May is museum month and specifically May 18 is designated by the American Association of Museums and the International Council of Museum (ICOM) as “International Museum Day.”
The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is using this celebration as an opportunity to engage residents to become more actively involved with the museum. According to Matt Edwards, the museum’s executive director, museum month offers the museum a great reason to reach out and get the community more involved.
“May is our annual membership drive, and we’re optimistic that having seen the quality of exhibits and programs we’ve presented in recent months, the public will want to become more involved,” said Edwards.
In addition to the annual membership drive, the museum will be hosting a series of special events during May in honor of museum month.
Music students to perform Friday
This Friday Millennium Charter Academy will be hosting a concert in the museum courtyard at 1:30 p.m.
The Advanced Music Class from MCA, directed by Rodney Money, will feature the composition “Teen Symphony for Japan” composed by the students for the victims of the tsunami in Japan. The entire concert will be “fun, energetic, rich in culture, and featuring a worldly eclectic mix of instruments such as African and Latin percussion, boom whackers, beautiful tone chimes and bells, keyboards, and xylophones. Each composition is new, unique, and will have you saying, my goodness, what age are these kids again?”said Money.
Many of the compositions that the Advanced Music Class composed are now performed all over the world including Germany, Italy, Canada and Lithuania, “but no one plays these tunes better than where the music originated right here in Mount Airy,” said Money.
The concert is free, but donations are being accepted. The class is trying to raise money to purchase a piano. The museum will be discounting admission to the museum that day as well.
Toast and Jam to begin Saturday
On Saturday, the summer concert series, “Toast and Jam,” featuring Stony Knoll Vineyards and Casino Cruise, returns. The program will be in the courtyard between 5 and 7 p.m. The winery will be offering free tastings. Wine also will be for sale by the glass, bottle or case.
Edwards said the name of the series comes from the event featuring wine, being the toast, and the music is the jam. The concerts will be the second Saturday of every month. The event is free, but donations are strongly encouraged, said Edwards.
“You can come out and do your shopping, come by the museum for a couple of hours and still be able to catch the summer music series at the amphitheater. It’s a win-win-win in terms of keeping a full calendar of things to do for the summer,” said Edwards.
He said forecasters are predicting rain for Saturday, if that is indeed the case, the concert will be rescheduled. He suggested that those who are interested in coming should call ahead to make sure the concert is still going on as planned.
B&L Custom Jewelers has agreed to be the event sponsor again this year, Edwards said.
Other programs set
May 21 is a beginners knitting workshop, and on May 22, North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholar Dr. Benjamin Filene will present a program called “Small Stories in the Big Picture: How Can Museum’s Bring Ordinary Peoples History to Life.”
“With all that we’ve got going on this month, it is a great time to become part of our museum family,” Edwards said.
The celebration of this day began in 1977 and provides the opportunity for museum professionals around the world to engage the public and alert them to the success and challenges that face museums today. According to ICOM, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, co-operation and peace among peoples.”
Beginning in 1984, annual themes have been suggested to better coordinate international celebrations and the theme for 2010 is “Museums and Memory.”
For more information about the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, call 786-4478 or visit www.northcarolinamuseum.org.
Contact Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.