BRISTOL, VA/TN – “For All The World To See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” a nationally touring exhibition from NEH on the Road, opens on Nov. 10 and on display through Jan. 7, 2019 at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.
Through a compelling assortment of photographs, television clips, art posters, and historic artifacts, “For All the World to See” traces how images and media disseminated to the American public transformed the modern civil rights movement and jolted Americans, both black and white, out of a state of denial or complacency. Visitors to this immersive display will explore dozens of striking visual images, including photographs from influential magazines, such as Life, Jet, and Ebony; CBS News footage; and TV clips from The Ed Sullivan Show. Also included are civil rights-era objects that exemplify the range of negative and positive imagery—from Aunt Jemima syrup dispensers and 1930s product advertisements to Jackie Robinson baseball ephemera and 1960s children’s toys with African American portraiture.
“For All The World To See” is not a history of the civil rights movement, but an exploration of the vast number of images that influenced how Americans perceived race and the struggle for equality.
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum may seem like an unusual place to explore topics like civil rights, but the museum's temporary exhibition gallery gives us the opportunity to usher in a host of varied special exhibits to Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee that may not otherwise reach this region. This exhibition has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It has been adapted and is being toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance. “For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights” was organized by The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution.
Radio Bristol, the in-house radio station that broadcasts from the museum, will feature 15-20 minute segments during its program “On the Sunny Side,” featuring stories and perspectives from members of our region's African American community. The station broadcasts in the Bristol area on 100.1 FM, online at ListenRadioBristol.org, and through Radio Bristol mobile app.
Other programming to run in conjunction with “For All The World To See” includes an educator preview visit for teachers on Nov. 12; a presentation and talk on the growing trend of Afrocentric graphic novels focused on historical figures and events on Nov.15; a film screening of the documentary “Soundtrack for a Revolution,” which highlights the power of music as an outlet and tool during the civil rights era on Nov. 29; and a moderated panel discussion on race on Dec. 4. All of these events are free and open to the public.
Discounted weekend passes to the 19th Annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, to be held Sept. 20-22, 2019, will go on sale Black Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 online at www.BristolRhythm.com and at The Museum Store inside the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. The event is a division of the Birthplace of Country Music, the parent nonprofit organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Radio Bristol, and the festival. The Museum Store will also offer a number of holiday discounts beginning on Black Friday.
For more information, visit www.BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.
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