Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Ten years ago, a well-known U-N-C Chapel Hill Economist and his wife found themselves in the middle of the 9-11 attacks.   They were staying at the Marriott Hotel between the World Trade Center towers – attending an Economics Conference.  Jim Smith and Linda Topp had been married just five weeks earlier. 

The North Carolina Zoo is leading an emergency fundraising effort for the Tripoli Zoo in war-torn Libya. Political chaos there has left zoo keepers without money to buy food for the animals, and they have only a week's supply on hand. North Carolina Zoo Director David Jones has led similar international fundraising efforts for zoos in Afghanistan and Iraq. He says he's happy to help Libya's main zoo as well.

Concerts, memorials, and other events will take place across the state this Sunday to remember those who died on 9-11. Dave DeWitt reports.

From an interfaith panel at Duke to firefighter climbs in Greensboro and Morrisville, there will be a full slate of events surrounding the 10th anniversary of 9-11.

The shoes worn by The Rev. Louane Frey at Ground Zero.
Dave DeWitt

In the months following September 11th, thousands of firefighters, police, and other volunteers descended into ground zero. It was one of the most difficult and dangerous search efforts ever undertaken.

The Reverend Louane Frey lives in Cary now, but on September 11th she was a school teacher in New Jersey. She also was a hospital chaplain and counseled victims after traumatic events. So when the call came for people of faith to provide comfort and counsel to those working at ground zero, she quickly stepped forward.

An artist's rendering of Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral
holynamecathedralnc.org

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh plans to build a 2,000-seat cathedral in southwest Raleigh. Church officials say the Sacred Heart Church in downtown Raleigh has a seating capacity of 320 - making it the smallest Catholic cathedral in the continental U-S. Bishop Michael Burbidge says that's insufficient to serve the needs of a growing Catholic population.

Hot Sauce at The Monti

Aug 19, 2011

Storytellers and story-lovers gathered for another edition of "The Monti" story slam this week. The theme was "heat." Durham resident Robert Bland's "hot" story was the winner...

The Monti's new season opens September 10th at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. Featured storytellers include Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and State of Things managing editor Lindsay Foster Thomas.

37th US Colored Troops re-enactors participated in Pvt. Frank Worthington's headstone ceremony, Civil war
Leoneda Inge

Summer-time is known for neighborhood get-togethers and family reunions.   That’s what the Worthington-Wellington family did this month in Wilson, North Carolina.  But a big cook-out was not the highlight.  This year, family gathered at Maplewood Cemetery to honor Private Frank Worthington – a member of the 14th Regiment North Carolina Colored Troops – Heavy Artillery.  After years of letter-writing and historical research – Private Worthington finally has a Civil War Memorial Headstone – a rarity for African Americans.

Mitch Easter is a legend in the world of alternative music. He was a founding member of Let's Active, produced the first REM recordings back in the early 80s and has since helped scores of young bands hone their sound. One of the guitars used in those original REM recording sessions was among half-dozen instruments stolen from Easter's home in Winston Salem. 

Will McInerney, Kane Smego, Mohammad Moussa, and Sameer Abdel-Khalek spent the last two months traveling, writing, interviewing, and photographing the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. Now they're back.  And be sure to visit their blog.

We check in one more time with the poets we've been following as they travel in Egypt and Tunisia this summer. Will McInerney, Mohammad Moussa, Kane Smego and photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek have been in North Africa for the past two months. They come home next week. Their final few days overseas happens to coincide with the start of the holy month or Ramadan. That's what inspired this latest Poetic Portrait of a Revolution.

The poets we've been following this summer are in Tunisia right now. This weekend Will McInerney, Mohammad Moussa, Kane Smego and photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek are travelling from their homebase in Tunis to more rural areas to get a different perspective on the Arab Summer. Before they left, they met a young woman named Ayya. She inspired this latest Poetic Portrait of a Revolution.

The Monti: Law & Order

Jul 22, 2011

Here's another story from The Monti story slam. It's a competition of sorts -- where randomly chosen volunteers tell 5-minute stories centered around a theme. This week's theme was "law and order." The winner was Julie MacDonald, a community college teacher who lives in Durham. Her story was recorded live earlier this week at Motorco in Durham.

Beyonce is up at the top of the pop music charts this summer. The fact that she's in the top 10 again is no surprise, but what is surprising is that a record from Bon Iver is near the top of the charts. The band is the latest project by former Raleigh resident Justin Vernon. He's coming back to the Triangle next week to play the Raleigh Amphitheater.

Sameer Abdel-khalek

The three young poets we're following on Morning Edition this summer are continuing their Poetic Portraits of a Revolution project in Tunisia after their sojourn in Egypt. Much of the world's attention is focused elsewhere now. But Will McInerney, Mohammad Moussa, Kane Smego and photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek are finding that, as in Egypt, the Tunisian revolution is not over.

NC Zoo Looks to Expand

Jul 22, 2011
NC Zoo
NC Zoo

North Carolina Zoo leaders are looking at new ways to generate revenue. In recent years the state budget has had less and less money for the zoo. Public money accounts for about 60 percent of their budget. The remainder comes from park sales and private donations. The zoo is currently one of two state-owned zoos in the United States. Traditionally a trip to the zoo in Asheboro has been a day trip for families. Officials want to change that by adding additional attractions such as a water park, an Asian continent exhibit or a hotel. Zoo Director David Jones says the zoo needs to evolve to survive.

Sameer Abdel-khalek
Sameer Abdel-khalek

The three young poets we're following this summer left Egypt this week. Will McInerney, Mohammad Moussa, Kane Smego and photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek are moving on to Tunisia as a part of the project Poetic Portraits of a Revolution. Before moving out of their apartment in Cairo, they sent us this poetic reflection on their final days in Egypt.

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.

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