North Carolina boasts a rich history and culture, and this weekend, historical and cultural sites all over the state will display what they have to offer.
In the first of three 2nd Saturday programs, 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums and a history center will open to share arts, crafts, music and food. Almost all events are free and family friendly.
2nd Saturday, programming organized by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, began in 2010 to provide the states families with fun summer activities that wouldnt break the bank. Simultaneously, 2nd Saturday programs educate attendees about their heritage.
It gives us a great understanding of the character of our state, said Fay Mitchell, the department of cultural resources public relations specialist. We cover wars and great accomplishments. We cover whats real. Thats attractive more and more in the virtual world. This really shows the great passions of our people.
The President James K. Polk State Historic Site, just south of Charlotte in Pineville, will host One Hearth, One Pot, a period cooking demonstration by food historian Clarissa Clifton. Weather permitting, Clifton will cook a meal outside from 18th- and 19th-century recipes, including cakes baked on the blade of a hoe.
When we have these artisans and folks who have a specific skill set, said Scott Warren, a historic site manager at President Polks family land, it helps show what life would have been like in the late 1700s and early 1800s in Mecklenburg County. They help bring the history to life.
An etiquette day will be held at the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum in Gibsonville in conjunction with Durhams A Cultured Alliance. Participants will learn about manners and graces recommended by North Carolinian Charlotte Hawkins Brown in her 1941 book, The Correct Thing To Do, To Say, To Wear.
In addition to table manners, polite conversation and grooming, the art of proper dancing and letter writing as Brown outlined it will be taught.
I think that even if the medium is outdated even if they dont physically write letters the message is timeless, said Kara Deadmon, the museums historic interpreter. You try to be graceful in your interactions with people.
Participants will learn the box step involved in a waltz, as well as hear what Brown had to say about it in her book: Excessive movements of the body are very ungraceful. Remember that dancing should be done with the feet and not the torso. Petting on the dance floor is very much out of order.
Some of the tips are applicable to today, Deadmon says, but some are hilariously misguided, strictly for the 40s.
This article is part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance, a consortium of local media dedicated to writing about the arts.
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