Bristol, Tenn./Va. (March 28, 2019) – The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM), the organization that brings you the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunionmusic festival, and Radio Bristol, doesn’t have any tricks up its sleeve this April, but will deliver an exciting calendar of great concerts and events – including special programs for children, teenagers, and educators.
Our weekly Family Story Time is an opportunity to explore the special exhibit Reading Appalachia: Voices from Children’s Literature while hearing some of the exciting stories included in the exhibit. Families with kids five and under are invited to join us in the Special Exhibits Gallery at the Birthplace of Country Music every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. EST through June where we’ll get cozy with a good book in our reading nook! There is no cost for the program, and participants may tour the Reading Appalachia special exhibit for free during their visit. The exhibit will be on display through June 30.
I Have a Voice: Tennessee’s African American Musical Heritage is in its final month in the museum’s Learning Center. The public is invited to explore this special exhibit highlighting African American Tennesseans’ important contribution to American music, including spirituals, blues, ragtime, jazz, gospel, R&B, rock, and soul music. I Have a Voice comes to Bristol from the Tennessee State Museum and will be on display through April 30.
Teenagers with a penchant for poetry or writing may enjoy Wordloose: A Teen Poetry Experience, a creative workshop with no right or wrong answers, just a willingness to write and share with the group – sharing is optional! “Home” will be the theme of the day, and teen writers of all skill levels are welcome to join at no cost, though donations are welcome. Space is limited, so participants must RSVP through the Events page at prior to the date. It’s all happening on Wednesday, April 17 at 6:30 p.m. EST at the museum.
Teaching with Primary Sources, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and the East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) will provide a teacher in-service at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum on Friday, April 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Entitled Examining Tennessee’s Story: Resources and Strategies for Social Studies Teachers, the program will explore important Tennessee historical moments featured in the Tennessee social studies standards using a wide range of primary and secondary sources. Educators will have the opportunity to learn hands-on, literacy-rich strategies for use in classroom instruction, many of which will be applicable or adaptable for Virginia teachers. A brief tour of the museum and information about BCM’s educational resources and programs will also be offered. There is no cost for this in-service, but there is limited space left on this workshop so interested educators are asked to preregister with Lisa Oakley, ETHS Curator of Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-215-8828. This workshop is supported through the Library of Congress and Humanities Tennessee.
In keeping with the Southern Appalachian tradition of making music, musicians will gather at the museum on Saturday, April 20 at 2:00 p.m. EST for a free Community Jam session. This popular, regularly scheduled program happens the third Saturday of each month and is offered at no cost. All skill levels and ages are welcome, or you can just come along to listen to good music!
Amazing concert experiences are also on tap this April, with BCM’s 1927 Society Concert Series, RTE 23 Listening Room, Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time, and the East Tennessee State University Gospel Choir in Concert.
GRAMMY Award-winning songwriter and musician Becky Buller and her full band will perform on Radio Bristol’s popular Farm and Fun Time live variety show at the museum on Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. EST with special guests The Matchsellers and Chatham Rabbits. Tickets to be part of the live studio audience are $30 and still available at ListenRadioBristol.org. The show will also stream live on Radio Bristol’s Facebook page and online at ListenRadioBristol.org.
April’s 1927 Society Concert featuring Red Molly sold out quickly, largely due to tickets being sold in advance to BCM 1927 Society Members. To learn how to become a member and take advantage of these exclusive pre-sale offers, visit SupportBCM.org. Three more 1927 Society Concerts are scheduled for June, August, and November with artists to be announced at a later date.
An extension of BCM’s RTE 23 Music Festival held annually in Wise, Virginia, the RTE 23 Listening Room Concert Series brings touring artists from the region and beyond together with fans for an intimate concert experience. On Friday, April 26 at 8:00 p.m. EST, Southwest Virginia alt-rock quartet Hello October will perform at Gather, 411 East Main Street, in Wise, Virginia as part of this series. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. To purchase tickets online visit the Events page.
On Sunday, April 28 BCM will host the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Gospel Choir in concert at the museum as companion programming to the special exhibit I Have a Voice: Tennessee’s African American Music Heritage. The ETSU Gospel Choir was founded in 1975 and averages 50 singers representing a wide range of nationalities and cultures. Tickets to the event are $5 and includes a tour of the I Have a Voice special exhibit. To purchase, visit the Events page.