Thursday, September 28, 2006

Clayton Selected as Main Street Community

Gov. Mike Easley announced today (October 5) that four North Carolina towns have been selected to participate in the North Carolina Main Street Program, an initiative for smaller cities that focuses on creating new jobs and investment by helping revitalize downtown areas. The new participating cities are Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Hickory and Wake Forest.

“The Main Street program has a proven track record of achievement in revitalizing downtowns across North Carolina,” Easley said. “Encouraging new business investment and job creation, as well as supporting the continued growth of our downtown areas in our smaller cities, is vital for their success.”

Clayton’s Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen, said, “We had been hopeful (about being selected), but there were seven other communities in the application mix for four slots. When we received the call late Monday afternoon, we were very pleased, and are looking forward to being part of the Main Street community.” He said the application was a "team process" which included representatives from the DDA board, town staff, Johnston County Tourism, Johnston County Arts Council and letters of support from a number of businesses, Chamber of Commerce, Johnston County Commissioners and Johnston Community College. Naegelen said he was also appreciative of the support given by the state legislative delegation, State Senator Fred Smith, and State Representatives Leo Daughtry and James Langdon.

He added that, "Just like the application process, revitalization is a team effort. It's taken a team to get this far along in the process and it's going to take the community team to continue the process." He added, "The Main Street designation will certainly help us achieve and continue our goals for the revitalization of downtown Clayton."

The N.C. Main Street Program, which provides technical assistance to its designated communities, is part of the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Assistance. New communities are selected through a competitive application process. Main Street participation is open to any community with a certified population of less than 50,000. Eligible communities must commit to hiring a full time downtown manager and funding the program for an initial three-year period. Towns under 5,000 may hire a part time manager.

As Main Street communities, these towns have access to support services designed to help revitalize and stimulate growth in their downtown areas. Some of the support services available include technical assistance in the areas of organization, design, promotions and economic restructuring. Other services include guidance, training and networking.

Clayton’s Downtown Development Coordinator will manage the Town’s Main Street Program. “The training and technical assistance we will receive will greatly benefit the revitalization efforts of Downtown Clayton,” said Naegelen.

The Main Street program was developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980. Since 1980, North Carolina Main Street communities have seen more than $1 billion invested, experienced a net gain of 11,500 jobs, renovated more than 2,700 buildings, and had more than 2,800 new business startups in their downtowns.

With the addition of these four towns, there are a total of 57 Main Street communities in North Carolina. Other North Carolina Main Street communities include: Albemarle, Belmont, Boone, Brevard, Burlington, Clinton, Concord, Eden, Edenton, Elizabeth City, Elkin, Farmville, Forest City, Goldsboro, Henderson, Hendersonville, Hertford, Kinston, Lenoir, Lexington, Lincolnton, Lumberton, Marion, Mocksville, Monroe, Mooresville, Morehead City, Morganton, New Bern, Newton, North Wilkesboro, Oxford, Reidsville, Rocky Mount, Roxboro, Rutherfordton, Salisbury, Sanford, Shelby, Smithfield, Southport, Sparta, Spruce Pine, Statesville, Sylva, Tarboro, Wadesboro, Waynesville, and Wilson.

Along with these four new Main Street Communities, the Department has also selected the newest participants in the Small Town Main Street Program. The new participants are the towns of Ayden, Fairmont, and Mount Gilead. These towns will join the other seven small town main street participants. This program follows the same principals of the Main Street Program but is designed for communities with a population of 7,500 or less with no downtown manager. The other Small Town Main Street participants are the towns of: Chadbourn, Mount Olive, Spring Hope, Weldon, Williamston and Zebulon.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Internationally Known Artist to Exhibit at The Clayton Center in October

Clayton Visual Arts presents “Roots and Branches: Paintings by Luke Allsbrook”
Luke Allsbrook of Waynesville, who painted scenes for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on the royal tour of the United States last fall, will show a group of his paintings at The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St., Clayton, during the month of October. “Roots and Branches: Paintings by Luke Allsbrook” will open Friday, Oct. 6, with a reception for the public and invited guests to meet the artist from 6-8 p.m. in the lobby of The Clayton Center. The exhibit will continue through Oct. 30. Exhibit hours are Monday-Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sponsored by Clayton Visual Arts, a private, non-profit group, the exhibit will feature a large, 21-inch by 63-inch oil on panel entitled “Elegy to My Grandfather.” Allsbrook’s grandfather lived in Clayton and was superintendent of the N.C. State University Research Farm on U.S. 70 for many years, and the artist visited Clayton frequently and painted scenes in the area.

Allsbrook, who lived in New York City for nine years establishing his career, moved his family to Waynesville in 2004 to join his father, William, a Georgia physician, who retired there. The artist accompanied Prince Charles and the Duchess of Windsor on a five-day tour of western states last fall, painting quick sketches of various tour stops. The Prince purchased all of the sketches and selected one for a large painting, donated by the artist. Another of Allsbrook’s paintings, done in Normandy, is in the Prince’s collection.

Clayton Visual Arts schedules free monthly art exhibits for The Clayton Center. For more information, call 919-550-4991.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

N.C. Arts Council Awards $3,000.00 Grant to Town of Clayton

The Town of Clayton has been awarded $3,000.00 from the North Carolina Arts Council for the Community Vision for Public Art Project. The funds will be used to engage a public art consultant to help conduct a visioning process and create a planning document to be used in developing future public art projects. It is envisioned that this project will act as a springboard for a broad-scale public art master plan for the Town of Clayton. It will also strengthen community understanding of public art. The Public Art Planning Committee will begin working in October with Laura Coats, a public art consultant from Morrisville, North Carolina. A public visioning forum will be scheduled in early winter and the project will conclude by March, 2007.

