Palustris Surprises Irish Delegation
Palustris Festival 2011
Here are several videos from various events at Palustris Festival 2011.
Palustris Festival: Day One
The second annual Palustris Festival opened March 24 to visitors and Moore County residents alike, offering a wide variety of performances, lectures, tours and art events for everyone to explore around the area.
Palustris Festival: Day Two
Palustris Festival: Day Three
Irish eyes were smiling Monday, when a contingent from Southern Pines’ sister city, Newry and Mourne, completed five days of business, golf and Palustris.
“Something good will come of this,” said Michael Carr, a Newry town councilman and former mayor.
“We spent a month here last week,” added Jack Murphy, a jeweler and golf enthusiast, who was impressed by their packed itinerary.
Tracey Kearnn, Newry’s tourism/arts/culture ambassador, was surprised by the artistic diversity at Palustris — much more so than at Maidens of the Mourne, a longstanding community festival.
Frances Caherty, an administrator at a regional college similar to Sandhills Community College, called Palustris events “superb … unique … out of this world.” She was particularly impressed by Bleeding Pines of Turpentine, Writers in the Garden, Molly O’Brien (at Poplar Knight Spot) — even Dugan’s Pub, where the group unwound until the wee hours.
As a result, Caherty is making arrangements for Bleeding Pines to perform at a festival in Northern Ireland, where local bagpipers will join the group.
“Their singing is so powerful,” Caherty said.
Pottery also scored high.
“A potter is an artist here, not just a potter,” she said. “You are much more appreciative of the arts. We see it as a sideline.”
Soon after their arrival, Carr told Southern Pines Mayor Mike Haney and a group of local businesspeople that the trip was about establishing a face-to-face relationship and exploring further linkages in commerce, tourism and the arts.
“There’s been a courtship, a marriage and now we have to learn to get along,” Murphy added.
Haney responded, “These are special times for our communities. We’ll try to put economic legs under these ideas, and try to enter into commerce.”
Sister Cities International is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network with more than 2,000 match-ups. The local connection began in 2006, when Denise Baker, professor of visual arts at SCC, participated in an exchange program.
Newry council members visited Southern Pines and an agreement was reached in 2009. In 2010, a Southern Pines delegation, headed by Baker, attended the Maidens of the Mourne Festival, where SCC arts student Liz Schilling was crowned Maiden of the Mourne in a personality competition open to young women of all nationalities.
Baker arranged the recent trip to coincide with Palustris, selected the venues and acted as tour guide.
“Denise is a dynamo,” Murphy said.
After Palustris, golf factored heavily in the men’s itinerary. They played three “business” rounds — one on Pinehurst No. 2, in weather ranging from midsummer to crisp autumn to chilly rain.
Murphy was surprised at the number of excellent quality courses (besides No. 2) the region offers. He and Carr are negotiating promotions to bring Irish golfers here and send Sandhills golfers to Newry, a golf mecca midway between Belfast and Dublin, where summer afternoons average 72 degrees. Demographics are similar, Murphy said — although steaks at the elegant new Southern Prime Steakhouse have a leg up.
The exhausted-but-happy quartet flew back across the pond Monday, laden with pottery and jewelry from Palustris, golf books by Jim Dodson, Pinehurst Resort jackets and fresh ideas for exploring commonalities.
“We’ll be back, for sure,” Carr said — hopefully with putters, painters, potters and lots of greenbacks.
Contact Deborah Salomon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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