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Blowing Rock Art & History Museum to offer behind the scenes look into the founding and development of Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual, Inc

A selection of white oak baskets show the evolution of forms over time while retaining traditional materials, dyes and patterns. Photo courtesy of the Mountain Heritage Center, WCU.

On Thursday, November 12th, 2020 from 11:00 – 12:00 pm, Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) will present a lecture on their newest exhibition, Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual: Tradition and Innovation. This talk will examine the founding and development of Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual, Inc. Qualla Arts and Crafts is the oldest Native American Cooperative. Founded in 1946, Qualla Arts and Crafts continues to uphold a standard of excellence when it comes to the traditional arts and crafts of the Eastern Cherokee. Showcasing the works of over 250 members, Qualla Arts and Crafts preserves and promotes the traditional arts and crafts of the Eastern Band of Cherokee.

We will hear from exhibit curators Anna Fariello and Pam Meister. Anna will guide us through the founding of the Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual. Pam will tell us about the Mountain Heritage Center’s Cherokee Craft collection at Western Carolina University and how the collection influenced the development of the Qualla exhibit.

Blowing Rock Art & History Museum seeks to provide cultural enrichment to the High Country communities by promoting the arts and Southern Appalachian heritage and history through educational programs, exhibitions, activities, and permanent collections.

The Museum is located at 159 Ginny Stevens Land on the corner of Chestnut and Main in downtown Blowing Rock, NC. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11am – 4pm.

For more information, please call programs director, Willard Watson at (828) 295-9099 ext. 3006 or visit www.blowingrockmuseum.org.

Here is the link to the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1468668586855928

Link to the lecture: https://zoom.us/j/97444796002

About the speakers:

Anna Fariello

Curator of over 30 exhibitions Anna Fariello is author of 7 books, numerous book chapters, and articles; presenter of over 150 conference papers and invited lectures; and director of over 30 federal, state, and private grants. She is a former Smithsonian Fellow and Fulbright Scholar and former Associate Professor at three state universities. At Western Carolina University, she curated a half dozen digital collections and online exhibitions.

Fariello has been honored with a 2010 Brown Hudson Award from the North Carolina Folklore Society, a 2013 Guardians of Culture award from the Association of Tribal Archives and Museums, a 2016 Preservation Excellence award from the North Carolina Preservation Consortium, and a 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Highland Craft Guild. She holds a B.A. in art from Rutgers University; an M.A. in Museum Studies/Art History from Virginia Commonwealth U.; and an M.F.A. from James Madison University.

Pam Meister

Pam Meister, director of the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University. Pam has worked at the Mountain Heritage Center, WCU’s museum of southern Appalachian culture and history, since 2010. She is currently leading the MHC through a major transition—operating the museum in temporary quarters while planning a new permanent facility, developing a regional outreach program, and expanding the scope of MHC’s services to K-12 and university students. A veteran museum professional, she has held leadership positions at museums in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, as well as serving as executive director of the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) and the Louisiana Association of Museums.

She is a founding faculty member of SEMC’s Jekyll Island Museum Institute, and for the past 10 years has coordinated SEMC’s annual Student Work in Museums awards program. An award-winning Peer Reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums, Pam has also served as a grants reviewer for the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Georgia Council for the Arts. In 2014, she was honored to receive the James R. Short Award for lifetime achievement from SEMC.

Her forty-two-year career in cultural resource management has also included positions with the National Endowment for the Arts, and as a theatrical costumer, stage manager and general manager of dance and theatre companies in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. A native of New Orleans, she holds a BA degree in Theatre (with a minor in History) from the University of New Orleans, and a MFA in Arts Management from the University of Georgia.