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

Monday, November 30, 2015

NCMC Events from Around the State… November 30, 2015

1). Levine Museum of the New South ( invites you to experience ¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South, a new bilingual exhibit that explores the dramatic demographic transformation occurring across the South, a shift many historians consider to be the biggest story in Southern history since the Civil Rights Movement. Developed by Levine Museum in partnership with Atlanta History Center and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, ¡NUEVOlution! features videos, art, interactives, artifacts, and more that share the powerful, personal stories behind the statistics, and the surprising ways Latinos are shaping the South and the South is shaping Latinos.

2). The Tobacco Farm Life Museum ( presents A Stroll in Time: Candlelight Tour on December 8th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Guided tours of the grounds will be offered by candlelight. Guides and interpretive volunteers stationed at the Museum's historic buildings will recount past holiday traditions and stories of life on the farm in the winter. While you wait for your tour you may also enjoy holiday music played live by local musicians, holiday refreshments, or Santa's Workshop where you can meet Santa and make a holiday craft. Admission for the event is $5 with refreshments sold separately. Proceeds from this event support the Museum's programming.

3). The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences ( reveals how Santa can watch every child on Earth, and every good or bad thing they do!  See all the weird and wonderful characters of make-believe! The fantastic crystal workroom of the happy elves! The fabulous realm of the candy-stick palaces! All are available for your viewing pleasure, when “Santa Claus” comes to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on First Friday, December 4, 7 p.m. This isn’t your daddy’s Santa Claus movie, but rather a strange Mexican fantasy film from 1959 in which Merlin the Magician helps Santa Claus save Christmas by defeating the evil machinations of Pitch, a demon with a digestive disorder. The movie was featured on “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” where they correctly observed that the film was “good old fashioned nightmare fuel.” TV Guide calls it “a cult classic among viewers who crave something a little more psychotronic than the usual holiday fare.” Quite a way to kick off the Holiday Season!

4). New Winston Museum ( is pleased to announce an upcoming program in concert with their latest exhibit, Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Winston-Salem’s Wheels of Change. Family Saturdays: Fun on Two Wheels will take place on December 5th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Join us on “Family Saturdays” for activities, safety demonstrations, and discussions with local cycling experts on hand to answer all your pedaling questions. Participating in the event will be representatives from the Winston-Salem Police Downtown Bike Patrol, Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, Safe Kids of Northwest Piedmont and City of Winston-Salem Dept. of Transportation. This event is free and open to the public.

5). Hands On! (, a Child's Gallery in Hendersonville, invites you to learn about dreidels and play the game, Tuesday, December 1st – Thursday, December 4th. The fun starts at 2:00 p.m. on December 1st and is self-directed until 3:00 p.m. on December 4th. This activity will help children learn more about a seasonal tradition that is during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah which begins on Sunday, December 6th and ends Monday, December 14th. Drop-in activities & educational information. Free with admission/free for members.

6). Tryon Palace ( invites you to the 35th annual Candlelight Celebration on Saturdays, December 12th and 19th from 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.  This famed North Carolina tradition returns to Tryon Palace in 2015 with beautiful, new decorations and heartwarming holiday vignettes illuminated by the magical glow of candlelight. Travel back to 1773 at the Governor’s Palace, 1814 at the Stanly House, and to 1835 at the Dixon House.  On the Palace Grounds enjoy the magic and wonder of 18th century circus acts including fire eating, sword swallowing, acrobatics, and magic tricks. Then, end your enchanted evening with a display of black powder fireworks illuminating the night sky over Tryon Palace. Candlelight is a “rain or shine event” but fireworks may be cancelled due to severe weather. All ticket sales are final and nontransferable, and only good for evening activities. For information about our group and bus tour opportunities, call 252-639-3524.

7). Mount Airy Museum of Regional History ( invites you to their FREE Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 4th. Tour four floors of museum exhibits, view themed Christmas trees, shop for holiday gifts, plus enjoy light refreshments and holiday music throughout the day.  Santa Claus will make a special appearance in the Children’s Gallery from 2 – 4 p.m. The Museum will be open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and admission is FREE.

