March 2017 Around Town

Hendersonville Horizons
—Take the Survey

City officials have established a committee of community leaders to recommend to the mayor and board of aldermen long-term strategies for the city. Officials are seeking public input by asking residents to fill out a survey. Make a difference and have a voice in the direction of Hendersonville by getting involved. Visit

Hendersonville Arts Council Awarded Grant to Conduct Free After-School Classes at Gene Brown Elementary

The Hendersonville Arts Council has been providing Arts After School and Summer Art Camps at their venue, Monthaven Mansion, for over two decades but through a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation, they will, for the first time in their 42 years of existence, expand the program into an underserved public school.

“We believe that everyone benefits from the arts and we strive to make them accessible to everyone,” executive director Dan Tidcomb says. “Studies have shown that students with an education rich in the arts have improved attention spans, higher GPAs, standardized test scores and lower drop-out rates, regardless of socio-economic status.”

The weekly free class for the students of Gene Brown Elementary will engage them with sculpture, painting, textiles, collage and written word. The students will first explore the history of Hendersonville, and by the end of the 12-week program, they will envision and create its future. What do the children want to see in Hendersonville? The Arts Council cannot wait to find out and will be posting the creations via their Instagram account @hendersonville_arts. Follow along!

Kay Kennedy will be conducting the class. She joined the Arts Council after instructing the collaborative arts initiative at Hull Jackson Elementary. Her kids’ class projects resulted in an exhibition at the Brownlee O. Curry Gallery in Nashville. Now she is bringing her program to Hendersonville for a semester full of creativity and discovery!

The Hendersonville Arts Council operates the historic Monthaven Mansion, which serves as a haven for the arts in Hendersonville and beyond.

Vol State Student Literary Magazine Wins National Award

The Squatter’s Rites student literary magazine at Volunteer State Community College took first place in the American Scholastic Press Association national contest, winning in the junior/community colleges category with an enrollment of 2,501 or more. It’s the latest in a string of national awards for the student publication, but it will be the last for Squatter’s Rites. The magazine officially has a new name: Pioneer Pen.

Students and faculty are already preparing for the first issue, and student submissions are open now with a March 19 deadline. For more information email

Vol State Education Grads Use Technology and Interactivity

The kids in Brooke Janes second-grade class are wondering what the chocolate chip cookies, toothpicks and paper towels will be used for. Then the teacher explains, “We’re about to become paleontologists.” A few minutes later the students are digging into their rock cookies to dig out the fossil chocolate chips. It’s just one part of a whirlwind archeology lesson that also has Janes jumping from a video and PowerPoint slides on the Smart Board to reading phrases off the screen and then supervising a scissors, paper and glue project. It all happens in the course of 10 minutes. Welcome to teaching in 2017. Multimedia technology and fast-paced, interactive lessons are the new normal.

“I remember doing written worksheets when I was a kid,” Janes says. “We have much more technology these days. It’s huge in teaching. It’s totally different from when I was a kid. It takes a lot of planning with all of the technology, but it makes for better lessons. It’s much more interactive for the kids.” Janes is a graduate of the Volunteer State Community College education program. She continued her education for a bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University.

“Class, class, class!” She exclaims. The students, who have been chatting with each other suddenly perk up. “Yes, yes, yes,” they say in unison. The phrase is an attention-getter and just one technique in what is called Whole Brain Learning. It combines direct instruction, sharing and immediate feedback. It’s just one of many teaching styles that education students learn about in college.

“Brain research in recent years has changed much of what we do in education,” Vol State associate professor Penny Duncan says. “We now look at the whole child and the whole environment. There’s kinesthetic learning where students move around the classroom. They do problem-based learning where they solve problems together by using critical thinking.”

While many things have changed in the education world, there is one constant among the teachers: a desire to make a difference. “I just love working with the kids,” Janes says. “I can’t think of anything else I would want to do. I consider it changing the world a bit at a time.”

