Virtual Concert Series Performance Locations
. . . the unique stories and voices of the people and places that make up our regional identity . . .
📷 Photo by: Carolyn Bucknall.
The North Carolina Folk Festival proudly partnered with these nine locations in our home community of Greensboro, NC to film the live performances that comprise our 2020 Virtual Concert Series!
By pairing impeccable North Carolina performers with these iconic sites, we aim to amplify the unique stories and voices of the people and places that make up our regional identity and highlight the ongoing visioning of our home City’s role as a leader in responsible environmental stewardship, fostering diverse cultural expression, and recognizing the value and contributions of all members of our community.
The Old Mill of Guilford
Oak Ridge, NC 27310
A long time favorite of artists, tourists, and locals alike, the Old Mill of Guilford is a fully operational 18th-century grist mill complete with a scenic 24-foot water wheel. Dating back to 1767 the mill provided grain for early settlers of the area now known as Guilford County. Since then, the mill has had six different owners in its nearly 250 years of operation- each has used the same traditional method of grinding grain with big, rough, rotating stones.
Today, the mill continues to produce all-natural, stone-ground, whole grain foods (including its signature Sweet Potato Muffin mix), just as it has for over 200 years- a symbol of pride for North Carolina history and craftsmanship.
The Underground Railroad Tree
Trailhead on Nathan Hunt Rd.
Nestled in the Guilford Woods that emcompass 200 acres of forested area within the historically Quaker New Garden community on the Guilford College campus is a large, old tulip poplar tree that stood as a silent witness to those fleeing slavery on the Underground Railroad. The southern terminus of the north-bound road to freedom, the Underground Railroad operation at Guilford Woods was made possible by the bi-racial commitment of New Garden Quakers and local African Americans, both enslaved and free, to protest the evils of slavery and provide support for those fleeing to the north in anyway they could; author Fergus Bordewich calls it our “country’s first racially integrated civil rights movement.”
Accessible by a short trail off Guilford College’s main campus, a visit to the nearly two-and-a-half century-old Underground Railroad Tree reminds us of the legacy of those who risked their lives for freedom and challenges us to live up to their courage in order to protect and fight for those freedoms for all people today.
The Greensboro Rotary Carousel
4301 Lawndale Dr.
Greensboro, NC 27455
Decorated with images and mounts from Greensboro’s past and present (including the Greensboro Four, Neese’s Sausage, Wrangler, Nathanael Greene’s horse, and the Greensboro Grasshopper- just to name a few), our city’s newest attraction, the Greensboro Rotary Carousel, was constructed in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Greensboro Rotary Club, one of the oldest (and largest) Rotary clubs in the world and a fixture of our service community since 1917.
Though the Carousel is decorated with love letters to Greensboro’s rich history, the project looks forward to a new era of cultural life in the community. Located on the hill overlooking Country Park behind the Greensboro Science Center, the Rotary Carousel will become the crown jewel of the Battleground Park District- a city project to combine Greensboro Country Park, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Tannenbaum Historical Park, and the Greensboro Science Center into a 400-acre destination for families across North Carolina to explore, play, and relax.
First National Bank Field
408 Bellemeade St.
Greensboro, NC 27401
As the birthplace of 300 major league players, 12 minor league teams, and 11 ballparks across the state, North Carolina has a long history of minor league baseball dating back to the textile (mill) leagues during the early 20th century. A continuation of our state’s proud tradition, the First National Bank Field (stadium of the Greensboro Grasshoppers) opened its gates to a crowd of 8,540 on April 3, 2005 with a Grasshoppers exhibition game against the then Florida Marlins and has attracted large crowds and economic development to downtown Greensboro ever since.
This state-of-the-art facility, featuring a 30 foot wide open-air concourse, sweeping views of the downtown area, plentiful concession points, and a Rotary Play Park for children, provides space for the Greensboro community to come together in sportsmanship, relax, and enjoy the outdoors. With First National Bank Field hosting numerous events in addition to the Grasshoppers’ games, including the 2010, 2012, and 2014 ACC Baseball Tournament, non-profit fundraising events, and Family Fun days, there is something at the stadium for everyone!
International Civil Rights Center & Museum
134 S. Elm St.
Greensboro, NC 27401
The International Civil Rights Center & Museum (ICRCM) was co-founded in 1993 by Melvin “Skip” Alston and Earl F. Jones in honor of the sit-in movement that swept the South in 1960 with peaceful protests against the injustices of Jim Crow segregation. ICRCM occupies the historic F.W. Woolworth building in downtown Greensboro where four N.C. A&T freshmen (Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair Jr., and David Richmond) conducted a peaceful sit-in at the “whites only” lunch counter and asked to be served- an act of courage that sparked hundreds of protests like it across the country.
