Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

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.

The Hi Mount neighborhood just north of downtown Raleigh is being considered for addition to the National Register of Historic Places. Officials say the post-war community was planned in the late 1930s with construction finished by 1954. Martha Hobbs is a preservation planner with the city. She says the recognition could be a boost for the area. 

Huge crowd of fans turn out to see Scotty McCreery on Saturday
Jeremy Loeb

 

  This week, Garner native Scotty McCreery will perform in the final three of the American Idol tv show. The newly-minted 17 year old star was welcomed home over the weekend with a made-for-tv celebration. 

Scotty McCreery
americanidol.com

  The Town of Garner is getting ready to welcome home "American Idol" finalist Scotty McCreery. Jeremy Loeb reports.

 The 17-year-old baritone advanced to the "Final 3" of the television show "American Idol" last night. McCreery has been wowing audiences with his mature, deep-voiced renditions of country classics. Mayor Ronnie Williams called the singer's success the biggest thing that's ever happened to Garner.

Jamani the gorilla from the NC Zoo
NC Zoo

  A gorilla at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro is expecting. That's big news for the zoo which has only had one other gorilla birth in its history. Spokesman Rod Hackney has been at the zoo for 24 years and still remembers the last birth. It was 22 years ago in 1989.

The new exterior of CAM Raleigh
CAM Raleigh

  Raleigh's Contemporary Art Museum, or CAM Raleigh, opens at its new location tomorrow. The museum is moving from its original location in Moore Square to a newly renovated warehouse on Martin Street. Administrators host a sold-out street party there tonight. CAM Raleigh spokeswoman Rosemary Wyche says the museum is partnering with North Carolina State University to open new exhibits and host art classes.

Andrea Reusing's Chapel Hill restaurant Lantern is loved and respected by sophisticated foodies from around the world. So it's a bit of a surprise that her first cookbook is not full of recipes from Lantern’s menu. Instead, the book is a seasonal guide to a year's worth of unintimidating, easy-to-shop for, easy-to-make, fresh, local meals.

Raising Renee

Apr 15, 2011
Beverly McIver
Leoneda Inge

  Many of us may have made a promise to go home and take care of parents or other family members when they need us the most.  But do we all keep our promise? The new documentary titled – Raising Renee – looks at one such life-changing promise.  The film centers on Durham-based artist Beverly McIver and her sister Renee McIver.  The U.S. premiere ofRaising Renee is today at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham.    

The entrance of an exhibit resembling a 1700s pirate ship
N.C. Museum of History

The history of the Tar Heel State goes on display tomorrow at theNorth Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Officials say The Story of North Carolina is so large the exhibit will open in two parts. The first half begins with the earliest signs of civilization and runs through the 1830s. Raelana Poteat is one of the museum's curators. 

Full Frame Opens

Apr 14, 2011

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival kicks off today in downtown Durham.  There are more than 100 screenings for enthusiasts to see.

Two Sundance Film Festival winners will be shown – How to Die in Oregon and Hell and Back Again about a soldier’s return home from Afghanistan. Sadie Tillery is director of programming at Full Frame. She says all levels of talent and experience make the festival.

People involved in video games are converging on Raleigh today. The East Coast Game Conference is a two day event that attracts programmers and developers from across the U.S. and Europe. Troy Knight is the operations director for the conference. He says the industry is an important and growing part of the Triangle's economy.

Troy Knight: "Within the Raleigh and just Wake County region we have about 40 plus game companies which consists of about 1,200 plus employees that work out there. The average salary is roughly around $79,000."

150 years ago today shots rang out at Fort Sumter South Carolina, marking the beginning of the Civil War. In Charleston, Re-enactors will play out the day's events. Here in North Carolina, the state office of historical records will re-release documents that tell the story of the state's older confederate soldiers. The "Senior Reserves" were men between 45 and 50 years old who were drafted in the last year of the war.  Also, UNC Chapel Hill is launching a website, Civil War Day-to-Day.

