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Bennett Place in Durham will come alive with the sights and sounds of the Civil War all weekend long!

An exploration of the major surrenders of the Civil War in Durham, a behind-the-scenes look at the State Capitol in Raleigh and the chance to see how treasures from Blackbeard’s flagship are conserved in Greenville are just a few of the opportunities for fun you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

Thursday, staff from 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, while the James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville will be filled with the sights and sounds of early 19th century cooking.

Workshops, spins on the turntable and train rides will be just a few of the offerings Friday, when the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer is transformed into a classroom for home school students. In the evening, the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will screen the postwar thriller The Stranger.

Saturday promises fun across the state. In Raleigh, the State Capitol will offer a rare chance to explore the attic and other hidden parts of the building during special discovery tours, while Durham‘s Duke Homestead will invite visitors to discover the history in all of our old stuff at a community yard sale. In Greenville, the Queen Anne’s Revenge lab will hold an open house where visitors can see first-hand how artifacts recovered from Blackbeard’s flagship are conserved. The N.C. Museum of Art will host special family tours of the Estampas de la raza exhibition combined with the chance to make a self-portrait print in the morning, and in the evening, it will put on an awesome event complete with films, art activities and music all produced and planned by teens for teens.

All day in Elizabeth City live music, environmentally-friendly games and activities, crafts and more are on tap for an Earth Day Festival, hosted in part by the Museum of the Albemarle. In the evening, Durham‘s Bennett Place will host a grand ball complete with Civil War costumes and museum to raise funds for its new museum gallery.

The weekend wraps up Sunday with an opportunity to learn about the myth and reality of Civil War medicine at the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville.

Throughout the weekend, Bennett Place will come alive with the sights and sounds of the Civil War as military and civilian interpreters demonstrate what life was look during that time. The N.C. Symphony will play concerts of Beethoven’s famed Piano Concerto No. 2 in Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

This weekend is your last chance to see the N.C. Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award Exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) in Raleigh.

Check out our calendar for more on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

Join the N.C. Transportation Museum Friday and Saturday for special train rides with the Easter Bunny, an Easter egg hunt and more.

An Earth Day celebration in Beaufort, train rides with the Easter Bunny in Spencer and the chance to see cannon balls from Blackbeard’s flagship in Fremont are just a few of the opportunities for fun you’ll find this weekend at the historic sites and museums of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend kicks off Thursday, when the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh hosts preschoolers and parents for an exploration of the changing of the seasons in art with a tour and interactive craft. Across town, staff from the N.C. Museum of History read kids a tall tale after taking a short tour of one of the museum’s galleries.
Friday, take your kids out for an Easter egg hunt against the backdrop of Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington and once you’ve found some treats, climb aboard the deck of ship for a day of family fun. In the evening, the N.C. Museum of Art will screen the suspenseful World War II drama Went the Day Well?.
Cannon balls, gold dust and other treasures from the wreck of Blackbeard’s flagship, hidden beneath the sea for nearly 300 years, will go on display at Aycock Birthplace in Fremont Saturday. On the coast, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport will host a bike ride highlighting the history of its hometown, while the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will offer you the chance to get up and personal with rescued wildlife, make coastal crafts and more as part of the Crystal Coast Earth Day Celebration.
Both Friday and Saturday, the Easter Bunny Express will roll into the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer, giving your family the chance to take a special ride with Easter Bunny, play mini golf on a Thomas the Tank Engine themed course, marvel at some fantastic model train setups, participate in crafts and, on Saturday only, enjoy a fun Easter egg hunt.

Keep in mind that most of our historic sites and museums are closed Friday and Sunday in observance of state holidays. Call ahead before you visit, and enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

Sec. Kluttz greets the Easter Bunny as rolls up to the N.C. Transportation Museum

Sec. Kluttz greets the Easter Bunny as rolls up
to the N.C. Transportation Museum

This past weekend the Easter Bunny arrived at the N.C. Transportation Museum in style. Cultural Resources Sec. Susan Kluttz joined a crowd of excited kids and their families as the bunny and his helpers pulled up in a 1935 North Carolina State Highway Patrol Coupe, one of the signature pieces in the museum’s impressive collection of autos.

What followed was a day of great family fun. Aside from the special Easter Bunny Express train rides, visitors to the museum enjoyed a Thomas the Tank Engine miniature golf course, model train setups, crafts, storytelling and more.

The best part of the story is that the fun’s not over yet! You can celebrate the season with your family and the Easter Bunny this weekend too. Be a part of the Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, April 19 or ride on the Steam Engine Caboose Train.  Friday and Saturday, take a 25 minute train ride with the Easter Bunny as he hands out treats. There’s a lot of excitement for kids of all ages, so stop on by!

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!

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