An occasional list of exhibits, programs, and events at North Carolina museums. Sponsored by the North Carolina Museums Council.

Monday, March 17, 2014

NCMC Events From Around the State… March 17, 2014

1). The Charlotte Museum of History invites you to their Charlotte Neighborhoods Lecture on Friday, April 4th at 6:00 p.m.  Tom Hanchett will deliver a lecture on the development of Charlotte, followed by a reception.  Free Admission. Contact for more information.

2). High Point Museum invites you to learn how to make Thread Buttons in the Historical Park on Saturday, March 22nd from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Before plastic, early American women made buttons from whatever they had available—wood, walnuts, bone, even thread! Let our costumed interpreters show you how to make your own thread button.  Instruction available on the half-hour. Cost $1 per button. Free for Historical Society members.  Especially for ages 8 and up. Drop-in.  For more information on these events call 885-1859 or visit 

3). Historic Oak View County Park announces that in conjunction with their current exhibition, In Search of a New Deal: Images of NC, 1935-1941, they will be hosting a free lecture event, “Photographing Poverty” on April 5th at 1:00 p.m.  They welcome two speakers to explore how poverty is documented through photographs.  First, Dr. F. Jack Hurley, Professor Emeritus at the University of Memphis, will focus on the photographers who produced the much acclaimed FSA photographs on which our exhibit is based, as well as the historical significance of these particular photographs in the modern understanding of the Great Depression.  Secondly, Travis Long, an award-winning photojournalist with the Raleigh News & Observer, will discuss specific photographs on display in the park's exhibit "In Search of a New Deal: Images of North Carolina, 1935–1941" and how the Farm Security Administration's work during the Great Depression continues to influence approaches to documentary photography. You can find more information about the exhibition and events by visiting:

4). N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher invites you to Salt Marsh Exploration on Sundays, April 6th and April 20th at 1:00 p.m. Hike the salt marsh trail and view first-hand the activities of marsh-dwelling animals and the variety of plants found in this rich environment.  Ages 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes and be prepared to get wet and muddy.  For ages 7 and older. Fee: $18 for ages 13 and older, $16 for ages 7-12.  Aquarium admission included. PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED.

5). Tryon Palace announces the opening of their new exhibit and the New Bern Academy Museum.  Experience New Bern's Occupation through the eyes of African Americans, Confederates, Union soldiers and women caught between both North and South.  Spanning the March 1862 invasion of Burnside's forces, through the devastation of the 1864 yellow fever epidemic, "Face to Face" reveals the daily lives of both military officials and citizens under their rule through artifacts, audiovisual panels, compelling stories and period images. Medicine, emancipation, education, espionage and traditional mourning of the dead are some of the themes explored through the framework of wartime and its challenges. "Face to Face" is located in the New Bern Academy Museum, located on the corner of Hancock and New streets in historic downtown New Bern, N.C. Check out the Tryon Palace website for more information.

6). Museum of Anthropology invites you to Arctic Thaw Family Day on Saturday, March 22nd from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Join us as we celebrate the arrival of spring (we hope!) and our new exhibit The Yup'ik Way of Life: An Alaskan People in Transition. This event for all ages will feature crafts, activities, and stories related to the people of the Arctic.  Craft projects will include model igloos and traditional Yup'ik masks. Refreshments will be served.  Admission is free.

7). The North Carolina Museum of History announces that two April programs will complement their new exhibit Cedars in the Pines.   The first program, History à la Carte: Strangers at Home: History of Arabs in America, will take place on Wednesday, April 9th, noon - 1 p.m. Speaker Akram Khater, Ph.D., Director of Middle East Studies Program and Director of Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies, N.C. State University, will talk about how Arabs have lived in the United States since the 1870s, yet they continue to be seen as outsiders in their adopted home. This lunchtime lecture is free to the public and you are invited to bring your lunch; beverages provided.  The second program, Music of the Carolinas: Music for Cedars in the Pines, will take place on Sunday, April 13th, 3-4 p.m. Lebanese musicians Naji Hilal, Basil Samara and Christopher Saleh will combine their musical talents in this unique program that highlights Lebanese culture in North Carolina. The program is presented with PineCone and support from the N.C. Museum of History Associates, Williams Mullen, and Harry’s Guitar Shop of Raleigh. 

8). Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham to host 5K Run through Downtown Rockingham for the first annual Big Fun Run 5K.  The run will take place on Saturday, March 29th with an entire day of family-friendly fun at the Museum. Participants can choose to race in the Big Fun Run 5K beginning at 10:00 a.m. or enjoy the 1-Mile Little Fun Run beginning at 9:00 a.m. After the race, everyone can join Discovery Place KIDS and the City of Rockingham for family-fun activities, music and local food vendors. Then head to the Museum for a day filled with rich play experiences that will engage families’ imaginations and inspire learning. Participants will receive free Museum admission, and all other guests will receive half-off admission on race day. The Big Fun Run race is named after Discovery Place KIDS’ dance party, Big Fun, a daily show where guests get to “shake out the sillies” and sing songs to make them move and groove. It’s part of the I CAN Be Healthy program which celebrates healthy and active lifestyles. Registration for the Big Fun Run 5K is $35. The 1-Mile Little Fun Run is $10 to register.  All registrations include a t-shirt, race timing and Museum admission on race day. To register, pick up a Registration Form at Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham, or register online at

9). The Asheville Art Museum is excited to announce its next Pianoforte recital on Sunday, April 6th featuring internationally-recognized soloist Sandra Wright Shen. The award-winning pianist will be playing pieces from Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Liszt, Maurice Ravel, Zhao Zhang, Peixun Chen and Sergei Rachmaninoff, among others. The Museum’s Pianoforte recitals are held in the East Wing Upstairs Gallery, among evocative works of art. During Shen’s recital, the masterful photography of Ralph Burns will be on view in the gallery.  The cost of the concert is $8 (+ sales tax) for Museum members and $16 (+ sales tax) for non-members. Pianoforte concerts fill up quickly, so seats should be reserved early by calling the Museum at 828.253.3227.

10). The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art will open its next exhibition, Jennifer Meanley: Far away, in the Meadow, on Saturday, March 22nd. The solo exhibition, organized by SECCA and curated by Steven Matijcio, will run through May 24 in the Potter Gallery. The paintings and collages of North Carolina-based artist Jennifer Meanley lure us into richly hued and strange worlds. The exhibition includes new work by Meanley and features a site-specific 27-foot collage, which draws on classical narratives and further demonstrates the emotional complexity of the artist’s imagery and storytelling. A joint opening reception for Jennifer Meanley: Far away, in the Meadow and the upcoming exhibition Eric Fertman: A Comic Turn will be held on April 1 from 6-8 p.m. Guests will be able to experience the exhibitions in the company of both artists. Refreshments and a cash bar will be provided. SECCA is located at 750 Marguerite Drive and is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission to SECCA is free.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

NCMC Events From Around the State… March 10, 2014

1). The North Carolina Museum of History invites you to a special program, Created Equal: “Slavery by Another Name”, on Sunday, March 16th at 1:00 p.m.  Special speakers include W. Fitzhugh Brundage and William B. Umstead, Distinguished Professor and Department Chair, UNC-Chapel Hill.  Based on the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon, this 2012 PBS film challenges the commonly held assumption that slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Brundage will talk after the film (CARA rating: TV-PG-L,V) about new forms of forced labor that persisted in the South. Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is a series of programs made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

2). Kings Mountain Historical Museum presents a lecture & book signing by James F. Muench on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. James F. Muench will present a lecture on his first novel, The Teutonic Cross, which was published by Silver Tongue Press in 2013.  This historic mystery adventure novel follows the story of Heinrich Kueter, a young history professor and veteran of the Philippine–American War who solves the murder of a Chinese student, finds love, and fights racism in a small Missouri college town on the eve of World War I.  Admission is free!  Donations are appreciated.  All donations go towards fulfilling the Museum’s mission to collect, preserve, and interpret history through exhibits, educational programs, tours, and other appropriate means, in order to foster a deeper understanding of the history of our community and the region.  To find out more about upcoming exhibits and events, please visit us at: or call (704) 739-1019.  You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.

