What’s New at BRAHM This Month? TAC Talks, Celtic Music, Mica Mining History and More

Published Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 10:20 am

By Kaitlan Morehouse

A magical world of creative and enlightening programs and volunteer opportunities await you this month at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum. Bring the whole family out to learn something or come by yourself and enjoy spring 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.”

March at BRAHM


Whether you’re looking for children’s activities, museum tours, special guests, film screenings, engaging lectures or more, BRAHM’s got you covered this March.

“We’ve really got something for everybody,” Weinstein said.

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.

Read below for more dates, times and more information on upcoming programs this month.

Call Weinstein for details on any event at 828-295-9099 ext. 3006 or contact her by email at [email protected]

March 10: TAC Talks, 6 p.m.

BRAHM events will include engaging lectures on “Thursday Art and Culture Talks,” which last about 45 minutes and feature a Q-and-A session with wine and cheese reception following.

This month’s lecture will discuss “The State of the Arts in North Carolina” and led by Frank Stasio, the host of “The State of Things” on WUNC.

“The talks are all either linked to exhibits that we have in the museum or to something of regional- or state-wide importance, so a lot of the talks are linked to culture in the mountains or events that are going on in North Carolina,” Weinstein said.

The museum welcomes you to look through the exhibitions before the talk begins.

“The talks are education in an entertaining way,” Weinstein said.

Learn something new and talk to other people who share your interests.

Free for members and $5 for nonmembers.

For more information, visit the event page.

March 12: Mountain Home Music St. Patrick’s Day Concert, featuring Handsome Molly, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Hear some lively tunes with the museum and its annual St. Patty’s Day partner Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music, which “Celebrates Appalachian Culture.”

Founder Shannon first moved to Boone in 1977, and he looked and found folks who shared his interest in traditional music like Cecil Gurganus, a fiddle player, and Steve Lewis, a guitar and banjo player, Mary Greene, a multidimensional musician and singer of old ballads and hymns and many more.

Bringing many performers together, he and the group played all over at houses, barns, churches and the occasional festivals and weddings. Shannon realized that they had no place of their own to perform, and Mountain Home Music was born.

Now, BRAHM is partnering with Mountain Home Music to bring you a “really good, traditional music group.”

This St. Patrick’s Day, Mountain Home Music will feature Handsome Molly: Kelly Kennedy (piano, accordion and vocals), Andy Cleveland (fiddle and whistles) and Craig DuBose (guitar).

“Sometimes it’s hard to recreate true Irish music on stage, but Handsome Molly does a really good job of that,” Weinstein said.

Handsome Molly is a Virginia-based trio performing traditional tunes from Ireland and the British Isles. Together, they have performed throughout the country, Ireland, Scotland and England. Their home is in Colonial Williamsburg and the surrounding region in Virginia.

Visit the trio on Facebook!

Tickets for the St. Patty’s Day event are $10 for ASU students and $15 for adults in advance and $18 for adults at the door and can be purchased here or at Pandora’s Mailbox at 1098 Main St. Blowing Rock, NC 28605.

For more information, visit the event page.

March 15: 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.

The tour will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s exhibits.

“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 in a previous interview. “You’re learning something, but you’re also socializing and getting to see the museum from a different angle.”

This month, the museum has an exhibit of paintings by Artist Ward Nichols, who paints hyper-realism and a little bit of fascist-surrealism.

Nichols will be in attendance during Coffee with the Curator, along with the director of the gallery where he usually shows his work.

“It’ll be an opportunity for people to meet the actual artist while looking at the paintings,” Weinstein said.

For more information, check out the event page or call Dianna Loughin at 828-295-9099 ext. 3007 or email [email protected]

March 16: Gone Fishin’: Art for the Trout Derby, 3:30-5 p.m.

With this program, your child can join the kids’ art class and learn to paint with watercolor with Carole Childers.

Weinstein said that Childers is a wonderful art instructor, a really good teacher and a lot of fun.

Childers teaches private lessons and adults with disabilities at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute.

Your children will paint using the theme of trout fishing, and that’s the only rule – they are encouraged to use their imagination as much as they want!

