Department of Parks
Smithsonian Exhibit on "Roots Music" to Visit Six Ky. Cities
HENDERSON, Ky. -- Riverbend Academy’s School of Visual & Performing Arts, in cooperation with John James Audubon Museum and the Kentucky Humanities Council, will explore various aspects of America's roots in music as it hosts the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music.
New Harmonies will be on view to the public in Henderson from May 3 through June 14. An invitation-only grand opening preview party will be hosted on May 2. In Henderson, the exhibit will coincide with two annual American roots music events, the Homegrown Bluegrass Festival in May and the W.C. Handy Blues and Barbeque Festival in June.
Other stops in Kentucky for the exhibition will be the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center in Maysville from June 21 to Aug. 2; the Bullitt County Public Library in Shepherdsville from Aug. 9 to Sept. 20; the Bluegrass Heritage Museum in Winchester from Sept. 27 to Nov. 8; and the Berringer-Crawford Museum in Covington from Nov. 15 to Dec. 27. New Harmonies is currently at Paintsville’s Country Music Highway Museum until April 27.
Local residents are invited to add to the exhibit and personalize it with musical history they may have collected over the years. Pieces will only be utilized during the six week local exhibit, preserved well and returned to their owners following the exhibit. To inquire if you have a unique piece of music history to contribute to the exhibit, contact Audubon Museum Curator Alan Gehret at (270) 827-1893.
New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music is part of the Museum on Main Street project, a national/state/local partnership to bring Smithsonian Institution exhibitions and programs to smaller communities. To learn more about New Harmonies and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org.
Through a selection of photographs, recordings, instruments, lyrics and artist profiles, New Harmonies explores the distinct cultural identities of American roots music forms. The exhibition examines the progression of American roots music, as rich and eclectic as our country itself.
"The Audubon Museum is very pleased to be able to collaborate and bring New Harmonies to our area," said Gehret. "You never know what musical artifacts one may have lying around the house that could bring joy to many others by making it a temporary part of this exhibit while in Henderson.
“Unique instruments, autographed photos or music, letters, local historical photos and other artifacts are all potentially of interest,” added Gehret. “Items from W.C. Handy are of particular interest, but all areas of roots music from jazz, blues, gospel and so forth are welcomed. This will allow us to further explore this fascinating aspect of our own region's musical history."
Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Service (SITES) connects millions of Americans with their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of art, science and history exhibitions. State humanities councils, located in each state and U.S. territory, support community-based humanities programs that highlight such topics as local history, literature and cultural traditions. Riverbend Academy serves the local community by providing arts and music instruction. To learn more, visit www.sites.si.edu, www.kyhumanities.org and www.RiverbendAcademyARTs.org.
The Audubon Museum is located at 3100 US HWY. 41 North in Henderson. For more information, contact Gehret at 270-827-1893.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 53 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov.