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2016 Biltmore Summer Concert Series

Once again, the 2016 Biltmore Summer Concert Series has us queueing for tickets and booking hotel rooms on the estate so we can listen to outstanding artists under the stars on the South Terrace of Biltmore House. We’ve seen quite a few memorable performances at Biltmore, made more so by the mesmerizing sunsets, views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the beauty that is Biltmore.

 

This year, Biltmore has an eclectic line-up of concerts that will appeal to a wide variety of visitors and music fans. Tickets for all shows go on sale May 18th.

North Carolina’s own, Daughtry, will rock out on the South Terrace on Thursday, July 28th at 7:30 p.m.

Rock General Admission: $62
Reserved Seating: $72
Premium Seating: $87

Daughtry is part of the 2016 Biltmore Summer Concert Series

Casting Crowns, with special guest Jeremy Camp, will perform Friday, August 12 at 7:30 p.m.

General Admission: $60
Reserved Seating: $65
Premium Seating: $75

Casting Crowns will be part of the featured entertainment this year during the Biltmore Summer Concert Series

Twelve-time Grammy award winner Emmylou Harris will perform on Sunday, August 14, at 7:30 p.m. with special guest Mary Chapin-Carpenter.

General Admission: $51
Reserved Seating: $61
Premium Seating: $86

12-time Grammy Award winning artist Emmylou Harris will take the stage as part of the Biltmore Summer Concert Series

photo by Michael K. Riley

The 80’s are back as Rick Springfield will be on hand with Night Ranger and The Romantics on Tuesday, August 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Rick Springfield will take part in the Biltmore Summer Concert Series

General Admission: $65
Reserved Seating: $75
Premium Seating: $90

The 15th Annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival

The 15th annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival will be held Saturday, May 21, in beautiful Surry County at Elkin Municipal Park. Started in 2002 with 7 wineries the festival had 4,500 attendees. Organizers are expecting 10,000 attendees this year

Showcasing the top wineries from North Carolina’s wine country, festival-goers will have the opportunity to sample from 30 wineries that are either located in the Yadkin Valley or use grapes harvested from Yadkin vineyards.

Originally developed to promote viticulture, local vintners now find themselves competing with well-established wine-regions, like California, and are taking home top prizes.

The 15th Annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival

Many people think of wine as a scary adventure and aren’t sure what to expect. Education is an important component of the festival, with winery representatives on-hand to answer questions and help people find wines that suit their tastes.

In addition to wine tastings, the festival includes food, music and crafts. Taylor Vaden’s Tribute to Elvis and Phatt City, a beach music and R&B band, will provide entertainment. Between music sets, kids can participate in a grape stomp.

The 10th annual Yadkin Valley Wine Auction will take place in downtown Elkin the night before the festival, Friday, May 20. The gala-style affair includes dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions. Items up for auction include furniture, travel packages, home decor items, college football tickets and more. That event is at The Liberty events hall and starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50, with all proceeds benefitting the Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Details:

Yadkin Valley Wine Festival tickets are $22 in advance and $30 at the gate. Active duty and retired military can purchase day-of tickets for $20. VIP tickets are available for $100. The VIP package includes preferential parking and access to the hospitality tent. Shuttle service is available to and from participating hotels for $5 per person.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For complete details and to purchase tickets, visit www.YVWF.com or call (336) 526-1111. To learn more about the Yadkin Valley area and explore lodging options, visit www.YadkinValleyNC.com.

Snow From Winters Past

North Carolina experienced its first blast of winter weather Friday in the form of snow and ice. We’ve enjoyed nesting, celebrated power coming back on to warm our homes, and have tried not to fall into holiday habits that we’ve been ignoring — such as excessive carbohydrates and sugar.

As Mount Mitchell digs out from 66 inches of snow, we thought we’d take a look back into North Carolina snowstorms of the past and share images of winter weather.

Snow looks much more elegant draping across vintage cars and downtown streets.

Snow in Raleigh, NC

From the Charles A. Farrell Photo Collection, PhC.9, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC. No known copyright restrictions.

Snow in the Carolinas

Intersection of Cannon Avenue (no longer in existence, present day vicinity of Dorothea Drive) and Saunders Street. Snow is seen on roadways, houses are seen lining the street 2-3 April 1915. From Carolina Power and Light (CP&L) Photograph Collection (PhC.68), North Carolina State Archives. No Known Copyright Restrictions

Can you imagine waking up to see the power lines down like this? We remember it during Hurricane Hugo, but not sure we’ve ever known snow to cause this type of damage.

Snow in Raleigh, NC

Pictured is Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, NC looking east from approximately present day Horne Street. The landscape is covered in deep snow, power lines are seen toppled over. NC State campus is seen in background with Tompkins Hall, Winston Hall, 1911 Building, and Syme Residence Hall also seen. 2-3 April 1915 From Carolina Power and Light (CP&L) Photograph Collection (PhC.68), North Carolina State Archive No Known Copyright Restrictions

Snow in Raleigh, NC

From the Charles A. Farrell Photo Collection, PhC.9, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC. No Known Copyright Restrictions

The Grove Park Inn is one of our favorite spots and this photo of the Inn makes us wish we were sitting in a rocking chair in front of their roaring fireplaces.

Snow at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC

E. M. Ball Photographic Collection (1918-1969), D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804

2016 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame Inductees

On Sunday, October 16, at 2:00 pm, the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame will induct three new members: Clyde Edgerton, Margaret Maron, and Carl Sandburg. They will join the fifty-seven inductees currently enshrined in the Hall. The ceremony will be held the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities in Southern Pines.

North Carolina has a rich literary tradition and heritage that we’re proud to support not only as writers, but as lovers of the written word. Our literary heritage goes back to the strong oral traditions and now includes the includes the non-traditional ways people are accessing and learning about literature including blogs, e-readers, social media, etc.

2016 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame Inductees

Clyde Edgerton was raised in the Bethesda community near Durham and is the author of ten novels, a book of advice, a memoir, short stories, and essays. Three of his novels—Raney, Walking Across Egypt, and Killer Diller—have been made into feature films, and seven of his books have been adapted for the stage.

Clyde Edgerton

He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and five of his novels have been New York Times Notable Books. Clyde is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington. He lives in Wilmington, NC, with his wife, Kristina, and their children.

