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Arts Notes: July 21, 2013

By Staff reports
Methodists and W.Va.SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Sesquicentennial Speakers Bureau program will be presented at a special program at 11 a.m. July 21 at First Methodist Church, 905 Glendale Ave., South Charleston. No sermon will be delivered that morning but guest speaker Dr. Matt Foulds, Shepherd University history professor, will present a talk titled "Methodists and West Virginia Statehood."Foulds maintains that western Virginians felt relegated to the fringe of the state's political structure, which was dominated by eastern Virginia's slaveholding oligarchy. Feeling powerless to seek reforms through a political system that had failed them, westerners turned to the traveling ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church to voice their discontent.Foulds' upcoming book, tentatively titled "Enemies of the State," analyzes how Methodist ministers used their influence to become grass-roots political leaders during the secession crisis and the formation of the state of West Virginia. When many of western Virginia's traditional political leaders cast their lot with the Confederacy, Foulds says Methodist ministers stepped into the breach and provided leadership and championed the statehood movement.The presentation is free and the public is invited to attend. For more information, call 304-744-3211.Volunteers wantedHUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Renaissance Art Gallery is taking applications for volunteers to work with artists at the gallery. Each volunteer will receive a free one-hour class for each afternoon worked. Volunteers may select gallery hours from noon to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Those interested should contact Fern Christian at 304-525-3235 or Visit the gallery website at The gallery is at 900 Eighth St., No. 20, Huntington.Writing workshopsLEWISBURG, W.Va. -- For the first time, the Lewisburg Literary Festival, Aug. 2 and 3, will hold free writing workshops. They will be given by authors Michael Knost, John Van Kirk and radio essayist and memoirist Cat Pleska.On Aug. 2 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Van Kirk will present "The Novel: The First Fifty Pages." If you're pretty sure you have a novel in you but you don't know where or how to begin, this workshop will present several techniques for getting your story out of your head and onto the paper. Also, writer's block and how to overcome it will be discussed. Bring writing materials.On Aug. 3 from 10 to 11 a.m., Bram Stoker Award winner Knost will lead a workshop on genre writing (writing for fantasy, science fiction and horror).On Aug. 3 from 4 to 5 p.m., Pleska will help writers locate and write about memories for "The Five Minute Memoir!" In so-called "flash nonfiction," writers take and compress particular memories to write rich, engaging mini memoirs, appropriate for sending to literary magazines that are looking for short shorts.All workshops will take place in the Nick Rahall Room at the Greenbrier Valley Visitors Center, 200 W. Washington St. To reserve a place, call 888-716-5082. Follow the event on Facebook at have your announcement included in Arts Notes, email or send it to Arts Notes, The Charleston Gazette, 1001 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301. Artwork can be submitted electronically or by mail. Deadline for inclusion in the Sunday Gazette-Mail is the Tuesday before Sunday publication.
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