3). Bellamy Mansion Museum announces that Dr. Lucinda MacKethan will be giving a special lecture “Slave Voices in North Carolina” on Thursday, March 13th at 6:30 p.m. Dr. MacKethan presents the personal narratives, letters, poetry, and interviews of North Carolina slaves and discusses how these works fill in a lost or often distorted picture of slavery in our state before the Civil War. The narratives of Moses Roper, Lunsford Lane, and Harriet Jacobs; the poetry of George Moses Horton; and interviews from the WPA narratives will be explored to give a realistic picture of how North Carolina slaves lived, worked, created families, worshipped, and sometimes escaped from bondage.  Dr. MacKethan is an author, editor and specialist on the culture of the Old South. She recently retired as Alumni Distinguished Professor of English at NC State University, where she taught courses primarily in Southern and African American literature.

4). Museum of the Albemarle announces that the 2014 Albemarle Pinewood Derby scheduled for Saturday, March 8, 2014 has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 15, 2014 due to area schools making up an inclement weather day.  The Museum of the Albemarle will be the site of the Pinewood Derby.  Cub Scouts will begin registering and weighing in cars at 9 a.m., with a strict closing time of 10:30 a.m.  Races will begin at 11 a.m. and last until approximately 2 p.m.  Get caught up in the excitement of the Pinewood Derby by stopping by the Museum!  The Pinewood Derby is a Cub Scouts annual event. It is the most popular event for many Scouts and is probably the best known Scouting event among non-Scouts. Free family program. For more information call 252-335-1453

5). North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort invites you to “Boats and Boating”, a children’s program, on March 17th, from Noon – 1 p.m.  Children (grades 2-5) and their caregivers are invited to spend some of their day off at the Museum and learn about some of the different boats seen off the Crystal Coast and boat safety.   Visitors will have the chance to build their own blow boats and learn more about the importance of wearing a life jacket.  Program by School & Group Coordinator Christine Brin.  Free Admission.  Advance registration preferred. 252.728.7317. North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, 315 Front Street, Beaufort 28516.

6). Hands On!, the children’s museum located in downtown Hendersonville, invites you to a St. Patty’s Day Treasure Hunt on Tuesday, March 18th. All day. All ages. Try your hand at the luck o’ the Irish. Follow the clues to the treasure at the end of the rainbow!. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Hands On! is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and admission is $5 per person.  For more information about Hands On!, call 697-8333 or visit the website at

7). Greensboro Science Center to host Pajama Jam Light up the Night, an after-hours science celebration on March 28th. The Greensboro Science Center (GSC) will light up the night with a science celebration and dance party featuring Big Bang Boom! From 6pm - 9pm, the Center will be transformed into a kid-friendly cosmic complex for this glowing gathering targeted toward children ages 3 - 10. Children are encouraged to wear pajamas and enjoy activities such as: dancing to live music by Greensboro's own Big Bang Boom, listening to bedtime stories in front of the Carolina SciQuarium's shark reef, meeting some of the GSC's friendly animals up close, watching Night Sky and Laser Shows in the OmniSphere Theater, experimenting in Professor Van de Graaff's Funhouse, playing glowing games such as Glow Bowling and Tic Tac Glow, creating rock star crafts, including Backstage Passes and Glow-in-the-Dark Necklaces.  Admission to Pajama Jam is $10 for Greensboro Science Center members and $12 for non-members ages 3 and up. Children 2 and under are free. Additional information can be found online at:

8). The Asheville Art Museum is excited to host an opening reception for two exhibitions Sunday, March 16 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Both Pierre Daura: Modernist in the Mountains and Take 10: Collectors’ Circle 10th Anniversary are on view beginning Saturday, March 15th. Pierre Daura: Modernist in the Mountains features the beautiful artwork of artist Pierre Daura, including many mountain landscapes – scenes that residents of Western North Carolina will feel connected to. Take 10: Collectors’ Circle 10th Anniversary celebrates the generosity of the Asheville Art Museum’s Collectors’ Circle, a membership group that encourages the exchange of ideas and interests, art learning, connoisseurship and collecting. As a vibrant and critical source of support, they are dedicated to growing the Museum’s Permanent Collection through annual gifts of artwork, selected and presented in partnership with the curatorial staff. Take 10 is on view in the Museum’s Holden Community Gallery, which is always free and open to the public.

9). North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences announces that Thursdays are already exciting at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and now the Museum has partnered with the Smithsonian to present Smithsonian Science How?, delivering real-world science into classrooms through free, interactive, 25-minute live webcasts with Museum scientists, followed by  webcasts featuring Smithsonian scientists from the National Museum of Natural History.  These webcasts welcome the participation of students and teachers who can pose their own questions to our researchers and convey the curiosity and questioning at the heart of every scientific endeavor. The webcasts also provide students with positive STEM role models, information about science careers and pathways, and connections to current research. The Museum is also working with The Science House, a program of North Carolina State University, to implement this program statewide.  For more information on these virtual learning opportunities, visit

10). The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History announces that back by popular demand, acclaimed actor and playwright Mike Wiley will perform his primarily one-man show (with audience participation) called One Noble Journey: A Box Marked Freedom.  Henry “Box” Brown was an African American born into slavery in 1816 in Virginia. He devised an ingenious escape plan - sealing himself in a wooden box for shipment to friends and freedom in Philadelphia.  This program will be held on the 3rd floor of the Museum at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 21st and is free to the public, however donations are welcome. This project receives support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Surry Arts Council.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

NCMC Events From Around the State… March 3, 2014

1). The North Carolina Museum of History invites you to meet Tar Heel Sports Legends! Come hear North Carolinians talk about their sports careers, and meet them on Saturday, March 8th, from 10 a.m. to noon. The participants are Marques Ogden, former NFL offensive lineman; Ursula Gillespie, one of four licensed African American female drag racers in the United States; and Dave Wolak, an award-winning professional bass angler. These sports legends will take part in a discussion led by Donal Ware, host of the nationally syndicated sports radio talk show “From the Press Box to Press Row.”  This free program for ages 12 and up is presented in partnership with Our Youth Matters, a non-profit organization designed as an academic and social intervention program in Wake County. Learn about the hard work and commitment it takes to become a sports legend!

2). Kings Mountain Historical Museum invites you to “Shakespeare’s Spear: the History of Heraldry” on Thursday, March 27th at 5:30 p.m.  Learn about the fascinating history of heraldry – the art and science of blazoning Coats of Arms.  Heraldry originated as a method of identifying iron-clad knights on the fields of tournaments and battles, and evolved into a complex system used by royalty and nobility as a sign of status and heredity.  Hear the telling tale behind the grant of Shakespeare’s Coat of Arms, which includes two spears as a visual representation of the family name, and which helped a once-impoverished family regain their reputation.  Participants can create their own Coats of Arms; fun for the whole family!  Presented in partnership with Mauney Memorial Library’s 2014 Community Read “Whole Lotta Shakespeare Goin’ On.”

3). Bellamy Mansion Museum invites you to “Flashback Lecture: The Photography of Mack Munn” with Earnestine Keaton on Thursday March 6th at 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.  Their Mack Munn exhibit takes a leave of absence on March 7, but before it goes please join them for a discussion of the stories behind it. Earnestine Keaton leads the Lower Bladen-Columbus Historical Society and is the great niece of Mack Munn. She will discuss his life and the work on display. Earnestine will also share unseen historical images of rural African American life in southeastern NC. This UNCW exhibit is a fascinating look at a little seen local history. Join us to learn more. This event is free with a suggested donation for educational programming.

