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Mountain culture nonprofit holds first fundraiser

Painting of Green River bridge is one of the pieces art to be auctioned off at fundraiser May 31. Painting of Green River bridge is one of the pieces art to be auctioned off at fundraiser May 31.

David Weintraub wants to preserve Appalachian history while there's still time.


Weintraub, the former ECO director and a documentary filmmaker, founded the Center for Cultural Preservation to find and record the remaining witnesses of the old ways, which he says could be a key to survival.
"This is not a history project. It's about the future," he said. "These are the people who are the foundation of who we are and where we came from. In my mind it's an important part of our future."
Typical of Weintraub, who tends to multitask when he's pursuing one of his passions, the center is doing interviews of mountain "elders." He is working with local historian Jennie Jones Giles to develop an on-line continuing education program for teachers. He wants schools to have heritage days to show kids molasses making, apple farming, gardening and canning. He is working on short audio "nuggets" that will air on WTZQ-AM 1600. "We want to create repositories for these oral histories at the local heritage museum here, at Appalachian State, at the Western Carolina Mountain Cultural Center, the Ramsey Center," he said, "so we don't lose the history and the culture and the dialect of the people who live here."
We'd be better off, he says, if we spent more time holding a hoe than a smartphone.
"Prosperity in those days came from the ground," he said. "It didn't come from electronic devices. It didn't come from China. It came from living a self-sustaining life, and what our elders always tell me is that they're worried about the future and younger generations who are not prepared to withstand the booms and busts that are just part of the economic system and world that we live in. Should things change — whether that be a climate issue or a financial climate issue or who knows — they will have no problems. They know how to grow stuff. They know how to slaughter hogs, they know how to forage in the woods. Our kids don't have those skills. All their friends are virtual, on a FaceBook page somewhere."
The center is holding its first fundraiser on Saturday, May 31, featuring an auction of art depicting the Blue Ridge Mountains, old-time music and moonshine — the legal kind. Information:
"People will see in the art and photographs this area captured in an amazingly exquisite manner," he said.


Spring Mountain Art Show

Fundraiser for the Center for Cultural Preservation
Old-timey music, wine and cheese, (legal) moonshine
Live auction of art, photos and a Liquid Logic kayak
7 p.m. Saturday, May 31
HiArt Studio
415 Wall Street

To see the photos visit: