The Danville-Pittsylvania group will hold a session on the future of the region; After . . .

Here’s a roundup of brief news from Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to [email protected].

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The Danville-Pittsylvania Group will hold a planning session for its future growth

The Regional Prosperity Partnership, an organization focused on preparing for future growth in Danville and Pittsylvania County, will hold The big sort December 5 at 5:00 p.m. at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

The free event is a tabletop exercise in which participants will assess regional and national trends based on their local impact, certainty, and community preparedness. Participants will prioritize the trends of the Regional Prosperity Partnership as it continues to engage the community in a forward-looking mindset and collaborative strategy that will prepare citizens, businesses and government for the change that comes with growth.

The event follows a November 14 presentation by futurist Rebecca Ryan, who encouraged attendees to think like futurists and harness the momentum to create the best future for the region. The Big Sort will examine STEEP trends in society, technology, economics, education and politics.

There is no charge for The Big Sort but attendance is limited to 80 and online registration is required at

Additional Big Sort sessions will take place across the region in early 2023.

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Roanoke blacksmith takes the honor

Jed Curtis. Courtesy of Curtis.

Garden and Gun and its partner Explore Asheville announced the winners of the magazine’s thirteenth annual Made in the South Awards, celebrating products made in the South in six categories: Home, Food, Beverage, Craft, Style and Outdoors.

Heart & Spade Forge, based in Roanoke, received the honor of first place in the Home category for its carbon steel cookware.

“Being recognized by your peers on the national stage is amazing,” said founder and blacksmith Jed Curtis. “My life’s obsession is metal. Each piece requires approximately 16 hours of manual labor, plus 25 years of experience at the anvil, to create. It’s a privilege to forge heirlooms for families, placing Heart & Spade – and Roanoke – at the center of their traditions.

Curtis bought his first anvil when he was just 5 years old, built his first shop at 15, and met his mentor, New York blacksmith Mitch Fitzgibbons, soon after. After earning his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Roanoke College, Curtis opened his shop in 2016. Since then, his carbon steel cookware has found its way into kitchens and restaurants around the world. Heart & Spade has been featured nationally in publications such as Taste of the South, The local palace and Okra. Curtis has also collaborated with professional chefs to perfect his cookware.

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The Mongtomery museum to mix art and psychology

The Montgomery Museum of Art and History is trying something brand new – offering self-help mental health tactics and strategies using art exhibits, materials and spaces as helpful tools . This four-part interactive series called “The Art of Happiness” will focus on aspects of positive psychology and the role art can play in our overall happiness and well-being. This series of programs will take place at the Montgomery Museum on the third Thursday of each month, December through March, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The museum will remain open late on these dates to allow attendees to view all of the museum’s exhibits and spaces. As the number of places is limited, early registration is encouraged.

“The goal of this new series of programs is to highlight and raise awareness of mental health and accessibility issues while simultaneously offering unique methods and strategies for dealing with things like stress, anxiety and depression,” said Casey Jenkins, executive director of the Montgomery Museum. in a report.

Sessions will be led by Shelby Wynn, a licensed art therapist and licensed professional counselor in the Carilion Clinic’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. The first session on December 15 will explore the ability to face the words; an understanding of thoughts and emotions. The second session on January 19 will feature visual music by abstract design. The third session on February 16 will facilitate mindfulness and meditation by carving. The final session on March 16 will focus on Zentangle and the ability to practice mindfulness when other coping skills are inaccessible.

“I’m so excited to partner with the Montgomery Museum for the next few months. Art is such an integral part of mental health – whether it’s fine art, movement, or music – and it’s inspiring that an organization like the museum finds it important to bridge the gap in mental health awareness,” Wynn said. “I’m honored to be a part of something so innovative.”

All materials will be provided by the museum and no artistic experience is required. This is not an outpatient group therapy session, but rather a free self-help community building experience. For more information on this series of programs and to register, please visit

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