Mary Alice Monroe, Beaufort Performing Arts Center 

Artifacts: News and events around the Charleston art community

Mary Alice Monroe's Time is A River tour

Mary Alice Monroe, author and environmentalist who takes inspiration in the sounds, sights, and smells of the Lowcountry from her house on Isle of Palms, is famed for her southern fiction and her portrayal of women's lives in novels like Swimming Lessons, Sweetgrass, The Beach House and her most recent, Time Is a River.

True to her literary style, Monroe laces themes of the nature which surrounds her with human nature in Time Is a River, drawing parallels between the two to carve her story. The novel follows a woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer as she uncovers healing powers in the journal of a fly fisher of the 1920s, while seeking refuge in a cabin in the foothills of North Carolina.

Having volunteered for the North Carolina chapter of Casting for Recovery — a national nonprofit organization that provides fly fishing retreats to survivors of breast cancer — throughout the writing process for Time Is a River, Monroe experienced first-hand the power of the outdoors to both physically and spiritually rehabilitate.

She funneled it all into a novel that breathes new life into a disheartened woman who discovers "that spark of life found at the end of a thin line." Take advantage of book signings for Time Is a River: at the Waldenbooks in Charleston Place downtown on Mon. July 7 at 1 p.m. (120 Market St.), and Barnes & Noble locations in both Mt. Pleasant, Sun. July 6 at 3 p.m. (1716 Town Centre Way) and West Ashley, Tues. July 8 at 7 p.m. (1812 Rittenberg Blvd). —Gervase Caycedo

Surely, no one will miss nearly $99,000

File this one under stupid criminals.

Beaufort police arrested a box office manager over the weekend on suspicion of embezzling nearly $99,000 from the Beaufort Performing Arts Center, a venue owned by the University of South Carolina at Beaufort.

Stacy Whitmore was arrested and charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent. Since 2006, Whitmore has allegedly written herself checks from the BPAC's accounts totalling $98,748, according to reporter Patrick Donohue of the Beaufort Gazette.

It appears Whitmore thought no one would notice that nearly a fifth of the performing arts center's total annual operating budget had gone missing. The 2007-2008 budget was a mere $525,000. Fortunately, someone did notice during an internal audit. Venue officials fired Whitmore then called police to investigate. —John Stoehr


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