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Blueplate PR shares all the latest news and media recognition from our clients.

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NC Author Awarded Residency To Create Screenplay

NC Author, lNC Filmmaker

Author Mark Spano

August 16, 2017 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Mark Spano, the Chapel Hill-based author of the critically acclaimed murder mystery, Midland Club, has been awarded a month-long residency at Escape to Create in Seaside, Florida, to turn his award-winning novel into a screenplay.

author Mark Spano

E2C cottages in Seaside, Florida.

Escape to Create (E2C) is a nationally recognized, non-profit, multidisciplinary artist residency hosted by the Seaside community since 1993. Over 150 writers, musicians, visual artists, and scholars have been awarded month-long retreats as emerging and mid-career artists.

Mark Spano is an accomplished filmmaker as well as author. His works include “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell” and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife.” As a result, he admits that he visualized Midland Club on the screen as he wrote it.

“First of all, I want to express my deep appreciation to the selection committee, board, staff, and volunteers at Escape to Create,” Spano said. “I am truly honored and overflowing with gratitude for this opportunity.

“Since I work as both a writer and a filmmaker,” he continued, “when I’m working on any project in one medium I’m always considering, consciously or not, the possibilities of the other media. With new technologies, it seems ideas can have many different lives. My colleagues and I have more than once discussed adapting Midland Club to film. This residency has set these wheels in motion.”

To some of his admiring critics, the adaptation of a screenplay is a natural progression.

fiction/mystery/gay literatureMidland Club is a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic,” wrote one reviewer for, who also noted, “There’s a bit of ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ amidst the melancholy…”

Two of the many positive Amazon Reader Comments call the book “an engaging work of noir fiction” and: “The writer of Midland Club is a filmmaker, a fact that comes through in the clarity and imagery of his writing. He captures, in a ‘noiresque’ manner, the atmosphere of the period and the location.”

A Page-Turning Tale

Published in May of 2016, Midland Club is a page-turning tale of corruption, love, lies, and murder set in a Midwestern city in 1958. Puce Bordeaux, the only “Negro” waiter at the exclusive Midland Club downtown, dies suddenly and the sheriff immediately declares it a suicide.

Yet one man refuses to believe the death was suicide. That man is the protagonist, Rich St. Pierre, a member of the city’s wealthy, white, First Family. Rich has known the now-elderly Puce since Rich was a child and dined at the club with his wealthy father. Rich and Puce also spent a night together in jail after a raid on a local dive bar where the town’s otherwise hidden gay community gathers for drinks and jazz. He’s certain that Puce was murdered to make sure a scandalous secret goes to the grave with him.

Ostracized by his family since the raid, Rich St. Pierre is just as certain that his own life will be in grave danger if he attempts to reveal the truth.

E2C Residency

Spano will spend January 2018 at E2C in Seaside. Afterward, he’ll join an impressive alumni club that includes nominees and recipients of The Pulitzer and Pushcart Prizes; National Book Awards; scholarships at the American Academy of Arts & Letters and The American Academy in Rome; ASCAP and Aaron Copeland Awards; Guggenheim Foundation scholarships; James Beard and Grammy Awards; and more.

E2C residencies are made possible through the generosity of Seaside homeowners, merchants, and donors. For more information on E2C visit

For more information on Mark Spano and Midland Club, visit blog.markspano.comGoodreads, and BookLife.

Midland Club is available as a paperback book and in digital format on Amazon.


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Extended Opportunity: “PR on a Platter” Package for 2017

A public relations opportunity for small businesses with big PR goals (exposure), big PR dreams (media coverage), and not-so-big 2017 PR budgets.

What’s included on the Platter?

o   Professional press releases that are written by a former newspaper and magazine editor on all the news your firm generates (new projects, completed projects, awards, new hires, etc., etc.) You’ll be surprised how much news you have to report.)

o   Manual press release distribution to relevant media sources, both online and traditional.

o   Project submissions to appropriate online journals, e-zines, and blogs to immediately raise your Internet presence (very important since we all “Google” information now – including potential clients’ searches for architects)

o   A limited number of direct pitches to appropriate media sources.

o   An experienced and committed PR professional who delivers results.

