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When Cultural Resources Sec. Susan Kluttz took office last May, one of the three things Gov. Pat McCrory tasked her with was beautifying the state’s transportation infrastructure. To that end, the secretary and DCR staff have been partnering with DOT staff during the past year to build a vision for a public-private “Art That Moves You” program that will highlight the best of state’s arts and culture and integrate it with the transportation infrastructure we all use every day.

Though the details of the program’s first projects are still being finalized, the overall goal is to promote tourism through the use of creative landscaping, artwork and lighting; continuing the legacy of  transportation beautification that began with First Lady Dottie Martin’s efforts in the 1980s. Local communities will also have a say in the design aesthetic from the beginning of projects to potentially personalize a bridge or walkway, for example, with a design ‘stamp’ or be able to utilize local stone or materials.

A couple weeks back, Sec. Kluttz sat down with Capital Tonight’s Tim Boyum to discuss this initiative. A major announcement will be made on this project at an upcoming big event coming to North Carolina. Details to follow. The segment with Sec. Kluttz starts at the 16:40 mark.

Halifax Group Shot

Historic Halifax is famous for issuing one of America’s first cries for freedom from England, and now Cultural Resources Sec. Susan Kluttz is working with local and state partners to help translate that revolutionary spirit into economic development.

To try to get that process started, the secretary and several other members of the DCR team participated in a brainstorming session organized by state Sen. Angela Bryant. The session was designed to see how everyone involved in the area could work together to use cultural resources to help revitalize downtown Halifax and spur economic opportunity in the area, as has been done in many other North Carolina towns and cites.

Sec. Kluttz and state Sen. Angela Bryant at Historic Halifax

In addition to the DCR team, officials from the North Carolina Main Street Program; the Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development;  the Halifax County Convention and Visitors Bureau; as well as other partners, participated.

At the beginning of the day, all of the participants toured the site, which includes historic buildings and the oldest continuously operating Masonic Lodge in the nation. The group walked to Halifax’s business district, looked over an amphitheater that the state is giving to the county for rehabilitation and heard from Michelle Lanier, the director of the N.C. African American Heritage Commission (part of the N.C. Arts Council), on the site’s part in the freedom seeking (or underground railroad) trails.

Historic Halifax celebrates the legacy of the Halifax Resolves. The adoption of the Resolves on April 12, 1776, was the first official action by an entire colony calling for independence from England, and you can relive that momentous occasion this weekend when the site hosts its annual living history program. It will inspire you.

A Civil War encampment will take over of the lawn of the State Capitol Saturday. Come out and see what Raleigh was like under Union occupation in 1865!

A view of Raleigh’s Union occupation during the Civil War at the State Capitol, a fierce battle between Cherokee warriors and frontier soldiers at Fort Dobbs and the opening of a new exhibition of Mexican American art at the N.C. Museum of Art are just a few of the opportunities for fun you can find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend kicks off Thursday when staff at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will read kids a tall tale after taking a short tour of one of the museum’s galleries and the sights and at the James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville, enjoy the sights and smells of 19th century cooking in the air during tantalizing cooking demonstrations. On the coast, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will host an informal, lunchtime chat all about bottlenose dolphins, while the Museum of Albemarle in Elizabeth City will teach kids about the history of kites and help them make their own kite-themed decoration.

Friday, conservators at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will offer advice on how to care for your treasured possessions, while explorers (age 6-10) can experience what it was like to be Mr. Hay’s apprentice in the 1800s during a hands-on program at Tryon Palace in New Bern and the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort hosts a hike across the pristine Rachel Carson Reserve, known for its diverse coastal habitats. At the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh, visitors can explore the galleries at night against the backdrop of live music, explore images of Mary in the museum’s permenant collection with a knowledgeable docent or join the museum for a high-energy party celebrating the opening of the Estampas de la raza exhibition.

Saturday will bring something for everyone with 13 different programs across the state. In the west, visitors can climb aboard antique tractors and other farm equipment or take a short train trip with the Easter Bunny at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer. The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem will celebrate Slow Art Day with classic cartoons and crafts for the entire family, while Cherokee warriors will clash with frontier militia during a living history program at Fort Dobbs in Statesville.

