By Jessica Isaacs | [email protected]
A magical world of creative and enlightening programs awaits you in 2016 at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum. Bring the whole family out to learn something new and ring in the New Year at one or all of these fun and affordable BRAHM events.
“We have something for everybody and a wide range of events,” said BRAHM Education and Outreach Director Leila Weinstein. “They’re a great way to learn something and to meet other people. Come with your friends or make some new ones.”
The museum is located at 159 Chestnut St. in downtown Blowing Rock. Visit blowingrockmuseum.org or call 828-295-9099 for more information. BRAHM is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Regular admission is free for members, $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and active military, $4 for students and children, free for ages 4 and under and $5 per person for groups of 10 or more.
Whether you’re looking for children’s activities, museum tours, special guests, film screenings, musical performances or more, BRAHM’s got you covered this January.
Read below for more dates, times and more information on upcoming programs.
Jan. 19: Coffee with the Curator, 11 a.m.
Exhibition and Collections Director Dianna Loughlin will guide you on this exclusive tour through the museum’s permanent collection, selections from which have been recently displayed.
“Dianna is very knowledgeable about the exhibits and the tour is free with your entry to the museum. There’s complimentary coffee and it’s a really nice way for people to come together,” Weinstein said. “You’re learning something, but you’re also socializing and getting to see the museum from a different angle.”
The tour will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s exhibits, including artwork by North Carolina native Elliott Dangerfield.
“We have some fabulous pieces by Elliott Dangerfield, who was a North Carolina-born artist who spent a lot of time in Blowing Rock. There’s a large local connection for him, and his work is just really, really beautiful,” said Weinstein. “The local connection really appeals to people. Before we had these we’d always have people asking about the Dangerfield paintings, so I think people will be really excited about it.”
Jan. 21: Birds of the High Country with Curtis Smalling, 11 a.m.
This edition of the monthly Scholars and Scones BRAHM events brings in Curtis Smalling, Audubon NC’s director of land bird conservation.
“In this late breakfast series, we invite local scholars from the community or from colleges and universities to come talk to us about their current research or projects they might be working on,” Weinstein said. “We try to keep it affordable, so its’ a $5 suggested donation. We will have complimentary coffee from the Hatchet Coffee Company here in Boone and we will have locally baked breakfast goods.”
Smalling, a graduate of ASU, will discuss the fascinating practice of local bird watching in North Carolina’s High Country.
Jan. 24: Mini Matinees: Wonders and Woodwinds, 2 p.m.
Made possible by performers from ASU’S Hayes School of Music, this children’s program will intertwine fairy tales, fables and classical music.
“These afternoon programs will introduce kids to the performing arts. I’m really excited about them, and we have a large variety,” said Weinstein. “I remember doing that sort of thing when I was little, and it sort of opened up this whole magical world to me.”
This month’s program will be available at just $8 for the whole family for museum members and $10 per family for nonmembers.
“The setting will be so intimate that kids are sort of learning the etiquette of sitting and watching a performance, but there will also be a Q-and-A so they can learn about what goes into some of these performances — I think that’s also really valuable,” Weinstein said. “It’s art forms they’re not exposed to every day in the modern world.”
Mini Matinees are sure to be one of your children’s favorite BRAHM events.
Jan. 29: Cork and Canvas/WinterFest, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
While you’re in town for Blowing Rock’s annual WinterFest, BRAHM events will include an evening of wine and painting in a relaxed atmosphere facilitated by a trained instructor. Wassily Kandinsky’s 1909 Winter Landscape is slated for the program. Join the fun at $30 for members and $40 for nonmembers.
Jan. 30: Arctic Art by BrrrAHM!/WinterFest, 1-2:30 p.m.
Celebrate winter by making arctic art at the museum during this free program while you’re enjoying WinterFest in Blowing Rock.
Ongoing BRAHM events:
Tuesdays: Afternoon Art Club, 3:30-4 p.m.
Children ages 6-10 can join the museum for creative art-making BRAHM events. This program is free for members and will cost $5 for nonmembers.
Thursdays: Doodlebug Club, 1-2 p.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m.
These fun, educational BRAHM events is designed for preschool-age children accompanied by adults and will be free for members or $5 for nonmembers.
Thursdays: Be Our Guest, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Enjoy free admission to BRAHM. Donations are encouraged.
Jan. 4, 11: WinterFest Parade Puppet Workshops for Kids, 3:30 p.m.
What could be cooler for aspiring young artists than showing off their work to a crowd of excited spectators? This two-day workshop for kids will offer the chance to use their hands and their imagination to create large-scale papier-mâché puppets that they can then animate during the Blowing Rock WinterFest Snowflake Parade on Jan. 30.
Children will work with artist Julie DelRosso to choose characters from a folk tale and bring them to life through their artwork.
“This is a really neat experience for them. They get to make their own art and then parade it down Main Street,” Weinstein said. “It’s a neat way for kids to show their art to other people and feel proud of it.”
Space is limited for this children’s workshop, so call 828-295-9099 to register your kids. Participation will cost $10 for BRAHM members and $15 for nonmembers.
Workshop BRAHM events will take place from 3:30-5 p.m. on Jan. 4 and 11. Children can meet back at the museum at 2:45 p.m. to join the lineup for the Snowflake Parade, which will begin at 3 p.m. on Jan. 30.
Jan. 5: Movies at the Museum: Sunny Side of Life (1985), 6 p.m.
This new film series offers guests an experience that’s both entertaining and educational. Watch history unfold during the screening of these interesting documentary films and dive into each subject with scholars and professionals in a Q-and-A session following each month’s movie.
In January, BRAHM will feature Sunny Side of Life, which was directed by Scott Faulkner, Anthony Slone and Jack Wright. The story digs into the spread of old-time Appalachian mountain music from the American south into other parts of the world as the Carter family carried it in the 1920s and ’30s.
“People will get to see films they may not otherwise see in the public. We have also facilitated a Q-and-A discussion period afterwards, and I think it’s really fun for people to have the chance to discuss film topics in an intellectual way,” said Weinstein. “Often we will get somebody who was involved in making the film or who might have particular knowledge about the topic. Audiences can get really engaged with the program.”
Music historian Dr. Gary Boye, a music librarian and professor at Appalachian State University, will lead the discussion that will follow the screening.
“I think this will appeal to people who are interested in the music of the region, and it should be a fun, easy-to-watch film — it’s very accessible,” said Weinstein. “The music of our region is sort of a mixture of Scotch Irish and English influences, but it’s just as much African American influence and Native American influence. That’s the music that sprang up in the mountains and eventually paved the way for country music. It’s uniquely American.”
The Jan. 5 screening will begin at 6 p.m. and is being funded by BRAHM’s Appalachian Culture and Heritage Education Fund. Join the event at $5 for members and students and $7 for nonmembers.
In February, this series will feature Doug Pray’s Art & Copy with the film’s executive producer, Mary Warlick.
Jan. 15: Winter Old-Time Dance, 7:30 p.m.
The Laurel Creek String Band will play some great old-time music and the dances will be called, so no experience is necessary for participation.