Since 2004, Blueplate PR’s message has been simple: “Get a lot for a little.”  With the new “PR on a Platter” package, we continue to deliver on this concept:

For a flat-fee of $500 per month (with a commitment of six months or more), you’ll enjoy Blueplate PR’s “no billable hours, no surprises” promise and achieve the PR results you need from a professional public relations expert with a track record for securing tons of media attention for her clients.

So – ready to Order Up?

Call or text Kim Weiss today at 919.819.0064or email


NOTE: This offer expires February 17, 2017, is available for new and returning clients, and requires at least a 6-month commitment, payable on or before the first day of each month.

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Metro Magazine Joins “Colossus” Archive of Architecture Magazines


George Smart, Executive Director of the non-profit organization North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) and Bernie Reeves, Co-Founder and Publisher of Metro Magazine, have announced that NCMH’s Colossus Architecture Magazine Archive is now the official historical archive for Metro Magazine.

Inspired by senior editor and architecture enthusiast Kim Devins Weiss, Metro Magazine’s editor and publisher Bernie Reeves began covering the built environment in 1978 in his initial publication, Spectator Magazine, the first alternative weekly publication to cover the Triangle. According to Reeves, he wanted to convey “a sophisticated perspective on the emerging Triangle. I had a modicum of architectural DNA from my father, [the late architect] Ralph B. Reeves, Jr., but Kim made it happen. As a result, Spectator acknowledged that the built environment was of great interest to the intelligent reader.”

Reeves continued that tradition in Metro Magazine, a full-color monthly publication that covered a 22-county region from the Triangle to North Carolina’s coast. Established in 1999, Metro generally published monthly until April 2013 and enjoyed a circulation of 40,000.

Two writers covered architecture for Metro: design editor Diane Lea, who wrote features on residential design from historic preservation to Modernist houses; and Michael Welton, author of the online journal and the Raleigh News & Observer’s architecture critic.

“Metro exuded quality on every page, including Diane’s excellent coverage of area architecture,” aid Katie Reeves, Metro co-founder. “Now, through George Smart and Colossus, the homes and buildings covered will be available in a first-class environment.”

“Metro and the other publications in our Colossus archive chronicle the best of Modernist houses along with the talented, progressive architects who created them,” said George Smart, who recently received the American Institute of Architects’ 2016 Collaborative Achievement Award.

Once complete, Colossus will be the largest open digital architecture publication collection in the world.  We’re honored to continue Bernie Reeves’ advocacy for architecture through having Metro as part of Colossus.”

Colossus can be accessed at

redchair smAbout NC Modernist Houses:

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) is an award-winning, 501C3 nonprofit organizations established in 2007 and dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design. The website is now the largest open digital archive for Modernist residential design in America. NCMH also hosts popular architecture events every month and frequent home tours, giving the public access to the most exciting residential architecture, past and present. These tours and events raise awareness and help preserve these “livable works of art” for future generations. For more information: Find NCMH on Facebook. Follow NCMH on Twitter and Instagram.

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James Taylor’s Modernist Childhood Home Opens for Public Touring for the First Time


May 16, 2016 (Chapel Hill, NC) — The 1952 Trudy and Isaac M. Taylor House in Chapel Hill — the Modern childhood home of legendary singer-song writer James Taylor — will be open for public touring for the first time ever on Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH).

The Taylors initially hired multi-award-winning architect George Matsumoto to design their Modernist house. Yet as the project progressed, Trudy didn’t warm to Matsumoto’s ideas. So she fired the illustrious architect and immediately hired Durham architect John Latimer (1916-1996) to finish the job.

Nestled against a hillside to reduce its impact on the wooded lot, the three-level house features horizontal cypress siding on the exterior and a large, flat roof with deep overhangs to shade the house’s abundant glazing and to provide covering for a wrap-around deck. On the interior, Latimer used both cherry and oak wood.

The Taylor children’s bedrooms are on the ground-level floor. The master bedroom and living room are on the upper-most level. The kitchen, renovated by Chapel Hill architect Arthur Cogswell (1930-2010) in the late 1960s, is on the mezzanine level.

Along with the main house, NCMH tour-goers will visit the two-bedroom guesthouse where “Sweet Baby James” and his siblings played music during the early 1960s.

