SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM ADDS SECOND ‘WEARABLE ART’ WORKSHOP AFTER FIRST REACHES LIMIT

SAVANNAH, GA – FEBRUARY 10, 2022 – The Savannah African Art Museum has added an additional “Creating Wearable Art” workshop on Saturday, Feb. 19. The first wearable art workshop, held Feb. 12, filled up less than 24 hours after registration opened. Due to the popularity of the event and continued interest in the activity, the museum’s leadership team decided to give the community another opportunity to learn and be creative while enjoying themselves. 

The second workshop will run from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 19 at the museum’s Upbeat Village Terracotta Gallery, 201 East 37th Street, Savannah. Please note that it is stair access only, no elevator or wheelchair access is available. Registration is required via: www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org. Attendees will begin their experience with a private tour of the museum’s newest exhibit, “Culture, Currency and Continuity: The Significance of Cowrie Shells in African Art.” Registered attendees will meet at the main entrance of the museum promptly at 11 a.m. to commence the tour. Then, they’ll try their hands at creating wearable art out of cowrie shells and other materials.

In African culture, the small, glossy shells are more than just fashionable; they had monetary value in Ancient African societies. For centuries, the shells were a symbol of wealth and were used as a form of currency due to their sturdy and light-weight character. They are thought to be the first pan-regional currency in West Africa. Apart from their economic value, the shells were also revered for their power to bring prosperity, fertility, healing, and spiritual connection to ancestors. Today, cowrie shells are often used in clothing, jewelry, crafts, and African braided hairstyles and headpieces. 

“Cowrie shells have come to represent the African continent globally and have taken root in pop culture,” said Savannah African Art Museum Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson. “We want to share the history behind cowrie shells and why they are important to African societies. They were more than fashion; they were completely intertwined with the culture, spiritually, emotionally and financially. They were an important part of African life. We want our workshop attendees to walk away with more knowledge about these popular shells than what they walked in with and share it with others.”

To participate in this workshop, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/workshops. To learn more about the museum, the new 2022 exhibit, and the museum’s newest collections, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org and follow The Museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

The Savannah African Art Museum is a nonprofit institution that introduces all audiences to African art and culture. Its mission is to provide engaging experiences that educate and start conversations about the power, diversity, and spirituality of African art. 

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE NUMBER 300

This week’s column is about an unusual subject – the number 300.  Please humor me as I explore this interesting number.

Why is 300 special?  Well, it has several interesting aspects.  Mathematically, it is the sum of two prime numbers (149 + 151), and it is also the sum of ten consecutive prime numbers (13 + 17 + 19 + 23 + 29 + 31 + 37 + 41 + 43 + 47).  

In history, according to the ancient Greek writer and historian Herodotus, 300 Spartans resisted one million Persian invaders during the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC), which became the subject of the Warner Brothers historical action movie ‘300’.  Moving on another few centuries, in the Bible the number 300 is used many times, including in God’s instruction to Noah to build his ark three hundred cubits long (about 450 feet).

In modern day terms, it represents a perfect score in bowling, and it is also the lowest credit rating one can get on several systems of credit scoring. The 100 yard long playing area on an American football field is, unsurprisingly, exactly 300 feet long.  My husband occasionally tortures our dogs and I with old blues music, and he tells me in 1963 Howlin’ Wolf released the hit song “300 Pounds of Joy”, which was later recorded by others including Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi as The Blues Brothers.

Onto the mythological.  According to various websites on tarot cards, astrology, and numerology, 300 is also an angel number. “The number 300 urges us not to let a lack of clarity hold us back. No one knows what the future holds, focus on what will bring you happiness and fulfillment in the here and now”, according to numerologysign.com. Others say the number is urging you to trust your intuition, love those around you, and a lot of other encouraging advice.  Perhaps my favorite is from sunsigns.org – “Angel number 300 is a cue from the divine forces that you have to respect the people who were behind your success and be grateful. In other words, having good people will make your life better and great.” Is that stating the obvious or is it just me that thinks so?

If you are still reading, it leads to me answering the question which is now no doubt firmly on your mind – why in the world is the English Rose in Georgia rambling on about the number 300? Well, you are reading the answer.

