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BCM Earns Healthy Business Certification During Pandemic

Bristol, Va./Tenn. (August 11, 2020) – The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) has achieved Healthy Business Certification from the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry, certifying that both its business office and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum has a disease prevention plan in place that meets guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for workplace health and pandemic response. 

“Our first priority is to provide a safe environment for our visitors, volunteers, and staff,” said BCM Executive Director Leah Ross. “This certification helped us to refine our current guidelines and create a stronger plan that will help us combat illness in the workplace while providing a healthier environment for guests at the museum. Many of these practices will carry on past the pandemic.” 

When BCM was forced to close the Birthplace of Country Music Museum back in March due to COVID-19, the organization immediately went to work developing a health safety plan in preparations for the day of reopening. The state of Virginia gave the green light to reopen the museum in June, and the museum proceeded with full implementation of set plans.

In July the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce hosted the Health Business Certification training provided by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and invited BCM to take part. BCM attended the training, and though the class helped participants with the development of a safety plan, the nonprofit submitted its own, previously written plan. The plan was reviewed and accepted by the state with no further action needed. 

The Healthy Business Certification course helps businesses and organizations become familiar with standards and regulations that OSHA, the CDC, and WHO have set in place to make sure all employees function in a healthy workplace environment. Objectives include understanding the purpose of infectious disease prevention, recognizing potential hazards, identifying key components of an Infectious Disease Plan, and the development and implementation of an Infectious Disease Plan.

“We received tremendous feedback on the operational and safety plans our staff developed earlier this year, and we were thrilled to learn that the guidelines and practices we already had in place met the high standards of certification,” said Ross.

The certification will be up for renewal in July 2021. 

BCM Counting on Heroes and Raffle This Fall

Bristol, Va./Tenn. (August 3, 2020) – The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) has experienced its share of obstacles during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit was forced to close the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for nearly three months between March and June at the onset of social distancing, and last month BCM announced the cancellation of its 20th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, which was originally slated for September. 

“Despite the obstacles and lost income, BCM is determined to come back leaner and stronger as an organization, but we are asking for help,” said BCM Executive Director Leah Ross. “We are determined to stay positive and keep working toward solutions, and that means directing our focus on fundraising.”

The Bristol Sessions Super Raffle and the 2020 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Heroes campaign are two ways you can support BCM, and each offers some pretty sweet incentives for pitching in. With the purchase of a $100 Super Raffle ticket, you get two chances to win up to $250,000 in cash and prizes. Only 5,000 tickets will be sold, which increases your chances of walking away with up to $25,000 in cash, a 2020 Toyota Takoma, a 7-Day all-inclusive trip to Jamaica, and much, much more. Most of these big prizes were obtained from local businesses in partnership with BCM, and proceeds will help the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s recovery efforts. Visit BristolSessionsSuperRaffle.org to purchase tickets and see the long list of impressive prizes. The drawing will be held Sunday, September 13, 2020; ticket holders do not have to be present to win.

The 2020 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Heroes campaign is calling on the community to donate $75 or more to the Festival Recovery Fund to help recoup losses from this year’s cancelled event. Donors will be listed as 2020 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Heroes on a permanent display in the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, receive a Special Edition 20th anniversary poster signed by the artist, a discount on tickets for 2021, and more. Donations of over $250 will receive all of the above, a one-year membership to the organization’s 1927 Society, and other festival merchandise. All donations are tax-deductible, and 2020 tickets may be “donated” back to BCM to receive incentives. Visit BristolRhythmHero.com for more details.

Every effort is being made to contact ticket purchasers for the cancelled 2020 festival, but it is essential that each buyer fill out the intent form at BristolRhythm.com to let BCM know how they would like to transfer their tickets. New wristbands will need to be issued to those folks for 2021 if they wish to carry them over to next year. The 20th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival has been rescheduled for September 10-12, 2021 in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee.

Now that the Birthplace of Country Music Museum has re-opened, BCM is taking every measure to protect the health and safety of guests, volunteers, and staff. Masks are required by everyone in the museum, and guests are issued hand-sanitizer and sterilized styluses for use on the touchscreen exhibits. Heightened cleaning practices and social distancing are also part of the daily routine, with no more than 100 people allowed in the building at one time and tours spaced apart for safety. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets online prior to their visit at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.

Additionally, the special exhibit Real Folk: Passing on Trades & Traditions through the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program has been extended through August 30 for anyone who may have missed it. The exhibit explores all forms of Virginia’s expressive culture – from those found in the Appalachian hills and at the Chesapeake shore to new immigrant traditions brought to the state – including letterpress printing, mandolin making, African-American gospel singing, quilting, old-time banjo playing, Mexican folk dancing, classical Iranian and Persian music, country ham curing, and more.

The museum also offers a variety of virtual experiences and resources, including exhibit-focused videos, our Student Activity Center with lots of fun activities for children, Radio Bristol Book Club, the “Listen While I Tell” BCM blog, and more, online at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org/bcm-at-home. And on Tuesday, August 18, 3:30-5:00pm the museum will be hosting a virtual volunteer training via Zoom. Those interested in participating in this training should contact volunteercoordinator@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org

Great news for fans of WBCM Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time variety show! BCM has announced that the popular program has been syndicated on UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina and East Tennessee PBS, reaching 100 counties and 13 million households across the state of North Carolina and 30 counties in parts of Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky.

“We are thrilled to see Farm and Fun Time expand and reach new audiences,” said Radio Bristol producer and show host Kris Truelsen. “Since the launch of this program five years ago, we had a distant goal of syndicating it. To see that dream become a reality is truly remarkable. So much love and hard work has gone into creating Farm and Fun Time; it feels great to see people respond so positively to what our team has built. We expect more growth and are setting our sights on national syndication.”

Farm and Fun Time joined the programming lineup at Blue Ridge PBS in Roanoke, Virginia back in April. Combined, Farm and Fun Time potentially reaches nearly 20 million viewers in a parts of a five-state coverage area. Farm and Fun Time can still be accessed live online at ListenRadioBristol.org and viewed on the station’s Facebook Live once a month. Check online for local listings in your market; Farm and Fun Time will air on UNC-TV in North Carolina at 9:00 p.m. EST on Saturday evenings. 

Congratulations are also in order for Radio Bristol’s Kris Truelsen on his recent nomination for the Momentum Award for Industry Involvement from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), which recognizes both musicians and bluegrass industry professionals who are making significant contributions to or are having a significant influence upon bluegrass music.

Tune in to WBCM’s Radio Bristol Book Club on August 27 at 11:00 a.m. and explore The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good Book by author Wendy Welch.The book chronicles the true-life journey of Welch and her husband amid their escape from a toxic work environment to a struggling mining town where they opened their own bookstore. Customers like Bob the Mad Irishman and The Lady Who Liked Romances stop by the shop looking for the kind of interactive wisdom Kindles don’t spark, and they find friendship, community, and the uncommon pleasure of a good book in good company. The book club discussion will be followed with an interview with the author. The broadcast and archived shows can be accessed at ListenRadioBristol.org
 
For a complete list of events and a comprehensive look at everything the Birthplace of Country Music has to offer, visit BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.

April Fools? We Think NOT.

A Month of Cliche-Free Awesomeness from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum

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 oakley@easttnhistory.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 RoomRadio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Timeand 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.

December Events at BCM

Bristol, Tenn./Va. (November 27, 2018) – Christmas time in Historic Downtown Bristol is a truly magical experience. From the annual Christmas parade to the beautifully adorned shop windows all decked out for the season, there’s an abundance of hometown warmth and holiday cheer. While the kids are out of school, it’s the perfect opportunity to visit the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and take in For All The World To See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rightsa 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 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.

Visitors to For All The World To See will also encounter a supplementary display focused on local African American educational history, thanks to the City of Bristol, Tennessee, Bristol, Virginia Public Schools, the Slater School Alumni Association, and the Douglass School Alumni Association. Slater and Douglass Schools were built during the time of segregation as centers for educating African American youth in the region. Some children were bused in from as far away as Saltville and Glade Spring, Virginia to attend Douglass High School in Bristol. Photographs and artifacts from both schools are displayed alongside the special exhibit. Radio Bristol, the in-house radio station that broadcasts from the museum, will also feature 15-20 minute segments during itsOn the Sunny Side program, featuring stories and perspectives from members of our region’s African American community. The station broadcasts in the Bristol area on 100.1 FM, online atListenRadioBristol.org, and through the Radio Bristol mobile app. Finally, an event entitled Community Conversations About Race: A Moderated Panel Discussion will be held at the museum on December 4 at 6:30 p.m. as additional programming For All The World To See.

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum may seem like an unusual place to explore topics like civil rights, but the museum’s temporary exhibition gallery gives us the opportunity to usher in a variety of special exhibits to Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee that may not otherwise reach this region. This exhibition has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It has been adapted and is being toured by Mid-America Arts AllianceFor All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights was organized by The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution.

The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) also presents Richmond, Virginia’s Andrew Alli, accompanied by Josh Small, in concert on two separate nights and in two locations. On Friday, December 7, Alli will perform at the museum, and on Saturday, December 8, you’ll find him at The Inn at Wise in Wise, Virginia. Advance tickets to the show are $10; they will be on sale for $15 at the door. To reserve tickets visit the Events page at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.

Monthly Community Jams continue on Saturday, December 15, bringing musicians together for a good, old-fashioned jam session. Community Jams take place the third Saturday of each month in the Learning Center at the museum. These sessions are free and open to the public—all ages and experiences welcome!

Radio Bristol’s popular Farm and Fun Time Christmas Spectacular on December 20 featuring The Church Sisters, Carolina Blue, Sally & George, and house band Bill & the Belles may be sold out, but you don’t need to miss a note! The show will air in its entirety on Radio Bristol’s Facebook Live at 7:00 p.m. EST.

 

Birthplace of Country Music awarded marketing grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact:
Kim Davis
Marketing Director
Birthplace of Country Music
kdavis@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org
423-758-7702

Birthplace of Country Music awarded American Evolution Marketing Grant

Bristol, Va.-Tenn. (2018) – The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is proud to announce it has been awarded an American Evolution Marketing Grant from Virginia’s 2019 Commemoration.

The grant, administered by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, will be used to help BCM promote the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, as well as promote the new Virginia History Trails App by American Evolution.

The 2019 Commemoration American Evolution marks the 400th anniversary of several pivotal events that happened in Virginia in 1619.

Featured programs, events and legacy projects will highlight many historic firsts, according to the news release, including the first permanent English colony in North America, the first representative legislative assembly, the arrival of the first recorded Africans in English North America, the recruitment of English women to the colony and the first official English Thanksgiving.

BCM is also planning a special program in 2019 to celebrate the Commemoration. More details to be announced in early 2019.

For more information about the Birthplace of Country Music, visit birthplaceofcountrymusic.org. For more about American Evolution, visit www.americanevolution2019.com.

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Tracey Childress is a Winner!

We always say the Birthplace of Country Music has the very best staff any organization could hope for. Earlier this month our Executive Assistant, Tracey Childress, received outside recognition for her devoted efforts. Join us in wishing her a heartfelt “congratulations” for earning the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association’s Ordinary Award for outstanding service in a Virginia Attraction. Thank you, Tracey, for your hard work and extraordinary dedication to BCM!

Vote for BCM!

Birthplace of Country Music Asking for Votes
to Help Win Up to $25K Grant

25 Years of Giving Video Contest from First Tennessee Foundation

The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is asking for your help to win up to $25,000 in grant funding. It’s all part of the 25 Years of Giving Video Contest from the First Tennessee Foundation.

“If we are chosen, we will use the grant for educational programming at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum,” said Leah Ross, BCM Executive Director. BCM is the parent nonprofit of the museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. “The grant would enable us help schools with the cost of bus transportation to the museum for field trips. It would also help us with costs for Pick Along Summer Camp for kids and to provide curriculum materials for our free Teacher In-Service program.”

The top 30 videos with the most votes will advance to the next level as finalists, and 25 selected winners will receive a grant. Organizations from communities in Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia will compete for more than $80 million in grants during the 25 Years of Giving Contest.

“Once again, we are asking for help from our community,” Ross added. “They have always been so generous to us, and we are so grateful for that support. We can’t do this without them!”

Online voting begins August 15 and ends August 31, 2018. Go to www.firsttennesseefoundation.com to cast your vote. You will find BCM’s video listed under the state of Virginia. Participants are asked to log in to vote; individuals may vote once daily.

About First Tennessee Foundation

Our company established a private charitable foundation in 1993 to support nonprofit organizations in the communities we serve. We invest in a way that engages our employees, responds inclusively to needs and promotes progress and prosperity across Tennessee. Since its inception, our foundation has donated more than $80 million to meet community needs. The foundation was twice chosen as one of the most outstanding foundations by the Memphis chapter of the National Society of Fundraising Executives for our leadership in philanthropy and community involvement and a certificate of recognition for our outstanding work in the community from the American Bankers Association. The committee was impressed with the foundation’s initiative, creativity and dedication, especially in today’s challenging economic environment.

Birthplace of Country Music Partners with New UK Music Festival “The Long Road”

Bristol, Tenn./Va. (June 4, 2018) — The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is partnering with a new UK roots music festival to bring the music of our region “across the pond” just prior to BCM’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion this September. The Long Road: A Festival of Country, Americana & Roots is a major new music and lifestyle camping festival set to bring the world-famous, inimatable sights and sounds of the country music scene to the UK. Taking place within the grounds of Stanford Hall in Leicestershire (located two hours north of London) from September 7—9, 2018, The Long Road will present one of the UK’s largest, most authentic celebrations of country, Americana, and roots music featuring five stages of live performances, bespoke food events, and a wide range of themed outdoor activities.

Curated by Bristol, Tennessee native Baylen Leonard, a well-known country music specialist and radio presenter in the UK, The Long Road will present an array of artists from iconic US stars to up-and-coming home-grown talent.

“We first met Baylen at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion several years ago when he asked if he could conduct artist interviews for his BBC radio show during the festival,” said Leah Ross, BCM Executive Director. “He is proud of the history of his hometown and a huge supporter of our festival. He first approached us with the idea of partnering with a new country music festival in the UK over a year ago. We talked with our partners at the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and they are now partnering with us to bring a few Bristol Rhythm acts from Virginia to the UK to perform at The Long Road, including Folk Soul Revival, Dori Freeman, and Andrew Alli, and we are working with Tennessee Department of Tourist Development to show the Born in Bristol documentary film during The Long Road music festival as well.”

The first wave of acts that were announced in April included country star Lee Ann Womack, acclaimed singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Angaleena Presley, British country duo The Shires, popstar-turned-country music singer Una Healy, and Texas singer and winner of The Voice USA Danielle Bradbery. Reflecting the extraordinary surge in popularity that country music has enjoyed in the UK in recent years, The Long Road will also feature a strong contingent of rising star UK acts across the weekend including hotly-tipped London-based duo Ferris & Sylvester and country-soul singer-songwriter Yola Carter.

Much more than just a music festival, The Long Road will embrace all aspects of the country and Americana scene and, alongside its live music offerings, will incorporate an array of themed activities including moonshine and bourbon tasting, instrument and songwriters’ rounds, lake swimming, a Southern-inspired food and shopping village, and much more, providing festival-goers with a unique, authentic country music lifestyle experience.

For more information about The Long Road and to view the entire lineup, please visit www.thelongroad.com.

About the Birthplace of Country Music

Located in Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia, the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is the parent nonprofit organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. It is the mission of BCM to perpetuate, promote, and celebrate Bristol’s rich music heritage; to educate and engage audiences worldwide regarding the history, impact, and legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions from which BCM derives its name; and to create recognition, opportunities, and economic benefit for BCM’s local and regional communities. BCM accomplishes this mission through each of its primary branches (museum, festival, and radio station), special projects and events, and a multitude of community and educational outreach programs.

Birthplace of Country Music Partners with New UK Music Festival “The Long Road”

Bristol, VA-TN (May 22, 2018) — The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is partnering with a new UK roots music festival to bring the music of our region “across the pond” just prior to BCM’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion this September. The Long Road: A Festival of Country, Americana & Roots is a major new music and lifestyle camping festival set to bring the world-famous, inimatable sights and sounds of the country music scene to the UK. Taking place within the grounds of Stanford Hall in Leicestershire (located two hours north of London) from September 7—9, 2018, The Long Road will present one of the UK’s largest, most authentic celebrations of country, Americana, and roots music featuring four stages of live performances, bespoke food events, and a wide range of themed outdoor activities.

Curated by Bristol, Tennessee native Baylen Leonard, a well-known country music specialist and radio presenter in the UK, The Long Road will present an array of artists from iconic US stars to up-and-coming home-grown talent.

“We first met Baylen at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion several years ago when he asked if he could conduct artist interviews for his BBC radio show during the festival,” said Leah Ross, BCM Executive Director. “He is proud of the history of his hometown and a huge supporter of our festival. He first approached us with the idea of partnering with a new country festival in the UK over a year ago. Now the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is helping us bring a few Bristol Rhythm acts from Virginia over to the UK to perform at The Long Road including Folk Soul Revival, Dori Freeman, and Andrew Alli. We are working with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development to show the Born in Bristol documentary film during The Long Road as well.”

The first wave of acts that were announced last month include country star Lee Ann Womack, acclaimed singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Angaleena Presley, British country duo The Shires, popstar-turned-country music singer Una Healy, and Texas singer and winner of The Voice USA Danielle Bradbery. Reflecting the extraordinary surge in popularity that country music has enjoyed in the UK in recent years, The Long Road will also feature a strong contingent of rising star UK acts across the weekend including hotly-tipped London-based duo Ferris & Sylvester and country-soul singer-songwriter Yola Carter.

Much more than just a music festival, The Long Road will embrace all aspects of the country and Americana scene and, alongside its live music offerings, will incorporate an array of themed activities including moonshine and bourbon tasting, instrument and songwriters’ rounds, lake swimming, a Southern-inspired food and shopping village, and much more, providing festival-goers with a unique, authentic country music lifestyle experience.

For more information about The Long Road and to view the entire lineup, please visit www.thelongroad.com.

About the Birthplace of Country Music

Located in Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia, the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is the parent nonprofit organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. It is the mission of BCM to perpetuate, promote, and celebrate Bristol’s rich music heritage; to educate and engage audiences worldwide regarding the history, impact, and legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions from which BCM derives its name; and to create recognition, opportunities, and economic benefit for BCM’s local and regional communities. BCM accomplishes this mission through each of its primary branches (museum, festival, and radio station), special projects and events, and a multitude of community and educational outreach programs.

Birthplace of Country Music Announces Departure of Museum Director and Appointment of Head Curator

Jessica Turner
Dr. Jessica Turner

Bristol, Tenn./VA – (December 11, 2017) — The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) announces the resignation of Museum Director & Head Curator, Dr. Jessica Turner to accept a new position as Executive Director of the American Folklore Society.

“On behalf of BCM, we regretfully announce the resignation of Dr. Jessica Turner as the Museum Director & Head Curator of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. “Dr. Turner has been involved with the organization since 2011, and has officially served as Museum Director & Head Curator since 2013. She was instrumental in designing and curating the museum before it opened in August of 2014. BCM is very fortunate that Jessica was available to come on board to curate the museum’s content and help recruit an outstanding team of people, both staff and volunteers. Jessica will be missed, but we sincerely wish her well in her new position.”

Turner has accepted the position as Executive Director of the American Folklore Society (AFS), which is a US-based professional association that exists to further the discipline of folklore studies. As executive director, Turner will develop and carry out AFS initiatives and projects, raise funds, and serve as the organization’s representative to several national and international associations.

“I am proud to have worked with such a passionate and visionary group of staff, board, and volunteers as we designed and built the museum and developed its programs, and as we serve as an advocate for the arts in our region,” said Turner. “It’s a role that I will always cherish and will truly miss, and I will remain a strong supporter of BCM’s work and this community.”

Dr. Rene Rodgers

The major portion of Turner’s responsibilities will be transferred to Dr. Rene Rodgers who has been named Head Curator of the museum. Dr. Rodgers joined BCM in 2012, in a part-time role, as a member of the content team working on the exhibit script and design for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Once the museum opened in 2014, Rodgers joined the BCM team full time as the Curator of Exhibits & Publications and has overseen the special exhibits at the museum.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Rene’s caliber on our staff,” said Ross. “Rene is fully knowledgeable regarding the curatorial aspects of our museum as well as its staff and volunteers. I look forward to working with her going forward as we move towards fulfilling our mission and improving our museum and its related programs.”

 

About the Birthplace of Country Music
The Birthplace of Country Music is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to perpetuate, promote, and celebrate Bristol’s rich musical heritage; to educate and engage audiences worldwide regarding the history, impact, and legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions from which we derive our name; and to create recognition, opportunities, and economic benefit for our local and regional communities.

BCM accomplishes this mission through its three primary branches (Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and Radio Bristol), special projects and events, and a multitude of community and educational outreach programs.

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