Ike and Trudy Taylor divorced in 1972 and moved out of the house. They rented it for two years before selling it to Pat and Jim Johnston in 1974. It was deeded to Johnston heirs in 2014.

Today, the house and accompanying 23 acres are about to be sold at auction. An auction agent will be on hand to answer any questions.

Due to limited parking around the Taylor house, advance timed tickets ($7 per person) are required for admission.  For more tour details, to purchase tickets, and to select a tour time slot, go to Tickets sell out quickly.

The house is located at 618 Morgan Creek Road (set GPS to 100 Coker Lane) in Chapel Hill).

Proceeds from ticket sales benefit North Carolina Modernist Houses, a nonprofit dedicated to archiving, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design across the state. For more information:

About NC Modernist Houses:

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) is an award-winning, 501C3 nonprofit organizations established in 2007 and dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design. This year, the American Institute of Architects awarded NCMH founder and director George Smart its Collaborative Achievement Award for his work with NCMH. The website is now the largest open digital archive for Modernist residential design in America. NCMH also hosts popular architecture events every month and frequent home tours, giving the public access to the most exciting residential architecture, past and present. These tours and events raise awareness and help preserve these “livable works of art” for future generations. For more information: Find NCMH on FacebookFollow NCMH on Twitter and Instagram.

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Micropolis® Morphed: Out of “Little Paws,” A Custom-Designed Small Home Emerges

Construction should begin soon on Schechter's not-quite-so-tiny house in Chapel Hill.

Construction should begin soon on Schechter’s not-quite-so-tiny house in Chapel Hill.

The professor/author wanted to build “Little Paws,” one of Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter’s collection of tiny, modern, sustainable house plans she sells under the registered trademark Micropolis Houses®.  But at 1059 square feet, “Little Paws” only had room for two bedrooms.

“And she needed three bedrooms,” Schechter said. “So ‘Little Paws’ quickly morphed into a custom small house – a sort of custom Micropolis®, if you will. But it’s still way under the size of the average American house, which is 2500 square feet. This house is still only 1679 square feet.”

Construction should begin soon in Chapel Hill on Schechter’s not-quite-so-tiny house, which remains true to the original modern design with its rhythmic volumes, crisp geometry, flat rooflines and extra bedroom. Packing a lot of punch into its modest envelope, this small custom-designed home includes an open great room and dining area, a “super-functional” working kitchen, Schechter said, a study, a guest suite and additional bedroom, plus a master suite complete with Japanese Ofuro soaking tub.

As with all of her residential projects, Arielle Schechter prioritizes natural light inside and spectacular spaces outside to encourage the connection between indoors and outdoors. In this case, those spaces are a screen porch, terrace, and pool, all of which overlook a natural creek. An abundance of windows, including corner glass, offers constant views of the outdoors. Deep roof overhangs protect the glass from the high summer sun – one of the many green building principles Schechter utilized for this project.

An advocate of age-in-place architecture, Schechter also made sure “Little Paws” was adaptable to universal design even though the original plan was intended as a raised pier house. The professor welcomed the adaptation, Schechter said, so that this will be her last home.

MICROPOLIS HOUSE LOGOYears in the making: Tiny homes are growing increasingly popular today, but Arielle Schechter didn’t design Micropolis Houses® to jump on the bandwagon. Growing up in North Carolina, she realized that the mobile homes scattered or clumped together across North Carolina filled the need for small housing options but had no design integrity, they were usually made of poor materials, and she couldn’t see how they contributed to their owners’ quality of life. So a few years ago she began working on an alternative and Micropolis Houses® were born – quality, architect-designed house plans that range from 150 to 1500 square feet and can be customized to meet specific buyers’ needs and preferences.

For more information on Arielle Condoret Schechter, the Micropolis Houses® and all of her work, visit

About Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA:

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in Modernist, energy-efficient buildings of all types and sizes, especially houses. Earlier this year, her firm received a Best of Houzz award for Customer Service. Schechter admits that she is “obsessed with light,” which drives her designs more than any other single element. Her firm also offers interior and lighting design, and custom furniture and fixtures. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Juilliard School of Music, and NC State University’s College of Design. She lives with her husband, Arnie Schechter, and an assortment of foster animals in a Modern, energy-efficient house she designed. For more information:

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Trig Modern Voted Best Place To Buy Contemporary Furniture in the Triangle

Trig ShowroomAfter thousands of votes were counted, Trig Modern in downtown Raleigh emerged as The Best Place to Buy Contemporary Furniture in the Triangle in 2015, according to readers of Triangle Downtowner magazine.