ICRCM stands as a testament to the courage of hundreds and thousands of young people in Greensboro and across the country who protested against injustice, and provides hope and inspiration to all people in their on-going struggle for justice and freedom. The International Civil Rights Center & Museum reminds all of us of our capacity for courage and compassion and the potential of unified people to make lasting change.
Center City Park
200 N. Elm St.
Greensboro, NC 27401
For over a decade Center City Park has served Greensboro as a central gathering place for residents and visitors alike to relax and discover the diverse character of our City. The park features artistic performance spaces, educational environments, athletic space for people of all ages, café dining, and outstanding locally produced public art- including a fountain feature whose water flow is an abstract representation of the seasonal stream beds found throughout North Carolina’s Piedmont region.
Conceived of as a series of outdoor rooms, from the wooden pergolas inspired by the shuttle and weaving loom of the early Greensboro textile industry, to the pavilion that regularly hosts performing artists and workshops, to the Great Lawn that functions as a natural amphitheater and playplace, Center City Park can be enjoyed by groups large and small as they engage in the history and culture of our community.
The Historic Magnolia House
442 Gorrell St.
Greensboro, NC 27406
Operational during the time of Jim Crow segregation, the Magnolia House (also known as the Daniel D. Debutts House) was a nationally acclaimed bed and breakfast for African American travelers who were turned away (often with the threat of violence) from other institutions on the road. Denoted as a highly recommended place to stay in six editions of the Green book, a publication that identified businesses across the country that would accept black customers, the Historic Magnolia House Motel has an impressive guest list including James Brown, Ray Charles, Ruth Brown, Ike and Tine Turner, Joe Tex, Carter G. Woodson, and Jackie Robinson. In addition to housing celebrities, the Magnolia House accommodated the families of students attending the historically black schools of Bennett College and North Carolina A&T State University and served the community as a place for wedding receptions and other formal gatherings.
Out of over 300 Green book sites in North Carolina the Historic Magnolia House is one of four that remain and has become a destination for artists of color from across the state to engage in the production of history and cultural by paying tribute to the safe spaces that made the traveling careers of the black artist that came before them possible.
2800 E Gate City Blvd.
Greensboro, NC 27401
Strategically located on East Gate City Boulevard, Gateway Gardens provides a stunning entryway and introduction into the City of Greensboro, its historical character, and cultural community. Produced in a public-private partnership between the City of Greensboro and Greensboro Beautiful, the gardens, including the Gateway Plaza & Icon, Michel Family Children’s Garden, Rain Garden, Greensboro Heritage Garden, and a wealth of public art, opened to the public in 2011. With community members involved in every step of its planning and implementation, Gateways Gardens is an embodiment of the values of our community.
As a certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver project, Gateway Gardens is a recognized leader of sustainable design in the Greensboro community, providing an example of healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green building. By providing the city and its visitors with a natural space that integrates elements of history, movement, discovery, and community, Gateway Gardens not only represents the character of Greensboro as it is now, but leads the community into a future of responsible environmental stewardship that arises from a pride of and connection with the Greensboro landscape.
Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum
6136 Burlington Rd.
Gibsonville, NC 27249
The Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum is located on the historic campus of Palmer Memorial Institute- a rural boarding school for African American students founded by Charlotte Hawkins Brown in 1902. A northern-educated granddaughter of former slaves, Dr. Brown was committed to providing her students more than the vocational training that was typical for Black students at the time, and the Palmer Memorial Institute quickly gained a national reputation for its holistic approach to a liberal arts education. During Dr. Brown’s 50-year presidency, the Palmer Memorial Institute was the only rural high school (for African Americans or whites) to receive accreditation in Guilford County, have an all African American board of trustees, and teach African American history in the classroom. By the time the school closed in 1971 it had transformed the lives of more than 2,000 African American students.
Today, the campus provides the setting where visitors can explore this unique environment where boys and girls lived and learned during the greater part of the 20th century. As North Carolina’s first state historic site honoring the contributions of African Americans, the museum links Dr. Brown and Palmer Memorial Institute to the larger themes of African American history, women’s history, social history, and education, emphasizing the contributions African Americans made in North Carolina.
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