What's Happening in Downtown Ashland - July-August  2013
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July/August 2013 Issue:

Main Street Happenings

Featured Downtown Spotlight On:

Our Town
Arts & Culture
Randolph-Macon College

Upcoming Events

Did you know?

Message from
Tom Wulf Ashland Main Street Association Executive Director
Visit us on the Web: http://www.mainstreetashland.org 
Questions/Ideas email:  mainstreetashland@gmail.com
 PO Box 33 Ashland, VA 23005
Become a Friend of Main Street! 
Let us help you promote your next Arts & Culture Event.  Send all news items for review to mainstreetashland@gmail.com by the 15th of the month to be considered for the next edition of 'GET CENTERED'.  Please include graphics in jpg format.  We look forward to hearing from you!
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Did you know?
The July 4th Parade and Lawn party was started by Rosie Shalf & Friends to acknowledge and honor those serving in the Gulf War.

A photo of Uncle Sam ( Ragan Phillips) leading the Ashland July 4th Parade down the tracks was sent out over the AP wires and was the front page photo on USA Today.

R-MC Students will move in the week starting August 28th.  Be sure to welcome them to the Center of the Universe! 

Charlotte Torrence, Chalk Walk featured artist, is offering a FREE Art camp at the Center!  Read on for more details!
Upcoming Events
***The next Ashland First Thursday will be held on August 1st since July 4th is a holiday.  Look for details on who will be participating by visiting www.ashlandfirstthursday.com

July 4 Thurs 11:00 am
Hanover Arts & Activities Center

4th of July Parade, Applie Pie Contest, Patriotic Pet Contest & Hanover Concert Band

July 4 Thurs 10am-2pm
Ashland Library

Ashland Library 4th of July Book Sale

July 6 Sat 10am-1pm  
Ashland Coffee & Tea

Ashland Oldtime & Irish Open Jam

July 8 Mon 6:30pm

Ashland Branch Library

MS Word Class -Register 798-4072 


July 9 Tues  6:30pm

Ashland Branch Library

eBooks Class -Register 798-4072 


July 10 Wed 4pm

Ashland Branch Library

Dig into Reading w/ Magician Rob Wescott

July 11 Thurs  6pm

Ashland Branch Library

"Just Duct Tape It!" for Teens

July 13 Sat 10am-1pm  
Ashland Coffee & Tea

Ashland Oldtime & Irish Open Jam

July 15 Mon  3pm

Ashland Branch Library

Movie Time Monday

July 19 Fri  Noon

Hanover Arts & Activities Center

Art Camp Show


July 20 Sat  Noon-Midnight
Ashland Coffee & Tea

CJ the DJ's Bluegrass (Mostly) Boogaloo

July 21 Sun 7pm 
Duncan Memorial Church

African Children's Choir sponsored by R-MC


July 22 Mon  3:30pm

Ashland Branch Library

Incredible Insects

July 27 Sat  6:30-11pm

Ashland Library Plaza

Ashland Street Party- Gospel Bubba Johnson and the Julius Pittman (Benefit Concert )


July 30 Tues 

Subscribe to Ashland Main Street Newsletter
Next Issue of GET CENTERED Published


August 1 Thurs 5-8pm

Stroll to the H-P and many downtown businesses

Ashland First Thursday

August 4 Sunday 7pm

Outside Blackwell Auditorium, R-MC

Bluemont Concert - The Hula Honeys


August 7  Wed 1pm

Ashland Branch Library

AWARE Wildlife Ambassadors

August 8 Thurs 11am 
Ashland Coffee & Tea

Children's Story Hour

August 9,10,11 Thurs, Fri, Sat 
Hanover Arts & Activities Center

Musical:  Fiddler on the Roof

August 11 Sunday 7pm

Outside Blackwell Auditorium, R-MC

Bluemont Concert - Hard Swimmin' Fish

August 14  Wed 10am

Ashland Branch Library

"Dig It with Dinosaur Bob!"

August 16  Fri 6pm

Ashland Branch Library

Summer Finale with Diggin' up Bones

August 17 Sat  6:30-11pm

Ashland Library Plaza

Ashland Street Party- King Edward & the BDs

August 18 Sunday 7pm

Outside Blackwell Auditorium, R-MC

Bluemont Concert - Matuto

August 21 Wed 11am 
Ashland Coffee & Tea

Children's Story Hour

August 25 Sunday 7pm

Outside Blackwell Auditorium, R-MC

Bluemont Concert - Daryl Davis Band


August 28 Wednesday

R-MC Campus

Fall Move-In Day for R-MC Students- Welcome to the Center of the Universe!