Margaret Maron is the author of thirty novels and two collections of short stories. Winner of several major American awards for mysteries (Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity), her works are on the reading lists of various courses in contemporary Southern literature and have been translated into sixteen languages. She has served as president of Sisters in Crime, the American Crime Writers League, and Mystery Writers of America.

Margaret Maron -- 2016 Inductee into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame

A native Tar Heel—and a cousin of 2014 NCLHOF inductee Shelby Stephenson—Maron lives on her family’s farm a few miles southeast of Raleigh, the setting for Bootlegger’s Daughter, which is numbered among the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century as selected by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. In 2004, she received the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for best North Carolina novel of the year. In 2008, she was honored with the North Carolina Award for Literature, the state’s highest civilian honor. In 2013, Maron was named a Grand Master by Mystery Writers of America for lifetime achievement, and won the R. Hunt Parker Award for Significant Contributions to the Literature of North Carolina.

Carl Sandburg was born in a three-room cottage in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1878. The son of Swedish immigrants, young Sandburg spent time as a milkman, bricklayer, wheat thresher, shoeshiner, hobo, and soldier before making his name as a journalist, biographer, and poet. He won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for his multi-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln, and his second in 1951 for his Complete Poems.

2016 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame Inductee Carl Sandburg

In 1945, Sandburg and his family—along with their herd of prize-winning goats and their collection of thousands of books—moved to a farm outside Flat Rock, now the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Sandburg died there in 1967.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame:

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame was founded in 1996, under the leadership of poet laureate Sam Ragan, and is a program of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Since 2008, the Network and the Weymouth Center collaborate with the North Carolina Center for the Book, the North Carolina Humanities Council, and the North Carolina Collection of the Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill to produce the induction ceremony and to promote the NCLHOF and North Carolina’s literary heritage.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame celebrates and promotes the state’s rich literary heritage by commemorating its leading authors and encouraging the continued flourishing of great literature. Inductions are held every other year. A list of inductees, as well as samples of their work and video clips of past inductions, can be found online at www.nclhof.org.

For more information, visit the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame at www.nclhof.org or the North Carolina Writers’ Network at www.ncwriters.org

Romare Bearden — Beat of a Different Drum Exhibit

Black History Month is kicking off in Fayetteville this year with the Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum exhibit. Original prints from Bearden’s only published children’s book, Li’l Dan, The Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story, will be the highlight of the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Arts Council. Featuring twenty-six original watercolors created by Bearden for the book, there will also be text panels with audio narration by Maya Angelou.

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

© Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Li’l  Dan, the Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story was published posthumously in September of 2003. The book tells the story of Li’l Dan, a slave on a Southern plantation. He loves to play his drum. When a company of Union soldiers announces the slaves have been set free, Dan has no place to go, so he follows the soldiers, who make him their mascot. When Confederate soldiers attack, Dan discovers that he is the only one who can save his friends.

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

LIL-DAN

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

The free exhibition is open from January 22 through March 5, 2016, during regular gallery hours. An array of dynamic programming is planned around this exhibit, including a lecture by Diedra Harris-Kelly, Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation in New York City, performance of an original play entitled The Color of Courage, lectures and music programs from the Fayetteville State University Fine Arts Department and a drum workshop for youth. Several historical components will be included in the display, including an original Civil War drum, a reproduction Union Soldier’s Uniform, a southern Civil War-era female outfit, a bayonet and an original painting of the Fayetteville arsenal before it was destroyed in 1865.

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

“This exhibition and related programming offers a fitting celebration of  an artist hailed as one of the most creative and original visual artists of the twentieth century, Romare Bearden,” says Mary Kinney, Director of Marketing at the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County. “Additionally, we’re proud that the exhibit ties together many cultural components – Civil War and African-American history, visual arts and theater.”

About Romare Bearden 

Romare Howard Bearden was born on September 2, 1911, to (Richard) Howard and Bessye Bearden in Charlotte, North Carolina, and died in New York City on March 12, 1988, at the age of 76. His life and art are marked by exceptional talent, encompassing a broad range of intellectual and scholarly interests, including music, performing arts, history, literature and world art. Bearden’s work is included in many important public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. He has had retrospectives at the Mint Museum of Art (1980), the Detroit Institute of the Arts (1986), as well as numerous posthumous retrospectives, including The Studio Museum in Harlem (1991) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2003).

About The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County was founded in 1973. As a link between artists, arts and cultural organizations and the community, the nonprofit agency administers programs in partnership with a variety of local agencies to stimulate community development through the arts. The Arts Council supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development and lifelong learning through the arts.

About the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for positioning Fayetteville/Cumberland County as a destination for conventions, sporting events and individual travel. For additional information, visit www.visitfayettevillenc.com or call 1-800-255-8217.

Learn More about Romare Bearden Park located in Uptown Charlotte.

Visit:

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County is located at 301 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC

Charlotte Mini Maker Faire at Discovery Place #CLTMakerFaire

The first Charlotte Mini Maker Faire will take place at Discovery Place on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Makers call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth (and we’re not ones to disagree!). Maker Faire is part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new! As a celebration of the Maker Movement, it’s a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Charlotte’s first Mini Maker Faire will be a place where local vendors can show what they are making, and share what they are learning with the community.

More than 70 makers (shared below) from across the Carolinas will exhibit at the Charlotte Mini Maker Faire, from tech enthusiasts to crafters, homesteaders to scientists, professionals to garage tinkerers. You’re never too old to learn new tricks, or find inspiration, and Makers of all ages and backgrounds and will allow attendees to participate in a great day of learning and doing.

“Charlotte has a very strong community of innovators, and we are thrilled Discovery Place has the opportunity to help showcase and celebrate the people who make our city a great place to live and work,” said Catherine Wilson Horne, president and CEO of Discovery Place, Inc. “Our goal is to educate and engage the local community with the Maker movement in order to attract and inspire curious thinkers, doers and learners, in addition to serving as a platform for local and regional talent.”

In addition to launching Charlotte’s first Maker Faire, earlier this year Discovery Place was invited to present at the National Maker Faire in Washington, DC to showcase how Discovery Place brings Make to the community through education. With Museum exhibits like Think It Up! and Innovate 301, a free community outreach initiative introducing residents to the Maker movement,  the hope for launching Charlotte’s own Maker Faire is to bring Charlotte’s curious people together in order to continue growing this increasing community of local innovators.

What Can I Expect?

You’ll find Makers of all kinds, attractions and performances, presentations, and many hands-on activities to get ignite the fire in you to become a Maker.

Highlights of the Charlotte Maker Faire include:

· A 3D Printed Shelby Cobra sports car created in collaboration with the Department of Energy, Oakridge National Labs and TruDesign! This car represents the future of automobile manufacturing from 3D printing to electric power. (The Shelby Cobra is my dream car. I’m hoping they let me take it home!)

· Carolina Combat Robots brings you BotHockey where you can practice the perfect hat trick, and then watch a pair of mechanical gladiators duke it out in the Robot Combat arena.

· Take up-cycling to a whole new level as The Scrap Exchange brings barrels of doo-dads and knick-knacks for you to piece together something amazing to take home.

· Watch the power of electricity unfold as thousands of volts of electricity are harnessed for Musical Tesla Coils, producing sparks up to two feet long.

· The world’s first 3D printed kayak, created by Grass Roots Engineering founder, Jim Smith.

Inside Discovery Place, more than 50 different makers stationed on all three levels of the Museum. Hands-on workshops and demonstrations will take place every hour, on the hour between 11:00 a.m. to 3:oo p.m. Workshops have a capacity of 25-30 guests on a first come, first serve basis, so don’t miss out on the fun! 

Outside on Tryon Street, you can explore additional makers and enjoy popular food trucks like Street Spice, Mae’s Creole Kitchen, King of Pops and Roman’s Icy Treats. There will be performances throughout the day at MAX, UNC Charlotte’s Mobile Arts and Community Experience stage created by Boxman Studios. This former shipping container has been transformed into a performance stage that features over 16 feet of decking and rock-n-roll trussing. Stop by the MAX stage to check out the performance schedule.

We have listed all of the Makers who are going to be at the Charlotte Mini Maker Faire below so you can get a jump start on planning your day! 

Attend the Maker Faire: 
The Maker Faire will be held at Discovery Place on Saturday, October 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both inside the Museum and along N. Tryon Street between 6th and 7th Streets.

Outdoor exhibits on N. Tryon St are free and open to the public. Indoor exhibits and workshops are included with Discovery Place admission: $15 for adults (ages 14-59), $12 for children (ages 2-13) and Seniors (ages 60+) plus any applicable sales and use taxes, and free for children younger than age 2 and Discovery Place Members. Parking is not included. Tickets are now on sale at cltmakerfaire.org. Advance purchase is recommended.

About Charlotte Maker Faire:

For more information, visit cltmakerfaire.org or join Charlotte’s online Maker community on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter at @CLTMakerFaire. Check out all the fun at #CLTMakerFaire.

Charlotte Mini Maker Faire is independently organized and operated by Discovery Place, Inc. under license from Maker Media, Inc.

About Discovery Place

One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science and nature. The Museum brings relevant, contemporary science to life through groundbreaking exhibitions, interactive educational programming and hands-on activities.

Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704.372.6261, visit discoveryplace.org or connect with Discovery Place on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Discovery Place, Inc. owns and operates Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum, Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville and Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham and is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.

About Maker Faire

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

The original Maker Faire event was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2015 celebrated its tenth annual show with some 1100+ makers and 145,000 people in attendance. World Maker Faire New York, the other flagship event, has grown in four years to 600+ makers and 80,000 attendees. Detroit, Kansas City, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Orlando, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Silver Spring, Ottawa, Lisbon, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Newcastle, Hannover, Oslo, Trondheim, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, and Shenzhen are the home of larger-scale, “featured” Maker Faires. In addition, over 120 community-driven, independently organized Mini Maker Faires are now being produced around the United States and the world—including right here in Charlotte.

About MAKE Magazine

MAKE is the first magazine devoted entirely to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) technology projects. MAKE unites, inspires, informs, and entertains a growing community of resourceful people who undertake amazing projects in their backyards, basements, and garages. MAKE celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your will.

Exhibitors List – 2015

Inside Discovery Place:

3D Hubs Charlotte Community

Come explore the world of 3D printing! This group of makers will demonstrate how the 3D printing process works and will showcase the different types of 3D technology. You could even see a 3D-scanned image of your head!

3D-printed Shelby Cobra

A 3D-printed replica of a 1965 Shelby Cobra sports car will be motoring to Charlotte. Created by the Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Shelby is printed out of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and took six weeks to complete. This laboratory on wheels showcases modern additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping technology.

3D Printers with ComputerSource,3D printers, too!

Get up close to with some of the top 3D printing companies in the world such as Makerbot, Printrbot, SeeMeCNC and LulzBot. ComputerSource,3D printers, too will be on-hand to answer any of your 3D printer questions!

3DSystems

Meet the team that started the 3D printing revolution. Attendees will have a front-seat view of two of the most popular and innovative 3D printers in the industry.

A-to-Z Publishing

Founded in 2008, A-to-Z Publishing creates books with a cultural twist or positive message that children love to read! These stories have a special focus on bringing children and families closer to their culture, language and traditions.

Act/React UNO/PI

If you think Raspberry Pi is a baked good, you need to stop by this booth! Learn how these tiny computers have changed the way kids interact with technology by programming fun robot creations.

Alamance Makers Guild

Based out of Alamance County, NC this Makers Guild is also the host of the Burlington Mini Maker Faire. Meet the makers of the guild and explore their favorite tinkerings including network cameras, solar powered electricity and even an R2DCube droid.

Build Your Own Home Automation

Interact with smart-connected gadgets and gizmos as you explore how your cellphone can control trinkets and electronics in your home! The QR Code has never been so powerful.

Carolina Battle Bots

Get ready to battle! Meet the makers and organizers of Charlotte’s local robotic combat competitions. Guests will get to maneuver their own robot competitors in a round of Bot Hockey.

Central Piedmont Community College: Computer Engineering

Have you ever played Tic-Tac-Toe with a robot? Check out Microprocessor Lab demonstrations with CPCC’s Computer Engineering department and explore some of the cutting edge technology they are working with, like a Block Stacker Robot arm!

Central Piedmont Community College: Fab Ed Carolina

Fab Ed Carolina is housed in Central Piedmont Community College as part of the Engineering Program within the Engineering Technology Division. Fab Ed Carolina’s primarily integrates personal fabrication, engineering education and entrepreneurship for the Charlotte Region.

Charlotte FPV Racing League

Find out what first-person-view racing is about with the Charlotte FPV Racing League. The group builds, flies and races radio-controlled air vehicles, often referred to as drones. Members use custom made and off the shelf components to build their aircraft and get together regularly to share ideas, fly and race.

Clayworks

Come play with clay!  Try your hand at some clay creations using textures and various clay tools, and even try the pottery wheel. Clayworks programs are designed to facilitate an environment of artistic exchange between students, instructors and working artists.

CLT Boutique

When local artist Britt Misenheimer couldn’t find the right Mother’s Day gift for her mother after heart transplant surgery, she decided to create a bangle in memory of her donor with angel wings and a charm. Since then, her fascination and passion for taking old items and giving them a new purpose has manifested into CLT Boutique where Britt makes upcycled jewelry, accessories, pallet signs wreaths and other handmade goods.

Collett Couture

Collett Couture offers handcrafted jewelry based on elegance and positive energy featuring sterling silver, 14Kt / 12Kt gold-fill, and 24Kt gold electroplate. Designer Nicole Willis’s favorite materials to use are gemstones, which are incorporated into most of the designs.

Design Tools (or Toys) for 3D Printing!

Are 3D printers more of a tool or a toy? You decide! Stop by to explore how 3D printing can impact your life for both work and recreation.

Edison Nation- Gyro Bowl

Sometimes a spark of inspiration can create tomorrow’s next greatest invention. Stop by to meet the team at Edison Nation and one of their most successful inventions: the Gyro Bowl, a spill-resistant kids’ gyroscopic bowl with lid.

Electronic Communications

What do radios, lasers and receivers have in common? Find out here! See an authentic 1924 Atwater Kent Breadboard Radio and how modern communication technology is inspired by tools of the past.

EM Fabrication, LLC

Any way you cut it, digital fabrication is cool! Check out EM Fabrication, LLC to explore how they use CNC routing and fabrication from materials such as plywood, solid wood, acrylic and even cardboard.

Fusion3 High-Performance 3D printers

Based in Greensboro, NC, Fusion3 designs and manufactures high-performance 3D printers for education and commercial customers. Their printers offer high-speed, high-reliability printing in many materials at a fraction of the price of legacy commercial systems.

Foothills Community Workshop

You might be in for quite a shock when you meet members of the Foothills Community Workshop. This group of makers out of Granite Falls, NC enjoys making things, discovering how things work, creating new projects, and sharing skills and knowledge with others. Attendees can measure an electric charge and program vintage computer systems.

Hackerspace Charlotte

Hackerspace Charlotte is a non-profit organization where people with common interests in computers, technology or digital/electronic art can meet, socialize and collaborate. This open community lab incorporates elements of a machine shop, workshop, classroom, and studio where all kinds of hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make cool things.

Handpainted T-Shirts

No patterns or are allowed for this art project!  Express yourself by hand painting your own piece of wearable art. The spontaneity of working freehand allows the design to acquire a life of its own. The result is a true one-of-a-kind piece of art to wear that is as unique as its maker: YOU!

High Point University: Come Build with Us at HPU

This booth will be a High Point University/LEGO Education booth. Participants will build and race cars, participate in demonstrations and building challenges. Free Build will be available for those who just want to build.

Homemade Hoops and what to do with them!

Find out how to make a Homemade Hoop for dance, play or exercise using household tools and supplies from your local hardware store. View examples of the step by step process, play with a completed hoop and learn about the different methods of creating your own hoops!

Honey Bee Basics

Honey bees are among the most important creatures for food production. Meet a local maker family that builds everything for their beekeeping establishment in-house…even the bees. From building their own gear from cedar and cypress rough lumber to breeding their own bees with a gentle disposition, disease resistance and maximum honey yield, learn more about how this family helps support local bees.

Internet Enabled Dog Treat/Monitoring System

It’s hard to leave our furry friends at home, but with technology like Raspberry Pi, pet owners can now monitor and treat their pets remotely using a mobile app.

Internet of Things: Halloween

A day at the office can’t stop Dan Thyer from having a squirt gun battle with his kids, thanks to his very own Internet of Things (IoT), a home automation system that uses four different microcontrollers to operate 30 objects around his house, including a water gun. Learn more about the ways you can use this technology in your own home.

Jackson Park Elementary School: Squishy Circuits

Build your own fun electronic circuits using conductive molding clay.  Students will show you how to make your own and have fun with circuits!

Jessica Coate Designs, aka Jessica’s Jacket

You won’t believe what local designer, Jessica Coate, has up her sleeve! Stop by to see an array of handmade designs, accessories and wares that are sure to catch your eye. From Spaghetti scarves to 3D cards, this local designer has something for everyone.

Lehtela Guitar Craft

Originally from Finland, Ari Lehtela has been involved in music in North America for over three decades. Impressed by the sound and playability of local Charlotte builder, Luke Lukuer’s instruments, Ari realized that handmade was the only way to go. Lehtela guitars are truly custom instruments that are designed for the individual player.

Making Frogs with Discovery Place

Have some amphibious fun with Discovery Place’s Live Care team! Investigate the life cycle of frogs from eggs, tadpoles, froglets and adult frogs. Examine some fruit fly cultures and watch a demonstration on how these cultures are made.

Making Jellyfish with Discovery Place

Did you know Discovery Place’s jellyfish have exhibited in two countries and seven states? Learn how Discovery Place’s jellyfish propagation and research program is successfully breeding microscopic polyps and nurturing them into adulthood.

Making Sense of Sensor Data with SAS Studio

Gather sensor data using an Arduino and analyze the results using SAS Studio.  Learn about the role of Data Scientists in the Internet of Things and the kinds of math and data skills needed.  Analyze data in the cloud with just a few mouse clicks using SAS.

McClintock Middle School: Quadcopters & Other Cool Stuff

Innovative young minds using Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) to explore, learn and make!

Mirror Etching   

Find out the science of sandblasting! Local maker and artist Zach Smith will share how blasts of high pressure abrasives onto the glass can give new life to old mirrors.

Musical tesla coils

Watch the power of electricity unfold as thousands of volts of electricity are harnessed by a pair of jumbo tesla coils, producing sparks up to two feet long! These singing sparks may just spark your imagination!

Napada

You may not get to meet face-to-face the makers behind Napada handbags, but you’ll still have the opportunity to enrich their lives. Napada employs women in low-income communities in Bangkok, Thailand, who otherwise might not have a viable work opportunity and provides a creative outlet. The Napada booth will have unique, hand-crafted bags available for sale, including totes, wallets, backpacks and organizers.

Paper Rollercoasters with Makey Makey and Scratch

Using the paper templates, design and build an original marble course with jumps, turns, loops and more … all with paper! Add conductive tape and connect Makey Makeys to your coaster and control your computer when a marble touches a portion of the track.

