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Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina Arts Council’

This post is the last in a three-part series we’re doing on summer reading. Click here to read part one and here to read part two.

So you’ve reached that point in the summer where you’ve gotten to every interesting book on your list. You want to try to something new because there are still a few precious weeks left in the season, but the deluge of specific book suggestions is overwhelming , and you’re looking for somewhere to browse.

Inside McIntyre's Books in Pittsboro

Inside McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro

That’s where the N.C. Arts Council comes in. They put together this awesome list of the best bookstores that emphasize North Carolina writers from Chapel Hill to Charlotte, from Southern Pines to Sylva and beyond. Enjoy!

1. Quail Ridge Books & Music
3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh
(919) 828-1588
2. So & So Books
704 N. Person St. , Raleigh
(919) 426-9502
3. The Regulator Bookshop
720 9th St., Durham
(919) 286-2700
4. Flyleaf Books
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd .,Chapel Hill
(919) 942-73735. McIntyre’s Books
220 Market Street, Fearrington Village, Pittsboro
(919) 542-3030

Fireside Books and Gifts in Shelby

6. Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books
105 Sir Walter Raleigh St., Manteo
(252) 473-1056

7. City Lights Bookstore
3 E. Jackson Street, Sylva
(828) 586-9499

8. The Country Bookshop
140 NW Broad St., Southern Pines
(910) 692-3211

9. Malaprop’s Bookstore
55 Haywood St., Asheville
(828) 254-6734

10. Park Road Books
4139 Park Road, Charlotte
(704) 525-9239

11. Fireside Books and Gifts
212 S. Lafayette Street, Shelby
(704) 487-8477

12. The Fountainhead Bookstore
408 N Main St., Hendersonville
(828) 697-1870

13. The Book Shelf
94 N Trade St., Tryon
(828) 859-9304

14. Two Sisters Bookery
318 Nutt St., Wilmington (#32 In the Cotton Exchange)
(910) 762-4444

Do you have a favorite bookstore that focuses on North Carolina authors in your community? Tell us about in the comments!

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Take a Ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, this (and next) weekend at the N.C. Transportation Museum.

Norwegian prints, Civil War-era reenactors and rides on Thomas the Tank Engine are just a few of the fun things you’ll find this weekend at the sites and museums of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

Start your weekend off early with the N.C. Arts Council at the installation of the North Carolina’s poet laureate this afternoon. The celebration will begin around 4:30 in the old House of Representatives chamber in the State Capitol. Later in the evening, Historic Bath will screen The Help as part of its historical films series, while Elisha Minter will portray Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil rights activist, in a storytelling program at Tryon Palace.

Starting Friday morning and continuing through Sunday, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends will be on hand at the N.C. Transportation Museum. Take your kids out for rides on Thomas, music, Thomas-themed games and activities and the opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt.

On Saturday and Sunday, Bennett Place in Durham will host a living history program on the Civil War homefront in North Carolina. Visitors will have the chance to see what is was like to be left behind after the men went off to war. Both days, Vance Birthplace in Weaverville will have 1800s military demonstrations and other pioneer life activities, while the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will offer special tours of the Gone with the Wind exhibit, led by the owner of the collection himself!

On Sunday, the N.C. Museum of Art will debut a widely-acclaimed exhibition of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s work, a lecture at the Museum of the Cape Fear will examine the role of railroads in the Civil War and a talk at the Museum of History will describe how the South was packaged for pop culture consumption.

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It’s another very busy weekend across North Carolina, with many opportunities to explore the arts and history of the Tar Heel state.

Kick off your weekend early with a Friday morning hike on the famed Shackleford Banks, hosted by the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort. In the evening, head to the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem for the unveiling of a 50-year retrospective of the work of Anne Kesler Shields, a local visual artist.

All day Saturday, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will offer visitors a chance to build their own boat over the course of seven hours, while the Maritime Museum in Southport will host a series of lectures on Outer Banks history. The Beaufort museum will also be offering a hike of Rachel Carson Reserve in the morning.

Build your own boat Saturday at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

Farther inland, the CSS Neuse/Gov. Richard Caswell Memorial in Kinston will have re-enactors on hand portraying soldiers across history from the American Revolution to Korean War, while the Daughters of American Revolution will celebrate the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution at Alamance Battleground in Burlington.