The Public Art Planning Committee includes: Local artists Cheryl McCardle, Kelly Sari and Walter Day; Jessica Meadows, Executive Director of the Johnston County Arts Council; Lyn Austin, President, Clayton Cultural Arts Foundation; Mayor Jody McLeod; Joyce Blackley, President of the Downtown Development Association; Heidi Stump, Executive Director, The Clayton Center; Scott Carpenter, Planner for the Town of Clayton; and Bruce Naegelen, Downtown Development Coordinator, who is the project and grant administrator.

The Town Council has expressed, as a goal for FY2006/07, to determine a direction for a public arts policy and program development. “This project will go a long way toward realizing that goal,” according to Mr. Naegelen. He added that, “We’re grateful for the continued support of the North Carolina Arts Council and the N.C. General Assembly in our community and for this project in particular.”

For more information on the Community Vision for Public Art Project, contact Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545 or

The North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, awards grant money each year to provide diverse arts experiences for citizens in all 100 counties of North Carolina. To be eligible for Arts Council funds, organizations must produce programs of artistic merit that encourage community involvement. Grants require that matching funds be raised by the applicant organization.

For more information about North Carolina Arts Council programs, visit or contact Communications Manager Jessica Orr at (919) 807-6520, or

CREATIVE MARKETING FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS Launches Clayton Downtown Development Workshop Series on October 10

Does your marketing plan need some life breathed into it? Do you want to reach your customers in innovative, cost-effective ways? Would you like to actually enjoy marketing your business? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you need to attend the Creative Marketing for Your Small Business workshop with Barnsley Brown (pictured on left) on Tuesday, October 10 from 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm in the Four Oaks Room at the Clayton Center in downtown Clayton. Cost is $7.00 per person and pre-registration is encouraged.

“We want to bring relevant training to our small, independent businesses in downtown and Barnsley fits the bill,” said Samantha Muncy, DDA’s Economic Restructuring Committee Chair. She added that, “This workshop will be a great tool for all types of businesses, retail and professional services… there's something for everyone.” The Clayton Downtown Development Association is sponsoring the workshop in conjunction with Johnston Community College’s Small Business Center.

Barnsley Brown holds a BA from Wake Forest University (Magna Cum Laude), an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Brown has taught at Wake Forest University, Duke University, and UNC-Chapel Hill, and brings over fifteen years of teaching excellence to her work with individuals and groups.

To register for this workshop, contact Bruce Naegelen, Downtown Development Coordinator at 553-1545 or

Monday, September 11, 2006

Downtown Clayton Calendar of Events

Remember, it is always best to call the venue or contact number for the latest updates!

Wednesday, September 13-17
MAIN STREET, Downtown Clayton: HARVEST FESTIVAL, sponsored by the Clayton Area Chamber of Commerce. 553-6352

Thursday, September 14
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: singer-songwriter Brenda Linton 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Friday, September 15
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Mister Mustard (acoustic-rock) 9:00 pm – 12:00 am

Saturday, September 16
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Singer-songwriter Tracy Comer 9:00 pm – 12:00 am

Wednesday, September 20
THE PINK TEACUP 335 E Main Street 550-9600: Tea Tasting Event 6:00 pm-8:00 pm

Thursday, September 21
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Singer-songwriter, Doug Kwartler 7:00 pm - 9:00

Friday, September 22
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: The Coty Rivers Band (acoustic-rock) 9:00 pm – Midnight

Saturday, September 23
CLAYTON CENTER LOBBY: Vinyl Records Show & Expo 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Admission is $3.00 ($2 with coupon) for more information

THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Nobody’s Bizness (jazz/pop) 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Thursday, September 28
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Karaoke w/ DJ Ray (Elvis Theme) 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Friday, September 29
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: DJ Dance Party 9:00 pm – Midnight

Saturday, September 30
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: The Big Tippers (rock/blues) 9:00 pm – Midnight

Friday, September 08, 2006

Coconut Groove Band Concert in the Square A Success

The second concert of the “Concert in the Square Series” was much brighter than the first, according to Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen. “We were hoping for dry weather and received that and sunshine!” He said that approximately 500 people enjoyed the upbeat music of the Coconut Groove Band” between 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm on Thursday, August 24. Speaking for the Downtown Development Association, Naegelen said that, “We were once again pleased with the number of people and the varying age groups the concert attracted.” There were many young children and a number of folks in their 80’s, although the average age was probably around 45 years old. That may have had something to do with the music, which was a mixture of rock and popular music from the 1970’s and early 1980’s.

Naegelen said he is impressed with the work the town staff has put into making the Town Square attractive and functional for citizens to use the space for events and activities. “The flowers that were planted and the new Bermuda grass that was sprigged earlier this summer have made the Town Square an attractive and usable public space.” He added that Property Maintenance Supervisor Craig Wood and other Operations Center staff deserve a great deal of credit for helping make the concerts a success. “Without their assistance and ‘beyond the call of duty’ efforts, it would have been a struggle!”

Another concert has been tentatively scheduled for mid October, but with the weather and time changing, Naegelen said the format and day may be revised, “We may do a weekend afternoon concert – or maybe a couple of smaller, lunchtime concerts.” He said the Downtown Develop Association’s Promotion Committee is welcoming all suggestions and can contact him by email at or by phone at 553-1545.