8). Wrightsville Beach Museum of History ( invites you to their Open House on Sunday, December 6th from 2 - 4 p.m. They are decorated for the holidays and want you to come by and visit! Be sure to see their newly rebuilt pond made possible by a donation from The Wrightsville Beach Foundation. They have wonderful gifts for the holidays including a number of new books for adults and children and a great selection of prints by Ben Keys. Bring a friend! Coffee and light refreshments served. For more information and to RSVP call: 910-256-2569.

9). Fort Fisher State Historic Site ( presents “We Kept Our Courage Up: the 151st Commemoration of the First Attack on Fort Fisher” on Saturday, Dec. 5th. Free and open to the public, the program will be held from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and will include special tours, costumed interpreters, a free lecture, and periodic firings of the site’s 32-pounder seacoast rifled and banded cannon. Cannon firings will be held at 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. The site’s special “Above the Scenes” tours will be offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tour tickets are $10 (plus tax) for adults and will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Children 12 and under are free. Historian and author Dr. Chris Fonveille will present a free lecture at 12:30 p.m. in the site’s auditorium. Local historian Richard Triebe will also be on hand to sign and sell books related to Fort Fisher history.  For more information on the site, please call (910) 458-5538.

10). Cameron Art Museum ( presents José Bernal: Obra de Arte which will be on view through February 21st, 2016. This special exhibit is the first retrospective of Cuban born-American artist José Bernal (1925-2010). Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, Bernal excelled at both music and visual art as a child and, after receiving his Master’s Degree, began his teaching career while continuing to produce his artwork. In 1961, Bernal was arrested for unpatriotic behavior for refusal to work in the sugar cane fields. After this incident, Bernal and his wife Estela secured visas for themselves and their three children to leave Cuba for America and, by 1962, relocated to Chicago. Although he rarely exhibited, Bernal worked prolifically, producing hundreds of works throughout his lifetime and exploring the various mediums of painting, collage, assemblage and ceramics. Works curated for this exhibition are from the Bernal family, other private collections as well as ten museums across the US including Cameron Art Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, San Antonio Museum of Art, Tucson Museum of Art and El Museo del Barrio. This exhibition is sponsored in part by Wells Fargo, N.A.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

NCMC Events from Around the State… November 23, 2015

1). Hands On! (, a Child's Gallery in Hendersonville, invites you to join them for Holly-days. What is Holly-days? Holly-days is a month long educational program with a wintery wonderland & holiday theme! On December 2nd, the Hands On! Mountain is transformed by Jack Frost, Elves & Santa with decorations and activities where learning comes into play.  They will offer winter & holiday themed programming all month focusing on science, literacy, math, art, and cultural/religious festivals.  Some activities are free with admission & some have a small fee.  For additional information about their educational programs and facility, please visit their website at or call 828-697-8333.

2). The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville ( presents, “Science Cinema,” on Saturday, November 28th, featuring Walt Disney’s “The Jungle Book.” This 1967 film was the 19th animated feature in the Walt Disney animated Classic Series. This 78-minute film will be shown at 10:00 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. This film is rated G. The last Saturday of each month, the museum will be showing engaging nature and science films, perfect for the entire family. Science Cinema programming is funded by a grant awarded from the International Paper Foundation.   Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. For more information, please call the museum at 910-914-4185 or email

3). The Tobacco Farm Life Museum ( is hosting a Holiday Craft Show as part of their “Stepping into the Past Saturday Series”. On Saturday, November 28th and Saturday, December 5th crafters, demonstrators, and vendors will be on site selling their wares, all local and handmade products, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Holiday Craft Show is a great opportunity to find one of a kind gifts for everyone on your list while also supporting local craftspeople and folk artists and the preservation of traditional skills. Saturday Series events are included in regular museum admission.