Unbelievably, this is my 300th column for the Bryan County News! Well, they do say that time flies when you are having fun.

My first column appeared in October 2010, when the then-publisher of this newspaper asked me to share some of my perceptions as a newly arrived transplant from London, England to Richmond Hill, Georgia.   He knew I loved living here on the doorstep of beautiful, historic Savannah, and he had heard me speak at our Rotary Club about some of the quirks and funny differences in our cultures and ways of life. So was born “An English Rose in Georgia”, which has appeared every two weeks, 300 times, like clockwork.  I thought it would be fun to do for a few months, but here we are over eleven years later.  I am proud of having never missed a deadline, and I do my best to write about something new (and hopefully interesting) every time.

The topics of these columns have been about as wide-ranging as it is possible to be.  Famous people, historical events, geography, travel, popular culture, work, animals, random interesting facts that catch my attention and, of course, some of the amusing differences between the USA and jolly Ol’ England.  One of my early columns was even written in the voice of our British Labrador Retriever, who enjoyed his golden years here in Coastal Georgia.  I found it amusing that after emigrating to the US, our three British dogs woke us up at 3am for a while demanding breakfast – they were suffering from jet lag!

I really appreciate the response I get from my readers.  I have received a lot of emails over the years, almost all positive, and it never fails to surprise and slightly embarrass me when people stop me in the post office or grocery store and are kind enough to say they read and enjoy my column.  I also get some great suggestions for future columns from my readers, so please keep them coming.  Email me at lesley@lesleyfrancisPR.com .

I would like to give a huge thanks to this newspaper for allowing me to connect with the community I love in this very unique way.  And, to you for reading them!  Whether you read my column regularly, or occasionally, or even if this is your very first one, you have my heartfelt appreciation, and I am deeply honored by your support. Thank you.

So, since this column is focused on a number, I thought I would say goodbye this week with a math quote from that famous and fabulously funny American columnist Erma Bombeck:  “As a graduate of the Zsa Zsa Gabor School of Creative Mathematics, I honestly do not know how old I am.”

God Bless America!

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Lesley grew up in London, England and made Georgia her home in 2009.  She can be contacted at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com  or via her PR and marketing agency at www.lesleyfrancispr.com

 ASBURY MEMORIAL CHURCH HOSTS RETURN OF VIRTUAL VALENTINE’S DAY MARRIAGE VOW RENEWAL CEREMONY 

SAVANNAH, GA – February 9, 2022 Asbury Memorial Church will maintain its annual Valentine’s Day tradition of a vow renewal ceremony by once again offering a virtual ceremony. The tradition of inviting married couples to gather in downtown Savannah’s City Market began in 1996. The ceremony, led by Asbury Memorial’s Rev. Billy Hester and his wife Cheri, has always been free of charge for any married couple, resident, or visitors to the city alike.

“Cheri and I have enjoyed hosting this ceremony for over a quarter of a century,” said Rev. Hester. “We have been able to continue this tradition virtually due to COVID-19 precautions. Any married couple – gay or straight – who would like to renew their vows with us online, free of charge, is welcome to join us. While we will miss meeting people in person at City Market and hope to resume this next year, we are excited that our virtual platform allows people from all over the world to join us.”

This virtual celebration will take place at 6 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, Feb. 14. To join the Zoom Meeting utilize this link: https://zoom.us/j/9126951170  or meeting ID: 912 695 1170.  

Rev. Hester and his wife Cheri moved to Savannah in 1991 and worked with the congregation to rebuild Asbury Memorial into a church committed to leading the way as a Christ-centered, forward-thinking, all-inclusive congregation that celebrates the joy of God creatively and is a welcoming and affirming congregation for all.

For more information about Asbury Memorial Church or the virtual vow renewal ceremony, please visit www.asburymemorial.org. 

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, Lesley Francis at lesley@leasleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377). 

