Highlighting Asheville

Monthly Series on WNC History and Culture

Posted on 02/14/23 by Margie Sigman

Students Raising Hands During Seminar

How did the Asheville area become the vibrant, welcoming, and diverse place that we know today? Beginning February 21, AARP in the NC Mountain Region is sponsoring a series of monthly evening lectures, This Is Home: Western North Carolina, Past and Present, to explore the key historical, cultural, and ecological forces that have shaped our region and its people. The series is curated and presented by Swannanoa Valley Museum in Black Mountain, NC.

All lectures, unless otherwise stated, will take place once a month on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 7:15 PM in the Education Room of the Black Mountain Public Library (105 N. Dougherty Street, Black Mountain, NC, 28711). Each presentation ends with a Q&A discussion that aims to bring our shared history into contemporary context.

During February's Black History Month, for example, we learn about a current project to uncover an overlooked history in “The African American Experience in the Smokies: Making the Invisible Visible.”

Antoine Fletcher, the speaker for this session, has been a devoted employee of the National Park Service for over 16 years, working as an interpreter and educator in many parks, including our local gem, Great Smoky Mountain National Park. **

This year, learn more about the place you call home by exploring topics such as local women’s history, the long traditions of ballad singing in Southern Appalachia, legal history of Native American dispossession, and many more.

AARP Mountain Region is proud to sponsor these monthly learning opportunities through November 2023. They fit beautifully into the AARP's vision for WNC: “We value aging with dignity and support and encourage the best of our Appalachian culture and history.”

For more information about individual lectures, go to the Swannanoa Valley Museum website under Events*. To receive their discount, AARP members and guests should use the code WNCHistory.

*This is not an AARP event. Any information that you provide to the host organization will be governed by its privacy policy.

** This presentation had to be rescheduled. It will take place Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Swannanoa Valley Museum, 223 West State Street, Black Mountain, NC 28711.

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