NC Sports Hall of Fame

By Dylan Livingston

Founded in 1962, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, placed in the North Carolina Museum of History, has impressed and entertained North Carolina residents and travelers alike. The NC Hall of Fame is chalk full of amazing athletes and coaches detailing what they did for their school, their team and most importantly, their state. I traveled there for the first time with my 4th grade elementary school class to cap off a really fun quarter where we detailed North Carolina history while also talking about its heroes in the sports world. Some of North Carolina’s most famous athletes include: Michael Jordan (considered professional basketball’s best player ever), Mia Hamm (one of United State soccer’s most decorated olympians), and Richard Petty who won 200 competitive races in the sport of NASCAR.

This section of the NC Museum of History boasts many trophies and outlines some of the most famous nation-wide places that countless professional events have taken place in. Some of these places include the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, NC (golf) and the Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR).

Although I have not been back to the NC Sports Hall of Fame in about five years, I can remember how nicely presented all of the material was compared to another hall of fame I have been to. This summer I went to Hockeytown Cafe in Detroit, Michigan which also has a hall of fame, specific to hockey, that was not portrayed in such a glowing manner compared to the NC hall of fame. The Hockeytown Cafe lacked good exhibit labels and didn’t do the players on view very much justice. In comparison, the NC hall of fame does a great job incorporating “flow” by giving its sports fanatics an easily navigable set of exhibit rooms with informative videos, sprawling exhibit labels and portable audio devices which assist in leading them throughout the exhibition.

Each year, several new members are inducted in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame through a small ceremony. Newly inducted members come from many different sports including: bowling, football, tennis, track and field, hangliding and horse racing, to name a few. A personal favorite, Duke Basketball’s head coach Mike Krzyzewski (the winningest college basketball coach of all time) has his own shrine within the hall of fame. A national championship winner with Duke in five different seasons, “Coach K” will forever go down as one of the state’s most famous and successful coaches.

https://www.biography.com/people/richard-petty-9439013 http://hockeytowncafe.com/ https://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/exhibits/nc-sports-hall-of-fame

Visit to Washington, D.C.

By Ken Wilson

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U.S. Air Force via Getty Images

Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down and I’d like to take a minute, just keeping reading and see and I’ll tell you how about my 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C.

Bear with me, this trip was about 7 years ago in March of 2010. This trip was restricted for to just students that were in any AAP (Advanced Academic Program) level Social Studies course at my middle school, Heyward Gibbes. They took about 50 or so students with about 7 teachers all of whom taught us at some point or another. They were all history fanatics or like us could use the break from school. We were set to go for 4 days and 3 nights so that we could truly soak up what nation’s capital had to offer us. But now let me get to the trip.

So, our trip started with our parents getting us to school to leave on a charter bus at about 8:30 in the morning. For someone like me this trip would be the farthest I had ever traveled outside of South Carolina. Still to this day as I am writing this in November I have not gotten the opportunity to travel far and wide…yet. The car ride was very tough for me because I had never been in a moving anything for more than 2 hours so to be on a charter bus with 50 other people for a little more than 8 hours was a new experience for me. When we got there the first place we stopped was our hotel to drop off our stuff. If I remember right I believe we stayed at a Hilton Hotel.

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Union Station, Image courtesy of Trip Savvy https://www.tripsavvy.com/union-station-in-dc-1039853

After dropping off stuff, stretching our legs, using the restroom and taking in the beauty that was truly this city, we visited Union Station where we got the opportunity to visit all of the different shops and restaurants located in just that location. I remember it being very big and sort of intimidating but in a good way and that is saying something considering I’ve always been a big guy, myself. Our night didn’t end with just Union Station because after we finished there we went night sight-seeing around the city and got up the public area behind the White House. It was a sight that I’ll never forget because it was right there, erected in front of me. The other great thing about walking around D. C. at night is that we didn’t have a tour guide so we were free to explore as much of the city (as long as our teachers could see us!) as we wanted. That first night was so breathtaking from the moment it started to the moment I laid down to sleep that night.

