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

Monday, December 29, 2014

NCMC Events From Around the State… December 29, 2014

1). Hands On! (, a Child's Gallery in Hendersonville, NC invites you to explore Playtrays on Friday, January 2nd at 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.  and 2 – 4 p.m. All ages. Explore different play themes with a mix of materials and a simple tray every Friday in January (2, 9, 16, 23, 30). Gain competence organizing materials, creating verbal play scripts, and designing your own imaginative play. Free with $5 admission/free for members.

2). Kings Mountain Historical Museum ( announces their next exhibit, Pioneering Women of Cleveland County, which will run from February 7th – May 23rd, 2015.  The Pioneering Women of Cleveland County exhibit celebrates women’s history in Cleveland County and the surrounding region from the Revolutionary War to the present day.  The exhibit focuses a spotlight on the women whose courageous acts helped to turn the tide of the revolution, as well as on our “founding mothers” – the women who helped establish and maintain our area’s infrastructure, industries, hospitals, schools, churches, and civic organizations.  The display will also showcase local women who were groundbreakers and leaders in their professions, and reflect on how our unique local history fits into the broader narrative of women’s history throughout the nation.

3). Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum ( invites you to Dash at the Enemy: The Use of Modern Naval Theory to Examine the Battlefield at Elizabeth City, North Carolina on January 8th at 11:00 a.m.  Following the victory at Roanoke Island in 1862, Union naval officer Commander Stephen Rowan was given orders to pursue and destroy the Confederate fleet, which had retreated to Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  The engagement at Elizabeth City was short and a conclusive victory for the Union forces.  The tactics employed during the battle have been examined from historical documents, but have not yet been examined archaeologically.  Using frameworks set forth by the American Battlefield Protection Program and also using Modern Naval Theory, this study seeks to recreate the tactics used.  Presenter: Adam Parker, Program Maritime Studies, East Carolina University. Free program.  The program will also be streamed LIVE during a 6 p.m. online presentation at For more information, call 252-986-2995. 

4). Asheville Art Museum ( presents a documentary series on Abstraction Artists curated in conjunction with What You See Is What You See: American Abstraction After 1950 on view Tuesday, January 6 – Sunday, March 15, 2015.  As part of the its commitment to new media and education through film, the Asheville Art Museum has curated a series of art house documentaries that intimately explore the lives and careers of several artists represented in the exhibition What You See Is What You See. These films, which range in length and documentary style, were created by independent filmmakers and serve as serious artistic and, at times, experimental works. The ten films presented in the Museum’s New Media Gallery over a ten-week period serve as both educational tools to enhance our understanding of American Abstraction, as well as artistic representations of the subject matter as presented by the filmmakers. Please visit for a complete schedule of film showings and offerings.

5). N.C. Museum of History ( invites you to kick off Black History Month one day early at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. Join the excitement of the 14th Annual African American Cultural Celebration on Saturday, January 31st from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. More than 75 presenters, including musicians, storytellers, dancers, historians, playwrights, authors, artists, re-enactors and chefs, will participate in this free festival, named a “Top 20 Event” in 2014 by the Southeast Tourism Society. There are activities for all ages at this family-friendly celebration. The 2015 celebration’s theme is Let Freedom Sing! Bring the whole family for this educational and fun experience. The festival is supported by the N.C. African American Heritage Commission, the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, and Food Lion.

6). Fort Fisher State Historic Site ( will open North Carolina’s official 2015 commemoration of the events that led to the end of the Civil War 150 years ago by hosting “Nor Shall Your Glory Be Forgot: the 150th Anniversary of the 2nd Battle of Fort Fisher” on January 17th-18th.  The site will open at 9 a.m. each day, with activities throughout the day. At the core of the observance weekend are Saturday and Sunday recreations of the January 1865 Union attacks on Fort Fisher. The battle reenactments will feature hundreds of reenactors representing Union and Confederate soldiers, sailors, and Marines realistically depicting everything from camp life to battle strategies.  Saturday’s battle reenactment begins at 1:30 p.m., while Sunday’s reenactment will begin at 10:30 am. The program will also feature historians, authors, speakers, cannon firings, artillery demonstrations, new exhibits, new interpretive wayside trail markers, and a long list of VIPs and special guests, including renowned historian and battlefield guide Ed Bearss, who will serve as keynote speaker at the opening ceremony planned for 11 a.m. Saturday. Due to anticipated high attendance, visitors are encouraged to arrive early both days. Free public parking will be provided at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Base, just north of the historic site.  From there, visitors can take a short stroll to the site or board one of several free shuttles.

7). The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum ( and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts ( are partnering together to display Ruined Landscapes: Paintings of the Balkan War Zone, a gift from Hugh and Jane Spratt McColl. This collection of forty-two paintings depicting crumbling architecture and war-laden landscapes by Laura Buxton are an important component of the Turchin Center’s Permanent Collection, and are being loaned for display at BRAHM from January 17 – March 28, 2015. The exhibit will be commemorated during an Exhibition Celebration at BRAHM on Friday, February 13th from 5:30pm – 7pm. The event is free and open to the public.  General admission to the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum is $5 for adults and $4 for students, seniors, active military, and children ages 5 and up. Donations are accepted for admission to the Museum on Thursdays. For more information, please call (828) 295-9099 or visit

8). Spencer Doll & Toy Museum ( announces that they are now doing “Princess Parties”.  The parites feature a fairytale princess sharing how her life is in the castle, complimented by a princess cake. Guests will be dazzled and receive magical makeovers in glam and glitter. They will also craft a tiara and make their own lip gloss to take home. Event includes free admission to the Spencer Doll & Toy Museum.  Cost for each Princess is $15, minimum party attendance of ten. Princess decorations and paper products are included. Now booking parties for 2015. Call to book your Princess Royal Ball (704) 762-9359.

9). High Point Museum ( invites you out to two different demonstrations on Saturday, January 10th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Stop by and watch a costumed blacksmith in action as he crafts various iron pieces. Also learn what role did ashes played in making soap during the 18th century while you watch costumed interpreters make homemade lye soap on site.  All ages welcome. FREE. Drop-in.

10). NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher ( invites you to become an Aquarist Apprentice on Saturdays, January 24th and 31st at 2 p.m.  Check out a dirty job you’re sure to love.  Join staff on a behind-the-scenes tour and learn about Aquarium animals, what they eat, how they live and how to care for them. Then assist aquarists with food preparation and help feed the animals. Participants also observe aquarists during daily care and maintenance tasks. This limited opportunity is only open to 10 participants.  Participants should wear closed-toe shoes and be prepared to smell fishy. For ages 10 and older.  Ages 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.  Fee: $28 for ages 13 and older, $26 for ages 10-12. PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

NCMC Events From Around the State… December 22, 2014

1). Discovery Place, Inc. ( announces the launch of Welcome, a new program that provides low-cost access to families with EBT or WIC cards.  Welcome will reduce the cost of admission to $1 per person for families who present EBT (electronic benefit transfer) or WIC (Women, Infants and Children) cards at Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum or Discovery Place KIDS in Huntersville or Rockingham, for up to six family members. While this initiative provides families with accessibility, more importantly, Welcome is intended to celebrate the diversity of perspectives and ideas in the community and stimulate positive and progressive change in educational outcomes for Charlotte’s children.  Through Welcome, Discovery Place, Inc. is participating in Museums for All, a national initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.

2). Cameron Art Museum ( invites you to Group Singing: Wilmington Sacred Harp Singers on Sunday, December 28th in the Weyerhaeuser Reception Hall.  At 1:30 p.m. there will be instruction for beginners and the main program will be from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. for the entire group. Wilmington Sacred Harp Singers presents a traditional Sacred Harp Singing and invite you to join in the music. This dynamic form of a cappella social singing dates back to Colonial America, using a modern reprint of an 1844 songbook called The Sacred Harp. Sacred Harp and related shape-note styles are the oldest continuous singing traditions in the United States. No previous experience is necessary. Songbooks provided, free and open to the public, donations appreciated.