BEYOND THE BELL PARTNERS WITH GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER TO HOST “PROTECT YOUR FAMILY – UNDERSTANDING OPIOID ABUSE & ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES” TOWN HALL EVENT – MARCH 3

SAVANNAH, GA. – February 9, 2022 – Beyond The Bell has partnered with the Greenbriar Children’s Center to host the “Protect Your Family – Understanding Opioid Abuse & Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)” town hall event at 6 – 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at the Pennsylvania Avenue Resource Center (PARC), located at 425 Pennsylvania Ave. Savannah, Ga. 31404. Law enforcement, medical professionals, and leaders of the Savannah community will update attendees about how opioids impact individuals and their families. 

Mayor Van Johnson will welcome guests to the event. Speakers from Memorial Health University Medical Center, Savannah Police Department’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, Chatham County EMS, Gateway Behavioral Health Services, Recovery Place as well as an individual in long term recovery will address the impact of opioids that they have seen in their personal and professional lives. There will be a Q&A session with all speakers following the event and dinner will be provided to attendees.

“The goal of this free town hall event is to raise awareness of the opioid problem in the Savannah community and that opioid addiction not only brings danger to the individual, but their entire family,” said Executive Director Sandra Dean. “We are thrilled to be working with Greenbriar Children’s Center to inform the Savannah community about the dangers of opioid abuse and share information about how strong relationships are the foundation of healthy brain development at any age and can be used to help mitigate the impact of trauma.”

Executive Director of Greenbriar Children’s Center, Gena Taylor, will also speak about their Project Safe Place program which focuses on the prevention of child abuse and neglect by partnering with local businesses to provide safe havens for those in need. She will also discuss how opioids in a home can leave a child experiencing ACEs that could lead to future violence victimization and perpetration.

“Youth who have ACEs are more at risk for mental illness, physical health problems, and are at more risk of harming themselves and the community they live in. The first step to preventing this is to educate the community about how common ACEs are in youth and the lasting effect it can have on them, their families, and the wider community,” said Taylor. “We are grateful that Beyond The Bell reached out to us to partner with them for this event so we can reach Savannah community.”

Beyond The Bell, along with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) provides tools and evidence-based strategies to train, educate, and support youth and families in the prevention of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use and abuse. 

For more information about this free community event, visit Beyond The Bell’s Facebook and Instagram, @beyondthebellsavannah or Greenbriar’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, @greenbriarchildrenscenter. For more information on Beyond The Bell and its programs/resources, please visit www.beyondthebellkids.org. For more information about Greenbriar Children’s Center and its programs/services, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org. 

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For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com, Allie Robinson at allie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-547-3100 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

PROTECT IT ALL WITH A TRUCK CAP!

PROTECT IT ALL WITH A TRUCK CAP!

Easily one of the most popular aftermarket accessories you can buy for your truck, a truck cap makes a big impact.

There are so many options when it comes to a truck cap, that it can seem an overwhelming decision. That’s where we come in. At LIBERTY LINE-X, we’ve got the information you need to get your search underway. 

1

Truck Cap Sizes

First, let’s talk about size. Truck caps come in a variety of shapes and sizes. But how do you know which size will best fit your needs?

As the name suggests, this low-profile top won’t go higher than the top of your cab. If you’re doing work on your home or the various weekend projects, this is the right top for you.

If you’re looking at a large or long haul, a midrise top might be the right choice. This top gives you 15% more space than a cab height model, while its aerodynamic style helps with fuel costs.

If you need a cap that can handle all the toughest jobs and make those long days easier, you’re going to want a commercial top. Designed for rugged use, this cap also has multiple storage options and increased security. 

2

Accessories

Okay, so hopefully you’ve got a solid idea of what you’re looking for in a truck cap. But we’re not done yet. We can help you with all the ways you can upgrade that new topper.

Accessories on top of accessories? You bet! You can accessorize your new accessory with some of these cool, and extremely popular, options:

This type of window is ideal if you’re taking your truck on some dirty rides. You can easily remove the back window and clean it up.

If you’re looking for a more refined interior, a headliner can definitely offer an upgrade. A felt covering for your roof interior, a headliner adds insulation and style. 

If you can’t fit everything into your truck bed, you need a Thule Roof Rack. These racks allow you to carry items on top of the camper top so you never have to leave anything behind.