In the central part of the state, dancers, a singer and a guitarist will explain flamenco through their performances at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh, while a Civil War-era troop encampment and character interpretations will recall the April 1865 Union occupation of the State Capitol across the street. Elsewhere in Raleigh, the State Library will providetips on researching African American ancestors, while the N.C. Museum of Art will presentart-making workshops, musical performances and more to celebrate the opening of theEstampas de la raza exhibition, chronicling contemporary Mexican American and Latino artists.

In the east, Historic Halifax will celebrate the 238th anniversary of America’s first call for freedom with historic weapons demonstrations, a Brunswick stew cook-off and special tours, while Historic Bath will participate in a town-wide home and garden tour. More than 40 Tarheel potters will be displaying their wares at Tryon Palace in New Bern, while the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport will offer candle dipping, colonial games, pirate flag painting and more as part of its annual Girl Scout day.

A concert by Lebanese musicians Naji Hilal, Basil Samara and Christopher Saleh Sunday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh closes out the weekend.

Throughout the weekend, free garden admission and a heritage plant sale will be offered as part of Tryon Palace’s Garden Lovers’ Weekend in New Bern, and the N.C. Symphony will perform concerts with Broadway legend Patti LuPone in Raleigh. This weekend is also your first chance to check out a new exhibition of Mexican-American art at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh.

For more information on these and other events, please visit NCCulture.com. Enjoy a fun North Carolina weekend!

Help beautify our Civil War historic sites across the state with Civil War Park Day

Pirates and gold panning in Midland, a new sculpture exhibition in Winston-Salem and outdoor cleanup at Civil War sites across the state are just a few of the opportunities for fun you can find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend gets off to a busy start Friday, as SECCA hosts the RiverRun International Film Festival‘s opening night in Winston-Salem and the N.C. Museum of Art offers visitors the chance to explore its galleries at night against the backdrop of live music in Raleigh. Also Friday, the Museum of the Albemarle will show art created during its programs as part of Elizabeth City‘s First Friday Art Walk and DCR’s Office of Archives and History will sponsor lectures on the War of 1812 in Salisbury.

Saturday, Reed Gold Mine in Midland will inspire you to learn about pirates and try your hand at panning for gold, while the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer will host a special day for Boy Scouts, complete with the chance to roam around inside a DC-3 and earn an Aviation Merit Badge. The N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will give families the chance to make a critter-themed craft, while the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh screens a film on life of Cesar Chavez and Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead, one of the state’s best sites for stargazing, holds an astronomy program.

Saturday is also Civil War Park Day, a national program aimed at preserving our nation’s Civil War sites. Bennett Place in Durham, Bentonville Battlefield in Four Oaks, Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson in Winnabow, Fort Fisher in Kure Beach and the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport are all looking for volunteers to help them beautify their properties, and they’ll all be providing free refreshments and t-shirts to anyone who lends a helping hand.

The weekend wraps up Sunday when Tryon Palace in New Bern will host the Eastern North Carolina Bridal Show.

This weekend is also your first chance to check out a new exhibition at SECCA in Winston-Salem that explores humor through sculpture. North Carolina is also home to three great book and film festivals this weekend. The N.C. Literary Festival in Raleigh, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham and RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem are all sure to delight.

For more information on these and other events, please visit NCCulture.com. Enjoy a fun North Carolina weekend!

Watch the Triangle Lebanese Association’s nationally-recognized Dabke group perform traditional Lebanese dances at the N.C. Museum of History Saturday

UPDATE: The N.C. Museum of History festival event has been cancelled due to inclement weather. It will be rescheduled for a later date.

A celebration of Lebanese culture in Raleigh, Civil War medicine seen through the eyes of surgeons and soldiers in Durham and a print-making program for preschoolers in Beaufort are just a few of the opportunities for fun you can find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend fun kicks off Thursday with cooking demonstrations 19th century-style at the James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville, and continues at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh, where kids and parents can explore shapes, lines, colors and other parts of art through a tour and interactive craft. Also Thursday, the staff at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will read kids a tall tale after taking a short tour of one of the museum’s galleries.

Friday, the focus shifts to the coast, where the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will offer a unique, behind-scenes-tour of the state port for visitors 12 and over. in Morehead City and a fun print-making program for preschoolers.

