July Events at the Museum - The Birthplace of Country Music
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July Events at the Museum

Bristol, Va./Tenn. (June 29, 2020) – The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee celebrated its reopening to the public last month following a 13-week closure due to the threat of COVID-19. Visitation to the museum has been steady, with strict safety protocols that include face coverings being warn by guests, volunteers and staff, heightened cleaning duties and a limit of 100 people in the museum at once (including staff). Now that museum workers are easing in to this “new normal,” they are also taking steps to offer new programming in the form of Summer Music Workshops.

The first Summer Music Workshop for kids ages 8-18 is for beginners and will offer instruction on fiddle, guitar, and banjo. Participants will also tour the museum and take part in other activities. The beginner Workshop
will be held on Monday, July 20th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The all-ages Workshop will offer a lesson in songs of Southwest Virginia and a storytelling session about Southwest Virginia Jack Tales. It will be held on Saturday, July 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

An intermediate-level Workshop for youth ages 8-18 if for participants with a little more experience with an instrument or for those whom have previously attended the museum’s Pick Along Summer Camp. The Workshop offers music instruction in addition to creating a podcast for WBCM Radio Bristol. This Workshop will take place on Monday, July 27th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The cost for Summer Music Workshops at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is $75 per person. Instruments rentals are also available for an added fee. To learn more click here.

For those who may or may not have taken the online virtual tour, visitors are now welcome to take in the special exhibit Real Folk: Passing on Trades & Traditions through the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program in person through August 2. 

Since 2002, the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program at Virginia Humanities has brought together over 150 experienced master artists and eager apprentices, ensuring various art forms are passed on in ways that are conscious of history and faithful to tradition. 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 – are represented, 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 master artists comprise some of Virginia’s most celebrated practitioners of folk traditions both old and new to Virginia, and the apprentices learn their chosen craft not in classrooms or lecture halls, but in their traditional contexts, such as local dance halls, churches, woodshops, stables, and garages – making the passing on of these crafts even more meaningful.

Tune in to the Radio Bristol Book Club and explore Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam by author Pope Brock.Charlatan is the true story of one of the most famous con men in American history, John R. Brinkley, whose medical practice introduced outlandish surgical methods using goat glands to restore the virility of local farmers – ultimately making him filthy rich. Learn how this creative criminal – who maimed or killed patients by the score – also built the world’s most powerful radio transmitter and how his innovations in broadcasting still endure. Pick up a copy of the book, then listen live on Thursday, July 23 at 11:00 a.m. or later at ListenRadioBristol.org

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