Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Cary Arts Center Opens

Jul 13, 2011
Cary Courthouse
townofcary.org

The town of Cary has opened a new cultural arts center. The official dedication for the Cary Arts Center isn't until August 13th. But it's already open and bustling with activity. The Brussels Chamber Orchestra is performing there this week. And kids of all ages are painting and sculpting in larger classrooms. Joy Ennis is the Festival Coordinator for the town. She says the new center gives the Cary Cultural Arts Program much more class space than it had previously.

The “Freedom Rallies” of 1963 were remembered and honored yesterday with a North Carolina Highway Historical Marker. 

The “Freedom Rallies” took place in the town of Williamston – in Martin County.  For 32 days – hundreds of mostly African Americans held mass meetings and marches, anchored at Green Memorial Church.  Diane Carr was 12-years-old during the “Freedom Rallies” and remembers singing and marching to the courthouse to demand equal rights.

Sameer Abdel-khalek
Sameer Abdel-khalek

The Arab Spring that erupted in North Africa has turned to summer. The revolution is still being sorted out in the streets of Cairo. In the days leading up the the Fourth of July here in the states, the poets we've been following Fridays on Morning Edition witnessed a demonstration turned riot in Tahrir Square. Kane Smego, Will McInerney, Mohammad Moussa and Sameer Abdel-khalek sent us this Poetic Portrait of a Revolution.

The North Carolina Museum of History launched a new online exhibit today that takes a close-up look at the struggle for equal and civil rights across the state. 

As soon as you log onto the website – you are serenaded by Sam Cooke.  The name of the exhibit is “A Change is Gonna Come: Black, Indian and White Voices for Racial Equality.”  It covers the years 1830 to 1980 – from the Indian Removal Act to the rise and fall of Soul City.  Earl Ijames is the curator of the exhibit. He says it was going to be a physical exhibit before the 2008 recession.

A new park honoring all members of the military opens Monday in Fayetteville. A dedication ceremony for the North Carolina Veterans' State Park is scheduled for 10 a.m. on the Fourth of July. Jennifer Lowe works for the city of Fayetteville. She says among the displays is the "Oath Wall" which features the raised hands of military members taking the enlistment oath.

From left to right: Kane Smego, Mohammad Moussa, an Egyptian citizen named Moussa, Will McInerney, photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek
Sameer Abdek Khalek

This summer on Morning Edition, we're keeping tabs on three young poets and a photographer as they travel through North Africa. Kane Smego, Mohammad Moussa and Will McInerney are in their early 20's and are from the Triangle. Right now, they're in Cairo. During the day, they're out taking pictures and talking to people, trying to get a sense of the revolution that's still settling in Egypt. At night, they write as a part of a summer-long project they're calling Poetic Portraits of a Revolution.

An American flag salvaged from the World Trade Center on 9/11 will be in North Carolina this Independence Day. The National 9/11 Flag is touring the country before going on exhibit at the September 11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero. It arrives at the North Carolina Fourth of July Festival in Southport on Monday. Event coordinator Brad Fisher says the flag is the centerpiece of this year's festivities.

From left to right: Mohammad Moussa, Will McInerney, Kane Smego, and photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek
Sameer Abdel-khalek

Three young poets from Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill landed in Cairo a few days ago. They're travelling in Egypt and Tunisia with a photographer friend for a project they're calling Poetic Portraits of a Revolution. With borrowed microphones and money donated by friends, family and community groups they set out to see and hear for themselves what a revolution looks like. Along the way, they promised to send back short poetic reflections on their experience.  Kane Smego, Will McInerney and Mohammad Moussa present this first installment of Poetic Portraits of a Revolution from their journey to North Africa.

Washington Duke
Duke Homestead

Before the Civil War, North Carolina was a poor, agrarian state. The people who lived here were renowned for their independence. It was a quality that would serve the state well after the war.

Washington Duke was a penniless, ambivalent Confederate soldier in the spring of 1865 when he was released from a Union prison in New Bern. Ahead of him was a 130 mile walk home to Durham - waiting for him there were 4 children, no wife, and a ransacked farm.

www.wildgoosefestival.org

Gareth Higgins began to consider the meaning of spirituality while growing up amidst violence in Northern Ireland. Now, Higgins believes faith is intimately connected with the mission of social justice and with artistic creativity. He’s found a way to combine the three with the Wild Goose Festival, an event that includes music, dance and discussion about social issues.

Many families here in North Carolina have passed down stories about the experiences of their ancestors during the Civil War. For most people, those tales are a link to a distant past that spans generations. But for one small group of elderly women who are actually the daughters of Confederate soldiers, that history is very much a part of their own life story.

Historians estimate that more than 56,000 Americans died in prison camps during the Civil War. That's a casualty figure that is far greater than any single battle. The South's most famous prison was at Andersonville in Georgia. Conditions there were horrible; the food was scarce and often rancid. Nearly 29 percent of all prisoners detained at Andersonville died before the end of the war. Singer Dave Alvin wrote a song about it after he discovered that one of his relatives died there.

Some historians refer to the Civil War as the “war between the states" – a white man’s war.  But to many people of color – it was the “war for freedom.” And during this mighty war, no other place in North Carolina had more “free” slaves than New Bern.

When the Union Army seized the city, word spread fast. Slaves travelled from across the state and outside its borders to get to New Bern.

The 26th North Carolina Regiment is one of the largest Civil war reenactor groups in the country. Nearly every month the regiment travels from one historical site to the next to reenact battles and perform living history exhibits. The group is modeled after a Confederate regiment of the same name.

Civil War Monuments Loom Large

Jun 15, 2011
The Reidsville monument... without the statue.
Rose Hoban

All over North Carolina, statues of Confederate soldiers stand sentry in front of courthouses, churches and in public squares.
 

It was a dark and stormy night in Reidsville early on May 23rd...

A fire bucket on display at the new museum
City of Raleigh

The history of the Raleigh Fire Department goes on display today at a new museum downtown. The department's Historical Society has gathered artifacts and photos dating back to the Civil War era. Battalion Chief Alan Walters has served at the Raleigh Fire Department for 31 years. He says the museum shows the fire department has changed since it was founded in 1819, but the firefighters have not.

It was nearly two years ago that U.S. Airways flight 1549 bound for Charlotte had to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River. Everyone on board survived what was called a miracle landing. This week the plane is making one last journey to the Queen City where it will go on display at the Carolinas Aviation Museum. Shawn Dorsch is the president of the facility. He says the plane will arrive Friday for a special event with the crew and passengers including Captain Sullenberger before going on public display Sunday. 

The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival has canceled its fall season for the first time in 34 years. Administrators made the decision in light of the state budget proposal, which cuts essentially all state funds for the festival. About 15 percent of the organization's $1.1 million budget comes from the state. Artistic director Pedro Silva says the festival has to start looking for other sources of funding as the next fiscal year approaches.

Sgt. Furney Bryant, 1st NC Colored Troops
NC Dept. of Cultural Resources

A ceremony today in Wilmington is honoring black soldiers who served in the Civil War. A North Carolina Highway Historical Marker will be unveiled just outside the National Cemetery in the city. Jim Steele is the manager of the Fort Fisher State Historic Site. He says a combination of free blacks and former slaves participated in a fight to take the fort.

Greensboro city officials will cut the ribbon for a new amphitheater today. The venue is located on the southern part of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. The amphitheater's capacity holds about 2,000 more people than Raleigh's new downtown Amphitheater. Andrew Brown with the coliseum says an amphitheater was a natural choice for the complex.

30 Americans at NCMA

May 27, 2011
Hank Willis Thomas, ''Branded Head,'' 2003
Rubell Family Collection, Miami.

  The North Carolina Museum of Art continues to celebrate an exhibit where at least three generations of African American artists boldly explore history, culture and pop culture.  The “30 Americans” exhibit is said to be the largest contemporary African American art exhibit in the country.  All of the pieces in the show come from the Rubell Family of Miami who established their collection in the mid-1960s.  

Fans and friends of Scotty McCreery will gather at Garner High School tonight to watch the hometown star perform one last time in the American Idol competition. The show will air at 8pm on Fox and the winner will be announced tomorrow night. Terry Mascaro was McCreery’s manager at Lowe’s Foods. The 17-year old bagged groceries there even as he made trips to Hollywood to film the show. Mascaro says the town is proud to see Scotty representing Garner on national television. 

Jennette's Pier reconstructed, aquarium, coast,
NC Aquariums

  A historical fishing pier reopens Saturday in Nags Head after Hurricane Isabel destroyed it nearly eight years ago. Jennette's Pier was absorbed by the state Aquariums soon after the storm leveled it in 2003. The General Assembly approved an $25 million reconstruction in the 2009 budget. Aquariums director David Griffin says the new structure hardly resembles its old self. He says it now stands higher above sea level than most piers.

David Griffin: "We've elevated this

The childhood home of a renowned human rights leader is about to get a major face-lift in southwest Durham.

 Pauli Murray was an attorney, Civil Rights activist and the first African American female Episcopal priest.  The house her grandfather built in the 1890s sits way off Carroll Street in Durham’s West End. Sarah Bingham was one of several people to walk through the two-story house yesterday. She says it’s in pretty good shape.

Sarah Bingham:  "I see possibilities everywhere."

Inge:  "It looks kind of fragile though."

Raleigh will host a benefit concert for tornado victims. The city hopes to raise money to give to charities, including the Salvation Army and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.  

The “Rise Up Raleigh concert” will include 11 bands and take place at the Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater - just 200 yards north of a spot where one of the tornadoes touched down.

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