4). N.C. Transportation Museum’s annual Spring Kick Off on March 15th is a great way to welcome the warmer weather season with a host of train rides, family activities and an all around great family outing. This year, the Spring Kick Off will have some special features for rail fans and the general public alike, with the Lehigh Valley #126 steam locomotive pulling the museum’s caboose train and the debut of the newly restored Clinchfield 100 passenger rail car. Tickets for the N.C. Transportation Museum’s Spring Kick Off are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and active military and $10 for kids 3-12.  Tickets include museum admission, unlimited train rides and all events (except gold panning which is $2).  Member discounts apply. Tickets can be purchased in advance, through, or on the day of the event at the Barber Junction Visitor’s Center. 

5). Cape Fear Museum of History and Science invites you to help raise funds to purchase a new portable planetarium by the start of the 2014-2015 school year! Cape Fear Museum is hosting a “Reach for the Stars Luncheon” on Thursday, March 20 th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Union Station Building at Cape Fear Community College. A savory lunch prepared by Middle of the Island will be served. Author and humorist Celia Rivenbark will entertain us with fun and uplifting stories. Museum educators will provide demonstrations in the existing Starlab.  Reach for the Stars luncheon tickets are $37 each and table sponsorships are available. To make a reservation, contact Cindy Anzalotti at 910-798-4372 or email her at

6). Museum of the Albemarle will be the site of “Paint and Cookie:  Spring Themed Mixed-Media Canvas” on Friday, March 21st from 3:30-5:00 p.m.  The Museum and Serenity Studio Arts will join forces in creating a spring themed mixed-media canvas.    Elementary age students will use paint, paper, and found objects to create a mixed-media masterpiece on canvas.    The masterpieces created by participants during the workshop will be highlighted at Serenity Studio Arts on April 4, 2014 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. for 1st Friday Art Walk.  Limited space and supply fee required.  For More Information Call 252-335-1453

7). North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort invites you to “Beaufort Wine & Food - A Thirst for the Sea” on Saturday, March 8th from 4-7 p.m.  Enjoy dinner with local seafood prepared by Chef Tony Garnett of the Coral Bay Club and a special guest chef.   The inspiration for a dinner was taken from the name of Jack Saylor’s signature painting, created especially for the Beaufort Wine & Food.  As the Beaufort Wine & Food 2014 Artist, he will be on hand for the unveiling of the painting and to discuss his artistic vision. Cocktails and trawler tour 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Dinner at 5 p.m.  Tickets $125 per person. Proceeds benefit Carteret Catch and the Beaufort Wine & Food charities.  For more information, visit or call (252) 515-0708.

8). Museum of Anthropology invites you to their newest exhibit The Yup’ik Way of Life: An Alaskan People in Transition, on display Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. until August 29, 2014. This student-curated exhibit features photographs of Alaska’s Yup’ik people, their environment, and resources by Greensboro native John Rucker.  Taken between 1979 and 1987, the photographs document a lifestyle that has largely disappeared with the arrival of modern influences such as telephones, fast food, and television in the intervening years.  The images are integrated with objects made by Yup’ik artisans and collected by early Moravian missionaries with connections to Winston-Salem.  The objects provide a link to the past and further document the cultural transitions of the Yup’ik since European contact.  Admission is free.  For more information, visit, email, or call 336-758-5282.

9). The Matthews Heritage Museum’s newest exhibit Go Fly a Kite will open on March 20th, the first day of spring.  The exhibit will feature a variety of miniature kites, most of which were made by Jim Martin, a noted kite flyer and maker. Mr. Martin has been making many of his own kites for over a decade.  He is best known for his kite arches and miniature kites.  Jim’s miniature kites have won numerous awards and are very popular.  He continues to work on new designs.  In 2013 he participated in the Miniature Kite Challenge in Seaside, Oregon and placed first for “Best Flight”, second for “Most Beautiful” and third for smallest size. The exhibit will be on display until May 9th.  Come celebrate national Kiting month (April) by stopping by the museum to see this interesting and timely exhibit!

10). Hands On!, the children’s museum located in downtown Hendersonville, has a new exhibit opening!  A ribbon cutting for the new exhibit opening is scheduled with the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce for Wednesday, March 12th at 10:30 a.m. Build Your Brain is the new exhibit sponsored by Duke Energy Foundation and Exxon Mobil.  Along with these sponsors, The Catawba Science Center is donating the use of some of the exhibit pieces for one year. The exhibit will include educational interactives such as an Archimedes screw, Bernoulli blower, and an Imagination Playground.  The exhibit will foster children’s development by supporting STEM learning through constructive problem-solving, spatial and mathematical understanding, designing stable structures, and deepening their understanding of engineering principles.  The Imagination Playground encourages child-directed, unstructured free play – the kind of play that experts say is critical to a child’s intellectual, social, physical and emotional development. Comprised of an assortment of foam blocks in uniquely designed shapes, Imagination Playground empowers children to constantly reconfigure the space around them and design their own course of play. Hands On! is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and admission is $5 per person.  For more information about Hands On!, call 697-8333 or visit the website at

11). The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is calling all Navy engineering enthusiasts! Join them for an in-depth program on the Battleship's power plant on Saturday, March 15th from 12:00– 5:30 p.m. Learn in detail about the ship's eight Babcock & Wilcox boilers, four sets of General Electric turbines and reduction gears, steam and diesel powered service turbo generators, along with electrical distribution, water distillation, and steering mechanisms. Our program features classroom presentations and behind-the-scenes tour of engineering spaces. The program is for adults only (ages 16 and up) and is limited to 40 participants. It is not appropriate for those who have difficulty climbing narrow ladders or over knee-high hatches. Wear warm, comfortable, washable clothing, sturdy, rubber-soled shoes and bring a camera! Registration and payment are due by Thursday, March 13th.  Event is $65/$60 for Friends of the Battleship or active military. Call 910-251-5797 for reservations.

12). The Asheville Art Museum is excited to welcome artist Ben Aronson on March 9th at 3:00 p.m. for a gallery talk and closing reception. Sunday is the last day to view Cityscapes by Ben Aronson, and it is a unique opportunity for visitors to hear about the artwork in the exhibition from the artist himself. Following the talk, guests are invited to stay for a light reception.

13). Cameron Art Museum presents Corrugated World: The Artwork of James Grashow.  There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 7th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This is an opportunity for members and guests to be the first to view the exhibition and meet the artist. Admission to the opening for CAM members and guests are $10 each. Non-members may join as a member at the door to attend the opening. Memberships start at $35 and include a full year of admission to the exhibitions.

14). High Point Museum invites the community to “Lunch and Learn” with Dr. Kenneth Zogry, PhD, a historian and museum consultant, on Wednesday, March 12 at noon.  His presentation is entitled “Sitting Pretty: A History of Furniture Manufacturing in North Carolina: 1700 to Present.” For much of the second half of the twentieth century, the names of North Carolina companies such as Broyhill, Drexel, Henredon, and Thayer-Coggin represented the best in American furniture manufacturing, and High Point earned the title of “Furniture Capital of the World.” However, the furniture industry in the state is actually more than 300 years old, and this illustrated presentation follows that history from the early eighteenth century to the present. Come hear about our diverse history of furniture and their makers. The program is free and participants are invited to bring their lunch and learn. This project is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

15). North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences invites you to a epic on-screen battle when it shows “War of the Monsters” on First Friday, March  7th, at 7 p.m. The alternately titled “Gamera vs Barugon” is the second of several daikaiju eiga (Japanese giant monster films) featuring Gamera the giant turtle. This movie is free and open to the public.  Also, at this month’s Teen Science Café (6pm, Daily Planet Café), you are invited to join scientists from NC State University’s Human PoWeR (Physiology of Wearable Robotics) Lab for a demonstration of a thought-controlled, lightweight, air-powered exoskeleton. This device, designed to assist or enhance human movement, uses a non-invasive technique called surface electromyography to turn motor commands from the spinal cord into controlled muscle movement of the legs. Attendees can even “test-drive” the thought-controlled artificial muscles! The Museum stays open from 5 to 9 p.m. on the First Friday of every month, inviting visitors to witness a (classic) sci-fi or horror movie, wander through eye-catching exhibits, or enjoy food and beverages at the Daily Planet Café. Additionally, the Museum Stores offer after-hours shopping (till 7pm) and an opening reception for Anna Podris and Keith Norval, whose show “Distant Relatives: Dinosaurs and Birds” runs March 7-30 in the Nature Art Gallery. All exhibited art is for sale.

16). The Charlotte Museum of History invites you to their “History Talks Lecture Series” on Saturday, March 15th at 1:00 p.m.  This month’s lecture is “Forced Founders: Indians, Slaves, and the Origins of the American Revolution in the South” and led by Woody Holton.  There are no African Americans or Indians in John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence--the iconic image on the back of the two dollar bill--but slaves and Native Americans both played a crucial, if indirect, role in turning white Americans like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington into revolutionaries. Woody Holton, McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, traces these forgotten influences on the Founding Fathers in an illustrated lecture.  Holton was a National Book Award finalist in 2007 and winner of the 2010 Bancroft Prize, a prestigious academic award in the field of history. Free with paid admission.  Please register online to reserve a seat.

17). President James K. Polk State Historic Site invites you to “Lions of the West”, a book discussion presented by Robert Morgan at the Hilton Garden Inn Pineville on Wednesday, March 26th. Join staff, volunteers, and community members as author Robert Morgan discusses his fascinating book that profiles ten Americans who inspired our nation’s westward expansion. A wine and cheese reception will take place at 7:00pm, followed by the program and book signing. Cost is $30.00 for both the reception and program, and $20.00 just for the program. Members receive $5.00 off the price of a ticket. Books available for purchase for $20.00. Space is limited to the first 50 people. Please purchase your ticket today! You may register by phoning the museum at (704)889-7145 or by visiting  You may pay electronically by visiting the Membership section and clicking on the Donate button. Please feel free to call the museum at (704)889-7145 or e-mail at with any questions.

18). N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher invites you to special behind the scenes tours on Saturdays, March 15, 22, 29 at 11:15 a.m. and Sundays, March 9, 16, 23, 30 at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.  Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at an aquarium? Space for animal holding, husbandry, life support systems and access to exhibits is hidden behind the Aquarium walls. If you have ever cared for a home aquarium, you may have some idea of what it takes to operate a collection of salt and freshwater exhibits, with hundreds of animals. Accompany Aquarium staff on a guided tour of animal quarantine, life support, food preparation and access areas. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes. For ages 8 and older. Ages 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Fee: $18 for ages 13 and older, $16 for ages 8-12. Aquarium admission included. PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED.

19). Historic Wilmington Foundation invites you to the annual Azalea Festival Home Tour! This year’s tour will showcase the wide variety of architectural styles found in Wilmington. Nine historic homes and one historic church will welcome visitors April 12 and 13. Tickets, which are $25 in advance, go on sale March 19. They will be available at the Azalea Festival Office, as well as at and the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s office. Foundation members can buy tickets from the office for $15 through April 10th. On the days of the event, they will be available at any house on the tour for $30.

20). Joel Lane Museum House is proud to present a lecture on "Fine & Decorative Arts: An Era of Transition?" by Leland Little on Thursday, April 10th at 7 pm at the Visitors Center of the Joel Lane Museum House at 160 South Saint Mary’s Street, Raleigh, NC 27603. Admission is $15 for the general public and $10 for members of the Joel Lane Historical Society. Refreshments will be served. Seating is limited, and advanced payment is required. Please call 919-833-3431 with your MasterCard or Visa, mail a check to P O Box 10884, Raleigh NC 27605, or go to the Eventbrite web site. Be sure to include the names of all in your party; nametags will serve as tickets. Tickets are non-refundable unless we must cancel the event.