4).  Levine Museum of the New South ( invites you to “Cuisine with a Conscience” on Tuesday, December 1 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Meet three area chefs who use their culinary talents to benefit important causes, ranging from hunger and poverty to human trafficking. Featuring Roberto Mendoza from The Chef’s Heaven Cuisine, Jim Noble from The King’s Kitchen, and Antonia “Neet” Childs from Neet’s Sweets. Discover the unique ways they serve their food with a mission as each talks about the issues they are passionate about, and how their establishments are tackling them. In addition to the program, guests will enjoy samples from the three chefs. Presented in conjunction with the exhibit, Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited, currently on display at Levine Museum. $4 for Museum members and $8 for non-members. Reservations are required as space is limited. Register online at

5). The Smith-McDowell House (, on the campus of A-B Tech Community College, opened the doors to its 2015 Holiday House on Wednesday, November 18th.    This year’s theme “Here We Come a-Caroling” celebrates the history and stories behind some well-known Christmas Carols with lavishly decorated period rooms representing the mid-late 19th century.  Young visitors can also enjoy a special “Twelve Days of Christmas” search to locate hidden objects throughout the house. The 2015 Holiday House will be open through Sunday, January 3rd during normal operating hours:  Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays Noon – 4 p.m. Ticket prices are $9 for adults; $5 for children and students. Groups may contact the house to schedule a tour.  The center is also offering guided Twilight Tours on Thursday, December 3rd and Friday, December 4th. These new, after-hours tours will last approximately one hour. Participants will experience the house through costumed interpreters, live music, and refreshments while learning history and fun-facts about the carols highlighted in year’s decorating theme.  Twilight Tour tickets are $25 general public; $20 Asheville History Center members; and $10 ages 3-18. Advance reservations are required and may be made by contacting the center directly at 828-253-9231 or purchasing online at

6). Tryon Palace ( announces the opening of their new exhibit, Child’s Play, at the North Carolina History Center.  The evolution of toys will come to life in this free exhibit in the Center’s Duffy Exhibition Gallery. Ranging from 18th-century ivory dominoes to 20th-century model trains, and from homemade toys to tech toys, Child’s Play offers a variety of objects both old and new. Visitors will also learn how industrial advances have changed toys, not only in appearance but in availability. Child’s Play includes hands-on opportunities for visitors to release their inner child by playing with games and toys that include Lincoln Logs, tops, dominos, board games, a Rubik’s cube and imaginary tea parties with dolls. Child’s Play will remain open as a free exhibit throughout the holiday season and continue through Jan. 10, 2016. For more information call 252-639-3500 or visit

7). The Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum (, a North Carolina State Historic Site, announces its upcoming Christmas event, “Cocoa and Candlelight in Canary: A 1940s Christmas Celebration”, on Saturday, December 5th from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.  “Cocoa and Candlelight in Canary” will be held in Canary Cottage, Dr. Brown’s campus home, and in the Museum’s Visitor Center. Visitors are invited to learn about 1940s holiday décor and traditions while enjoying refreshments, listening to vintage holiday music, and making their own ornaments to take home. Join the museum for a warm look back at the holiday traditions celebrated on Palmer’s campus. Tickets are $2.14 for youth and $3.20 for adults (18+)—Cash Only.  Please call 336-449-4846 for more information.

8). New Winston Museum ( will host a book reading and discussion with John Railey, author of “Rage to Redemption in the Sterilization Age: A Confrontation with American Genocide” on Thursday, December 3rd at 5:30 p.m. John Railey, editorial page editor of the Winston-Salem Journal, will read and discuss his recent book, and bookmarks will be on hand for book sales.  John Railey, a native of Tidewater, Virginia, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A veteran of Virginia and North Carolina newspapers, he is the editorial page editor of the Winston-Salem Journal. He has won numerous state and national awards for his work. Admission is free.

9). High Point Museum ( invites you to their 43rd Annual Holiday Open House on Sunday, December 6th from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. This annual event has become a tradition with local families. Come for a day of special reenactments, music, demonstrations, refreshments and hands-on activities like candle dipping!  Fun for all ages. FREE. No reservations required.

