Triangle Arts and Entertainment – News and Reviews Theatre Dance Music Arts


AM_Graphic1CARRBORO, NC – The ArtsCenter has been awarded a $2,500 grant to host, in conjunction with the Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro and the Chatham County Arts Council, a series of six programs featuring documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions of twentieth-century American popular music. Three of the programs, free to the public, will take place at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro and three at the Chatham Community Library. “America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway” will enlighten audiences about uniquely American musical genres including blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock n’ roll, mambo, and hip hop. The series will begin at The ArtsCenter at 7:15 PM on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 with “The Blues and Gospel Music,” which will feature Martin Scorsese’s “Feel Like Going Home” and George Nieremberg’s acclaimed “Say Amen, Somebody.” UNC professors Glenn Hinson, author of Fire in My Bones: Transcendence and the Holy Spirit in African American Gospel, and William Ferris, author of Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues, will join ArtsCenter Executive Director Art Menius to lead the discussion.

The “America’s Music” series will continue on Tuesday, January 29, with “Broadway: The American Musical” at the Chatham Community Library; Swing Jazz with two films on February 5 (The ArtsCenter), “High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass” on February 12 (The ArtsCenter), “The History of Rock n Roll” on February 26 (Chatham Community Library), and Latin Rhythms from Mambo to Hip Hop on March 5 (Chatham Community Library). All programs start at 7:15 PM and run for approximately two hours.

The ArtsCenter is one of fifty hosts selected for this program series. “America’s Music” is a project by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint, and the Society for American Music. “America’s Music” has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. “We are thrilled to participate in this exciting program that will help introduce different types of music, show how modern music has been influenced by older styles, and bridge gaps among generations” said Menius. “We have the wonderful opportunity to introduce to the community not just these outstanding films, but the leading music scholars in our area.”

“America’s Music,” designed for a general audience, will introduce genres of twentieth-century American popular music that are deeply connected to the history, culture, and geography of the United States. Older and younger Americans alike will have the chance to recognize how the cultural landscape that they take for granted today has been influenced by the development of the popular musical forms discussed in this series.

The onset of the twentieth century brought pervasive changes to American society. During the early part of the century, these social changes combined with new technologies to create a mass market for popular music that evolved over the next hundred years. The “America’s Music” series is not meant to offer an all-inclusive treatment of twentieth-century American popular music. Instead, each screening and discussion session will examine an important American musical genre in the context of key social and historical developments, with events in American music history acting as a catalyst for that examination.

For details, please visit or contact Art Menius, Executive Director at To obtain copies of program materials, please
contact Adam Graetz, Marketing Director, at

Programs at The ArtsCenter are supported in part by Chapel Hill Restaurant Group, Giorgios Hospitality Group, The North Carolina Arts Council, The Orange County Arts Commission, Brooks Pierce, and Tony Hall and Associates.

The ArtsCenter is a non-profit teaching and presenting organization founded in 1974. The largest employer of artists in Orange County, NC, it serves nearly 60,000 people annually, through classes, studios, concerts, theatre, spoken word, gallery displays, more than 80 school shows, and more. The ArtsCenter exerts a local economic impact of almost $2,900,000 which generates the equivalent of 78 full time jobs and $231,000 in state and local tax revenue.

Categorised in: Arts, Arts, News