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 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 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 Alliance. For 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.