By Charlotte Underwood
History, music, art and heritage can all be found at the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, which will be opening in Williamsburg this Saturday on Aug. 4 from 2-4 p.m.
The exhibit is titled New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music and it will run through Sept. 15. It is free and open to the public.
American roots music “reveals the American story” and offers insight into American cultures and heritage. The exhibit is part of Museum on Main Street, which is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, state humanities councils across the nation and local host institutions. The Kentucky Humanities Council and the Whitley County Fine Arts Council is responsible for bringing the exhibit to Williamsburg. The Whitley County Fine Arts Council and the surrounding community was chosen by the humanities council as the only southeast Kentucky venue to host the New Harmonies exhibit.
The exhibit will explore the many musical cultures of the nation through the use of a selection of photographs, recordings, instruments, lyrics and artist profiles.
“We are very pleased to be able to bring New Harmonies to our area. It allows us the opportunity to explore this fascinating of our own region’s musical history and we hope that it will inspire many to become even more involved in the cultural life of our community,” said Melissa Bond, Whitley County Fine Arts Extension Agent.
The exhibit opening will coincide with the opening of a new multi-use community arts center and gallery space, which is located at the former UK Extension Office at 428 Main Street in downtown Williamsburg. There will be bluegrass music and dancing at the exhibit opening. The Virgil Bolin and Peerless Mountain Bluegrass Band will be performing that day. There will also be an instrument making demonstration by Clifford Moses.
“Allowing all of our state’s residents to have access to the cultural resources of our nation’s premiere museum is a priority of the Kentucky Humanities Council,” said Kathleen Pool, Humanities Council Associate Director. She added that with this specific tour, the humanities council is “pleased to be working with the Whitley County Fine Arts Council to help develop local exhibitions and public programs to complement the exhibition.”
Such programs include a Friday night concert and workshop series, a series of Appalshop film screenings relating to Appalachian music on Mondays, as well as Saturday Farmer’s Market musical performances.
A full list of rural arts events can be found at www.whitleycountyfinearts.wordpress.com/events/calendar-of-events.
For more information about the Smithsonian New Harmonies and other Museum of Main Street programs, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org.
‘New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music’ begins Saturday in Williamsburg
By Charlotte Underwood
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