Ongoing Entertainment in Downtown Ashland: 


Ashland Museum is open every Sat 10am-2pm & Sun noon-2pm


Ashland Library is open Mon-Thurs 10am-9pm  Fri-Sat 10am-6pmStory times for kids Mon10-12am  & Tues 10-11am. Book Clubs meet every month 10am 3rd Friday, 1pm 3rd Mon,  7pm 3rd Thurs

Farmer's Market is open every Sat from 9am-12pm May-Nov

Live Music:  Ashland Coffee & TeaIron HorseFarmer's Market, Ashland Street Parties in the Plaza , Bluemont Concerts at R-MC


Wine Tastings:  Passport Series runs for 14 weeks on Fridays at  Caboose Wine & Cheese .  Also on Fridays - the The Iron Horse Restaurant  allows you to bring in a bottle of wine purchased from on the Caboose that you may enjoy with your meal and with no corking fee charges.

Have an event to share?  email mainstreetashland@gmail.org.  We encourage you to post events on the Town of Ashland calendar as well.

Check out all the Summer Concerts coming to the Center of the Universe:
Happy 4th of July Everyone!   Visit 'The Center' of the Center of the Universe to get into the spirit.  FREE Patriotic Concert by the Hanover Concert Band will be held at 12pm.  That's not all!  Drop off your pie for the Apple Pie Contest between 9-10:30am.  Decorate you pet and meet at the Center at 11:45am for the Patriotic Pet Contest.  Enjoy the parade which starts at 11!  Visit http://www.hanoverarts.org for more information.
Ashland Coffee & Tea is the place to be to hear great music and to benefit CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation.  Be there - July 20th from Noon to Midnight!  Great Bluegrass for a Great Cause!  

Visit http://ashlandcoffeeandtea.com/ to find out about other wonderful musicians coming to the Center of the Universe!   They do children's story hours too!

Ashland Street Parties and Shiloh Baptist Church are joining forces to sponsor an additional 2013 street party July 27 to benefit Nicole Fleming, a church member in need of a life-saving kidney transplant.  She and her family are working through the National Kidney Foundation for Transplants (NFT) to raise $250,000.  Music, dancing and fun will be held from 6:30 – 11 p.m., at the plaza behind the Ashland Library. Food and beverages will be available throughout the event. The party will feature a gospel group led by local Gospel legend Bubba Johnson and the Julius Pittman Revival, often called “the finest Southern soul band on the East Coast.”   All tickets are $20 and all profits will go to NFT to assist Fleming. They can be purchased online (a $1 service fee is added) at www.ashlandstreetparties.com or at all First Capital Bank branch offices, all Hometown Realty locations, Minuteman Press (Kings Charter), EVB-Ashland office, Ronald Toombs Insurance Agency, The Caboose Wine & Cheese, Dew Realty, Ashland Ace Hardware and Cross Brothers Grocery.   Ashland Street Parties plans to continue hosting a party each year that will benefit someone in need from the local community.

Note:   Ashland Street Parties for 2013 will be held August 17th & September 21st.
BIG NEWS!  Randolph-Macon College has generously reached out to the Ashland community in providing their outdoor space as the venue for Bluemont's 9th season this summer.  All concerts will be held on the outside of Blackwell Auditorium.  Bluemont veteran volunteer extraordinaire Paige Christy, who is also a Center board member has scheduled outreach concerts prior to all shows to benefit the Hanover Manor, OmniPark Place Senior Center, Alpha House & the Ashland Convalescent Center.  These outreach performances give residents, who may not be able to attend otherwise, a chance to enjoy the music and even meet the musicians!  Bluemont looks forward to having the Center well represented as a Community Group at each concert and is excited to have R-MC more involved.   Pre-show entertainment by local talent will be prior to each show starting at 6:45pm. 

2013 Bluemont Concert Schedule
Sundays at 7pm on the steps of Blackwell Auditorium at Randolph-Macon College:
August 4, 2013   The Hula Honeys  - Hawaiian Swing
August 11, 2013  Hard Swimmin' Fish -Funk Infused Blues
August 18, 2013  Matuto -Appalachian Brazilian Funk
August 25, 2013  Daryl Davis -Boogie-Woogie Rock & Roll
NEXT Ashland First Thursday Event August 1st www.ashlandfirstthursday.com
Please email Tammy Teefey-Conti  tammyt@jamesriverac.com if your business/organization would like to stay open late on Thursday August 1st.  The website http://www.ashlandfirstthursday.com will be updated with details on who is participating that evening so patrons know where to visit and what things are going on!    The next issue of GET CENTERED will be published on July 30th and will feature these businesses. 
Getting Ready for Train Day November 2nd
We're just four short months away from the 11th annual Ashland Train Day Can you believe it?  We have new and exciting activities lined up for this year.  The Everyday People band will be performing on our new music stage this year.  Our friends with Amtrak Virginia, the ones we partnered with for the inaugural Amtrak train route kickoff to Norfolk at the Ashland station, will be here this year with lots of goodies.  Plus the Virginia Tourism History Mobile is coming.  It is a monster.  A full size tractor trailer with full slide-outs to hold lots of people.  We were just one of a few events to be selected around the state for it's premier.

