Monthly Archives: September 2016

#StayArtSY is the Latest Hashtag!

SEABROOK SAYS: Kim George is Gaston’s leader for our Gaston Arts Council.  Her article brings new insights into the arts locally and statewide.  This is important as new impacts will be coming to us via arts in the future. NOW THAT YOU KNOW, WHAT WILL YOU DO?

The hashtag “stayartsy” was recently adopted by Arts North Carolina (Arts NC) – North Carolina’s statewide advocacy organization for the arts) to express the sentiments of many throughout the state who value and support the arts.

Speaking of Arts NC and news from Raleigh, there was great news for the arts in North Carolina at the conclusion of the Biennium budget sessions: $500,000 increase in Grassroots Arts Funds for 2016-2017 (these funds are distributed to all 100 counties and helps provide a diverse menu of arts opportunities and impact: festivals, arts in schools, administration overhead, sub-grants to community agencies, concerts) and $715,422 for A+ Schools (arts-based whole-school reform effort who since 1995 has been using the arts as a catalyst for creating connections and making school engaging, meaningful and enjoyable places to teach and learn).

On the national front there are some buzz words floating around:

  • Partnerships & Collaborations
  • Advocacy & Strategic Messaging
  • Diversity & Equity
  • Arts & Education
  • Community Development
  • Marketing/Communications/Social Media

And to determine the strides Local Arts Agencies (LAAs) are making in these areas, surveys were collected from more than 1,000 LAAs throughout 2015; the data gathered represents the most comprehensive information to date.

LAAs promote, support, and develop the arts at the local level ensuring a vital presence for the arts throughout America’s communities. LAAs are diverse in their makeup—they have many different names and embrace a spectrum of artistic disciplines. But each LAA, in its own way, works to sustain the health and vitality of the arts and artists locally, while also striving to make the arts accessible to all members of a community.  Local Arts Agencies are referred to by many different names or titles for example: Arts Council, Arts commission, cultural commission, or heritage commission, Cultural alliance and Arts service organization.

North Carolina is in on the data gathering and “Help Us Document the Impact of Arts & Culture in NC” is the appeal from the North Carolina Arts Council who is participating in the 5th national Arts & Economic Prosperity research study to be conducted by Americans for the Arts (AFTA) during 2016. This research will produce a report on North Carolina’s arts and culture industry, as well as each of the seven economic development regions.

The 2012 Arts & Economic study found that nonprofit arts and culture are a $1.24 billion industry in North Carolina – one that supports 43,605 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $119 million in local and state government revenue. These facts are powerful tools in making the case for state and local funding for arts and culture by demonstrating the significant return on investment.

Nonprofit arts and culture organizations across the North Carolina will help measure this economic impact in their communities throughout the year. In 32 counties, local study partners will coordinate the data gathering. The arts and culture organizations in the rest of the state will work directly with the N.C. Arts Council. Audiences at arts and culture events will be surveyed throughout 2016.

Gaston Arts Council hosted an Arts and Business luncheon on Monday, June 13 at the Historic Courthouse in Dallas where leaders from Gaston County, Charlotte and Raleigh provided updates and key highlights.  The featured presenters were: Rick Coleman, Mayor, Dallas, NC; Michael Applegate, CDME, Director, Gaston County Travel & Tourism; Malissa O. Gordon, Existing Industry Manager, Gaston County EDC; Ted Hall, President, Montcross Area Chamber; Liz Fitzgerald, Arts and Science Council (Mecklenburg), Program Director, Cultural & Community Investment; Andrea Schrift, Manager of Member Engagement & Events, Gaston Regional Chamber; Rebecca Scroggins, Director of Government Relations and Grants, Arts and Science Council (Mecklenburg) Karen Wells, Executive Director, Arts North Carolina (Arts NC).  In attendance were area artists, community leaders, arts organization representatives from Kings Mountain as well as Gaston, Lincoln, Cleveland and Stanly counties.

To discover more about upcoming arts, cultural and entertainment events in Gaston County as well as artist opportunities visit GAC’s newly redesigned website at  The new website features “artist of the month” and “arts organization of the month” sections.


Kim George
Gaston Arts Council
(704) 853-ARTS (2787)


F3- Fitness, Fellowship, Faith

SEABROOK SAYS: Steven Long, the co-leader of Gastonia Sheet Metal, tells about his high level of commitment to F3.  F3, a national organization, was founded in Charlotte.  The organization is dedicated to grow young male county leadership in unique ways.  Gaston County desperately needs young leaders to emerge to lead us now and into the future. NOW THAT YOU KNOW, WHAT WILL YOU DO?


Six days each week, usually in the gloom of 5:30 am or 7:00 am, men gather at different locations throughout Gaston County for a 45 – 60 minute workout. The number of attendees at any given workout can vary from 3 – 35+.  The rules for these ‘Boot Camp’ style workouts are very simple and are as follows, they are open to all men, are held outside regardless of weather conditions, are free, are led by the attendees in a rotating fashion and each workout ends with a Circle of Trust.

The F3 movement began on New Year’s Day 2011 in Charlotte, NC. The mission of the group isn’t to get men in better shape, it’s “to plant, grow and serve small workout groups for the invigoration of male community leadership.”  You can find this exact wording on the website,

Something happens on the road to better leadership the F3 way with regular attendance at workouts. Regular attendees get in better shape.  It is impossible to attend multiple workouts each week and not see your fitness level improve.  Regular attendees meet other men with similar goals and thoughts on life, family, faith, etc.  This fellowship is ultimately what brings the men back week after week.  New friendships are formed from this fellowship and interaction leads to more opportunities to serve each other and the community.  Regular attendees become a part of a group that supports each other, motivates and holds each other accountable, and pushes each other to be better.

For me personally, the F3 story started in March, 2015 when a good friend from Church invited me to the first few workouts. Initially, there was one weekly workout held on Saturday mornings with the group meeting in the parking lot at the Schiele Museum.  When I finally got out for that first Saturday, I was blown away by what I experienced.  First, there were 18 – 20 persons in attendance including several that I personally knew.  There were guys from other F3 Regions there to lead the first few weeks of workouts until the Gastonia group was ready to lead on its own.  I had the same thoughts that most have at the first workout, “I’m not in good enough shape”.  What I found was a group of men working to be better regardless of fitness level.  I witnessed all ranges of fitness level that first day including guys who could have done that workout in half the time and then ran a marathon right after to guys who were struggling to keep up after the first 10 minutes.  It was terrific. I found myself to be somewhere in the middle of the pack that day for most of the workout and that is where I continue to be.  The guys in front did all they could to help the guys in back and that’s what struck me mostly at that first workout.  Since then, I have posted over 130 times, led 15 – 20 workouts and helped launch a workout in Lincolnton.  I have become close friends with men I would have never met otherwise and had these same men check on me after missing a few workouts.  I have found it to improve my daily outlook and health.

From that first workout in March, 2015 to now, we have grown to 13 different workouts throughout the week at 8 different locations and are looking to add more. We have multiple workouts scheduled each week in Cramerton, Gastonia and Dallas with the newest location on Saturday mornings in Belmont.  This link shows the exact locations and times, . Please come out and see what it’s about.  I can almost assure you won’t regret it…….at least not after getting a few workouts behind you.  Aye!!


Steven Long (F3 Stroganoff)
President, Residential Divisions
Gastonia Sheet Metal

P.S. – At the end of your first workout, you’ll be given your F3 nickname…so think hard before answering those questions.