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Meet Thomas the Tank Engine and friends for special train rides, crafts and games
this weekend at the N.C. Transportation Museum

A bluegrass jam in Raleigh, cemetery tours based on the work of Thomas Wolfe in Asheville and train rides with Thomas the Tank Engine in Spencer are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The action starts Thursday when PineCone presents a bluegrass jam at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. Anyone and everyone is invited to bring out their instruments and jam, or just sit back and listen to musicians show off their love of bluegrass. Elsewhere around the state Thursday, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem will host a symposium on the work of filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson, who is the subject of SECCA’s newest exhibition, and the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras will show a film highlighting the history of Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will screen the film noir masterpiece The Maltese Falcon, while Saturday, the museum will show a documentary on how new technology is being used to discover the secrets behind some of the world’s oldest art and play the hilarious mockumentary This is Spinal Tap under the stars. Also Saturday, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial will offer tours of Asheville‘s Riverside Cemetery focusing on the real people that inspired Wolfe’s work.

Throughout the weekend:

  • The N.C. Museum of Art will offer free, introductory tours of its galleries and grounds to help visitors get a glimpse of its offerings and see what’s worth deeper exploration
  • Internationally-renowned concert pianist Yevgeny Sudbin joins the N.C. Symphony for concerts of music by Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich in Raleigh
  • Thomas the Tank Engine, Percy and friends pull into the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer for special train rides, crafts, games and more
  • Cycle North Carolina’s “Mountains to Coast” ride will speed through Historic Edenton Thursday and by Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo Friday before wrapping up at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum Saturday
  • Bluegrass musicians from across the country will descend on Raleigh for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass meeting and music festival

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

Tryon Palace will have interactive crafts for kids and living history tours
of the Hay House as part of its Fall Family Day Saturday

A bluegrass festival in Manteo, a day of family activities in New Bern and an afternoon of jazz music in Raleigh are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The fun starts Thursday when the President James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville comes alive with the smells and sounds of 19th century cooking. At the coast, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras will help kids create a sandcastle-themed craft and host a local artist for canvas-backed decoy painting demonstrations.

Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art will show the postwar classic drama Ace in the Hole, starring the legendary Kirk Douglas, and stay open late for visitors to explore the galleries at night with the smooth jazz sounds of Fusion Collective South as a backdrop.

Saturday, living historians will be stationed throughout the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington to show what life was like aboard World War II’s most decorated ship, while the Tryon Palace in New Bern will offer interactive crafts for kids and special living history tours of the Hay House as part of its Fall Family Day. Tryon Palace will also be giving free admission to teachers, serving as a stop on the Kitchens of New Bern tour and hosting Revolutionary War historian Christian McBurney for a lecture and book signing Saturday.

Elsewhere at the coast, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will celebrate National Estuaries Day with family activities and a trash clean-up of the Rachel Carson Reserve, while the Graveyard of Atlantic Museum will give a talk on whaling and invite members of the public to share their stories related to the industry. The Museum of Albemarle in Elizabeth City will help teens and adults make a fun, fall-themed craft and open a new exhibit on the tradition of tea with a reception and princess tea party.

Back in the Triangle, the N.C. Museum of Art will help families work together to create a piece of collage art after taking a short tour of one museum’s wonderful galleries. Five of our historic sites and museums around the state will be will be offering free admission as part of Smithsonian Magazine‘s Museum Day Live.

Things wrap Sunday with an afternoon of spirituals and jazz with noted vocalist Yolanda Hall at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh, and a concert of old-time stringband music by the Happy Valley Pals at the N.C. Museum of Art across town. The Museum of Albemarle will host local writer Majorie Ann Berry for a lecture and book signing focusing on Elizabeth City’s most famous residents.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will play concerts of music from the Broadway hit West Side Story with scenes from the film as a backdrop in Raleigh, while Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo will host the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival featuring Ricky Skaggs.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

Happy first day of fall! Autumn is always an amazing time to get out there and explore all the unique outdoor and cultural destinations that the Tar Heel State has to offer.