PrintHuman

Across the world, hundreds of thousands of people are in need of an organ transplant. What if those organs could be custom-made on 3D printers? Meet Chris Leggett, the maker behind PrintHuman, a Fayetteville, NC-based biotechnology startup that combines the 3D printing experience with the possibility of printing human organs for transplant.

Project Hub

Project Hub is a work space for local makers to collaborate, innovate and cultivate a community. This group promotes creative problem solving to real world applications for people of all ages and interests.

RoboMustache

Meet the unique collection of robots from RoboMustache, an Asheboro, NC-based company that makes wooden robot craft kits, necklaces and other robot creations. Founder Charles Wade will be showing off robots and will have kits available for sale so you can take home your own wooden craft robot.

The Forge

This Makerspace community based in Greensboro, NC provides the tools and fosters the collaboration that will give every idea an opportunity and every creative interest an outlet.

The Pirate Box

Puzzle boxes originated in Japan around the turn of the 19th century.  With the availability of programmable microcontrollers, a new twist to the age old puzzle box can be realized. The Pirate Box is an Arduino-powered puzzle box that, after solving a mechanical puzzle, gives the user an opportunity to interact with an Arduino to solve a series of increasing difficult games and puzzles to ultimately unlock the box.

Pine Lake Preparatory School: Team SPORK

SPORK, standing for Students Providing Outreach and Robotics Kinship, is a high school robotics program through the international program FIRST.  Team SPORK strives to better the lives of high school students through the introduction to the principles of engineering, leadership, teamwork, hard work, and fun.  Each January, SPORK builds a robot for a given challenge and then competes against teams around the world.

The Scrap Exchange

Take up-cycling to a whole new level as The Scrap Exchange brings barrels of doo-dads and knick-knacks for you to piece together something amazing to take home.

Time Warner Cable

Cables can do more than just provide fast internet service! Stop by the booth to create your own cable-inspired jewelry, and even make your own flashlight to take home.

TinkerIT Makerspace at LakeNorman

The newest Makerspace to launch in North Carolina is coming to you! This makerspace is a melding of people and ideas from a variety of backgrounds coming together for the purpose of education, innovation, entertainment, and the wow. Explore their work with some hands-on demonstrations.

 University of North Carolina at Charlotte: Writing Project

Try your hand at paper engineering and stop motion video using cardboard and other materials. Then see what other students have been doing in classroom Makerspaces to deepen their learning and make a difference in their communities.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro: Student Educator Learning Factory

UNCG School of Education’s SELF (Student Educator Learning Factory) has developed a partnership with K-12 public schools in the Piedmont Triad.  Through the implementation of makerspaces in schools, the program aims to develop the mindset of teachers to shift their focus from “teaching” to “learning”.

Weaving Wonderland

Meet fiber artist Sydney Sogol whose work focuses on exploring the relationship between color and pattern through weaving, dyeing and manipulating fabrics.  Her work is inspired by her fascination with nature and biology, specifically animals. She enjoys creating pieces that range from more fine-art oriented to a more functional brand of art that people can engage and interact with.

Winthrop University: Making at Winthrop

Art, Design and Computer Science at Winthrop University from Rock Hill, SC  join together to present the exciting ways we are integrating maker technology in each discipline. Makers will demonstrate 3D modeling, present 3D printing and share a 3D virtual reality experience.

Wishbass

Wishbass is like a paintbrush for musicians. Explore locally handmade stringed musical instruments. Guests will have the opportunity to play instruments and see the handmade craftsmanship up close.

World’s First 3D Printed Kayak

With the technology of 3D printing, the possibilities are endless! Come see the world’s first completely 3D printed, customized kayak that was printed on a home-built, large scale 3D printer. This custom kayak measures 16ft 8in long and only cost around $500 to make, and it floats!

Outside on N Tryon St

ART INSTITUTE Fashion Design

Explore the latest in wearable design both on the runway and at the booth.  Students have incorporated wearable technology and 3D printing into form and function for everyday and a night out on the town.

Art Recycling with Queen City Metal Recycling

Express yourself through the art of recycling. Leave your artist’s mark on the Monstar Trailer and a Roll off Container, while engineers at Queen City Metal Recycling talk about recycling and its importance to our environment.

Benny’s Yard Art

Why buy it when you can create it? Meet Benny, the maker behind Benny’s Yard Art, as he creates his art from discarded pieces of metal at junkyards.

Crankin Engines

Rankin Barnes, the maker behind Crankin Engines, will share his mechanical know-how as you discover how small engines power our daily lives. Test an engine’s compression pressure, observe a cut-away engine and discover ideas for starting a home-based business as you explore engines and simple mechanical principles. Use real tools to take apart a lawn mower engine and then learn how to put it back together.

Glass Creations with Shed Brand Studios

Learn about the art of fused glass and stained glass with Charlotte-based Shed Brand Studios.

Explore the stages of producing a fused glass piece, as well as samples of completed fused glass bowls, mandalas and stained glass pieces. Then try your hand at this colorful art process.

Idea Box at Main Library

Think out of the box with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Main Library. Join them for some fun with Makey Makey Operation, Storytelling, and other events. Then hop on over to the Main Library to explore their makerspace, Idea Box, for extended fun!

MAX stage: Mobile Arts and Community Experience

This once shipping container is now a state-of-the-art, portable theatre and think tank. Performances will take place throughout the day including a Maker’s Fashion Show performances by DrumStrong Drum Circle, UNC Charlotte’s Nouveau Sud Project, dance troupe, jazz performers and Commedia Troupe. Check the stage for Showtimes.

Making Things with 3D Printers

We’re on a roll with make! Explore this marble maze and kinetic sculpture and how 3D printers can be used to create hours of fun. Then see a 3D Delta printer in action.

Pine Lake Preparatory Middle School: Robotics

Pine Lake Preparatory Middle School participates annually in the FIRST LEGO League challenge.  With three parts to the competition, students design solutions to a themed problem, design and build robots to score points on an obstacle course, and work together in the spirit of our core values.  Visit them as they share their innovative solutions and competition robots!

Re-Tyed

Have you ever wanted to turn a thrift store find into something colorful and truly unique? Customize that second-hand shirt with Re-Tyed, which makes re-purposed/re-newed /re-awesomed clothing made from thrift stores. Shirts will be available for attendees to dye, while supplies last.

