 4 pm- Beyond Sales Funnels: How to Automate Customer Relations to Drive Sales
This class will feature presenter Julio Chavez, Strategic Executive at Copy Identity and nationally ranked corporate sales manager. In this presentation we’ll be taking those ideas and skills taught in Casey’s Digital Strategies workshop and covering how to easily create long lasting customer relationships by building a sales funnel that nurtures and makes sales on autopilot. Come learn the basics of all sales funnels, and then learn how to automate them so you spend LESS time cultivating your customers, but have more sales! This is sure to be a fun and interactive workshop helping you grow your sales without being “salesy.” This course will be held over Zoom.
March 31 from 2 – 4 pm- The Power of Being Niche: Creating Growth While Narrowing Your Customer Base
This class will feature moderator Sarah Benoit, co-founder and lead instructor of the JB Media Institute, a digital marketing school, and President of Creative Original, Inc., a small business web design and consulting firm. Ever hear the saying “if you are marketing to everyone, you’re marketing to no one?” This is because most seasoned sales and marketing people know money is made when real relationships are strong. One of the ways you can build loyalty, repeat business, referrals, trust, and cash flow is to focus on a niche market. Niches don’t limit your business, they help you establish credibility in the marketplace. Over time you can expand to new niches that are the right fit for your products and services, and create long lasting growth. Want to learn more? Join us for this expert panel and learn from successful businesses that operate in a niche market. Come find out how to build your next growth strategy. This class will be held over Zoom.
April 2 from 2 – 4 pm- Partner Marketing Made Easy: Low Tech Ways to Sell Online
This workshop will feature presenter Derrick Duplessy, Founder of the Duplessy Foundation. He will demonstrate how to sell products online person to person – without complicated technology. Professionals from Acceleration Partners (AP) will work directly with each attendee on how to implement these low tech sales strategies. AP works with companies like Warby Parker, Reebok, and adidas to implement these strategies. Presenter Derrick Duplessy is the founder of the Duplessy Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to teaching the sales process to women, immigrants, and minority business owners. The workshop will be held over Zoom.
April 7th from 2 - 4 pm- Creating Your Brand Story: How Your Brand Story Can Sell for You
This workshop features presenter Alyssa Phillips, owner of Amp’d Designs. The workshop is an introduction to branding and how it can help your business grow. Together we’ll review different aspects that make up a brand, why these aspects are important, how to build your own brand story, and how to use it to market and sell your products or services. A worksheet and discussion will accompany the presentation. This event will be held over Zoom.
March 15 - April 12, 6 - 8 pm (meets every Monday for 5 weeks)- Crafting Commerce Cohert (C3) Labs
Facilitated by Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith, Craft Your Commerce Project Manager. This 5-week cohort experience will aid existing makers and creative entrepreneurs in integrating learnings and skills from the workshops series into their business practices. Join a group of your cohorts and analyze all aspects of your business, identify where you could improve your business, and implement the ideas shared in each workshop.
These Live Labs are held throughout the workshop series. They are intended to answer any questions that you have after the workshops, help you implement any skills and ideas you learned, and get feedback from both the facilitator and your cohorts. Finally in this class you will develop 3 goals you want to achieve in your business and create an implementation plan to achieve those goals. The labs are held over Zoom.
Craft Your Commerce is led by Mountain BizWorks in partnership with Center for Craft and UNC Asheville and with funding by the Windgate Charitable Foundation to support professional crafters, makers and creative businesses in Asheville and Western North Carolina.
BOONE, NC - On Saturday, March 13 from 5 pm to 7 pm, the Watauga Arts Council is hosting a “Meet the Artist” reception at the King Street Art Collective, in downtown Boone. This reception is the last chance to see the incredible artwork of the “For the Love of Art” exhibit and meet the artists.
Artists in attendance include: Lindsay Carrol, Patrick Richardson, Michael and Renee Askew, Tommy Lee, and John Bond. Amber Bateman, Executive Director of the Watauga Arts Council, will also be in attendance. The reception in this large gallery space will follow all COVID-19 guidelines. This event will conclude their popular February/March art exhibit which focused on life, love, and connection.
Don’t miss your chance to meet the artist and enjoy an evening of good company, art and live music, this Saturday, March 13th, from 5 pm - 7 pm. The final days to view the exhibit are Thursday and Friday from 11 am - 5 pm, and on Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm. Appointments are available for community members who would like a private viewing of the art.
The exhibit depicts these connections through a variety of mediums including oil, acrylic, mixed media with collage, watercolor, marble, wood, and more. Julie Davis, the Watauga Arts Council Gallery Chair shared why she appreciates this exhibit, “Artists are some of the most courageous people. Talking about love and sharing your deepest feelings are not easy things... but artists share what they care about most through their art. This exhibit showcases incredible talent and also depth.” Artists featured are Gary and Ann Thompson Nemcosky, Michael and Renee Askew, Lori Hill, Sir Tom Foolery, John Bond, Patrick Richardson, Brad Gates, Marion Cloaninger, and Lindsay Carroll.
King Street Art Collective is a project of the Watauga Arts Council. The King Street Art Collective is located at 585 West King Street, across from the Jones House and above Doe Ridge Pottery. Appointments can be made Monday through Friday by calling the Watauga Arts Council office, 828-264-1789.
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