Bristol, Tenn./Va. (January 4, 2019) – The New Year is shaping up to be an exciting one for theBirthplace of Country Music (BCM), parent nonprofit organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and WBCM Radio Bristol. Located in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee, BCM famously pays homage to the seminal 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings through each of its divisions and with exciting educational and community events year-round.
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is in its final days of For All The World To See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, a nationally touring exhibition from NEH on the Road. For All The World To See examines the role that visual culture played in shaping and transforming the struggle for racial equality in America from the late 1940s to the mid-1970s through a compelling assortment of photographs, television clips, art posters, and historic artifacts. It also traces how images and media disseminated to the American public transformed the modern Civil Rights movement and jolted Americans, both black and white, out of a state of denial or complacency. The museum will be open on Monday, January 7 to give visitors one last opportunity to take in this evocative special exhibit on its final day.
Note that content of For All the World to See addresses a wide range of issues and includes some images that may be too sensitive for very young children.
On January 8 the Arts Alliance Mountain Empire brings its speaker series to the Performance Theater at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for Side Effects May Include…, a funny and poignant one-man play starring Nick Koesters. The play examines one family’s struggles with Parkinson’s Disease. The show is free and open to the public, but not appropriate for children. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. and donations will be accepted to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Radio Bristol’s popular Farm and Fun Time variety show returns to the museum January 10 for the special program “A Celebration of Appalachian Balladry,” highlighting music and artists who performed on the album Big Bend Killing. Amythyst Kiah, Elizabeth LaPrelle, John Lilly, the ETSU Old Time Ramblers, and house band Bill and the Belles will perform. Farm and Fun Time is nearly sold out, but you don’t have to miss a note if you don’t have a ticket! The show will air on thestation’s Facebook Live at 7:00 p.m. EST. Viewers are encouraged to join the live chat and let everyone know where they are watching from!
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum will host two exciting community events on Saturday, January 19 that also require audience participation: the monthly Community Jam at 2:00 p.m. EST and a Square Dance at 7:00 p.m. EST! Both events are free and open to all ages and skill levels, but the museum asks for participants in the Square Dance to reserve a spot online as space is limited.
Looking ahead to February, two special exhibits will open at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Reading Appalachia: Voices from Children’s Literature will open on February 1; the exhibit features life-size characters from Appalachian children’s books and explores a range of themes in literature. On February 14 I Have a Voice: Tennessee’s African American Musical Heritage will also take residence; this special exhibit takes a look at the Volunteer State’s influential hit makers from a wide range of genres.
In August of this year, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, will celebrate its fifth year of operation – 92 years after the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings created what many now refer to as the “big bang” of country music. The award-winning museum tells the fascinating story of the Sessions’ vast influence though a number of engaging film experiences, interactive exhibits, and so much more. Look for events surrounding the anniversary in the months to come!
For a complete list of events and a comprehensive look at everything the Birthplace of Country Music has to offer, click here.