Rock & Roll BBQ

Meet the ultimate tailgate maker! The maker behind the Rock & Roll BBQ has transformed tailgating forever with illuminated, automatic corn-hole boards and the coolest seating in town – the Cubicle Racer. Take a wild ride on this automatic office chair.

Rocketry of Central Carolina

Experience the thrill of modern hobby rocketry! Rocketry of Central Carolina is a high power rocketry club located in the Charlotte area that explores everything from the smaller “Estes” rockets to large rockets like you may have seen on the Discovery Channel.  Stop in and chat!

ShopBot

Did you know the leader in CNC routers is based in North Carolina? This local company has changed the way makers cut materials using computer controlled routers. Stop by their booth to see some demonstrations and ask about a behind-the-scenes tour to visit Discovery Place’s giant Shopbot CNC Router in the exhibits shop (space limited).

SHOPScience

Take the Maker Faire home with you in SHOPScience’s maker shop. From robotics to circuitry, find your favorite kit to take home. You could end up being America’s next greatest maker!

SM-ART

Meet local maker Kit Kube as he shares his science-based kinetic sculpture. Attendees will observe energy decay in a variety of environments.

Carolina in the Morning — A Musical Exploration

I’ve shared different videos of artists throughout this post to show you the differences each one has given this iconic tune.

Catchy songs always hook me, especially choruses filled with joyous reverie. That’s how “Carolina in the Morning” gets my toes tapping every single time I hear it. While it doesn’t have true roots in North Carolina, it has been adopted by North and South Carolina and definitely deserves mention here at Handmade NC. Written by Gus Kahn, with music by Walter Davidson, “Carolina in the Morning” started showing up in Broadway Musical Revues as early as 1922. I probably first heard this song when Daffy Duck impersonated Danny Kaye on Looney Tunes.
Carolina in the Morning
The song was originally featured in a very risqué Broadway revue called “The Passing Show” and interpretations are varied. However, they mainly left out from the mainstream today as the chorus is the big draw. Adopted by North and South Carolina, this song has been covered by popular artists including Phish, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Eddy Arnold, Jimmy Durante, Dinah Shore, Judy Garland, and Danny Kaye. Bill Haley & His Comets recorded a rock and roll version. If you’re old enough to have watched the Dick Van Dyke show, you probably remember Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore performing their own version. A Cappella groups around the world favor this tune for their performances.

My favorite rendition is the one by Al Jolson, recorded in 1947, and outselling the original recording done by Van and Schenk by nearly double. I’ve included both renditions and will let you choose your favorite!

Lyrics (part of public domain):
CAROLINA IN THE MORNING

Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina
In the morning
No one could be sweeter than my sweetie when I meet her
In the morning,
Where the morning glories
Wind around the door
Whispering pretty stories
I long to hear once more.

Strolling with my girly where the dew is pearly early
In the morning.
Butterflies all flutter up and kiss each little buttercup
At dawning.
If I had Aladdin’s lamp for only a day
I’d make a wish and here’s what I’d say:
Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina
In the morning!

Where the morning glories
Wind around the door
Whispering pretty stories
I long to hear once more.

Strolling with my girly where the dew is pearly early
In the morning.
Butterflies all flutter up and kiss each little buttercup
At dawning.
If I had Aladdin’s lamp for only a day
I’d make a wish and here’s what I’d say:
Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina
In the morning!

The video quality isn’t great, but this is a recording of Phish performing “Carolina in the Morning” in Connecticut in 2007.

And again in Greensboro in 2003:

The 2015 N.C. State Fair “Nothing Could Be Finer” and the “Homegrown North Carolina” Concert Series for 2015

After this long hot summer we’ve been having in North Carolina, we are all ready for the N.C. State Fair. Counting down the days to the fair means cooler weather, fun foods, games that challenge our skills, exhibitions, as well as a great concert line up. The North Carolina State Fair is the largest 11-day event in North Carolina, attracting more than 800,000 attendees. Managed and produced by the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, it is consistently ranked among the top 25 fairs in North America.

The 2015 N.C. State Fair will be held this year on October 15-25 with the theme is “Nothing Could Be Finer.” Started in 1853, the N.C. State Fair has become a traditional fall-time event that aims to educate all North Carolinians about the importance of agriculture to our heritage and our economy. Their mission is to showcase and promote the state’s agriculture, agribusiness, arts, crafts and culture through the annual agricultural fair. (Ilina and I have a mutual friend who is a multiple Blue Ribbon winner in the baked goods category at the Iowa State Fair. We’re hoping she will visit one day and bring us some of her award-winning cinnamon rolls.)
2015 NC State Fair "Nothing Could Be Finer"
The State Fair is a a great event for families, groups of friends, or a fun first date. One of my personal favorite things to do is check out the display featuring the largest pumpkin and watermelon in the Expo Center. It’s always a great photo-op and makes a fun photo for your photo albums and Instagram.
Bumper Crop of Fun

Fun things to do at the N.C. State Fair:

  • Try to name as many crops, animals, pieces of machinery and crafts as you can in alphabetical order
  • Check out the 21-foot-tall Smokey Bear display and learn about healthy forests and how to prevent forest fires
  • Find out what the “buzz” is about at the Bee and Honey competition area in the Expo Center. Beekeepers are on hand to talk about beekeeping and the critical role bees play in producing our food. (The exhibit features a screened cage with an active beehive.)
  • See a Milking Demonstration and answer that age old question: Does chocolate milk come from brown cows? (Held between the Graham Building and Expo Center. Check out the daily schedule for times.)
  • Feeling Patriotic? Visit the WWI exhibit in the north-side lobby of Dorton Arena. A partnership between the Department of Cultural Resources, the North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina National Guard, this exhibit explains the plight of the American soldier during WWI, and even the role the North Carolina State Fairgrounds played in the victory!
  • Head over to the Expo Center and check out the unusual shaped vegetables
  • Decide which agricultural heritage activity you found most interesting at the Village of Yesteryear on the fairgrounds (blacksmith, boat making, craft-making, growing large horticulture crops, cutting flowers, raising and showing livestock, making clothes etc.) and then Instagram a photo with the hashtag #NCStateFair

Sights from the Expo Building
Take the kids to check out the kids who participate in the fair:

  • Livestock barns and shows. Many youngsters participate in livestock shows, some barely taller than the animals they are showing. In the Expo Center, students can even milk a cow at the N.C. State University Animal Science Club’s Milking Booth.
  • Folk Festival. This event features kids of all ages competing in dance and singing.
  • Arts and Crafts. School work for grades K-12 are on display in the Kerr Scott Building.
  • 4-H Displays in the Education Building features scenes created by 4-H groups in the state.
  • County Fair Best of Show Exhibit (Commercial & Education Building), where adult and junior Best of Show winning entries from fairs across the state are displayed.

