Children’s Museum without walls working towards permanent home
Everyone’s worried about our children’s mindless obsession with screens, but no one knows what to do about it.
Karen Orlando has one idea: Give them an alternative that incorporates visual experience, play, adventure, and the possibility of learning (in real time) from other members of their own community. That’s her plan for the Blue Ridge Children’s Museum, a movement that’s gaining momentum daily, thanks to Orlando’s well-thought-out plan for growth and her careful focus on community connections.
Orlando, an veteran educator, has identified three phases of growth. “Right now, we’re in Phase 1,” she said. She’s teaming up with Waynesboro and Staunton businesses to bring the children right to the folks who know how to do the things that fascinate children.
For instance, instead of providing a roomful of imitation building tools, in early March she met the kids at “Nail’d It,” a Waynesboro workshop that provides tools and guidance for do-it-yourselfers. Other businesses selected for “Museum Mondays” included cooking at Blue Oregano, pottery at Waynesboro Clay, yoga at Birdseed and beekeeping with Valley Bee Supply. In addition to businesses, she’s pursuing partnerships with civic and non-profit agencies, like libraries, schools, museums and galleries.
This is a slightly different model from most children’s museums, Orlando acknowledges, but “It makes sense to me,” she said. She plans to keep the participation of local businesses a part of the plan, even after the museum finds a permanent home.
Phase 2 will be a small space for a smaller model of what the museum could be, Orlando said, and phase 3 is a larger space, suitable for a variety of activities. She has her eye on a couple of Waynesboro buildings, but would like to keep the museum downtown, where the museum could both take advantage of pedestrian notice and attract families to other downtown businesses.
Obviously, all of the phases rely on the fundraising campaign now underway. For information on programs, news or volunteer opportunities, go to blueridgechildrensmuseum.org.
New food director, more local products at Batesville Market
Rebecca Overbey has joined the Batesville Market team as food director. Overbey is also Chef de partie at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. Before that, she was chef and prepared foods manager at Foods of All Nations, and had similar roles at Breadworks and Whole Foods. Overbey is at the market Fridays and Saturdays, using locally sourced ingredients in her lunch and dinner menus. She replaces Scott Link, whose “Rocket Coffee” will open later this month in Crozet.
The market is also where you’ll find Marissa Minnerly’s “Cutie Pies,” and an assortment of homemade soups by Joanna Hughes, adding to the market’s repertoire of fresh, local, organic and fair trade offerings. The market offers live music on Saturday nights and invites locals to gather for happy hour every Friday.
Top honors for King Vineyards
In February, King Family Vineyards in Crozet was awarded the 2018 Governor’s Cup for the vineyard’s 2014 Meritage. This year’s honor was the third top award for the Crozet winery, which has also won many gold, silver and bronze awards.
The 2014 Meritage is 100 percent Monticello American Viticultural Area fruit, with 91 percent grown on the Crozet estate. The wine was aged 18 months in French oak barrels.
In addition to the top award, the judges picked 11 other wines to make up what’s called the “Governor’s Case.” The 2015 Petit Verdot from Veritas was included in the case.
“The ’14 has a limited availability at the winery, as it is one of our ‘library wines,’ said King Family winemaker Matthieu Finot. “The ’15 is our current vintage.” Finot said the Meritage is the winery’s flagship wine. “We’ve been very consistent over the years to produce an ultra-premium wine, and the ’14 is in line with our past (and I hope future) vintage release.” The Governor’s Cup, considered the most prestigious state wine competition, was awarded to King Family for its 2007 vintage Meritage, and each vintage since then has won either a silver, gold or bronze medal.
Studio 453 Opens at Crozet Arts
Studio 453 has opened in CrozetArts on Crozet Avenue behind the Field School, and will now specialize in stained glass instruction and repair and glass musical instruments.
Jerry O’Dell, the owner of Blue Ridge Beads & Glass for 17 years, is now concentrating on teaching rather than retail sales, and will offer a wide variety of beading classes as well as beading birthday parties. Free glass cutting demonstrations for parents with children are available by calling 434-205-4923, or visit www.crozetbeads.com or www.crozetarts.com.
O’Dell, a former teacher, said the studio is named for a private joke between he and his wife Suzie. He emphasized that there will be no retail sales from the CrozetArts space. “The demand for beading parties has been great,” he said. Also on display at the studio are O’Dell’s whimsical mosaic paintings, stained glass and one-of-a-kind glass musical instruments.
Kline’s Celebrates 75 Years
Kline’s Ice Cream celebrated its 75th year with a 75-Cent Cone Day event March 20 at the store’s locations in Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro.
Founded in 1943, the first Kline’s Frozen Custard shop was located on the first floor of John Kline’s house in downtown Harrisonburg, with customers served through a walk-up window.
“This is an opportunity for us to connect with our customers and hear about their favorite memories of Kline’s from over the years,” said Kim Arehart, owner of the Kline’s locations in Staunton and Waynesboro.
Arehart started working at the original Kline’s location in Harrisonburg as a teenager before opening the store in Staunton in 1997 and the Waynesboro store in 2008.
Arehart said the store has been engaging customers to share their old memories, and has heard from many, both locally and across the country. “The overwhelming response from customers has been very rewarding and heartwarming,” she said.
New Spirits in Roseland
In the same hills that thirsty mountaineers once hid their stills from revenuers, beer brewer Devils Backbone (which became aligned with a brand of Anheuser-Busch in 2016) is now distilling Mountain Cane Silver Rum. It’s the first distilled spirit from the operation, which has spread out into a compound that includes the brew pub, outdoor seating, a coffee shop and a stage as well as a couple of distilleries and a lounge.
The rum is the creation of brewer Matt Casto, who studied his art in Germany before finding work in Roseland as the brewer for Devils Backbone five years ago. Casto characterized the rum as unaged, with a bold molasses flavor. It’s a 30 proof spirit that will soon be joined by Nelly’s Apple Brandy, Virginia Pine Gin and a beer schnapps. The distillery will be open to serve the public on Thursday, April 12.
Scott Link said Rocket Coffee at the old Gateway site will open sometime mid-month; Raphael Strumlauf said the deli at the Crozet Market will also open soon. Braised is no longer dispensing food at Pro Re Nata, but taking catering clients through Facebook. Cutie Pies is not selling from its home base in Crozet, but pies can be found at the Batesville Market and at the Nelson County Farmer’s market. Crozet Coffee is contemplating its grand opening soon. Crozet Creamery celebrated its first birthday in March, along with many of the other businesses at Piedmont Place. Restoration, with revised menu and staff, is now open daily, with bar food and daily specials.