Funded Grants

RiddleFest 2014: Railroad & Work Songs of the Mountains

RiddleFest, presented annually by Traditional Voices Group, honors native son and musician Lesley Riddle, who played a critical role in the development and early practice of American country music. This year's celebration, June 21 and 22, focuses on railroad and work songs of the southern Appalachian Mountains through a variety of programs and performances in Burnsville NC and at the Historic Orchard at Altapass off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Spruce Pine. Professor Lee Bidgood and students from East Tennessee State University's Program in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies will be the featured musicians.

Lee Bidgood is a musician and scholar, performing and researching a wide range of traditional musical styles. He has performed on mandolin and fiddle with North Carolina bands the Steep Canyon Rangers and Big Fat Gap.

The 2014 RiddleFest celebration begins with Super Saturday at the Orchard at Altapass, 10:30-noon, where children will learn mountain railroad and work songs from ETSU students and make a take-away CD of their singing. Saturday afternoon, 2-4 pm, Prof. Bidgood will lead a lecture/demonstration at the Burnsville Town Center about the history and variety of railroad and work songs in the mountains.

Saturday evening the annual RiddleFest Concert takes place at the Burnsville Town Center, 7-9 pm, presented by Lee Bidgood and the ETSU Bluegrass and Old Time Bands. Tickets to the Concert are $10.00 each and are available from Traditional Voices Group by calling 828-682-9654 or through the Burnsville Town Center at 828-682-7209.

On Sunday, Bidgood and the ETSU students will play the regular free afternoon concert, 1-4 pm, at the Historic Orchard at Altapass. Visitors can dance and sing along to traditional work and railroad songs.

Free programs are made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council. For questions, please call Traditional Voices Group at 828-682-9654.

The War of 1812 and the Backcountry

Lectures on what's often called America's forgotten war. The nation's foremost expert on the War of 1812, Donald Hickey of Wayne State College, will speak on the myths of the War of 1812. Gary Freeze from Catawba College, will discuss the role of local militia in the war. Howard Kittell, superintendent of The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's Nashville home, will comment on the past and present of the historic site.

The Genuine South: A Discussion of Authenticity in Southern Music

What do a folkie from Seattle, a California punk, and an oyster aficionado know about Southern music?

It’s a question that spurs many others: What is Southern music? Who’s allowed to talk about it? Who’s allowed to make it? M.C. Taylor, Alice Gerrard, and Bernie Herman will delve into these questions and more on Saturday, April 5th at UNC’s Gerrard Hall in a discussion we’re calling “The Genuine South”.

Alice Gerrard is a legend in the old time and bluegrass worlds; known for years for her distinctive harmonies with Hazel Dickens, Alice has since that time firmly established herself as a solo talent – a writer, singer, and player of all manner of old time instruments. In 1987 she founded The Old-Time Herald, one of her many contributions to the support and sustenance of that music (the Alice Gerrard Collection in UNC’s Southern Folklife Collection is further testament to that commitment).

M.C. Taylor, the performer behind Hiss Golden Messenger, shares Alice’s devotion to both making and advocating for music derived from Southern tradition. As a UNC-educated folklorist, he researches and tells the stories of North Carolinians, everyone from lowrider communities to gospel singers. There’s a gospel sensibility, too, to his songwriting – haunting, potent stuff that is simultaneously both “cerebral and visceral”, as INDY Week’s Grayson Currin puts it. He’s also producing Alice’s forthcoming record.

Their shared connection to UNC has brought them both into contact with Bernie Herman, Chair of the University’s American Studies Department and truly one of the great scholars of all things American. A Bob Dylan student, a grower and connoisseur of oysters, an expert on self-taught arts, sweet potatoes, figs, quilts, and all manner of other material culture, Herman is a master of complicating the seemingly straightforward. He is, in other words, a master folklorist.