Sights from the Flower ShowFirst Weekend: Oct. 13-16

I’m looking at heading over to the fair on October 15th to see an old favorite band from my youth, Firehouse. I might even break out my very old, err, vintage rocker gear to wear to the show! Wait, I think it’s time for a NC Handmade Trivia Question: What was the original name of Firehouse? The answer will be at the end of the post.

NC State Fair Homegrown Concert Series

Oct. 15 — Firehouse with The Fifth

Oct. 16 — The Summit Church featuring Kaimy Masse, Hank Murphy and Summit Worship

Oct. 17 — Jason Michael Carroll, Luke Combs, Stephanie Quayle

Oct. 18 — Orquesta GarDel

Oct. 19 — Nuv Yug Presents Bollywood Night

Oct. 20 — Black Sheep with Shadina

Oct. 21 — Band of Oz and The Embers

Oct. 22 — Wake Chapel Choir, Instrument of Praise Gospel Concert Chrale, Watts Chapel Gospel Choir

Oct. 23 — The Love Language

Oct. 24 — Charlie Daniels Band and Kasey Tyndall

Oct. 25 — Nantucket and Sidewinder

All concerts are free, but floor seating (closest to the stage) will require a ticket, which can be picked up beginning at 9 a.m. the day of the show at the Dorton Arena Box Office. There is a limit of six tickets per person and tickets will only be available for that day’s show. First-come, first-served seating will be available in the arena’s permanent seating section.

Doors will open at 6:15 p.m., with shows starting at 7:30.

INFO:

The N.C. State Fair runs Oct. 15-25. For more information, go to www.ncstatefair.org.

Discount tickets to the 2015 N.C. State Fair go on sale on Monday, Aug. 3, at 10 a.m.

Trivia Question Answer: Firehouse used to be called “White Heat.” I saw them play when I was a freshman in high school at the local community college.

A to Z North Carolina — Fun Facts about the Old North State

North Carolina is an amazing state and it is filled with facts. Some we knew, and others that we’re finding out daily. As much as we love North Carolina, we knew that if we were missing out on facts about the Old North State, we couldn’t be alone and created our A to Z guide about North Carolina.

Some letters will have more facts than others and we will be constantly updating this list. Did we miss something ? Send us an email at handmadenorthcarolina at gmail dot com.

A — Three hundred miles of the Appalachian Trail wind through the North Carolina mountains.

A — Albemarle Sound is the largest freshwater sound in the world.

B — The Biltmore Estate is America’s largest private home containing 250 rooms.

B — The Brown Mountain Lights are a mysterious, rare occurring light phenomenon happening on Brown Mountain near Burke County. (Lisa grew up about 45 minutes from this area and has seen them on quite a few occasions.)

B — Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914.

C — North Carolina’s State Bird is the Cardinal

C — Clay is the state art medium

D — Our state flower is the Dogwood

E — Esse Quam Videri is our state motto and means “To be rather than to seem”

F — Fontana Dam is the tallest dam in the Eastern United States, at 480 feet high.

G — The Great Smokey Mountains National Park straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America’s most visited national park.

G — Cabarrus County, North Carolina, was the site of America’s first gold rush.

H — Every year, on the third Saturday in June, the National Hollerin’ Contest takes place in Spivey’s Corner (population 49!) with the proceeds benefiting the Spivey’s Corner Volunteer Fire Department

I — Many people believe that North Carolina was the first state to declare independence from England with the Mecklenburg Declaration of 1775. It is celebrated every year with Meck Dec day.

J — Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Heads is the location of the naturally tallest sand dune in the world.

K — Krispy Kreme donuts were created in Winston-Salem.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

L — The Long Leaf Pine is our state tree

L — The Lost Colony of North Carolina is still a mystery. The only clue left was the word “Croatan” carved on a tree

M — Moravians were one of first settlers, creating what was “Old Salem” and is now “Winston-Salem”

M — Mount Mitchell is the tallest mountain in the eastern United States.

N — New Bern is the home of Pepsi. It was created there in 1898.

O — North Carolina’s state song is the “Old North State”, written in 1927.

P — We’re proud to call the Plott Hound our state dog.

North Carolina's official dog is the Plott Hound
By DTabCam (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

P — Pirates? Arr Matey! Blackbeard is one of history’s most legendary pirates of all time, and the coast of North Carolina, from Ocracoke Island to the small inland town of Bath, has the rare distinction of being his favorite plundering grounds, hideout, and home.

Q — The Queen Anne’s Revenge was the flagship of Blackbeard the Pirate. (Many thanks to our Twitter friend @SurfinPirate for helping us out here!)

R — Raleigh is our state capitol.

S — Seagrove was designated the state birthplace of traditional pottery by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2005.

S — North Carolina’s state fruit is the Scuppernong.

T — Did you know North Carolina has an official Tartan? Called the Carolina Tartan, it was designed in 1981 by Peter MacDonald of Crieff, Scotlan and registered with the Scottish Tartan Society in 1995.

U — The Unaka National Forest was established on February 24, 1920 by President Wilson. Unaka was formed by combining the White Top, Unaka and French Broad Purchase Units. Later land transfers divided it and now this picturesque region of fertile valleys and towering hills at the meeting place of three States—Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. E

V — Students in Wilson County petitioned the NCGA in 1995 to have the Sweet Potato declared our state vegetable

V — The first English child born in America, Virginia Dare, was born in Roanoke, North Carolina, in 1587.

V — The Linn Cove Viaduct located on the Blue Ridge Parkway is an international engineering marvel. The Viaduct was completed in 1987 at a cost of $10 million and was the last section of the Blue Ridge Parkway to be finished.

The Linn Cove Viaduct
By Haas, David, creator [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

W — North Carolina’s state wildflower is the “Carolina Lily”.

The Carolina Lily is North Carolina's state wildflower

W — Vollis Simpson created Whirligig’s at his home in North Carolina.

W — Whitewater Falls in Transylvania County, one of over 200 waterfalls in North Carolina, is the highest waterfall on the East Coast.

Y — Yonahlossee is the Cherokee word for “trail of the black bear.” In 1889 the Yonahlossee Trail was built by Hugh MacRae. This trail served as a toll road between Linville and Blowing Rock until the 1920s when it became part of the national highway system as US 221.

Z — The North Carolina Zoo is located in Asheboro, seated on a 2,200-acre tract of land in the Uwharrie Mountains. Approximately 500 acres of this property have been developed into one of the largest “natural habitat” zoos in the United States.

GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World {Summer Adventure List}

Discovery Place science museum in Charlotte, NC, will always be one of my favorite places to visit in the Queen City. They consistently bring top tier exhibits to our area and I try to attend each one. I was more than pretty excited when they sent me an invitation for GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World. I am an audiophile whose family is filled with musicians (bluegrass) and quite a few of my friends gig professionally in bands.

This traveling exhibit is truly one for every age group. GUITAR explores the history of the world’s most recognized musical instrument in this fully immersive exhibition that showcases nearly 100 historical artifacts, including more than 60 guitars. It has made my Summer Adventure List, not just because of the historical and scientific significance, also because so many schools are cutting funding for music eduction. (And if you know me and Ilina, you know how important education is to us.)

GUITAR: The Instrument that Rocked the World #HandmadeNC

When I walked in, it was wall to wall stringed instruments, along with performance video and audio, as well as hands-on interactive displays. I headed straight over to learn about guitar strings and after strumming each type, now realize why metal strings are preferred over plastic or catgut. The sound is so much better and the tone is clean and pure.

Science and Guitars

But Discovery Place is a science museum, why would they have this exhibit? Because so much of music and guitars have their basis in science. The human brain is uniquiely wired to remember musical patterns better than a series of numbers or letters. Researchers have found that seven times (i.e. numbers, facts, letters, etc.) are about the maximum that most people can keep in their memory. The exception to this is music. Much of popular music is built on riffs, which are groupings of notes that are repeated throughout a song. Our mental ability to embrace musical patterns allows us to remember long riffs when we can’t remember that many numbers.

Electric guitars also rely on electromagnetism to produce sound. Each electric guitar has a mechanism called a pickup that converts the mechanical energy of a vibrating string to an electrical signal, allowing it to be amplified, processed and reproduced. When the magnetic field of the pickup is disrupted by the vibration of a metal string, it creates a current in the copper wire. The current is transmitted through another wire to potentiometers, which are often used as tone and volume controls. The potentiometers, controlled by the knobs, adjust the frequencies in the signal that control volume and tone — just like a dimmer switch that adjusts the level of light from a bulb.

Sound can be measured. Sound waves move through the air, which creates pressure. The speed of sound is around 343 meters per second. You hear noises because your ears respond to this pressure. Decibels are the units for measuring sound pressure, just like the inches are units for measuring length. One a decibel scale, the louder the sound, the higher the number decibels. Zero decibels is the softest sound that can be hears and 194 decibels is the loudest sound that can be created.

Highlights of GUITAR

One of the highlights of the exhibit is the world’s largest playable guitar, a 2,255 pound, 16 foot wide and 43.5 feet long replica of the Gibson Flying V. This Flying V was prototyped in 1957 and released into production in 1958. The list of well-known musicians who have played the Flying V range from Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Jimi Hendrix, Paul Stanley of Kiss, and Eddie Van Halen, to name a few.

Other iconic instruments include the Rock Ock, the world’s only playable 8-neck guitar; a PRS Dragon guitar inlaid with 238 pieces of gold, red and green abalone, mother of pearl and the ivory of a wooly mammoth; a Ztar Z7S synthesizer guitar with a button for every fret and string (204 in total); and early Fender Gibson, Ovation and Martin Guitars that date as far back as 1806.

In the hands-on gallery, you can:

• Strum the world’s largest playable guitar, a 43-foot long replica of a Gibson Flying V
• Test your musical memory by playing challenge riffs on a virtual fretboard
• Bang out a beat on a variety of wood types. Which sounds the best?
• “Freeze” a vibrating string using a strobe light
• Design your own dream guitar

The rare instrument exhibit includes over 60 remarkable instruments such as:

• Early Fender, Gibson, Ovation, and Martin guitars (from circa 1835 to present)
• A Ztar Z7S synthesizer guitar with a button for every fret and string – 204 in all
• The Rock Ock, the only playable guitar with 8 necks
• A stunning PRS Dragon guitar inlayed with 238 pieces of gold, red and green abalone; mother of pearl; and woolly mammoth ivory
• Guitars with outrageous paint jobs and shapes designed for rockers like ​Steve Vai

Visit: 

Plan you visit to Discovery Place. GUITAR will be on exhibit from May 30, 2015 – September 7, 2015 and is covered by regular museum admission fees.

The following artists, manufacturers, luthiers, and collectors have provided instruments, information, and/or support to the collection: 

  • Steve Vai
  • Joe Bonamassa
  • Liona Boyd
  • Vic Flick
  • Johnny Winter
  • Adrian Belew
  • C.F. Martin and Company
  • Fender Musical Instruments
  • Pete Brown
  • David Hill/Nina Riccio
  • Phantom Guitarworks
  • EKO
  • National Reophonic
  • The Electrical Guitar Company
  • Dan Larson
  • Rich Maloof
  • PRS Guitars
  • Danser Guitar Works
  • Visionary Intruments
  • Starr Labs
  • XOX
  • Cochran Guitars

Six-String Saturdays at Discovery Place:

This summer, Discovery Place is activating Tryon Street with Six String Saturdays, a free music series featuring genres including jazz, pop, rock, sitar, Celtic, country, bluegrass and folk.

Enjoy live music on the patio near our N. Tryon St. entrance every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. (unless otherwise noted). No Museum admission necessary.

May 30 – A Sign of the Times Duo: Van Sachs and Toni Tupponce
June 6 – Sabra Callas
June 13 – School of Rock
June 20 – SITAR from Festival of India by Amrita
June 27 – Shana Blake & Keith Shamel
July 4 – Kevin Jones & Joe Allen
July 11 – School of Rock
July 18 – Tom Billotto
July 25 – Alan Barrington
August 1 – Back Creek Bluegrass Boys
August 8 – School of Rock
August 15 – Bassments
August 22 – The High Ridge Pickers (2:00 p.m.) / Hannah Case (3:30 p.m.)
August 29 – J. L. Davis Duo
September 5 – A Sign of the Times Duo: Van Sachs and Toni Tupponce

Related links:

Summer Adventure List 2015  

April is International Guitar Month -North Carolina Edition