Arida Arts Symposium 2023

Friday, September 29, 2023

Thomas Auditorium and Gallery

featuring Ronnie Pepper, local storyteller and historian

portrait of Ronnie Pepper, smiling, outside, sitting on stepsThe Artist

Ronnie Pepper – a local storyteller, historian, and performer – is a native of Henderson County known for his work in area schools, churches, venues, and community groups. He is the president of Henderson County’s Black History Research Committee that records and documents history and accomplishments of the Black community.

Pepper is active throughout the community, serving through the Marable Mentoring Program to mentor middle school youth. He also serves on the Hendersonville Housing Authority Board, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee, the Henderson County Walk of Fame Committee, and the 7th Ave Community Garden Committee. He is also a member and adult Sunday school teacher at the Contemporary Missionary Baptist Church.

Ronnie Pepper is a US Army veteran, and a current employee of the Henderson County Library. He has two children with his wife, Roxanna, of 42 years, as well as four grandchildren. Pepper holds associate degrees from Blue Ridge Community college, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, and Haywood Community College.


Schedule of Events – September 29, 2023

Morning Workshop
10 to 12 p.m.
Workshop including Henderson County Black History

Bitter Sweet Expressions:
Growing up as a Minority in Henderson County.

Hear stories and experiences from education to recreation that inspired our local Black communities during the Jim Crow era.

This will be an interactive, informative and eye opening workshop interspersed with Ronnie Pepper’s humor and master storytelling.

6:30 to 7 p.m.
Reception with light hors d’oeuvres

Evening Presentation
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Presentation including a monologue and poetry

For more information please call (828) 694-1779.

Arida Arts Reservation Form

Please complete the form below to hold a seat for the 28th annual Arida Arts Symposium at Blue Ridge Community College, featuring local storyteller and Black historian Ronnie Pepper. All events will take place in the Bo Thomas Auditorium in the Sink building, Flat Rock campus.

View / Fill Out Form to hold seat for Arida Arts Symposium

Free Admission: a
ll events are funded by the Gamil T. Arida Endowment Fund through Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation and are free to the public.

About the Arida Arts Symposium

The Arida Arts Symposium was established in 1993 to honor North Carolina artists and their contributions to the arts. This annual event is funded by the Gamil T. Arida Endowment Fund in the Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation.

Arida Arts Symposium Featured Artists
1993 Robert Morgan, writer
1994 Michael Sherrill, clay artist
1995 Sarah Johnson, violinist
1996 Jeremiah Miller, painter
1997 Georgia Bonesteel, quilter
1998 Stoney Lamar, wood turner
1999 Donald Davis, storyteller
2000 Scott Treadway, actor
2001 Daniel Miller, metalsmith
2002 Celebrating Ten Years
2003 Louise Bailey, local historian and writer
2004 Ann Dunn, choreographer and poet
2005 The Voorhees Family
2006 Paul Bonesteel, filmmaker
2007 Daniel Millspaugh, metal sculptor
2008 Steven Walter, guitar builder and performer
2009 Chaffe McIlhenny and Bonnie Hamilton, glass artists
2010 Glenis Redmond, performance poet
2011 Richard Bernabe, photographer
2012 Kevin Ayesh, pianist
2013 Marilyn Bailey, jewelry maker
2014 Bernie Rowell, fiber artist
2015 Lisa Bryant, actress and producer
2016 Pat Shepherd, dancer, choreographer, and teacher
2017 Free Planet Radio, world music band
2018 Ann Vasilik, watercolor painter
2019 Joel Hunnicutt, unique vessel wood turner

(828) 694-1735