235 Years of Independence

Apr 12, 2011

Halifax County is celebrating the date memorialized on North Carolina's state flag today. On April 12, 1776, the state's Fourth Provincial Congress met in Halifax to declare sovereignty from the British crown. Carl Burke with the Halifax State Historic Site says the move became known as the Halifax Resolves.

The owners of a historic house in eastern North Carolina are donating it for use as an African-American history museum. The Picot-Armistead-Pettiford House has stood in the small town of Plymouth for nearly 200 years. Local folklore links the house to the Underground Railroad before the Civil War despite Census data that shows the tenants were white and owned slaves. Willie Drye is the leader of a downtown development committee in Plymouth. He says free African-Americans bought the house at auction after the war.

A photo featured in the exhibit
ncdcr.org

North Carolina's role in the Civil War is the subject of a photo exhibit opening today in Fayetteville at the Cumberland County Public Library. "Freedom, Sacrifice and Memory" is a traveling show that will visit fifty public libraries across the state.

The Super Bowl of the home furnishings industry gets under way this weekend in High Point. For the next week – High Point can expect some 80-thousand visitors.  The High Point Market is the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world.  Buyers, leading retailers, journalists and analysts come from 110 countries to check out the latest styles.

Brian Casey is president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority. He says they can tell the economy is getting better:

Civil rights and labor leader Margaret Turner has died. She was involved in numerous struggles for civil rights in Durham. Turner played an important role in turning people out to events and speaking up at work and in the community.

State Senator Floyd McKissick knew Turner and says she was one of the “unsung heroes” of the movement:

History buffs and students can keep up with what happened across the state during the Civil War through Twitter. The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources is tweeting the words of North Carolina civilians who witnessed the events of the war.

LeRae Umfleet is organizing the project. She says diary, journal entries and letters are being used as sources for the tweets as part of the 150 year commemoration of the war:

The Monti Gets Romantic

Mar 25, 2011

On March 24th, the local performance story-telling group The Monti held a story slam. It's a competition of sorts -- where randomly chosen volunteers tell 5-minute stories centered around a theme. Last night, the story tellers focused on "Romance" and Amy Scott, a 4th grade teacher from Durham, was one of the crowd favorites.  This is her story recorded live at Casbah in downtown Durham Thursday, March 24th.

A piece of the WTC on its way to Chatham County
Photo: Chatham County Manager's Office

Chatham County first responders will be displaying a piece of the World Trade Center tomorrow. The piece will become the focal point of a planned memorial in the county. Chatham County Spokeswoman Debra Henzey says the artifact will be on display in Pittsboro, Goldston, and Siler City:

"We are offering a way for residents and people outside the county who want to welcome this piece to our area in it's first part of the journey to becoming a memorial to the 9/11 event."

A relic from the Civil War Battle of New Bern is back in North Carolina. The combat sword from one of the few female union soldiers to play a prominent role on the battlefield is in the hands of a local Civil War memorabilia dealer.

Will Gorges says Kady Brownell was credited with helping her Rhode Island regiment avoid friendly fire by climbing to high ground and using her unit's flag to wave off an attack from fellow union soldiers:

No More Dillard's BBQ

Mar 17, 2011

The owners of Dillard’s Bar-B-Que in Durham have announced – “its season is up.” The long-time family restaurant will close Friday.


The cafeteria-style line to get food at Dillard’s Bar-B-Que has been a place to catch up with friends and to get a home-cooked hot meal. And Bar-B-Que makes up just a small part of the menu – which also includes fried fish, smothered chicken, an assortment of greens and more.  But Wilma Dillard says the business has run its course:

"We just closing it down.  We just closing it down."

Crook's Shrimp & Grits
Leoneda Inge

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the “food scene” in the Triangle went from good to great! But we’re there now and the rest of the country is taking note. Some of the most prestigious awards for restaurants and chefs come from the James Beard Foundation in New York. The tops in the food world will soon celebrate their James Beard Awards in “Oscars-like” style.  And that will include the crew at Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill.

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