Contribute your Civil War- and Reconstruction-era documents and others materials to the State Archives’ digital repository Saturday, when staff from the Museum of the Cape Fear and State Archives will be on hand for a scanning session in Goldsboro. Also Saturday, the N.C. Museum of History invites you to a street fair-style festival of dance, food and crafts on Bicentennial Plaza in Raleigh celebrating Lebanese culture. The program, presented in conjunction with the Museum’s Cedars in the Pines exhibit, will feature several activities for children, including a scavenger hunt and opportunities for photos.

Both Saturday and Sunday, Bennett Place in Durham will be transformed into a Civil War field hospital, with interpreters portraying surgeons and civilians caring for the wounded, and historians presenting special lectures on Civil War medical care during the Civil War. Find out why more soldiers died of disease than wounds sustained in combat.

Throughout the weekend, N.C. Symphony will play concerts featuring the music of Modest Mussorgsky and Richard Strauss in Chapel Hill and Raleigh. This week is also a great time to see the work of some of North Carolina’s best up-and-coming artists at the N.C. Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award Winners Exhibition at CAM Raleigh.

For more information on these and other events, please visit NCCulture.com. Enjoy a fun North Carolina weekend!

Front row: (left to right): visual artist Sarah West, N.C. Arts Council Board Chair Robin Branstrom, DCR Chief Deputy Secretary Karin Cochran and multimedia artist David McConnell. Back row (left to right) visual artist Dana Raymond, N.C. Arts Council Exeuctive Director Wayne Martin and visual artists Marek Ranis and Scott Hazard

Front row: (left to right): visual artist Sarah West, N.C. Arts Council Board Chair Robin Branstrom, DCR Chief Deputy Secretary Karin Cochran and multimedia artist David McConnell. Back row (left to right) visual artist Dana Raymond, N.C. Arts Council Exeuctive Director Wayne Martin and visual artists Marek Ranis and Scott Hazard

Cultural Resources Sec. Susan Kluttz and several members of the DCR leadership team attended a reception for the N.C. Arts Council Board and had the opportunity to meet some of the state’s most promising young artists at the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) last week. The reception honored 15 recipients of the N.C. Arts Council’s prestigious Artist Fellowship  Award, now in its 33rd year, whose work is now on display at the Raleigh museum. Some of the artists were on hand to discuss their work; which includes innovative installations, video, multimedia work, painting, pottery and more.

The fellowships are given to up-and-coming artists by the Arts Council to support their creative development and foster the creation of new work. Recipients are selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in the disciplines that the applicants practice.

Sec Kluttz, Chief Deputy Sec. Karin Cochran, Arts Council Executive Director Wayne Martin and Arts Council Board Chair Robin Rogers Branstrom all had the unique opportunity to meet the artists while seeing their work on display.

The exhibition is open to the general public at CAM Raleigh through April 27 and features pieces from a wide range of media, including sculpture, video and ceramics just to name a few. It is well worth a visit!

Join the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem Saturday as it opens a new exhibition of work by UNCG professor Jennifer Meanley

A new art exhibition in Winston-Salem, film screenings in Raleigh and concerts of music inspired by the U.S. Open around the state are just a few of the opportunities for family fun you can find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend fun starts Thursday when the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will encourage kids to explore its galleries after reading them the story Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman, and Tryon Palace in New Bern hosts Dr. Mellen Charron to tell the story of civil rights activist Septima Clark in a program that is part performance art and part lecture.

Friday, the fun continues at the Museum of the Albemarle, where kids and their parents can create a fun piece of art that will go on display as part of Elizabeth City’s First Friday Art Walk. In Raleigh, the N.C. Museum of Art will screen the classic Sunset Boulevard and offer visitors the chance to explore its galleries at night against the backdrop of some awesome live music from Raleigh’s own Sidecar Social Club.

The next morning the N.C. Museum of Art will offer an engaging hands-on geometric craft and tour for kids and families, as the galleries at its sister museum, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), come alive with a new exhibition of paintings by Jennifer Meanley in Winston-Salem. Also, Saturday, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport will put on another installment of its popular bicycle tours, while walls of historic House Chamber of the State Capitol in Raleigh will reverberate with classic soul and gospel style of the Gospel Jubilators.

The weekend wraps up Sunday when the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will screen the Watergate thriller Frost/Nixon.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will play concerts of the stirring Sketches from Pinehurst in Sanford, Raleigh and Southern Pines. The piece is an original composition by long-time Symphony trombonist Terry Mizesko.

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