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Haley Nelson and Jessica Harris rehearseLast week for her week-long theater camp, Jessica Harris had 24 children aged 5 to 12.  This week it is the older kids’ turn, featuring seven kids aged 12 to 14.

“We had a fabulous week at Carysbrook Performing Arts Center. Of the students who participated in last week’s camp, most had never set foot on stage before,” said Harris. “Students learned basic theater knowledge such as stage directions and projection, and also learned character development techniques and 11 songs to boot.”

Partnering with Harris is Haley Nelson, who is studying drama at George Mason University. Together, these two young women are an impressive pair when it comes to teaching kids about drama and the basics of theater. Harris, who started the Empowered Players as a teenager, shows an infinite passion and dedication to her craft and understands learning the basics early for success later on the stage.

It is amazing to watch this young woman, barely out of her teens, conduct a session with her students in an efficient, organized, direct and creative way, encouraging imagination through writing and improvisation while learning about stage presence, expression, body movement and projection. Add a comment

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Suspect in standoff to undergo mental evaluation

Defendants in two separate Fluvanna County shooting cases appeared in Circuit Court Monday (June 26). 

A grand jury returned true bills of indictment against Little Joe Roach, Jr., on multiple charges stemming from his arrest in April following a shooting in Scottsville that left one woman injured and led to an armed seven-hour standoff with law enforcement. 

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altLake Monticello is so excited about the Fourth of July, it can’t wait. This year, the community is holding its annual celebration on Saturday (July 1) in the hopes that the maximum number of Lake residents are able to join in the fun.

As has become the tradition, events kick off the night before (June 30), with a parade from Ashlawn Clubhouse to the Marina at 6:30 p.m.

On July 1 events run literally from dawn to dusk and include a little something for everyone.

Want to compete in the sand sculpture competition at the Main Beach? You can start building your masterpiece at sun-up. The judging, however, doesn’t take place until noon.

Want to run? The 16th Annual 5K Spirit Run takes off from Bunker Park at 7 a.m. Sign up starts at 6:15 a.m.

Prefer to swim? Take the plunge for the always-popular Swim Across the Lake starting at 3 p.m. from Beach 3.

Other highlights include the horseshoe tournament at Ashlawn Courts (9 a.m.), the boat parade from the Marina to the Main Beach (4 p.m.), and a performance by the Patriotic Skiers starting from the Marina (2:45 p.m.). Add a comment

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altLake Monticello resident Cynthia Moore has already received praise for her book Live, Love, Lead: 10 Simple Skills to Transform Stress, a book focused on how to become conscious of joy and less inclined to stress. It features a short description of 10 skills that if practiced regularly can reduce stress and restore life’s balance.

“Although I thought some of these skills would be helpful to others in middle management – as they have been helpful to me – I recognize that for all of us, having more tools in our stress management toolkit is useful,” said Moore.

Moore believes that the daily stress of modern life weighs us down without the balance of rest and renewal, or the pauses nature intended in the midst of chaos.

“Increases in blood pressure and blood sugar as well as risk to the heart accelerate under those chronic stress conditions, contributing to disease development,” Moore said. “That is why it makes sense to intentionally add in some practices to balance the rest and renewal part of our nervous system. Those at a higher risk can benefit from these skills but they’re useful for most of us.” Add a comment

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Troy WeidenheimerWhen using reference photos for painting, it is always a good idea to know whether the photo you’re referencing is even worth painting, according to artist Troy Weidenheimer, who spoke to a group of Fluvanna Art Association (FAA) members on Friday (June 16).

“Garbage in and garbage out,” he said, describing the dilemma most novice artists have in choosing photos that are poor in compositional quality – something many artists never stop to contemplate. This relates to photos that the artist has taken or has permission to use.

“How do you analyze photos and then what do you do once you have found an appropriate photo?” he asked. Before artists looks for potential problems in photos, they first must determine what type of art they are creating. He pointed out that while illustrations are an exact replica of what is in the photo, fine art goes beyond the literal rendering. “It interprets and enhances elements of the photo in the most artistic and visually pleasing way,” he said, adding that originality inspires the creative process. Add a comment

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