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Image from Air and Space Museum website

The next day was just as exciting because we went to the Smithsonian Museum that focused on Air and Space. It was exhilarating to see that there was a whole place dedicated to showcasing how far we as humans have come in exploring our worlds from aerial views. After that we went to the National Museum of African Art which was really exciting especially because everyone on the trip except two of my teachers happen to be of color and we were able to experience firsthand a facet of African culture. We saw artwork in the forms of traditional African island mask and videos of recorded African ritual dancing.

I’ll have to explore the rest of the trip in another blog.

Women’s Museum and the Male Gaze

By Javon Blain

Around the world there are museums dedicated to almost everything. You have the Air and Space Museum, the African-American History Museum, the Holocaust Museum, and many others. These museums are very beneficial and it can teach everyone at least one thing about the past and present. This blog will focus on women’s museums and how they serve to satisfy the male gaze.

The National Women’s History Museums was founded in the year 1996 in Alexandria, Virginia.[1] This museum is dedicated to women of all backgrounds and professions. In this museum exhibits talk about women in NASA, women scientists, and many other accomplishments by women. The one thing that I dislike is how long it took for this particular museum to even come alive. Women have played a major role in the history of America and a lot of things that we have now would not be here if it were not for women. This shows us how even something as educational as this still satisfies the male gaze. Some men do not want to see the accomplishments of women because a strong woman can be seen as a threat to them. Some men claim that all women do is grumble and complain but it’s really never the women that do this. Nine times out of ten it’s the men who grumbles and complain when they do not get their way.

Mary Anderson
RuthWakefield

I am thankful for museums like this that are dedicated to women because they teach us that women did way more than just be a housewife. They ran the factories while the men were at war and did a better job than the men. Women also created things that we use in our everyday life. For example, the Windshield Wiper was created by Mary Anderson in 1903. Also the chocolate chip cookie was created by Ruth Wakefield in 1930.[2] These are just a few of the many inventions that women created, and these need to be known to the world through things such as museums. There needs to be more museums around the world that will step on the toes of men and let them know that women have done and are still doing things that effect the world in a positive way.

Another museum that is dedicated to the works of women around the world is the National Museum of Women in the Arts. This museum actually opened up before the NWHM on April 7, 1987 also this museum was not open to the public until April of 1987. The NMWA is strictly dedicated to women in arts unlike the NWHM is dedicated to all women’s history particular in the workforce.

Frieda Kahlo

A few fun facts about this museum that the NMWA is the only museum in the world that is dedicated to showing the work of women artist. It has also presented nearly three hundred special exhibits from women around the world. Also this museum is the only museum in Washington, D.C. where you will find a Frida Kahlo painting.[3] This museum is the only museum like this of its kind. It also seems to be the only one like it. Other arts museums are mainly showing a mixed group of art from both men and women. Then you have some museums that are solely dedicated to men’s art. This again shows us the impacts that the male gaze has on museums. It’s rare to see a museum that is strictly dedicated to women’s work without something dealing with men in it as well. It seems as if the men of America do not want to be left out if women try to do something for themselves but never fully support then when they do step out on their own.

I believe that there is a strong need for more women’s history museums around the world because we do not learn a lot about the accomplishments of women in our text books. Everything that we read about men are things that are mainly common knowledge. Learning about women’s history will show diversity and another side of women that people do not know besides the general housewife that most people think that women can be. Another thing I believe is that women’s museums are beneficial to young girls. Dr. Ina Seethaler who is the director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program once stated “you can’t be what you can’t see”. Therefore, I believe if young women and girls do not see women being scientist, lawyers, artist, educators, or any other profession besides being a house wife or someone who always has to depend on their husband, then they will not know that it is okay for them to spread their wings and be the extraordinary women that they are called to be.