The three will gather in an unprecedented pooling of talent and wisdom to tackle some of the tougher contradictions entailed in the making and study of music, especially in the South. We invite all to join us at this free discussion and celebration – there will be music, storytelling, laughter, and, with any luck, conversation that will stick with you for a long time.

-When: Saturday, April 5th (doors open 12:30, discussion at 1:00)
-Where: UNC’s Gerrard Hall
-How much: FREE!

North Carolina Literary Festival: The Future of Reading

  • Hosted by the NCSU Libraries at NC State University
  • April 3-6, 2014
  • The primary venue for the Festival will be the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on Centennial Campus.
  • Quail Ridge Books and Music is the bookseller for the North Carolina Literary Festival and will be coordinating on-site book sales and signings.
  • The Festival is not accepting author submissions at this time. If you are interested in making a gift in support of the Festival or in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jason Jefferies at or (919) 513-3522. More information about the Festival will be posted as it becomes available.

About the North Carolina Literary Festival

  • This free public event is hosted on a rotating basis by the NCSU Libraries, the Duke University Libraries, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries. The Festival is designed to attract people of all ages, from our surrounding communities and across the state. The program will be varied and will include author readings and discussions, performances, book signings, children’s activities, book sales and more.
  • This program is supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.


20th Century Women Leaders - Film and Discussion Series

20th Century Women Leaders: Catalysts for Change

Pack Memorial Library will host a film and discussion series every Wednesday evening in April, 20th Century Women Leaders: Catalysts for Change. Each session will focus on one woman leader and will include the screening of scenes from documentary films, followed by discussions facilitated by Dr. Sarah Judson, UNC-Asheville history professor. The series will run Wednesdays, April 2 - April 30. All events will be 6-8 p.m. except for the April 23 session which will run until 9 p.m. to accommodate showing a film in its entirety.

The series will focus on five 20th century women leaders from different cultures who have been catalysts for political or societal changes and who were all elected to leadership positions by the democratic process.

The five leaders to be discussed are:

April 2 - Fannie Lou Hamer was one of the best known grassroots Civil Rights leaders in the South. In 1964, she captured the attention of a nation when a speech she gave was televised during the Democratic National Convention. As an activist and vice-chairman of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Hamer spoke out for voting rights and equal justice.

April 9 - Indira Nehru Gandhi who was born into the politically prominent Nehru family; her father was the first prime minister of independent India. Gandhi served three consecutive terms as prime minister from 1966-1977 and was again elected in 1980. She served until her assassination in 1984.

April 16 - Margaret Thatcher was a research chemist who went on to study law and to become a leading figure in United Kingdom politics. She served 11 years as prime minister, from 1979 to 1990.

April 23 - Wilma Mankiller was the first modern woman Chief of the Cherokee Nation. This session includes showing The Cherokee Word for Water, a feature-length film that tells the story of the activism and community work which led to Mankiller’s election as Principal Chief. The film screening is in collaboration with another film series, Reclaiming Sacred Ground: Native American Self-Representation in Film.

April 30 - Aung Sun Suu Kyi – in the 1980’s Suu Kyi became a leader in the pro-democracy movement in Burma. Due to her political activities and large following, she was placed under house arrest for 15 of the last 21 years and was rarely able to see or communicate with her husband or sons. While imprisoned, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Suu Kyi was released in 2010 and ran for a seat in parliament. She began her career as a lawmaker in 2012, and continues working for political and economic reform in her country.

All of these film and discussion sessions are free of charge and open to the public, with no advance registration needed. This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Pack Library. Pack Library is located at 67 Haywood Street, Asheville. Please call 250-4717 for further information.

Cultural Awareness Fair

5th Event for CCT’s 35th Anniversary Celebrations
Saturday, March 22, 2014
11:00am - 5:00 pm
Tillery Community Center 321 Community Center Rd Tillery NC 27887

Music, Food, Arts & Crafts, Speakers
11:30am - Documentary Film - Children Go Where I Send You
(The Story of Rosenwald Schools in Hertford County)
Discussion Leader Caroline Stephenson of Barn Films, LLC (invited)
William Goldsmith, PhD Candidate at Duke University
1:00pm - Musical Guests & Keynote Speakers
Sparkie Watts, Guitarist, Theresa “Lady Day” Harvey, Charlie Hill, Jr., Keyboardist
Jesse Watts – Country Western & Pop Singer and Others.

Gary R. Redding, Law Student UNDC
Marla Frederick, Professor – Harvard University
Drawing for Door Prizes
For More Information Contact the CCT OFFICES at 252-826-3017

Look Homeward Angel: Memory, Imagination and the Worlds We Share

Sponsored by Asheville Art Museum

Dr. Charles Russell will be discussing the prominent roles of memory and imagination in Outsider Art. Dr. Russell is Professor Emeritus of English and American Studies at Rutgers University, Newark, where he was Director of American Studies and Associate Director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience. He is author to several publications on self-taught and outsider artists, including most recently: Groundwaters:A Century of Art by Self-Taught and Outsider Artists (2011).

Held in conjunction with the exhibition Social Geographies: Interpreting Space and Place.

From Civil War to Civil Rights: The African American Experience at Poplar Grove

Poplar Grove is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibit and lecture series for 2014! Thanks to your support and a generous grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, Poplar Grove Foundation will install a new, permanent exhibit on African American history.

“From Civil War to Civil Rights:  The African American Experience at Poplar Grove”

Watch From Civil War to Civil Rights Trailer from Poplar Grove on Vimeo.

This exhibit will chronicle the contributions of African Americans at the Poplar Grove site and in the Scotts Hill community from slavery to freedom. In an effort to tell the stories of those silenced by history, “From Civil War to Civil Rights” seeks to engage visitors in a dialogue about the Southern economy, race relations, and civil rights from emancipation to the mid-twentieth century. Please join us this year for events and lectures leading up to the Juneteenth unveiling of our new exhibit space!

Upcoming Events:

  • Lecture on the Rosenwald School Movement and African American Education in the South with Dr. Glen Harris (UNC-Wilmington) and Claudia Stack (Under the Kudzu)on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 6:30 pm
  • Lecture on West African Culture with Dr. Nana Amponsah (UNC-Wilmington) on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm
  • Lecture and Performance on African American Social Dance with Dr. Tommy DeFrantz (Duke University) on Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 6:30pm
  • Exhibit Unveiling, Juneteenth Celebration, and Reception on Thursday, June 19th at 6:30pm


Stay tuned for more information or call us at (910) 686-9518

Select Collection | Prints of Romare Bearden

Sponsored by Greenhill

About Select Collection at Greenhill
Select Collection (April 15 - June 22, 2014) is an exhibition and art sale at Greenhill
celebrating one collector and his extraordinary collection of Romare Bearden
etchings, screenprints, lithographs, bon à tires, drawing and collage. On display will
be over 40 of his works with 83 works available for sale. Romare Bearden was a
seminal African American artist and is recognized as one of America’s most
important 20th century artists.

On April 26, 2014, Greenhill will host an educational program which is free + open to the public:

10:00 - 11:30 AM: Romare Bearden in Context

Who was Romare Bearden, what was his role in 20th Century contemporary art,
what was his influence in and outside of the arts?

1:30 – 3:00 PM: The Prints of Romare Bearden

Discussion focused on examining the wide array of his prints, helping to articulateto viewers the experimentation, adaptation, and improvisation found in his prints.

Discussion Participants
Alison Fleming, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Art +
Visual Studies, Winston-Salem State University
Diedra Harris-Kelley, Co-Director of Romare Bearden Foundation, New York, NY
Janet Wall, Chief Researcher on the Catalogue Raisonne Project of Graphic Works
by Romare Bearden, Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, NC