Vol State offers several teaching degree programs: Pre K-3rd Grade Associate of Science in Teaching, Associate of Arts in Elementary Education,  Associate of Science in Teaching, Associate of Arts in Secondary Education and the new Associate of Arts in Special Education. “This is a specialty area to become what is now called an interventionist,” Duncan says. “It’s a high-demand job. A graduate with a four-year degree can get a special education position almost immediately. Our program has a transfer pathway to several state university programs across Tennessee. That allows students to take all of their Vol State credits over to the bachelor’s degree program.”

Back at Gene Brown Elementary, the school day winds down. The students sit on a rug for story time. Before they leave, there’s another call and response with Janes. “I’m going to be a world changer,” she says. The kids recite it back with a shout. “Miss Janes loves me very much,” she finishes. The kids give the response with enthusiasm and another school day comes to an end.

My Fair Lady

National and regional actors descend upon Sumner County to perform in My Fair Lady with Actors Point Theatre Company. It will play at the GodWhy Church campus in Hendersonville March 23, 24, 25, 30, 31 and April 1..

As with Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion from which it was adapted, My Fair Lady explores society’s prejudices toward class and gender while wrapped in a spectacular Lerner and Loewe score with such memorable tunes as “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On The Street Where You Live,” “The Rain in Spain” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”

Rodgers and Hammerstein were among a handful of writers who turned down the chance to adapt Shaw’s play. They claimed it wasn’t romantic enough, too wordy and would never work as a musical. Even Lerner and Loewe shelved the project in their initial attempt—later realizing the story needed little alteration. They went on to create an instant hit that has become a classic, and which is often referred to as “the perfect musical.” The original Broadway production ran for over six-and-a-half-years, a total of 2,717 performances and won six Tony Awards.

TV, film and theatrical veteran Lane Davies leads this impressive cast as Professor Henry Higgins. Davies was born in Dalton, Georgia. Though perhaps best known for sardonic roles in television comedy and drama, during 30 years as a stage actor, Lane has performed such roles as Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, King Lear, Henry V and Cyrano de Bergerac in companies from San Diego to Providence, Rhode Island. He was the original Mason Capwell on NBC’s ’80s soap Santa Barbara, an international hit which has now played in over 53 countries worldwide. He also played Dr. Cameron Lewis on daytime TV’s hit soap General Hospital. His credits include starring roles in other primetime series: Good & Evil, The Mommies and Woops! and The Crew. He appeared regularly as the psychopathic time-traveler Tempus on Lois & Clark – The New Adventures of Superman and recurred on 3rd Rock from the Sun as Chancellor Duncan on The Practice as Kyle Barrett and on Scrubs as Dr. Simon Reid. His television credits also include seven pilots and some 50 guest-star appearances. Lane is working on the new innovative web series, The Bay.

Our “Fair Lady” will be none other than the delightful Jamie Farmer. She has played roles around the country ranging from Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web, Margot Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank, Izzy in Rabbit Hole, and The Mother and Helen in Tennessee Repertory Theatre’s holiday season offering of A Christmas Story. A graduate of The National Shakespeare Conservatory in New York and a student of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, Farmer played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the Michael Howard Studio Theatre in New York. She’s been seen in productions at the Nashville Children’s Theatre where she was Titania in Robin Goodfellow and productions for The Tennessee Shakespeare Festival, The Nashville Rep and last season was M’Lynn in APTC’s 2015 landmark production of Steel Magnolias.

Rounding out the cast are well known Nashville theater veterans Ronnie Meek as Alfred P. Doolittle, Jordan Stephens as Col. Hugh Pickering and Lynda Evjen as Mrs. Pickering and a newcomer to Actors Point Theatre Company, Evan Williams as Freddy Einsford-Hill.

Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and students and $13 for children if bought in advance. Dinner and the show options, catered by Hendersonville’s Black Eyed Pea, are available on Friday nights of the run. Tickets are available at, at the UPS Store on Main Street in Hendersonville or by calling 615.431.9620.