3

Commercial Accessories

Okay, so hopefully you’ve got a solid idea of what you’re looking for in a truck cap. But we’re not done yet. We can help you with all the ways you can upgrade that new topper.

Accessories on top of accessories? You bet! You can accessorize your new accessory with some of these cool, and extremely popular, options:

So many jobs and projects require the use of a ladder. Easily attach your ladders to the side of your truck with a ladder rack. Sleek and convenient, a ladder rack helps you get the job done.

LEER truck caps offer several toolbox choices. Optional modular toolboxes have adjustable shelves, dividers, and attachment features. We’ll help you find the perfect configuration!

Interior and exterior lighting options are available for your truck cap. You can easily light up your workspace, whether it’s inside the truck bed or out. 

Cargo hooks. Pet screen protectors. Fishing pole holders. Powerblocks. With so many accessory choices, you might need another truck!

INCREASE STORAGE, UTILITY, AND FUNCTION WITH A TRUCK CAP.

A truck cap can make your life easier—and lower your fuel costs! At LIBERTY LINE-X we’ll help you fit your truck with the right truck cap and accessories to get all your jobs done.

Request a Quote

 THE SALVATION ARMY OF SAVANNAH ANNOUNCES NEW YEAR-ROUND INITIATIVE: “LOVE BEYOND” AND ASKS FOR THE COMMUNITY’S SUPPORT

SAVANNAH, GA – February 7, 2022 – The Salvation Army of Savannah (TSA) has announced a new campaign to launch on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2022, themed “Love Beyond.” This new initiative invites all employees, donors, volunteers, and community members who care about alleviating human suffering to join The Salvation Army in helping others, not just during the holiday season, but all year long. It’s a reminder to love others beyond all else without discrimination whatever people’s background, social-economic status, race, gender or sexual orientation. 

The work of the Salvation Army in our community is most widely known for their annual fundraiser, The Red Kettle Campaign, during the holiday season.  The iconic red kettles with bell ringing volunteers as well as online red kettle donations are vital for raising funds to support the nonprofit’s programs. Although these funds support those in-need with food, lodging, and care year-round, research has shown that TSA is often just associated with the holiday season. Through the new “Love Beyond” initiative, the organization wants to demonstrate that they do not just love and support the community during certain times of the year, but beyond the holiday season, 52 weeks a year. 

TSA is a local nonprofit organization which serves the greater Savannah region through multiple programs including: drug and alcohol abuse rehabilitation, domestic violence and human trafficking victims assistance, support for families and individuals facing poverty and homelessness, workforce development, disaster relief resources, and programs to meet the needs of our community’s youngest citizens. The community can help too by donating to help provide groceries to a family, offer shelter to those in need, give a warm meal to struggling individuals, or help a child complete their homework in after-school programs. By giving monthly donations of $25 or more, supporters will double TSA’s ability to come alongside those striving to make ends meet – and help them win.

“Here at The Salvation Army, love for everybody and of course love of God, drives us to serve individuals and families far beyond consideration for people’s background, socio-economic status, creed, race, gender, or sexual orientation. The Salvation Army accepts all for who they are, without discrimination or judgement to fulfil our mission of “Doing The Most Good”, said The Salvation Army of Savannah’s Major Paul Egan. “We will love and support you no matter who you are or what you have done. Our love goes beyond differences, generations, hunger, loneliness, addiction and more. The Salvation Army believes that together we can make a difference, and we are looking forward to partnering with the community to bring this campaign to life and bring love and connection locally in a lonely and divisive time in our nation’s history.”

Supporters can now pledge $25 or more a month to assist The Salvation Army in their mission by signing up on their website www.salvationarmygeorgia.org/savannah/. One-time donations are also welcomed via the online donation platform at www.LoveBeyond.givesmart.com. Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay within the greater Savannah community.

The Salvation Army has served greater Savannah for the past 122 years and has always supported the most vulnerable in our community. For more information about The Salvation Army Savannah, please visit www.salvationarmygeorgia.org/savannah/ or call 912-200-3004 and follow the organization via social media. 