We want to hear your ideas for fun things to do and see at Train Day.  Email us at AshlandTrainDay@yahoo.com.  Be a part of the fun - volunteer!  Remember to save the date- Saturday, November 2nd Train Day 2013!  
Dear Members of the Ashland Community:
On behalf of the board of the Ashland Main Street Association, please accept our gratitude for your willingness to share in the excitement of June 7, 2013, as the Governor announced that Ashland has received the designation of becoming a Virginia Main Street locality.  This distinction would not be possible without the dedication of numerous stakeholders within our Town government, the Board of Supervisors, citizens, businesses,  property owners,  and Randolph Macon College.  Both public and private initiatives have served to provide Main Street with the support necessary to receive this recognition.  
Ashland is a significant and unique place.  There has always been a desire to foster deep and lasting partnerships within the broad community.  These partnerships, including the downtown and the college, have continued to emerge over time through the leadership and talents of many caring and devoted individuals.  We deeply appreciate the work of past members of the Main Street Board of Directors. Each one has helped to define our  sense of  place and the recent designation would not be possible without them.  As current board members, we are humbled by the honor of becoming a Virginia Main Street Community. Our work is just beginning. Thank you for your confident support and guidance as we continue to stay "centered" while working together to preserve, enhance and promote Ashland.
Nancy Cozart, Board President, Ashland Main Street Association

Be Careful What You Apply For

Because You Just Might Get It!
To say that we’re thrilled that Ashland has finally earned a Virginia Main Street Designation is quite the understatement.  Many community stakeholders have worked for many years to achieve this award, and we should all take a moment to celebrate! 

What does a Designation mean for Ashland? We will receive expert consulting advice from the Virginia Main Street program on everything from economic development strategies to branding packages to grant opportunities.  We can also expect to receive four-to-six new Virginia Main Street signs to install at our gateways.  Those signs say to Virginia tourists: “Hey, Ashland is an important place and worth visiting!  See our historic downtown!  Take advantage of all that Ashland has to offer!” 

So now the work really begins for the Ashland Main Street Association and its stakeholders.  Several board members will be attending a two-day Virginia Main Street workshop in July, and we will all participate in a 4-hour VMS orientation session in August.  There are grants to pursue, streetscaping designs to complete, marketing brochures to revise, web sites to update, Historic Marker Programs to implement,  R-MC student engagement programs to roll out, and new businesses to welcome into our downtown district.  All good stuff to work on, but we’ll need the help of the entire community to make it happen successfully. 

How can you assist? 
First, continue to support our downtown businesses.   Shop Ashland First!   Keeping dollars local helps ensure the continued prosperity of the downtown district and beyond.  
Second, please be patient as the Town begins construction of its new Streetscaping project.  There will be some inconveniences, but it will all be worthwhile in the end. 
Third, please consider getting involved with our organization.  Join one of our committees, volunteer to help with Ashland Train Day, or simply contribute to our cause during this year’s “Amazing Raise” in September.  In return we will continue our efforts to preserve, enhance, and promote our wonderful town at the Center of the Universe. 

Tom Wulf
Executive Director, Ashland Main Street Association
Business Spotlight: Olde Towne Bicycles
Dave Murphy wants you to know that he’ll “bend over backwards” to make you a happy customer!  “We’re a good quality, family bike shop.  We’re very honest, and we’ll fix any bike no matter where you bought it,” he says proudly. 

Dave opened his third location here in Ashland in April, 2011.  He owns two others, in Fredericksburg and Woodbridge, VA.  He knows he has to compete with big discount retailers like WalMart for bike sales, so his competitive edge is quality and service. 

“We start by giving our customers the right information about the product,” Dave explains.  He said several customers who had been misled by other cycle shops returned bikes purchased elsewhere and came back to buy from him.  He also offers one year of free maintenance on the bikes he sells, and provides a lifetime warranty on defects. 

Dave says one of the best reasons to shop at Olde Towne Bicycles is his trade-in policy.  Customers can trade in their used bicycle and upgrade to a new model.  “It’s great for parents, who can buy a tricycle for their toddler and keep trading up as their child grows up,” Dave noted.

