Press Contact:

Bernadette B. Moore

Director of Marketing/PR

Program Contact:

Barbara Parker

Director of Programs


Phone: 276.632.3221

Fax: 276.638.3963

Text Box:                                     

215 Starling Avenue

Martinsville, VA  24112







February 9, 2009









Piedmont Arts Announces Big Read Events


Martinsville, VA: Piedmont Arts is one of 208 organizations chosen to receive a grant designating Martinsville and Henry County a Big Read community.  The Big Read gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 23 selections of classic American literature. The Big Read in Martinsville and Henry County will focus on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Numerous activities are scheduled to take place February 28 – March 31, 2009. For more information or to request materials for a book club or other organization, contact Barbara Parker at 276-632-3221 or


Scheduled Events


Big Read Kickoff Event

Saturday, February 28, 2009, 1:00 PM

Blue Ridge Regional Library, Martinsville Branch

Join Piedmont Arts for the kickoff to Martinsville/Henry County Big Read Month. Meet Mary Badham, who played Scout in the 1964 movie adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird.  Attendees will receive free copies of To Kill a Mockingbird, reader’s guides, audio guides, buttons and bookmarks, and chances to win great door prizes!  Minds In Motion Team XXL will perform a dance in honor of the event and proclamations will be made by City and County Officials. The reception is sponsored in part by Altrusa International Inc. of Martinsville Henry County, whose members will be serving the Big Read cake and other refreshments.  Call 276.632.3221 for more information.

This event is admission free.









Who's Your Atticus? Essay Contest

Sponsored by Piedmont Arts

 In 500 words or less, entrants should write about a person who has the same qualities of fairness, honesty, justice and honor found in Atticus Finch, the main character in To Kill a Mockingbird. Prizes will be awarded to the winning essay in the student (high school) and adult categories. Entries are due March 6, 2009 by 5:00 PM at Piedmont Arts. Winning essays will be printed in the Martinsville Bulletin.


An Evening with Charles Shields

Monday, March 9, 2009, 7:00 PM

Piedmont Arts

Harper Lee biographer Charles Shields talks about the elusive woman who created the American classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, the fascinating people and places she made immortal, and her friendship with Truman Capote. Book signing will follow the talk, and copies of Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee will be available for purchase. Reserve your seat by calling 276.632.3221.

This event is admission free. 


Cover to Cover – An Interview With Charles Shields

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hal Hubener, Director of the Blue Ridge Library System will interview Charles Shields, biographer of Harper Lee, on “Cover to Cover” a weekly television show that features a variety of topics of interest to the public. Recorded live at 2:00 pm Tuesdays; aired 3 additional times throughout the week.


Dinner With the Mockingbird

Saturday, March 14, 2009, 7:00 PM

Rives Theater Uptown, Martinsville, Virginia

Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association presents dinner and a movie, featuring the classic film version of To Kill a Mockingbird starring Gregory Peck. Cash bar and gourmet picnic dinners by Arts, Etc. offered. Dinners must be pre–ordered by calling 276.632.3221.

Dinner and Movie $15 • Movie Only $5   


"Fun from the Thirties Kids Craft Day"

Saturday, March 21, 2009 11 AM – 1:00 PM

Collinsville Branch of the Blue Ridge Regional Library

Celebrate The Big Read at the Collinsville Library. What did children do for fun in the 1930s? Come and see! Dress like Jem or Scout from "To Kill a Mockingbird" and you could win a prize! Call 276-647-1112 for more information. 

This event is admission free.


Mockingbird Jeopardy

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 4:00 PM

Patrick Henry Community College Walker Fine Arts Center

Students from high schools in Martinsville and Henry County test their knowledge of Harper Lee's classic novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird". The event will be televised and replayed on the PHCC television show. Cash prize for winner.

This event is admission free.



Gallery Talk with David Spear

Thursday, March 26, 2009, 6:30 PM

Lynwood Artists Gallery, Piedmont Arts

David M. Spears' photographic documentary, The Neugents: Close to Home, is a powerful statement about the economically marginal lives of a family who lives on Tobacco Road not 30 miles from Martinsville. His photographs will be featured in the Piedmont Arts gallery March 6 through April 18. His gallery talk will compare the lives of the Neugents with those of the Ewells in To Kill a Mockingbird   Please RSVP to 276.632.3221.    

This event is admission free.



To Kill a Mockingbird On Stage!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 7:30 PM

Martinsville High School Auditorium

Montana Repertory Theatre, one of the most outstanding touring companies today, will present the stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s classic tale of dignity, tolerance, and unequal justice in a small 1950’s town. The content and language in this performance is inappropriate for children under 14. 

Students $10 • Seniors $15 • Adults $18 • Reserved $28




“To Kill a Mockingbird” Book Discussions with Betty Jo Fulcher

     No admission charge. Call 276-956-1828 for more information.

    Location: Collinsville Public Library, Collinsville, Virginia 24078
    No admission charge. Call 276-1112 for more information.

    Location: Spencer-Penn Center, Spencer, Virginia 24165
    No admission charge. Call 276-957-5757 for more information.

    Location: Patrick County Public Library, Stuart, Virginia 24171
    No admission charge. Call 276-694-3352 for more information.

    No admission charge. Call 276-629-2426 for more information.



The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest and is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. Support for The Big Read is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. For more information about this program, please visit the


About Piedmont Arts

Piedmont Arts is nonprofit art museum and educational outreach center in Martinsville, Virginia. Piedmont Arts remains admission free through the membership support of people like you!


Hours:   Tuesday - Friday 10 am - 5 pm; Saturday 10 am - 3 pm



We believe that art enhances the quality of life. Therefore, the mission of Piedmont Arts is to provide experiences in the visual and performing arts to enrich and enlighten the lives of the people of Martinsville, Henry County and neighboring areas. Piedmont Arts strives to cultivate an appreciation for the arts both in our physical facility and in the community through exhibits, live performances, and educational programs for children and adults. Additionally, Piedmont Arts invites participation in the arts with display, marketing and performance opportunities available for artists and craftsmen. Through all of our activities, we strive to bring the arts close to home.