HIGH POINT -- Since emerging as a furniture manufacturing center in 1900, the city of High Point has capitalized on its home grown industry. The city's 10-story exposition building opened in June 1921 with 249,000 square feet of space. Today the High Point Market boasts more than 10 million square feet. A North Carolina Highway Historical Marker will be dedicated April 28 at 2 p.m., the final day of the spring High Point Market, to recognize the importance of the furniture industry to North Carolina.
The High Point Market is billed as the largest home furnishing trade show in the world. For six days each April and October the market is a major driver of the local economy. Although competitors appear periodically, most recently in Las Vegas, the High Point Market remains dominant. Economist John Schlictman defines High Point as a "niche city" that has created an economic specialization in a specific segment of the global economy.
For decades North Carolina has been a key player in the furniture industry nationally. The furniture industry started in the 1890s with six furniture plants. At its peak, the state's industry included more than 660 manufacturers and produced in excess of $6 billion in furniture and furnishings in North Carolina. Today it remains an important element in the state's economy. The High Point Market offers a strong marketing and branding position that benefits the entire state.
RALEIGH -- Set in 1864 and based on actual events, a readers’ theater presentation at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will feature scenes from a new drama, Camp Followers, by local playwright Rudy Wallace. The play follows the trials of a group of newly liberated slaves who have been abandoned in Georgia during Gen. William T. Sherman’s historic March to the Sea. Camp Followers is part of a drama series that was originally written for the N.C. Museum of History.
Presented by Voices in Concert, a professional theater ensemble specializing in plays about history, the program will take place Friday, May 2, from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is $5 per person for ages 13 and up; free for children 12 and under with adult. To register, call (919) 807-7992, or purchase tickets in advance at ncmuseumofhistory.org. Tickets also can be purchased the night of the event in the Museum Shop.
ELIZABETH CITY -- Spicy adventures in cooking, colorfully-clad dancers and piñatas for the children will highlight the buzz of activity at the Museum of the Albemarle May 3 for Cinco de Mayo: A Fiesta and Information Fair. Currently exhibiting Al Norte al Norte: Latino Life in North Carolina, the day of celebration is one of the related free programs for the free photography exhibit, running through July 5.
Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist José Galvez moved to North Carolina from Arizona in 2004 and began documenting life in the Latino community of business owners, farm laborers and grandparents alike. The 2010 U.S. Census reports that 8.4 percent of the state's population is Latino, compared to 1.2 percent 20 years earlier. In 51 photographs, Galvez reflects the Latino community adapting to and shaping life across North Carolina.
Galvez will conduct tours of the exhibit in English and Spanish at the fiesta and fair. Al Norte al Norte is the museum's first bilingual exhibit. Featured artist Cornelio Campos will exhibit and sell paintings that reflect the complex realities of migrant life that often are concealed; including immigration, the U.S. Mexico border difficulties and cultural identity.
ASHEVILLE -- The launch of the website www.BlueRidgeMusicNC.com this week highlights what happens when state agencies, along with regional and local partners, work together to improve the economic health of western North Carolina communities using traditional assets.
"We are partnering with private sector music venues and musicians to improve the economies of our communities," said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. "By positioning North Carolina's unique traditional assets for the tourism industry, we are demonstrating that arts and culture provide jobs, attract visitors, influence consumer spending and build community vitality."
The North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (DCR), created Blue Ridge Music Trails in 2003 as a way to use the region's rich music traditions to bring visitors to the state.The N.C. Department of Transportation, through a federal transportation enhancement grant, contracted with the DCR to reposition the Blue Ridge Music Trails project in 2010. The goal of the project is to use traditional music in 29 western and foothill counties to strengthen cultural tourism in the region. In addition to motivating North Carolina residents to explore traditional music, the projects targeted cultural travelers who are eager to connect to authentic experiences.
Noontime Performance in Raleigh Features Overtures to Don Giovanni and Die Fledermaus
RALEIGH -- Resident Conductor William Henry Curry will lead the North Carolina Symphony in works by master composers Johann Strauss, Jr., and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that will make for an unforgettable North Carolina Symphony Friday Favorites season finale in Friday, May 2, 2014, at noon in Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh.
Scholar Richard Rodda writes, “Johann Strauss was famed throughout the world for his waltzes for many years before he decided to write his first operetta… it was with Die Fledermaus (“The Bat”) that he created his first theatrical masterpiece.” Of Mozart, Rodda writes, “At no time was the separation between Mozart’s personal life and his transcendent music more apparent than in the summer of 1788, when, at the age of 32, he had only three years to live. His wife was ill and his own health was beginning to fail; his six-month-old daughter died on July 29th; Don Giovanni received a disappointing reception at its Viennese premiere on May 7th… Yet, amid all these difficulties, he produced, in less than two months, the three crowning jewels of his orchestral output, the Symphonies Nos. 39, 40 and 41.”
Tickets to the Raleigh Friday Favorites Series performance on Friday, May 2, are $27. Student tickets are $10. To purchase tickets, visit the North Carolina Symphony website at www.ncsymphony.org or call the Symphony Box Office at (919) 733-2750 or toll free (877) 627-6724. Tickets are also available one hour prior to the concert.
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