The weekend winds down Sunday afternoon with intimate, behind-the-scenes tours of exhibitions at SECCA complete with tea and desserts, an ice cream social at the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort and two chamber music concerts, one at Tryon Palace in New Bern and another at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City.  SECCA’s paperless exhibition also closes Sunday.

Throughout the weekend, Paperhand Puppet Intervention will present its “City of Frogs” show at the N.C. Museum of Art, while SparkCon—sponsored in part by the N.C. Arts Council—will celebrate the Triangle as a creative hub of the South.

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Reenactors at Polk Birthplace in Pineville.

Charlotte’s Got a Lot estimates that between 30,000 and 35,000 people will come to Charlotte as part of the Democratic National Convention slated to take place next week. To help all those out-of-towners make the most of their visit to the Tar Heel state, we’ve collected some great cultural experiences and attractions in the greater Charlotte area.

Two wonderful art museums in the heart of Charlotte—both supported by the N.C. Arts Council—are currently playing host to first-rate politically-themed exhibitions. “Read My Pins” at the Mint Museum Uptown gives visitors the opportunity to explore the history of American foreign policy through the jewelry of former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. Albright is famous for wearing decorative pins to send diplomatic messages. The Mint’s Vote for Art Project, which kicks off September 1, also invites visitors to explore politics in a unique way.

The Light Factory, also located in uptown Charlotte, has two exhibitions that explore politics through photography and film. “We are Charlotte” gives Charlotte high school students the opportunity to communicate their political beliefs through images and video, while “Out In the Streets” chronicles the 1968 Democratic National Convention through the eyes of photographers caught in fighting between police and protestors.

If history is more your thing, the area offers plenty of opportunities, too. The President James K. Polk State Historic Site, in Pineville, about 12 miles from downtown, preserves Polk’s birth place and explores the history of his presidential term. About a half hour east, Reed Gold Mine in Midland gives visitors the chance to pan for gold at the site of the first documented find of the ore in the United States, and the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer offers a glimpse into our industrial past on the grounds of a former Southern Railway’s steam locomotive repair facility.

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I am fortunate to be able to spend a good deal of time in and around Black Mountain.  I am always amazed at the breadth of talent and artistry in the area.  It’s not uncommon for a small town to have a creative atmosphere, but I’m always reminded of the days when Black Mountain was home to a remarkable experimental center of learning.

supine dome

The Supine Dome Model with Si Sillman (bending), Buckminster Fuller, Elaine de Kooning, Roger Lovelace, and Josef Albers, Black Mountain College, summer of 1948. Photograph courtesy of the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Estate, Scheinbaum and Russek Ltd., Santa Fe, New Mexico

Founded in 1933, Black Mountain College focused on fine arts education—but the education was not always text-book, so to speak.  The teachers and students lived together as a community and learned from one another.  One writer stated “As the college evolved, it assumed characteristics of a small college, a summer camp, a religious retreat, a pioneering community, an art colony and a farm school.”  In a way, it defies categorizing—it is, simply, Black Mountain College.

The list of teachers and students at Black Mountain College reads like a virtual who’s who of 20th Century arts, including musicians, painters, poets, actors, dancers, fiber artists, sculptors, and architects.  Names like Robert Rauschenberg, Walter Gropius, Robert Motherwell, Josef Albers, John Cage, Charles Olson, Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham and Willem de Kooning.

The North Carolina Archives accepted the college’s administrative records after it closed in 1956.  The papers and the manuscript collections associated with students and faculty have long been popular with researchers who traveled to Raleigh from all over the world to study the influential college.  The archives’ collections related to Black Mountain College recently have been transferred to the new Western Regional Archives, officially opening on August 13 in Asheville.

John Cage and Merce Cunningham, Black Mountain College 1953 Summer Institute in the Arts. Black Mountain College Research Project Papers, Visual Materials, North Carolina State Archives, Western Regional Office.

Having the documents and photographs close at hand will surely be a great complement to Asheville’s  Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, a facility that explores and preserves the legacy of the college through exhibits and programs.  And, of course, North Carolina is known around the world for the breadth of its traditional and contemporary arts.  Learn more at the North Carolina Arts Council.

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