Do your kids love a good competition?

Submit their watercolor painting at the annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby on April 2 that kicks off trout season with a fun-filled day of activities, prizes and fishing.

If chosen, your child’s painting will be featured on a t-shirt and painting for next year’s Trout Derby.

$8 for members and $10 for nonmembers. Preregistration is required and will end at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 14.

“This art class was a way to link up with the Blowing Rock Trout Derby and have the museum be a part of that event,” Weinstein said. “So it should be really fun.”

Scholarships, which are a way to make sure the workshop is available to everyone, are available upon inquiry.

For more information, visit the event page.

March 17: Two-Thousand Years of Mica Mining in WNC, 11 a.m.

“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 in a previous interview. “We try to keep it affordable, so it’s a $5 suggested donation. We will have complimentary coffee from the Hatchet Coffee Company here in Boone, along with locally baked breakfast goods.”

This edition of the monthly Scholars and Scones BRAHM series brings in Archaeologist Alice Wright, an ASU faculty member researching mica mining in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Wright, an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at ASU, will discuss evidence for indigenous mica mining in western North Carolina. This will include her recent findings from her excavations at a newly discovered earthwork site. She will also consider how the ancient mica trade linked Native Appalachian communities with other societies in North America.

“We like to have local scholars from nearby colleges and universities,” Weinstein said.

The museum has an exhibit on mining in Western North Carolina called “The Truth Beneath These Hills,” which will be up until April 23 and curated by a Pubic History class at ASU.

For more information, check out the event page.

March 19: Home Movie Day of the High Country, 1-4 p.m.

Bring your old home movies and take a trip down memory lane at the inaugural Home Movie Day of the High Country, a nation-wide (along with a few other countries) movement celebrating amateur filmmaking.

After Beth Davison, director of the Sociology department and teacher at the University Documentary Film Services at ASU, learned about and attended a Home Movie Day, she mentioned it to Weinstein.

“They’re a chance for people to bring in home movies,” said Weinstein.

If you have any home movies that you love or that are sitting around the house collecting dust, bring them down to the Home Movie Day at 1 p.m. on March 19.

If you can’t find your movies, it’s okay! Take a “feels” trip as you enjoy everyone else’s home movies, free of charge.

Preservationists and Archivists who specialize in film preservation and conversion, snacks, bingo and door prizes will be at the event.

For more information, visit the Center for Home Movies, which started as a way to honor family films and cultural heritage and to value the movies as a valuable piece of cultural information.

“There’s never been one here in Western North Carolina, so we thought that we’d do one here in the High Country,” Weinstein said.

Visit the event page for details.

March 20: Mini Matinees: A Baroque Adventure, 2 p.m.

Made possible by performers from ASU’S the 18th Century Music Program, this children’s program within a series of three different performances will offer a collection of dance music from Bach, Vivaldi and Jean-Baptiste Lully’s time.

“The idea is to introduce kids to a variety of concert and theatre performances,” Weinstein said.

Two performances ago was a combination of classical music, fairy tales and Aesop’s fables, the last performance was a play and this one will be music from a different time period than previously performed.

“We wanted to have a variety of [performances],” Weinstein said.

This performances will be combined with dancing to encourage your children to get up and moving.

“We want to use this program as a way to introduce children to a variety of different music and a different performances and different time periods,” Weinstein said.

When you think of that time period, you might think of kings and courts, so the museum thought it might be appealing to kids in that way.

“These afternoon programs will introduce kids to the performing arts. I’m really excited about them, and we have a large variety,” said Weinstein said in a previous interview. “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 in a previous interview. “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 as they encourage them to get up, move and be excited about music.

The screening has no age limit, and the doors will open at 1:30 p.m. on a first come, first serve basis.

Check out the event page for additional information.

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 and extended hours at BRAHM. Donations are encouraged.

If you like what you see, ask the museum about its volunteer opportunities – they are open to all adults!

You could help out by serving hors d’oeuvres and greeting guests at a program or helping with one of your children’s events.

“We’re a nonprofit,” Weinstein said. “We’re always in need of a little help.”

Find BRAHM online today for more details and information!

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