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Johnston County Creates: 50 Years of Creativity

Johnston County Creates: 50 Years of Creativity

By Evelyn Wool (Author), Donna Bailey-Taylor (Foreword), K. Todd Johnson (Foreword), Cindy Brookshire (Contributor), Leslie Waugh (Contributor), Nancy Pitkin (Contributor), Rose Cushing (Contributor), Wanda Robinson-Lee PhD (Contributor)Publisher: Johnston County Arts CouncilISBN: 979-8987961506Genre: memoir, anthology, the artsPrice: $65 hardcover

Johnston County Arts Council has been the heart and soul of the local arts community for the past 50 years, inspiring and nurturing creative talent in the region. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the arts council is proud to announce the release of the premium-color coffee table book, Johnston County Creates. Featuring some of the most inspiring and celebrated artists in the area, this book is a tribute to the artistic excellence that has thrived in Johnston County over the years.

Johnston County writers spotlighted in the book include current NCWN members Teresa McLamb Blackmon, Cindy Brookshire, Barbara Crowley, Rose Cushing, Dot La Motta, Karen Lauritzen, and Gary Ridout, as well as NC Literary Hall of Fame inductees, the eighth NC poet laureate Shelby Stephenson and the late Margaret Maron. The book is also a nominee for the 2023 Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction.

Join us at the Selma Civic Center on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm to celebrate the launch of Johnston County Creates! The Spotlight Artist Meet-N-Greet celebration will be an evening filled with excitement and inspiration as you meet and interact with some of the most talented artists featured in the book. From painters, sculptors, musicians, and writers, to photographers, designers, and performers, you will get a chance to witness the diversity and richness of artistic talent that Johnston County has to offer. This is a free event sponsored by Activate Selma.

Be part of the celebration of 50 years of artistic excellence in Johnston County. Join us at the Selma Civic Center and witness the magic that unfolds when artists come together to create something truly extraordinary!

Book sale proceeds support arts programs and artists in Johnston County.

Evelyn Wool is the author and illustrator of Stories from The Wool Family Farm, a series of humorous short stories and children’s books about the animals on her farm. Evelyn moved from suburban Connecticut to rural North Carolina with her husband, Robert, where the couple started their farm from scratch, learning how to round up cows, outsmart goats, chase chickens, and occasionally save pigs from drowning––and much more––as they went along.

Winner of Johnston Now Magazine's 2022 Excellence in Arts award, Evelyn's short stories, "Good Neighbors Build Strong Bridges" and "You Look Like a Farmer" are published in Volume 1 of the Johnston County Literary and Historical Journal and Volume 10 on County Lines––A Literary Journal, respectively.

The former industrial engineer and data analyst was a farmer at heart long before she had her own farm animals. Evelyn remembers numerous childhood vacations on a real working farm, riding horses, watching dairy cows march into the barn for milking, and slurping juicy peaches right off the tree. Nowadays, Evelyn can often be found sitting on a bale of hay with a goat kid in her lap or zooming around the farm with her granddaughter.

Evelyn serves on the executive boards of the Johnston County Arts Council, the Johnston County Goat Producers Association, and Triangle East Writers. She is also an active member of the North Carolina Dairy Goat Breeders Association.


Beautifully written and illustrated. I love the history of Johnston County NC presented through various forms of art in the pages of this book. This is definitely a keepsake I will pass down to my children.

Rosalyn Hansen, Remembered in Stitches

Johnston County Creates is an attractive, engaging, comprehensive, and delightful book featuring painters, dancers, potters, musicians, chefs, educators, and writers produced by a very talented group in Johnston County, North Carolina.

Donna Bailey-Taylor, president and CEO, Johnston County Visitor’s Bureau.

Johnston County has grown and changed from a largely rural population of 65,000 in the early 1970s to an urban community with an estimated population of 230,000 today. We are building on a marvelous foundation. As one can see in the pages of this book, the future of the arts in Johnston County looks bright.

K. Todd Johnson, executive director, Johnston County Heritage Center