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Itís Getting Hot at the Givens Performing Arts Center PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Erinn Crider   
Monday, 05 October 2015

Givens Performing Arts Center is a mainstay in quality entertainment bringing international acts as well as regional and local talent to the stage. While GPAC has a strong connection to Fayetteville, that bond just got stronger.  In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in conjunction with the Visual Arts Alliance, GPAC is proud to sponsor the latest Gallery 208 exhibit, Bras for the Cause: Artful Bras. The exhibit is free and open to the public at 208 Rowan Street. The exhibit speaks to the fierce and tenacious spirit of women who combat breast cancer every day. It celebrates the triumphs of those who fought and won, while honoring the struggle of those who did not.

The timing of the Bras for the Cause exhibit dovetails perfectly with the timing of the next GPAC performance, which celebrates another uniquely feminine quandary: menopause. This particular show includes three breast cancer survivors.  Menopause the Musical is a tribute to womanhood and all the mysterious hormones that come with it. It is on stage at GPAC on Oct. 9. This humorous interpretation of the trying adventure that is menopause is an exciting, musical and hilarious for everyone. 

“It is a party, an absolute party. It is such a fun event. Everyone comes over and over — and that’s fun, too. There are women who come to multiple shows and bring their friends and their daughters. We have multiple generations of women come to the show, it is great to share. Some bring their husbands, unsuspecting men. The last show, not four minutes in, we heard a man guffawing. There is no men bashing, it’s just so charming. And they can appreciate it because they experience it, too. Not to give them credit for going through menopause, rather they go through our menopause,” saidJudy Blue who plays the “Soap Star” in the show. 

This is a musical production. The show features familiar songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, but rewritten as parodies to fit the struggles of menopause. Blue says that everyone has their own favorite symptom. Sharing these symptoms — like hot flashes or uncontrollable crying —however miserable they me be, serves as a bridge between otherwise radically different people both on and off stage. 

“We learn to embrace and start to understand each other. We don’t like each other at first, but not two songs in, we start to understand each other with the symptoms that we share,” Blue explains. 

In addition to candid conversation about menopause, this tour also focuses on how important an honest and supportive discussion about breast cancer is. 

“This Menopause the Musical Tour is the survivor show. The musical is the same, for those who have seen it before, but we have three breast cancer survivors. So part of the proceeds of the show go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation,” Blue says. 

Two dollars of every ticket sold will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“It was just a natural fit for us, especially with what we have faced in our pasts. I had a lumpectomy and some radiation, and it was small. I am grateful for that. Another woman in the show had massive amounts of chemotherapy and was in it for the long haul. But she came back strong. We are living full lives. We dance around on stage for hours every night! It’s a hope, too. That’s what we want to share. You can get through it and that’s what we are here to represent.” 

Blue encourages women to become educated about preventative measures like a healthy diet and exercise and regular mammograms. There is no telling what life may throw at you. But the women of Menopause the Musical take on the challenges of life with passion, hope, understanding and sisterhood. She says that she feels most rewarded when she can share that hopefulness with the audience.

“We meet people afterwards that say that this is the most they have laughed in months and they go out after the show and keep that upbeat I can conquer anything mood going,” she said.

Menopause the Musical is on stage at the Givens Performing Arts Center on Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. The Givens Performing Arts Center is located at 1 University Dr. in Pembroke. To purchase tickets. call (910) 521-6361 or visit tickets.com. For more information visit www.uncp.edu/giving/advancement/givens-performing-arts-center. 

WIDU Empowerment Breakfast Focuses on Changing Paradigms PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Stephanie Crider   
Tuesday, 29 September 2015

“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” These words changed Les Brown’s life. He failed the fifth grade and was held back again in eighth grade. By that time, he believed what everyone was saying about him. Even the school system had labeled him as “Educable mentally retarded.” This sentence spoken to Brown by a teacher was a turning point. He’s living his dream, and works every day to help others learn how they can live their dream, too. On Oct. 8, Brown will host the WIDU Business Empowerment Breakfast as part of the WIDU Anniversary celebration. 

The WIDU Anniversary 2015 kicks off Oct. 3 and runs through Oct. 10. It is a week filled with praise, worship, entertainment, empowerment and more. Each year, Wes and Sandy Cookman, owners of WIDU radio station, pull out all of the stops for the radio’s anniversary celebration. The event list includes a Jesus Rocks youth event, We Shall Overcome on stage, WIDU Carolina’s Best Finale concert, Together as One — a midweek service, a women’s empowerment luncheon, a unity service, a prayer breakfast, Quartet Night, the Festival of Praise and  the WIDU Business Empowerment Breakfast featuring Les Brown. 

At 70, Brown is no stranger to Fayetteville or the WIDU family. 

“It is a pleasure to come back,” said Brown. “This will be like a homecoming. I am pleased to share strategies and techniques for what people need to do to take their lives to the next level.”

While many refer to Brown as a motivational speaker, that isn’t how he sees himself. “I see myself as a person who talks about things people need to do to move their lives from right now to where they want to go. For instance, in less than 10 years, one third of the jobs that exist today will be replaced. That means that the people working those jobs will be replaced by mechanized intelligence. I talk about how you handle that,” he said.

Brown has distilled his philosophy for success down to three keys to success:

Mindset – the resilience to handle rapid changes taking place in the world. 

Expanded skill sets — Brown noted that the skills most people have now will not carry over to the domestic economy and will not help them survive in the global economy. 

Staying relevant and successful by creating collaborative achievement-driven supportive relationships. 

“You can’t make it on your own. Seventy-two percent of corporations are striking partnerships,” said Brown. “If you want to make it today, you’ve got to find some people who have some knowledge and resources that you don’t have, to help you begin to move your life forward.”

Brown’s philosophy dovetails with the work of management consultant, the late Peter Drucker, who believed this era to be characterized by what he called the three Cs: accelerated change, overwhelming complexity and tremendous competition. 

“A lot of people are outside the job market and don’t know that they can’t even get in because it is an entrepreneur’s era,” said Brown. “At the beginning of the year 2000, 5 million jobs evaporated and there were 3 million permanent part-time jobs with no health benefits or security. People need to shift their thinking and what they are looking for and expand their capacity to navigate this economy.”

This news could sound dismal to some, but to Brown, it sounds like opportunity. Staying current in your professional field, continuously upgrading your skill set and improving yourself will lead to new opportunities and new experiences. 

“All of us have the opportunity to create a dynasty, a legacy,” said Brown. “The reason many don’t is because of our entertainment-driven culture. The average immigrant coming to this country has a four times greater chance of becoming a millionaire than the average American because they come from achievement-driven cultures. And when we change our culture from being victims of mass distraction and use our genius and talents in other areas, the possibilities are unlimited as to what we can create.”

The WIDU Business Empowerment Breakfast is on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 8-10 a.m. at the Crown Expo Center. Tickets cost between $15 and $50. Find out more about the WIDU Anniversary celebration and purchase tickets at www.widuanniversary.com.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 September 2015 )

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