South Laurel: Prints and performance art highlight new exhibits at Montpelier Arts Center

We have certainly had a spell of mild weather lately, but because it is, of course, winter, many of the activities available in the Montpelier/South Laurel area are indoors. At the Montpelier Arts Center, several wonderful exhibits are up during the month, and are free of charge. From Feb. 3 to 29 printmaker Lou Stovall will be showing a collection of his own work as well as collaborations with Sam Gilliam, Peter Blume and Lois Jones. Performance artist Natalia Panfile's Food for Thought, an exhibit of videos of past performances, is on view from Feb. 3 to March 30. Printmaker Sahomi Naka shows her experimental work from Feb. 3 to March 28.

Also on tap at Montpelier Arts Center is the latest in the dinner and a movie series, Ella Fitzgerald Live in Concert, on Feb. 18. This film presents the great Ella at her best in the 1969 Montreux concert. American cuisine will be on the menu starting at 6 p.m., with the film showing at 7.p.m. Reservations are required. Fee for both dinner and movie is $25, $10 for the film alone. Call 301-377-7800.

For the younger set, Snow Hill Manor just off Route 197 will be the scene for Kinder Crafts and Story on Mondays in February, from 1 to 2 p.m. Children ages 3 to 6 will make a craft, listen to a story, play games, dance and sing. Registration is through Smartlink. Call 301-725-6037 for details.

And, since spring is not far away, those interested in registering for spring soccer can do so by going to

In addition to being attentive to all of the opportunities and events in our Montpelier/South Laurel community, it is important for us to take notice that February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United State. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that about every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event. About once a minute one of us will die from one. Heart attacks are perhaps the best-known type of coronary events. Other conditions, which can affect your heart and health risks, include arrhythmia, heart failure and peripheral artery disease (PAD). A person's age is not always a determining factor. Lately, much attention is being given to seemingly healthy young athletes who experience sudden cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) and can often be saved only by immediate application of CPR, and/or use of an external defibrillator. Heredity plays a role in many of these conditions, but lifestyle is also very important. Although heart disease is often thought of as a "man's disease" nearly 50 percent of heart disease deaths occur in women.

To call attention to this population, the American Heart Association sponsors "Go Red for Women," and asks us all to wear red on Friday, Feb. 3 to support this movement. For more information on heart disease and prevention options., go to the CDC website And remember to wear your red, and take care of your heart.

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