Published On: Tue, Mar 31st, 2015

WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center to mark 36 years in H.F. Robinson Building

Students from the Jackson County Junior Appalachian Musicians program and their instructors help entertain the crowd at WCU’s fall festival, Mountain Heritage Day. Area youth who participate in the program also will perform at a Saturday, April 11, “Mountain Heritage Center Celebration.” (Photo courtesy of the Junior Appalachian Musicians program)

Students from the Jackson County Junior Appalachian Musicians program and their instructors help entertain the crowd at WCU’s fall festival, Mountain Heritage Day. Area youth who participate in the program also will perform at a Saturday, April 11, “Mountain Heritage Center Celebration.” (Photo courtesy of the Junior Appalachian Musicians program)

 

 

CULLOWHEE – Friends and fans of Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center are invited to drop by the museum Saturday, April 11, to join in a celebration and reflection on its 36 years of education and service in WCU’s H.F. Robinson Administration Building and to learn about the museum’s upcoming move to WCU’s Hunter Library and its ultimate destination as the centerpiece of a new university visitor center.

“The Mountain Heritage Center Celebration – Past, Present and Future” will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. and is free and open to everyone.

Big changes are on the way for the Mountain Heritage Center this spring, said Pam Meister, curator and interim director of the museum. “In mid-May, the Mountain Heritage Center will move its offices and exhibits across campus to Hunter Library, where we will continue to serve WCU and the community,” Meister said. “Our collections will remain in the Robinson Building, where our artifact preservation and research work will continue.

“Ultimately, the Mountain Heritage Center will be the centerpiece of a new WCU visitor center. We’re about to embark on an exciting journey toward a bright future, and we invite everyone to be part of that journey,” she said.

Activities during the April 11 event will include interactive tours of the museum’s Scotch-Irish exhibit, which is scheduled to go into storage during the transition to a permanent facility. Demonstrations, children’s activities and refreshments in the lobby also are on the schedule.

“In recognition of all the performers, craftspeople and scholars who have been such an important part of the center’s work, some special friends of the Mountain Heritage Center will entertain visitors in the auditorium,” Meister said.

Asheville-based photographer Tim Barnwell will discuss the creation of his “Hands in Harmony” book at 1:30 p.m. An exhibit of Barnwell’s portraits is currently on display at the museum, and copies of the book will be available for purchase.

A Liars Bench reunion is planned for 2 p.m., featuring Gary Carden, founder of the Appalachian variety show, and Liars Bench regulars Dave Waldrop and Paul Iarussi, plus musicians William Ritter, Sarah Ogletree and David Brewin.

A presentation about the founding of the Mountain Heritage Center in 1979 and its plans for the future will be delivered at 3:30 p.m. by Meister and Josie Robinson Bewsey, daughter of late WCU chancellor H.F. “Cotton” Robinson. Their presentation will be followed by an hour of music featuring the Jackson County Junior Appalachian Musicians at 4 p.m. and a community sing-a-long with The Impromptus at 4:30 p.m.

The temporary relocation of the Mountain Heritage Center to Hunter Library is one of the first steps in a chain of events that will lead to the construction of the new welcome center on or near the site of the Cordelia Camp Building and the relocation of WCU’s Office of Admission, currently located in the Camp Building, into space now occupied by the museum in Robinson Building.

Info: (828) 227-7129

– WCU 

print