3). Thomas Wolfe Memorial ( announces that beginning in January of 2015 and continuing through June, a monthly Thomas Wolfe Book Club, sponsored by The Wilma Dykeman Legacy, will meet in downtown Asheville at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site.  Each month, a different local author will lead the club in discussion of a pre-selected short story written by Thomas Wolfe. The Thomas Wolfe Book Club meetings will take place on the 2nd Thursday of every month from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM.  Refreshments will be served from 5:30 to 6:00; the discussion will take place from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  Our text, from which all story selections will be made, is The Complete Short Stories of Thomas Wolfe edited by Francis E. Skipp with a Foreword by James Dickey (New York: Scribner’s, 1987). This book is on sale at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial and at your favorite local bookstore. For more information about events at Thomas Wolfe Memorial call 828-253-8304 or visit

4). N.C. Transportation Museum ( invites you to Winter Fever Train Rides, an annual offering of expanded train rides between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  This year, their added offering will be Restoration Tours of the Class J 611 Steam Locomotive. Winter Fever Train Rides give families a great opportunity to visit the museum, browse new exhibits, visit the museum’s Gift Station, and enjoy a 25 minute train ride around the former Spencer Shops locomotive repair facility, a State Historic Site. Tickets can be purchased at the Barber Junction Visitor's Center at the N.C. Transportation Museum on each event day. Museum admission plus the train ride is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and active military and $8 for children 3-12. Admission only is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and active military and $4 for ages 3-12.  Winter Fever Train Rides are offered Dec. 27, 28, 31.  Sunday rides are at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Rides take place at 11 a.m., 1, 2 and 3 p.m. all other days.

5). Joel Lane Museum House ( presents a lecture on "How to Read a House: Identifying Historic Buildings” by Mitch Wilds on Thursday, January 8th at 7:00 p.m. at the Visitors Center of the Joel Lane Museum House. Admission will be $16 for the general public and $11 for members of the Joel Lane Historical Society. Refreshments will be served. Seating is limited, and advanced payment is required. Please go to the Eventbrite web site to purchase admission. 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.

6). Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum ( invites you to On Stage: The Clythia, Masthead Light, January 1-31.  The Clythia was a large Norwegian bark that shipwrecked on January 22, 1894 near Wash Woods.  Visit the Museum in January to view her masthead light and discover her history and the details of her stranding just south of the Virginia-North Carolina line.  For more information, call the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum at 252-986-2995.

7). Museum of the Albemarle ( invites you to History for Lunch: Sweden on Wednesday, January 7th, 12:15–1 p.m. Longboats! Warriors—in horned helmets and armed with spears, axes, and shields! Villages in ruins! These are the images often associated with the Scandinavian people we call Vikings. However, archaeology has shown that they were also long-distance traders and daring explorers who operated within a complex society. Martha Williams, archaeologist and MOA volunteer, will discuss these fascinating people and their northern European home. Join us for an exciting History for Lunch at the Museum of the Albemarle on Wednesday, January 7th!  Bring your lunch, MOA will provide the beverages.

8). Greensboro Historical Museum ( announces the opening of their new exhibit, Warnersville: Our Home, Our Neighborhood, Our Stories.  Warnersville, the first planned African American community in Greensboro, has a unique history that will be told through a multimedia exhibit that includes video and oral histories, artifacts, film, maps, photographs and the poetry of Warnersville native Alonzo Stevens.  New technologies in the exhibit include ipad stations and a kiosk where stories come alive at a touch. Artifacts on exhibit range from the large, a set of doors and the cornerstone from JC Price Elementary School, to a 1960s championship baseball. The Warnersville exhibition project has been a true collaboration from the beginning, with an advisory exhibit committee that includes participants from David D. Jones Elementary School, the Warnersville Recreation Center, neighborhood churches, and the community. The exhibit will be open for the next twelve months. Special programs will be presented throughout 2015 highlighting different aspects of the Warnersville story. The Greensboro Historical Museum is open daily except Mondays. There is no admission fee. For group tour information, call (336) 373-6831.

9). Hands On! (, a Child's Gallery in Hendersonville, NC invites you to The Spirit of Kwanzaa all day on Tuesday, December 30th. Come learn about this African American holiday through self-directed educational activities. Free with $5 admission/Free for members.

10). Historic Wilmington Foundation ( invites you to Preservation Talks, a new series of discussions on Preservation and History.  The first lecture is Preservation Tax Credits in the NC Legislature with speakers Ted Davis (R) and Susi Hamilton (D) on January 6th, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at First Church Christ, 1620 Chestnut Street, Wilmington. Reception following presentation, refreshments provided. RSVP: 910.762.2511.