His message for Ashland area cycling enthusiasts:  “We’re here to help you, so please support us.  Invest in Ashland.”
Facade Enhancement Opportunity!

The town’s Façade Enhancement Grant is open again through July 15th. We would love to see downtown businesses leverage these funds to make exterior improvements to their buildings. Check out the stunning makeovers of Coronado Jewelry and Thrill of the Hunt using these funds. The Iron Horse used funds for a fresh paint job and Shear Power, Jezebel’s and The Giving Tree joined forces to purchase a shared sign. What could you do to the exterior of your business to make downtown Ashland even better than it already is??
For details, go to www.town.ashland.va.us and under the “Business” section you will see “Incentives and Grants” with more information about the program. You can also call Alexis Thompson at 804.798.1073.

Arts & Culture

Attention rising 3rd through 5th Graders - FREE ART CAMP will be offered at the Center.  Local Ashland resident - Charlotte Torrence is earning her Girl Scout GOLD Award and is offering this camp.   We are so excited that Charlotte was a featured artist for the Ashland Chalk Walk and is now giving back to our community.  The camp runs from July 15-19 from 12-2:30pm at the Center.  Gallery showing will be July 19thCall 798-2728 to register! 
What's happening at our Downtown Ashland Art Galleries?

Gallery Flux (307B England Street, Open Tues-Fri 10am-5pm Sat 11am-4pm)

Gallery Flux will be Closed July 2 - 6 for vacation. They will reopen Tuesday July 9th at 11:00am.

July 9th - August 24th New Works by Gallery Artists

August 1st 5:30-8pm  First Thursday Show


Flippo Gallery (1st floor of Paces Armistead Hall at Randolph-Macon College, Open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm)

*We have wonderful galleries outside of Downtown Ashland as well.  Visit http://www.town.ashland.va.us/  for more information.
Visit Ashland's Arts & Culture District
Featured Artist:  Susannah Wagner
"Art is normal"

“Hair brush – paint brush – same thing” says goldsmith Susannah Wagner.  She grew up in a family where doing and having art was normal.  Her mother did everything from oil paintings and drawings to copper enameling and metal work.  Her father was a mining engineer.  As a child, Susannah collected rocks with her dad, so precious gems and gold were natural mediums for her as an adult.  She also paints, and sold her first painting at age seven. 

Wagner studied at the University of Kansas (as a high school student on a scholarship), Sweetbriar College, Randolph-Macon Women’s College, the University of Georgia, VCU, UVA and even an art school in Edinborough, where she lived for several years with her husband.  She loved her “intense” semester of art in Kansas, however.  She took a jewelry course and says, “I didn’t recover…I’m still using the tools I bought.  I made a ring and sold it immediately and had to make another one quickly for an upcoming show.  We had shows almost every weekend, so I was really busy.”

Today, as a registered goldsmith, Susannah owns Wagner Jewellers (yes, it’s spelled right – the British way) in Ashland, Virginia with co-founder Elizabeth Spahr.  She has made four college maces (Randolph-Macon, Roanoke College, Virginia Weslyan and the University of Mary Washington) and presidential chains of office for Randolph-Macon and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.  She designs and sells her own jewelry and is often commissioned to do special pieces.

Wagner loves metal – especially the reaction of heat to metal.  “The glow of molten metal is hypnotic,” she notes.  She is currently rediscovering her joy of metal after a break to paint.  She paints to refresh her creative spirit, something that she needs to do every now and then to help find balance in her life.  Inspiration often comes as she volunteers at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden or Maymont, her own “pieces of paradise.” 

Next month will feature Hair Stylist Art in our Community! 
Randolph-Macon College

Blackwell Auditorium is truly the music hub for the Center of the Universe.  It is 2nd home to the Richmond Symphony, host for the Ashland Musical Variety Show since 1981, host for Masterworks Chorale and now the official host of the Bluemont Music Concert Series. Many thanks to R-MC for supporting the arts in so many ways in Downtown Ashland!
Become a friend of the Ashland Main Street Association!
About Ashland Main Street Association & 'GET CENTERED'

Ashland Main Street Association is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, founded to help build Ashland into a vibrant, diverse community of residents, businesses, arts and cultural organizations, and to bring visitors into historic downtown Ashland.  GET CENTERED is our monthly newsletter that highlights events in the Center of the Universe.  

If you have questions or wish to submit an article for review - please email mainstreetashland@gmail.com.  Articles must be submitted by the 1st of the month to be published in the next issue.  

Copyright © 2013 Ashland Main Street Association, All rights reserved.
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