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Arts & Entertainment

Producer, songwriter and rapper Juicy J will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, at Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Regional Activity Center.

A founding member of Three 6 Mafia and later a coowner with Wiz Khalifa of Taylor Gang Records, Jordan Michael Houston, also known as Juicy J, has never considered himself a rapper, but a producer instead. His career has led him to collaborate with Timbaland, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd and Nicki Minaj.

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Professional craft artists in Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary have a $3,000 incentive to create or update their business plans.

Over the next three months, Southwestern Community College’s Small Business Center will host a series of eight free seminars designed to address needs of and challenges faced by craft artists who own – or aspire to own – a business.

At the conclusion of the series, participants will have the tools they need to develop their own creative business plans that they can enter in the competition for their respective counties. The winner will receive a $3,000 prize, and his/her art will be featured in three exhibitions – one in each county. The winner of the $3,000 grand prize will be announced the week of May 25.

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The Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Western Carolina University will present a Romantic languages poetry reading at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, in Illusions on the second floor of A.K. Hinds University Center.

WCU students, faculty and staff and local residents are invited to attend to share a poem in a Romantic language or listen to others read poems. The five most widely spoken Romantic languages are often considered to be Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian.

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The 2014-15 First Thursday Old-Time and Bluegrass Concert and Jam Series at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center will continue Thursday, Feb. 5, with a concert featuring the Darren Nicholson Band.

The group’s 7 p.m. performance of classic country and bluegrass tunes will be followed by an 8 p.m. jam session in which local musicians are invited to participate.

Tuckasegee native Darren Nicholson provides vocals and performs on mandolin for the band that carries his name. A founding member of the nationally acclaimed bluegrass ensemble Balsam Range, Nicholson was recently presented a “key to the city” in Canton in recognition of his musical and civic contributions. Other members of the Darren Nicholson Band performing for the Feb. 5 concert will be three-time Grammy Award nominee Steve Sutton on banjo, Kevin Sluder on acoustic bass and vocals, and Griff Martin on guitar and vocals.

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