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Hendersonville documentary project wins grant

David Weintraub David Weintraub

The North Carolina Humanities Council has awarded a $9,000 grant to a Hendersonville-based project that seeks to collect and preserve oral histories of Southern Appalachian people and their lifestyles.

The grant to David Weintraub's Center for Cultural Preservation Inc. was announced Tuesday. His project, entitled "Connecting with the Elders – Southern Appalachian Sustainability," aims to show how residents of Southern Appalachia met their basic needs in unique and diverse ways that are in danger of being lost through the passing of elders and the advent of modern technology that tends to marginalize the old folkways. A documentary will be produced suitable for public TV, and public programs throughout the state will present both the oral histories and demonstrations of some of the folkways described in the oral histories, the Humanities Council said in a news release.

Weintraub, who left his job as executive director of ECO (the Environmental and Conservation Organization) to turn his attention to documentary making, has made videos before. He made an award-winning documentary about the historic Jewish culture of the old Miami Beach area. His Center for Cultural Preservation is based at Biz611 on North Church Street.
Other grants announced Tuesday included:

  • $7,452 to Asheville Art Museum Association, Inc. of Asheville for Lasting Gifts and The Black Mountain College Program Series. For 24 years, Black Mountain College near Asheville fostered important ideas that still have an impact on art and popular culture today. It was there that Josef Albers perfected his courses in color theory, Buckminster Fuller created his first geodesic dome, Merce Cunningham formed his dance company, and John Cage staged his first "happening." In honor of the 80th anniversary of its establishment, the Asheville Art Museum presents Lasting Gifts and The Black Mountain College Program Series. In addition to the Lasting Gifts exhibition on view from July 27, 2013 –January 19, 2014, the program series will provide context, understanding, and discussion of the contributions of Black Mountain College to North Carolina and beyond.
  • $5,000 to Wilson Downtown Properties of Wilson for Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park Project Documentary. Humanities scholars Sally Peterson and Brendan Graves will expand on prior footage and interviews with Vollis Simpson, the recently deceased creator of world-renowned whirligig windmills. The project will interview friends, family, colleagues, and community members to expand and present the narrative of Vollis Simpson as a creator, machinist, and a vital part of the Wilson community.
  • $10,000 to Maysles Institute, Inc. of New York City for James Baldwin Transmedia Project. In honor of the 25th anniversary of James Baldwin's death, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Maysles Institute has launched the James Baldwin Transmedia Project. The project seeks to restore, enhance, and digitize the award-winning documentary James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket, along with hosting public programing throughout North Carolina with scholars Maya Angelou and Randell Kenan, and the rebroadcast of the new documentary on WUNC-TV.
  • $10,000 to North Carolina Folklife Institute of Durham for 2013 Statewide Traditional Arts Summit and Folklife Celebration. The 2013 Statewide Folklife Summit: Strong Roots & Folklife Futures and the Statewide Folklife Festival will bring traditional artists, cultural organizations, academic programs, working folklorists, arts councils, and local documentarians from across the state together to train, share, teach, exhibit, and perform North Carolina's diverse cultural traditions. The North Carolina Folklife Institute and the North Carolina Folklore Society, in collaboration with UNC-Chapel Hill's Department of American Studies, will host the summit and festival September 26-28, 2013 in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
  • $3,500 to BOOKMARKS of Winston-Salem for BOOKMARKS Festival of Books. BOOKMARKS Festival of Books is the largest annual free-to-the-public literary festival in North Carolina. The 2013 Festival will be held on September 7 in the Downtown Arts District of Winston-Salem. Over 30 local, regional and nationally renowned authors, illustrators, storytellers, and chefs, including storyteller Bill Harley and authors Jill McCorkle and James McPherson, will participate in presentations, panel discussions, book signings, and workshops geared to all ages.