10). The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences ( presents “Eastern Coyotes: Part Wolf, Part Dog, Extremely Adaptable,” at the Museum in Downtown Raleigh on Thursday, December 3rd at 7:00 p.m.  Join mammalogist and coyote expert Roland Kays and learn how hybridizing with wolves and dogs allowed these coyotes to rapidly evolve into a larger predator, helping them to fill the ecological niche left open after the extirpation of wolves in the East.  This presentation is held in conjunction with “Extreme Mammals,” the Museum’s current special exhibition, which explores the diversity, ancestry and evolution of numerous species, ranging from huge to tiny, from speedy to sloth-like. This is the third in a series of scientific talks that delve into what makes a mammal extreme — the biological characteristics, behavior and ability to adapt for survival. Please visit for a full schedule of events.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

NCMC Events From Around the State… November 16, 2015

1). Discovery Place () announces the East Coast debut of Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life on Saturday, November 21st. Presented by Novant Health, Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life focuses on the human life cycle, capturing the body at every stage – at its most healthy, as it changes, grows, matures and finally wanes. In the 11,000-square-foot exhibition, designed by Body Worlds creative and conceptual designer Dr. Angelina Whalley, In addition to showcasing the wonders of human development, the 100+ specimens demonstrate the complexity, resilience and vulnerability of the human body in distress, disease and optimal health. All specimens presented in the BODY WORLDS exhibitions are preserved through Plastination, a scientific process invented by pioneering anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens. Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life will be on exhibition November 21, 2015 – May 1, 2016.  Advance tickets are now on sale. Tickets to the exhibition will be for timed entries. Guests can purchase tickets in one of three ways: online at, via phone at 704.372.6261 x300 or in person at Discovery Place.

2). The Museum of the Albemarle ( is in search of World War I Artifacts.  The year of 2017 marks the centennial of the First World War. To commemorate this period of American history, the Museum plans to mount an exhibition with the preliminary title of Tar Heels in the Trenches: The Great War and the Albemarle.  The Museum of the Albemarle interprets the history and culture of northeastern North Carolina. As with all exhibitions, the museum intends to include artifacts from all the 13 counties in this region in the upcoming World War I exhibit. If anybody has items or documents linked to World War I, the Museum of the Albemarle wants to hear from you!  In particular, the museum’s curatorial staff need artifacts linked to the Home Front, such as the Red Cross, Liberty Bond drives, or the YMCA. The exhibit will open at the Museum in January 2017 and run through December 2018. If you or someone you know has a Great War artifact, document or photograph, please contact Leonard Lanier, Assistant Curator at or by phone at 252-331-4030.

3). The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville ( invites you every third Saturday to join them for family-friendly science programs.  This month, 'Meet Me at the Museum’, Saturday Exploration,' welcomes Garry and Margeaux Deatsch of Tackapausha Wildlife Shelter and Rosebud, the Virginia Opossum.   The Deatsch’s will present their program, “It’s a Wild Life” on November 21 at 1:30 p.m.   They will discuss the role of wildlife rehabilitation in the community and its relationship with domestic pet rescue and how to create a certified wildlife habitat at your home or community space. Admission is Free, but donations are greatly appreciated.  For more information, please call the museum at 910-914-4185 or     

4).  N.C. Museum of History ( invites you to the 20th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration.  From the minute you arrive you will discover why it was named a “Top 20 Event” in 2015 by the Southeast Tourism Society. Experience the sights and sounds of this free festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 21st. For all ages, the celebration will feature drum groups, hundreds of dancers in regalia, storytellers, craftspeople and others from North Carolina’s eight state-recognized tribes.  Marking its 20th anniversary, the American Indian Heritage Celebration will offer more than ever. Presenters from across North Carolina will share their heritage and culture, past and present. Look inside a longhouse model to see how Indians once lived, watch a hide-tanning demonstration, and marvel at presentations by tribe members. Hands-on activities will be available at every turn: play traditional Cherokee games, shoot a bow and arrow, make seed jewelry, go on a scavenger hunt, and more.  Grab lunch from vendors. Get traditional American Indian foods, such as fry bread and stew, or try something different like Indian tacos or buffalo burritos.

5). The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum ( has seven exhibitions opening to the public this Winter: The Permanent Collection, Elliott Daingerfield, Ward Nichols: Look Again, A Retrospective of Eliot Clark, The Sculptor’s Voice, Truth Beneath These Hills: Uncovering the History and Heritage of Mining in Western North Carolina, and Origins: Works by Chastan Swain, Christopher Lin, Samuel Brown, and Nicholas Osetek, all of which will be open to the public by December 3rd.  The community is invited to view the opening of these exhibitions during the Winter Exhibition Celebration on Thursday, December 3rd from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. The reception is free, and the Museum will provide refreshments, a cash bar, and live music throughout the evening.
6). The Joel Lane Museum House ( will sponsor its annual Colonial Christmas Open House celebration on Saturday, December 5th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, and donations are requested. The house will be decorated with traditional greenery and will reflect the very different way in which colonists and early Americans celebrated the Christmas holiday. Information about the house and grounds will be offered by costumed docents; re-enactors will demonstrate scenes of 18th-century life; the sounds of live music will fill the air; and other interpreters will entertain children using colonial games and crafts through the “Hands-on History” program.  The museum store will be open with a great choice of gifts under $10 for both young and not so young, and the annual bake sale will feature delicious local specialties and traditional delights.  For more information, please call (919) 833-3431, email:, or visit

7). Hands On! (, a Child's Gallery in Hendersonville, invites you to Mad Scientists Lab: Smell-o-rama! on Tuesday, November 24th from 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. Ages 3yrs & up. Join Dr. Bunson & Dr. Beaker in the Mad Scientist Lab as they explore smells! Thanksgiving is just around the corner and what wonderful smells come along with it. Let’s explore the science of smell! $7 non-members (includes admission for child participating in class); free for members.  Limited spaces. Please call 828-697-8333 to register.

8). Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex ( invites you to celebrate the Christmas season with Victorian flare at the annual Holiday Jubilee at the 1897 Poe House on Sunday, December 6th from 1:00  -5:00 p.m.  This free event features a concert by Fayetteville’s own Coventry Carolers.  The Coventry Carolers will perform on the front porch of the Poe House at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. The house will be elaborately decorated for a Victorian Christmas providing a beautiful backdrop for this festive event and will be open between the caroling performances. The Poe House kitchen will be alive with the smells of Christmas goodies cooking on our 1902 Glenwood stove. Kids can make a whirligig toy to take home. Santa Claus will also be in attendance and available for pictures throughout the event. Santa photos are FREE!  The 1897 Poe House will be decorated for Christmas from November 24 through January 10.  It is open for tours Tuesday-Friday during the week at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00; Saturdays on the hour from 10:00-4:00 and Sundays on the hour from 1:00-4:00.  Tours of the house are free. For more information please call 910-486-1330.

9). The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher ( invites you to holiday fun with Santa at the Aquarium.  In some places Santa dashes through the snow, but in southeastern North Carolina, the jolly elf is more likely to make the most of the sandy coast. The Aquarium at Fort Fisher hosts a unique holiday experience with Kris Kringle and his aquatic friends at “Santa by the Sea” from 5 - 8 p.m. on Saturdays, Dec. 12th and 19th. Santa’s guests make holiday crafts, play games and win prizes while exploring the Aquarium’s decked halls. Visitors can also listen as Mrs. Claus shares a fishy and festive tale during story time. Good girls and boys can visit with Santa. He may even surprise everyone by diving alongside sharks, eels and one of his favorite sea turtle friends. Tis’ almost the season, so purchase your tickets today and start a holiday tradition your child will always remember. Admission includes a free photo with Santa for each child. Advance tickets are $15 per person; children 2 and younger are free. Tickets at the door will be $18. Aquarium members receive a 10% discount. Children must be accompanied by at least one paying adult. Advance tickets for “Santa by the Sea” available at  

10). Vance Birthplace State Historic Site ( invites you to their Christmas Candlelight Tours on Saturday, December 5th from 4:00 - 8:30 p.m.  Experience holiday traditions from the North Carolina backcountry on a guided living history tour.  Meet Vance neighbors and relatives as they lead you through the decorated house and explain the traditions and customs that may have been observed in the Reems Creek Valley in 1830.  Tour prices are $3.50 for Adults and $1.50 for Kids (6-16 years old) and members of the Friends of the Vance Birthplace.  Tours of 20 people will begin every 15 minutes.  Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis.