January Programs—and the Virtual African American Cultural Celebration—at the North Carolina Museum of History

While the weather might be cooler, the North Carolina Museum of History continues to offer online programs this winter season, and they are perfect for everyone in the family. Museum exhibits and the Museum shop are also open to the public with special hours and protocols! Admission is free.

Top Five Things to Do This Month

Engage virtually with the statewide kickoff to Black History Month: the 20th annual African American Cultural Celebration! From the safety and comfort of home, you can celebrate music, movement, and drama, health and wellness conversations, spoken word programs, and other educational sessions.

Include your young ones in the fun with History Corner and History Hunter programs.

Explore the world of folk art miniatures during one of this month’s History and Highballs programs, American Folk Art Buildings.

Visit a pop-up display about the Green Book—in the museum! This publication was a travel guide for African Americans, designed to help them navigate Jim Crow segregation.

Drop by the Museum Shop, or shop online, for local foods and home goods—you know you forgot someone on your holiday shopping list.

Read on for a current listing of our January events, but follow us on social media for updates and additional offerings. You can also stay up to date on all programs, exhibits, and events at the museum website: access NCMOH.com or ncmuseumofhistory.org. Programs are FREE unless otherwise noted.

*Events with asterisks note family and kid-friendly programming.

History and Highballs: American Folk Art Buildings

Thursday, Jan. 7, 7 p.m. via Zoom

Located in Hillsborough, the nation’s only collection of American folk art buildings combines creativity, skill, and American architectural history to present such one-of-a-kind structures as houses, schools, and churches; Ferris wheels and carousels; bridges, stores, and factories; castles, and more—all reflections of communities, and imaginations. The collection, gathered and cared for over many years by Steven Burke and Randy Campbell, contains works of all sizes made by largely unknown artists and crafters from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century and displays a wide range in skills and interests. The miniature structures served as inspiration for the short film Rendered Small, by architect Louis Cherry and filmmaker Marsha Gordon, which shows these unique structures to an audience that would not otherwise get to see them. A viewing of this Longleaf Film Festival official selection film is part of the evening program, as well as a short Q&A session.

*History Corner: North Carolina Legends and Folktales

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 1–2 p.m.

Ages 6–9; parents are invited to participate with their children during the program

Once upon a time . . . hear a tall tale, or two, and learn about North Carolina storytellers!

*Civil Rights and North Carolina

Friday, Jan. 15

Groups, grades 6–12 and adults

How did World War II launch a social movement on the US home front? How did the actions of four young college students inspire an activist network dedicated to education, integration, and black enfranchisement? How does the work of the Civil Rights movement continue today in the call Black Lives Matter? Find out as this interactive virtual tour examines the history and legacy of the Civil Rights movement in North Carolina.

This free virtual tour will be offered during February, March, April, and May via Zoom or Demio. To book a tour or inquire about details, contact 919-814-7044 after Jan. 15.

*History Hunters: Museum Sleuths—A History Mystery!

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 1–2 p.m.

Ages 10–13

What is that thingamajig? Try your hand at naming mystery objects from the museum’s collection, and learn some tips on detecting your own.

Navigating Jim Crow: The Green Book & Oasis Spaces in North Carolina

Thursday, Jan. 28–Sunday, Feb. 28

Explore this pop-up panel display about the Green Book, an annual travel guide that helped African Americans navigate Jim Crow segregation. Published from 1936 to 1966, it pointed African American travelers to restaurants, lodging and car repair establishments, and other businesses that would serve them. The traveling exhibition showcases images of business owners, travelers, and North Carolina sites, along with oral history quotes and memories from African American travelers and descendants of Green Book site owners.

A well-used copy of the 1959 edition is displayed in the current museum exhibit Beach Music: Making Waves in the Carolinas.In addition, reproduction copies of several editions of the Green Book are available for purchase in the Museum Shop. The shop also has copies of Overground Railroad, by Candacy Taylor, and of Driving While Black, by historian Gretchen Sorin. If you cannot get into the shop physically, order online for postal delivery or curbside pickup.

The display was developed by the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission and its Oasis Spaces Project and designed by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Funding provided by a 2017 grant award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

*20th Annual African American Cultural Celebration

Saturday, Jan. 30, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

This year’s annual celebration—presented on digital platforms only—will bring together community organizations, authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and scholars to showcase the contributions that African Americans, past and present, have made to North Carolina’s history and culture. This year’s digital format will allow the Museum of History to share those contributions in a safe environment to a statewide audience. The theme Health and Healing will include a range of information about health disparities and about steps that African Americans can take to promote and preserve their health.

Register for your virtual seat to view performances, panel discussions, and demonstrations online. Attendance to some free events is limited.

Held in partnership with the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission and sponsored, in part, by the City of Raleigh, based on recommendation of the Raleigh Arts Commission; the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County; the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission; WakeMed Health and Hospitals; Publix; and Wegmans. Join the museum today, during the virtual festival, and get your MOHA/museum membership for half-price.

For information about the NC Museum of History, a Smithsonian Affiliate museum, call 919-814-7000 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org or follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube.

About the NC Museum of History

The North Carolina Museum of History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, fosters a passion for North Carolina history. This museum collects and preserves artifacts of state history and educates the public on the history of the state and the nation through exhibits and educational programs. Admission is free. Last year, more than 465,000 people visited the museum to see some of the 150,000 artifacts in the museum collection. The Museum of History, within the Division of State History Museums, is part of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

About the Smithsonian Affiliations Network

Since 2006, the North Carolina Museum of History has been a Smithsonian Affiliate, part of a select group of museums, cultural, educational, and arts organizations that share Smithsonian resources with the nation. The Smithsonian Affiliations network is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. More information is available at affiliations.si.edu.

About the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational, and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries, and natural assets in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums, and Jennette’s Pier, as well as 39 state parks and recreation areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported symphonic orchestra, the State Library of North Carolina, the State Archives of North Carolina, the North Carolina Arts Council, the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, and the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, along with the state Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, call 919-814-6800 or visit DNCR.nc.gov.