“Of course we’re delighted,” said Trig’s owner, Bob Drake, who moved to Raleigh from Charlotte to open the store. “We’ve only been here a little over two years, so it’s very gratifying to receive a ‘people’s choice’ recognition from the Downtowner’s readers.”

Ambiente and NC Modern Furniture came in at second and third places, respectively.

Opened in 2012 in a freestanding building at 328 West Jones Street, Trig Modern is the only showroom and design service in downtown Raleigh that specializes in modern furniture and lighting in tandem with an eclectic blend of compatible furnishings and accessories, including mid-20th century items and a throw pillow collection that Drake designed himself.

“Trig is a very different kind of showroom,” Drake said. “We combine both new and vintage furniture, kitchen and bath, lighting, original art, and objects.”

Trig also offers new lines of modern kitchen systems, he noted, and a host of modern wall coverings, including a line of peel-and-stick wallpaper that he believes are tailor-made for apartment dwellers.

The Best of Downtowner Awards is an annual poll that allows the monthly magazine’s readers to vote for their favorite places to dine, drink, dance, shop, etc. The print edition is on newsstands now.

For more information on TRIG Modern, visit or call 919.516.8744.

About Trig Modern:

Opened in December 2012, Trig Modern is owned and operated by furniture and lighting designer Bob Drake. Through its combination of modern and mid-century-inspired furniture, lighting, and accessories, as well as Modern kitchen and bath remodeling services, Trig’s mission is to present a realistic portrait of sensible living and offer an antidote to excess, formality, and convention. For more information visit, call 919.516.8744, and find Trig Modern on Facebook.

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Eidolon Designs To Host March “Thirst4Architecture”

Featuring the fine woodworkers’ annual Oyster Roast

Eidolon's Slider 2 Overlay Door, handcrafted from 100-year-old heart pine.

Eidolon’s Slider 2 Overlay Door, handcrafted from 100-year-old heart pine.

Eidolon Designs in Raleigh will once again host “Thirst4Architecture,” a networking event sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) and Emilie Huin/501 Realty, on Thursday, March 5, from 6-8 p.m. Free and open to the public, Eidolon’s T4A event also includes the company’s annual Oyster Roast.

T4A events are opportunities for architects, artists, building managers, contractors, engineers, furniture dealers, realtors, and anyone else interested in Modernist residential design to connect and create strategic alliances in a casual environment. The hosts provide refreshments and other entertainment while introducing T4A participants to their businesses.


Cherry entry table by Eidolon Designs

Located at 414 Dupont Circle in Raleigh’s historic Boylan Heights neighborhood, Eidolon Designs handcrafts fine furniture, architectural millwork, doors, kitchen, bath, and office components, media integration pieces, and sculpture. According to owners Ann Cowperthwaite and Mike Parker, who have supported NCMH events for many years, the Eidolon team members “are artists and craftsmen, not manufacturers.” The company is also committed to environmental sustainability, the owners said, making sure their source hardwoods come from certified tree farms, that their sheet woods are formaldehyde-free, and that all finishes are non-toxic.

Those attending the March T4A will get to tour Eidolon’s workshop and speak with the owners and other Eidolon craftsmen while enjoying the oyster roast. For more information on Eidolon Designs visit

For more information on NCMH and the locations for future Thirst4Architecture events, visit

redchair smAbout NC Modernist Houses:

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) is an award-winning, 501C3 nonprofit organizations established in 2007 and dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design. The website is now the largest open digital archive for Modernist residential design in America. NCMH also hosts popular architecture events every month and frequent home tours, giving the public access to the most exciting residential architecture, past and present. These tours and events raise awareness and help preserve these “livable works of art” for future generations.


For more information:

Find NCMH on Facebook

Follow NCMH on Twitter and Instagram.