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For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457. 

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood

VETERAN-CENTRIC REAL ESTATE COMPANY OFFERS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SERVICES

RICHMOND HILL, GA – FEBRUARY 4, 2022 – American Veteran Properties, a residential real estate brokerage specializing in serving military families and helping them build personal wealth, is pleased to announce its expansion in the Coastal Empire region with the addition of property management services. 

The agency, owned and operated by local industry veteran and former 3rd ID soldier Eric Lukkarinen, specializes in buying, selling, new construction, investing, and consulting on residential real estate and other property ventures. The company will also soon introduce training programs and seminars.

“We are thrilled to be able to serve our clients in new ways that will allow them to settle into new duty stations with the peace of mind that their property is being looked after properly by a company that prides itself on transparency and fairness,” Lukkarinen said. 

AVP’s owner points out that his property management operation will do things differently than other, more traditional companies. They strive to take the stress of being a landlord from the homeowner/investor by handling routine issues that crop up. In addition, AVP will not keep the additional fees that renters are often charged, such as pet deposits and late fees.

“When the renters are charged a pet fee, for example, that pet fee will go straight to the pocket of the homeowner — not AVP. We’re not going to charge our homeowners for every last thing we have to take care of at their houses. We approach our business relationships with our homeowners as more of a partnership,” Lukkarinen said.

The team of agents at American Veteran Properties works with veterans and their families to help them amass personal wealth through the acquisition and subsequent rental of residential property. When a military member who owns a home is assigned a new duty station, he or she can rent out the house and then purchase a new home – covered by Basic Allowance for Housing – at the new duty station. The process repeats until the veteran owns several homes that he or she can either sell for profits or use to continue generating rental income. In time, the homes pay for themselves many times over. 

American Veteran Properties offers the highest quality advice and support for military members to make the best decision for themselves and their families, in addition to helping military members enjoy homeownership while building and growing personal wealth. For more information, please visit americanveteranproperties.com, call 912-385-3000, email sales@americanveteranproperties.com or visit them on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancis.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

 200 CLUB OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE TO HOLD FREE COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE IN RICHMOND HILL FEB. 12

SAVANNAH, GA – Feb. 3, 2022 – The 200 Club of the Coastal Empire is partnering with Plantation Lumber and Hardware in Richmond Hill to host an informational community open house Saturday, February 12, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The store is located at 10829 Ford Ave. 

During this free event that is open to the public, hamburgers and Coca-Cola products will be served to guests, who will have the opportunity to learn more about the club’s role in the community. The food is provided by the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, and the drinks are courtesy of Coca-Cola Bottling. The 200 Club always seeks to raise awareness for its mission and is happy to welcome new members from all surrounding communities. Their membership includes professionals, community leaders, small business owners, homemakers, students, corporate executives, retired and active firefighters, and law enforcement officers — all dedicated to bringing love into the lives of the families of the region’s fallen heroes.

“Our organization serves over 20 counties in the Coastal Empire, and we want to make sure that people in these areas know who we are and what we do,” said Mark Dana, president and CEO of the 200 Club. “Our goal is that people will come out and enjoy some good food, good people, and learn more about the 200 Club’s mission of caring for the families of fallen first responders in our community.” 

The 200 Club is a 501(c) (3) organization who “cares for those who care for us” by providing for the surviving spouses and dependents of first responders who have lost their lives or sustained critical injuries in the line of duty. The organization serves a 20-county area within Georgia and South Carolina. The Two Hundred Club provides a significant one-time financial contribution to the surviving family members and provides a fully paid college education – including tuition, room and board, textbooks, and a computer – to a fallen first responder’s children and spouse. To date, the organization has given over $3.5 million to families and have become a respected voice of the community’s appreciation for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. For more information, go to www.twohundredclub.org, call 912-721-4418 or email info@twohundredclub.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377). 