To celebrate this year’s Fall Equinox, we thought we’d share seven activities we have on our fall bucket list that you should try, too:

1. Take a stroll in the N.C. Museum of Art’s Museum Park.

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Thanks to this year’s great weather, the museum still has some outdoor concerts and movies left.

2. See how North Carolinians celebrated fall during the Civil War at Bentonville Battlefield.

3. Take in the breathtaking fall foliage 19th century-style at Vance Birthplace.

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 4. Sample a heritage heirloom apple at Horne Creek Farm.

Horne Creek is home to the Southern Heritage Apple Orchard, which preserves more than 400 varieties of old southern apples. Many of those varieties are on the brink of extinction. The Annual Cornshucking Frolic in October is a great excuse to visit.

5. Find your favorite North Carolina sounds at a fall music festival.

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We’re especially excited for the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival in Manteo this weekend and the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh next week.

6. Explore a different kind of fall beauty at Tryon Palace’s gardens.

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This weekend’s Family Day and Mumfest in October are two of the best times to visit.

7. Pick a pumpkin at the N.C. Transportation Museum’s Harvest Festival.

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As you begin to explore all that North Carolina has to offer this season, be sure and tune into Visit North Carolina’s website and social media for fall foliage and fishing reports from the State Parks, and tag all your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts with #visitnc; we’ll be passing along some of our favorites.

Bennett Place will celebrate fall 19th century style Saturday and Sunday.

A 19th century autumn festival in Durham, an end-of-summer stargazing session in Mount Gilead and a celebration of vintage cars and trains in Old Fort are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The fun starts Friday, when visitors to Tryon Palace in New Bern have the chance to win more than $1,000 in prizes at the inaugural Governor’s Challenge Cornhole Tournament. Elsewhere at the coast, Hatteras‘s Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum will host a lecture commemorating the 60th anniversary of Hurricane Hazel and the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City will help kids and parents create college art for public display.

In Raleigh, the N.C. Museum of Art will kick off its fall film noir series with the classic Hitchcock thriller Strangers on a Train and offer a special gallery talk and tour to complement its new photography exhibit Private Eye. The tour will be led by the collector who donated the work in the exhibit.

Saturday starts with behind-the-scenes tours of the State Capitol in Raleigh, and just in time for the harvest, guided tours of the N.C. Museum of History’s agriculture exhibitacross the street. Food will be the focus in Pineville, where the President James K. Polk Historic Site will host special tours of its kitchen building and let visitors try their own hand at colonial chores. Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead will help visitors get the most out of some end-of-summer stargazing, while the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort will celebrate vintage cars and trains with family activities, unique artifacts and a lecture.

At the coast Saturday, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will help visitors build a boat in a day and host archaeologist Ryan Bradley for a talk on whaling. Visitors can even bring in family photos and artifacts related to the industry and have Bradley take a look at them.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will open its 2014-2015 season with concerts featuring award-winning saxophonist and composer Branford Marsalis in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, while Bennett Place in Durham comes alive with the sights and sounds of the 19th century home front to celebrate the arrival of autumn.Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

Try your hand at tobacco tying Saturday at Duke Homestead’s
Harvest and Hornworm Festival

A celebration of the harvest in Durham, musket and cannon fire in Statesville and the words of Thomas Wolfe intertwined with mountain music in Asheville are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend kicks off Friday when the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will celebrate the end of summer with live music, gourmet popsicles and champagne, while the N.C. Museum of History, also in Raleigh, will kick off its Starring North Carolina film series byshowing Bull Durham. Also Friday, the popular Cedars in the Pines exhibit exploring Lebanese life in North Carolina will open at Tryon Palace in New Bern.

Saturday in Raleigh, staff from the State Library will celebrate Tar Heel history by telling some of its stranger stories through panel discussions and activities for kids at the N.C. Museum of History. At the same time, the Museum of History will help kids make a critter-themed craft and teach them about the boll weevil bug and its effect on agriculture, while the N.C. Museum of Art will help kids and families make a one-of-a-kind journal before taking them on a journey through the Museum Park. In Durham, Duke Homestead will celebrate the arrival of fall with demonstrations of historic tobacco harvesting, stringing and curing, kids activities, food and live music.

New Bern‘s Tryon Palace will let kids see what school was like during the 1800s before hosting local jewelry artist Alice Bilello for demonstrations of her craft and displaying sculpture throughout the N.C. History Center as part of New Bern’s city-wide ArtWalk. Elsewhere in the east, Historic Edenton will offer a yoga class on the picturesque lawn of the 1767 Chowan Courthouse and the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport will put on bicycle tours highlighting the history of its hometown.

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial in Asheville will feature recitations of Thomas Wolfe’s work against the backdrop of mountain music by some of the region’s best artists including fiddler Bobby Hicks and vocalist Doc Cudd.

The weekend wraps up Sunday when the N.C. Museum of History features the smooth bluegrass sounds of Asheville duo Grits and Soul in its Raleigh garden.

Throughout the weekend, musket and cannon fire will light up Statesville for Fort Dobbs’Living History Weekend, while the N.C. Museum of Art will host performances by the award-winning troupe Paperhand Puppet Intervention in Raleigh.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

Secretary Kluttz and N.C. Museum of History Director Ken Howard inside at the Cedars in the Pines on the Plaza festival

Secretary Kluttz and N.C. Museum of History Director Ken Howard
inside at the Cedars in the Pines on the Plaza festival

When you think of immigrants to North Carolina, you might think of the Scotch-Irish in the Sandhills, the Swiss around New Bern or the Moravians in the Triad. Chances are the Lebanese might not be near the top of your list. But earlier this month, Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz got a taste (literally!) of the deep roots of the Lebanese community in North Carolina at the N.C. Museum of History’s Cedars in Pines on the Plaza festival.

The event celebrated the long legacy of the Lebanese in Tar Heel State. The Cedar in the Pines exhibit that the event is tied to explores how the group has changed and been changed by North Carolina since its members began to arrive here around 1880.

While at the festival, the Secretary sampled some the finest local Lebanese food and watched displays of Lebanese-American music and dance. Crafts, henna hand painting, Arabic calligraphy, a scavenger hunt were some of the activities that  rounded out the day.

If you missed the festival, have no fear! The exhibit will  go on view at Tryon Palace in New Bern between September 12 and December 14.

Sec. Kluttz, Gov. McCrory and NCMA Director Larry Wheeler accept the grant check from SECU Foundation Chariman McKinley Wooten and SECU Foundation Executive Director Mark Twisdale

Sec. Kluttz, Gov. McCrory and NCMA Director Larry Wheeler accept
the grant check from SECU Foundation Chariman McKinley Wooten and
SECU Foundation Executive Director Mark Twisdale

The N.C. Museum of Art’s (NCMA) education program has long been celebrated as one of the best in the country, but thanks to a new $1.9 million grant from the SECU Foundation, it’s about to get even better.

The grant will be used to extend the Museum’s art education outreach through the establishment of a vibrant, state-of-the-art Education Center that will become the portal for accessing the Museum’s world class collections of art, special exhibitions and educational programs both on-site and virtually throughout North Carolina. Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz joined Governor Pat McCrory and NCMA Director Larry Wheeler in accepting the grant from SECU Foundation Board Chair McKinley Wooten earlier this summer.

Construction is expected to begin in the Spring of 2015 for an inventive auditorium, adjacent studio, classrooms and distance learning center; all equipped with the latest technology, but you can connect with NCMA’s first-class educational resources today. The ArtNC website and kids and families calendar are two great places to start interacting with NCMA’s innovative art offerings.

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