On The Blue Ridge | The Official E-Newsletter for Heritage Partners of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
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New Blue Ridge Craft Trails of Western NC Initiative Launched
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership is blazing a new trail to boost the region’s craft industry across Western North Carolina, thanks to a $90,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.
 
“We are pleased to launch the Blue Ridge Craft Trails of Western North Carolina, a digital project that will help more visitors discover the rich heritage of crafts and connect with artisans in our mountain communities,” said Angie Chandler, executive director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.
 
Appalachian Regional Commission officials see the Blue Ridge Craft Trails as a pathway to new economic opportunities across a region hard-hit by job losses in traditional manufacturing over the past decades.
 
“Helping Appalachia leverage its cultural and natural assets into economic opportunity is one of ARC’s key investment strategies for the region.” said ARC Federal Co Chair Earl Gohl. “The Craft Trails project is an example of how this strategy is being put to work to create jobs and generate revenue across Western North Carolina."
 
The ARC grant is matched with funds from the North Carolina Arts Council and the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and other private gifts. Read more.
 
Photos courtesy of John C. Campbell Folk School.
 
 
New Partnership to Enhance Blue Ridge Music Trails of NC
The Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina (BRMT,) an initiative of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership and the North Carolina Arts Council, has forged a new partnership with WNCW 88.7 at Isothermal Community College in Spindale, NC, and the American Roots Music journal, No Depression. The new partnership will enhance the reach and awareness of the BRMT program both in the region and beyond.
 
The partnership includes the production, broadcast and online distribution of a new series of radio segments and podcasts called “Down the Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina” featuring Laura Boosinger, celebrated musician, folklorist and storyteller, as host. The segments highlight bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers and musical traditions across the 29 mountain and foothills counties included in the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina footprint.
 
Produced by WNCW’s Kim Clark, the short segments cover such subjects as the Piedmont blues style of Etta Baker, the musical recordings of Doc Watson and his family, Round Peak Music of Surry County, and Jimmie Rodgers and the Bristol recording sessions. Boosinger’s long history as a performer of traditional and bluegrass music as well as her musicologist background and knowledge of the region provide rich context for the segments.
 
The segments air on WNCW-FM (88.7) Tuesdays at 10:15 am and again Sunday afternoons around 4:30 pm during the station’s “This Old Porch” programming. “Down the Road” is also repurposed as online content by all three entities. Click here to listen to the first podcast about Jimmie Rodgers.
 
Photo from left: Becky Anderson, Dale Neal, Elizabeth Sims, Kim Clark, Angie Chandler, Laura Boosinger, and Stephanie Webb at announcement ceremonies.
 
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Blue Ridge National Heritage Area  •  195 Hemphill Knob Road  •  Asheville, NC 28803

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