NATIONAL OPERA ASSOCIATION AWARDS FOUR INAUGURAL DOMINICK AND CAROLYN BAILEY ARGENTO FELLOWSHIPS AT ANNUAL CONFERENCE 

St. Augustine, FL – February 2, 2022 The National Opera Association (NOA) awarded the first ever Argento Fellowships to four recipients at the closing awards ceremony of the NOA 2022 Conference which took place recently in St. Augustine, Florida. The Carolyn Bailey Argento Fellowship for Vocal Performance and the Dominick Argento Fellowship for Opera Composition are made possible through a generous endowment established by the prominent American composer Dominick Argento (1927-2019), and in honor of his wife, the soprano Carolyn Bailey Argento (1930-2006).  The two vocal awards were presented by Kirk Severtson, NOA’s Executive Director, and the two composer awards by NOA Board Member and American composer, Michael Ching.

After receiving more than 360 applications from around the nation, distinguished panels of experts selected and interviewed finalists for each program, and ultimately selected two recipients for each fellowship, who will receive funding for full graduate-level tuition and living expenses for the duration of their chosen graduate degree, up to $50,000 per year.  The recipients of the Dominick Argento Fellowships for Opera Composition are Marc Migó, to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition at Juilliard, and Mikeila McQueston, to pursue a master’s degree in Composition at the University of Tennessee.  The Carolyn Bailey Argento Fellowships for Vocal Performance were awarded to Caitlin Aloia, for an Artist Diploma in the field of Opera Performance at Rice University, and Hayden Smith, to complete a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Rice University. 

“We were delighted to see the great interest and high caliber of applications for The Argento Fellowships in this first year of the program,” said Kirk Severtson, NOA Executive Director. “We appreciate the vision and generosity of the Argento family in establishing this endowment and know that their legacy will transform the lives of these four artists, as well as many more singers and composers in the future.  NOA is honored to be entrusted to administer this fellowship program, which is part of our commitment to building the foundations for the future of opera.” 

Dominick Argento’s niece, Nicki Rambeau, who attended the awards ceremony to represent the Argento family, commented on the significance of the fellowship awards, “Seeing my uncle and aunt’s legacy live on through young and aspiring artists is truly gratifying. I am so proud to witness the continuation of future generations of singers and composers, and I wish the best of luck to these talented students – may they go on to achieve great things.” 

Future rounds of the fellowship programs will be announced as funding becomes available, as the initial fellowship recipients complete their chosen degrees.

The Dominick Argento and Carolyn Bailey Argento Fellowship Fund is administered by the NOA through the Tulsa Community Foundation. Founded in 1955, the National Opera Association is a service organization that promotes excellence in opera education and pedagogy through its support of a diverse community of opera educators and professionals.  NOA supports all facets of opera performance, education and research in college, university, and young artist programs.  The organization’s members include college and university opera faculty, students, composers, librettists, scholars, and anyone interested in opera and opera education.  NOA is especially recognized for its groundbreaking Legacy Project, which has supported and celebrated diversity in the arts for over 25 years.  For more information about The National Opera Association or The Argento Fellowships, please visit www.noa.org. 

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For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or Allie Robinson at allie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-547-3100 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

Editor’s Note 

Dominick Argento Fellowship for Opera Composition Recipients:

  • Marc Migó studied piano and composition at ESMUC (Spain), and then moved to New York, where he pursued his master’s at Juilliard. He is currently a C.V. Starr fellow at the same institution, working under the mentorship of John Corigliano. Migó has been a winner of several prestigious awards such as The Pablo Casals Festival, Morton Gould Young Composer award 2018, and the George Enescu Prize 2020. He has received commissions from leading institutions and ensembles, such as UrbanArias, the Dutch National Opera, Liceu Opera House, and the New Juilliard Ensemble, among others. Migó will be awarded the Dominick Argento Fellowship for Opera Composition for his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition at Juilliard.
  • Mikeila McQueston is an Atlanta-based composer and soprano who delights in storytelling and the capacity of the human voice. Her compositions have been performed by academic and professional ensembles across the United States, including Coro Vocati, Invicta Trio, the LSU A Cappella Choir, Ohio University’s Bella Voce, the St. Alban’s Chapel Choir, the Fayette County Honors Choir, and others. McQueston will be awarded the Dominick Argento Fellowship for Opera Composition for her master’s degree in Composition at the University of Tennessee. 

Carolyn Bailey Argento Fellowship for Vocal Performance Recipients:

  • Caitlin Aloia, “Clear-voiced” (Cleveland Classical) soprano, made her Houston debut with the Houston Chamber Choir and Kinetic in the Fall of 2021. In the 2020-21 season, Aloia spent her first summer at Marlboro Music Festival, performing chamber works like Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 by Villa-Lobos, Ariel by Ned Rorem, and In the Early Evening, a new work of John Harbison. She received an Encouragement Award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions at the district level. Opera credits include Poppea (Agrippina), La Princesse (L’enfant et les Sortilèges), Blanche (Dialogues of the Carmelites), and Governess (Turn of the Screw). Caitlin is a second-year master’s student at Rice University under the tutelage of Professor Nova Thomas and will be an Apprentice Artist at the Santa Fe Opera this summer. Aloia will be awarded the Carolyn Bailey Argento Fellowship for Vocal Performance for her Artist Diploma in the field of Opera Performance at Rice University. 
  • Hayden Smith, tenor, is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Most recently, Smith was the first-place winner in the Upper College division of the NATS 2021 National Student Auditions. His upcoming engagements include Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at Rice University, Giuseppin La Traviata, and Elder Hayes in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah with Wolf Trap Opera as a Studio Artist. Smith has enjoyed summer engagements with Wolf Trap Opera (2020 and 2021), Music Academy of the West (2019), Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy (2019), and the Chautauqua Institution Voice Program (2018). Smith will be awarded the Carolyn Bailey Argento Fellowship for Vocal Performance for the first year of his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Rice University. 

ANOTHER GROUNDHOG DAY

ANOTHER GROUNDHOG DAY

Here we are already one-twelfth of the way through 2022 and according to Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous groundhog, we can all look forward to another six weeks of winter. If only we could say the same for the shadow of COVID-19, which shows no sign of ending any time soon. 

In spite of that, there has been much to celebrate at LFPR, including the wedding of our senior account executive, Allie Robinson – who does not have to go through the hassle of changing her name as she married Austin Robinson (no relation, of course). It was a beautiful occasion and team LFPR were lucky enough to be there on her big day. We are looking forward to our senior account manager’s wedding date in April as Kristyn Fielding will become Kristyn Beasley.  

We welcomed a new website developer, Shelby McKee, to our team, and she is doing a great job. We are also enjoying having our new spring intern, Emily Vonck, working with us part-time as she completes her studies at Georgia Southern University. Looking back to the holiday season, LFPR was proud to support the Salvation Army by volunteering to ring the iconic red kettle bell to help raise vital funds for the organization’s annual fundraiser that supports local families and individuals in need. Team LFPR was also a media sponsor for nonprofit organization Combat Boots to the Boardroom’s second annual gala just before Thanksgiving. We also worked with our client, Beyond The Bell, for the grand opening and ribbon-cutting of their new Macon location.

Our clients are forging ahead with plans for 2022 and we are partnering with them to raise awareness for some exciting initiatives. Savannah African Art Museum is celebrating Black Heritage Month with a series of workshops and a brand new exhibit which explores the importance of cowrie shells in African culture. LFPR has worked with the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire for eight years, and we are delighted that President Mark Dana has agreed to become the nonprofit organization’s first full time president and CEO. Look out for media coverage about the Valor Awards on Feb. 10. Looking forward, Historic Savannah Foundation is planning for the launch of their affordable housing initiative later this month and March’s Women in Preservation Month observance. Georgia Tech-Savannah is planning a full season of OSHA training classes and in-person summer school. 

We have recently been contracted to work with American Veteran Properties here in Richmond Hill (check out their new website built by LFPR at americanveteranproperties.com). Talking of websites, our own website now has a brand new look and feel.  We are also enjoying working again with Bill Eberlein, shark tooth diver and owner of Megateeth! Check out his Instagram account and in-depth features in Connect newspaper and Liberty and Richmond Hill Neighbors magazines.

Until next time, take care and wishing you all health and happiness for 2022.