Get Ready for First Friday Events

As if Fridays weren’t wonderful enough, Rocky Mount is bringing even more enjoyment to help kick off your weekend with a series of First Friday events. 

Whether you want to try your hand at the No Shame open mic night or you hope to catch a performance by our outstanding community theater team, you don’t want to miss out on what’s happening at the Imperial Centre! We’ve highlighted some of the upcoming events in Rocky Mount that are sure to make you smile.

Upcoming First Friday Events

February 7, 2020

Do you have a special talent? Perhaps you sing or you want to try your hand at stand-up comedy…maybe even throw in a magic trick or two. If you’re ready to take the spotlight, check out the No Shame Open Mic Night.

Here are the rules:

  • The work performed must be original.
  • It must be less than 5 minutes long.
  • It must be legal and not break any laws.

It’s a free event that is appropriate for all ages. In fact, children have even performed.

Most important, No Shame is a place where you can be yourself without worrying about the fear of failure. It’s a perfect venue for your ideas and inspirations to be shared with an audience. It creates not only a spirit of community but also an air of cooperation. It’s not a membership to join, it’s not a competition. 

It’s just a beautiful piece of artistic joy that everyone in the audience can applaud and appreciate. 

In February, there will also be the Back Light project display in the art museum.

What is the Black Light Project?

Rocky Mount has been honored by working with the Black Light Project to have permanent photograph installations. The purpose of the project is to challenge the stereotype of African-American men commonly seen in the media. The goal is to highlight everyday African-American men---fathers, brothers, sons---who are “the rules, not the exception,” according to information from the Blacklight Project.

This was made possible by a grant from the Z. Smith Reynold Inclusive Public Art Initiative. It would also not be feasible without collaboration between several organizations throughout our community. These include:

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
  • Delta Sigma Theta 
  • Nash-Edgecombe Economic Development
  • Rocky Mount/Edgecombe Community Development Corporation
  • Rocky Mount Mills

Sites for the Blacklight Project include:

  • Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences
  • Rocky Mount Mills
  • South Rocky Mount Community Center
  • R. M. Wilson Gymnasium
  • Booker T. Washington Community Center
  • Stith-Talbot Park

This is another way to celebrate and recognize the rich African-American history that abounds in Rocky Mount. 

March 6, 2020

A grandson of Victor Frankenstein visits the family’s estate and starts to take on the role of mad scientist. What could go wrong? Lots in this hilarious comedy written by Mel Brooks. The classic “Young Frankenstein” will be produced by the Playhouse Community Theatre at this First Friday event.

If you miss it at the First Friday performance, other shows will be held March 7th, 13th, 14th at 7:30 p.m. and March 8th and 15th at 2 p.m.

Other events going on at this First Friday event are museum activities, the Black Light Project exhibit and other arts activities. 

For more information on the First Friday events, you can visit the website for the Imperial Centre and see all the wonderful events happening in our vibrant community. 

A Piece of Rocky Mount History

The Imperial Centre has been a Rocky Mount landmark long before it revisioned itself as a museum and performing arts venue. It was originally the Imperial Tobacco Company and later became known as the McDonald building, the site of hand and machine stemming and ordering. You can read more about The History of the Imperial Center 


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