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MHU’s Ramsey Center Spring Lineup

Bluegrass music patriarch Ralph Stanley

Music, the Environment, Prisons, and the Cherokee Language Among Topics

Whether you’re looking to learn more about Appalachia or just be entertained, the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies at Mars Hill University has an exciting and eclectic lineup of programs and exhibitions for the 2018 spring semester. All programs are free of charge and open to the public.

The Ramsey Center will kick off the season on Tuesday, February 6, at 3:30 p.m., with Unveiling Our Treasures: From the Mountain to the Valley. In this presentation, Hart-Melvin Archival Research Fellows Laura Boggess and Patricia Thompson will discuss how Madison County’s landscape has changed over the years.

Next up, on Thursday, February 15 at 7:00 p.m., is the inaugural screening of the new film series Reel Appalachia. The Ralph Stanley Story (dir. Herb E. Smith, 2000, 80 mins) will be screened, followed by a Q&A with IBMA award-winner Gary Reid, author of The Music of the Stanley Brothers. Other films in the series include Up the Ridge (2006), screening date to be announced, which explores the private prison industry through the lens of a coal-producing town in Kentucky; and First Language: The Race to Save Cherokee (2016), on April 25, about efforts by the Eastern Band of Cherokee to preserve the Cherokee language. The films begin at 7:00 p.m., so there is plenty of time before the film to grab dinner at one of downtown Mars Hill’s Main Street restaurants.

Appalachian Evenings: A Lecture Series will begin February 22 at 6:00 p m. Curator Ann Miller Woodford will discuss her exhibition, When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African-American People in Far Western North Carolina (on loan from the Mountain Heritage Center, Western Carolina University), which will be displayed at the Ramsey Center until March 9. Other Appalachian Evenings include The View from Home: Images of Appalachia and the Rural-Urban Divide, a talk by Tim Marema, editor of the Center for Rural Strategies’ The Daily Yonder (March 8); and Between Slavery and the Want of Railroads: Reconstruction in Western North Carolina, a talk with ETSU professor Steven E. Nash (April 12).

If you are looking for a daytime activity, you might be interested in attending Around Here: Coffee and Conversation, which starts Monday, February 26 at 3:30 p.m. Complimentary coffee and cookies will be provided. The first talk will be A History of Spreading the Gospel through Music: From Slave Spirituals to Civil Rights, with professor David Gilbert, author of The Product of Our Souls: Ragtime, Race, and the Birth of the Manhattan Music Marketplace (UNC press, 2015). Later topics in the series include World War One and the opioid crisis.

About the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies

The Ramsey Center offers programs that explore the rich history and culture of Southern Appalachia, houses the Southern Appalachian Archives, and presents the annual Bascom Lamar Lunsford “Minstrel of Appalachia” Festival, which takes place in early October. For more information: 828-689-1115, lweinstein@mhu.edu, www.mhu.edu/ramsey-center

About Mars Hill University

Mars Hill University is a premier private, liberal arts institution offering over 30 baccalaureate degrees, as well as master’s degrees in criminal justice, elementary education, and management. Founded in 1856 by Baptist families of the region, the campus is located just 20 minutes north of Asheville in the mountains of western North Carolina. The university’s Asheville Center for Adult and Graduate Studies is located on Airport Road in Arden.

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