Sources:

[1] “About Us.” National Women’s History Museum. Accessed November 15, 2017.

https://www.nwhm.org/about-us

[2] Jessica, Samakow. “11 Crucial Inventions You Can Think Women For.” The Huffington Post. March 01,

  1. Accessed November 15, 2017. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/11-crucial-inven

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[3] “National Museum of Women in the Arts.” FUN FACTS | National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Accessed November 15, 2017. https://nmwa.org/fun-facts.

 

Sandy Island

By Jay Buckley

The Athenaeum Press at Coastal Carolina University works on projects on a regional level that are led by students. While not all of their projects are focused solely in South Carolina, they are all developed, designed, and published out of CCU. The projects that are based in South Carolina have a mission to educate people on a local, regional, and national level on the history and culture of the area. One of these projects based out of South Carolina is “Gullah: The Voice of an Island.” From this project came the idea to fight to preserve the island and all its rich history and culture.

Image from: http://theathenaeumpress.com/gullah.html

The project “Gullah: The Voice of an Island,” began as a collaboration between two music professors, Matt White from CCU and Eric Crawford from Norfolk State University. It was meant to preserve the spiritual songs sung in praise houses on a CD. The next focus of the project was to preserve the culture and heritage of the Gullah community.

The Gullah people have lived along the eastern coast stretching from South Carolina down to Florida since the early 1800s when they were first brought from the western coast of Africa to be sold into slavery. In Georgetown County, South Carolina there is an island called Sandy Island which is inhabited by the descendants of the people within that community. The forty-square mile of former rice plantation is located between the Pee Dee and Waccamaw River and is only accessible by boat.

In 1996, the state stepped in to protect the island from developers trying to build a bridge to haul timber from the island. The state was successful and guaranteed it to be untouched by development. This spring, Alli Crandell from the Athenaeum Press teamed up with Eric Crawford to apply for the Civil Rights Grant from the National Parks service to preserve Sandy Island. They are using the money from the grant to renovate the schoolhouse that was built in 1932. Their plan is to turn it into a visitor center for people to learn more about Sandy Island’s history and the Gullah community who still lives there today.

It is important to preserve this island because not only is there so much history from it being a former rice plantation, but there are people who are still living on the island today. Without land, you have no culture.

Below are images of the cultural center sign. The first is from 2012 and the second is from the spring of 2017. A clear example of what happens without preservation.

Sign in 2012
Sign in 2017

Motor City Mayhem

By Dylan Livingston

Dylan visiting the exhibits at Horry County Museum

During this past summer, I traveled to Detroit, Michigan to visit my father and take a look into what he was working on for his job. Over the past year, my father was hired as the CEO of the Michigan State science center. One of my dad’s main objectives was to educate the public about how the racial and economic demographics throughout the Motor City made it how it is today. Although the museum’s calling card will be primarily surrounding science, my dad jumped on the project with massive intentions of teaching the public about the history and experiences of the people in the only American city to go bankrupt in the last 5 years.

My dad wanted to create a hands-on approach to educate youth within the Detroit Public School system about the city they live in. As upsetting as a city-wide bankruptcy is, my dad wanted to focus on its beginning as much as he wants to talk about what the city is doing and putting in place to change their misfortunes and make the Motor City boom like it once did. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure about his approach in terms of talking about the good and the bad of Detroit’s demise but after his explanation I was on board. My father described the entire experience as one big story that the youth of the DPS system could really get into. This got me to thinking about the endless possibilities that the project could bring to these children.

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Detroit Skyline

My dad wanted to make an interactive story providing a taste of a game similar to “The Game of Life” where the children would be presented with a small playing figure and they would progress them through their lives until they were hit with the reality of bankruptcy. The children were to be guided around a large room with different stations that represented different events that were to take place within their lives. They could choose their car, schools for their children, jobs they picked to work in and so on. The age range for students going through this game is targeted at around 10 to 15 years old.

As the game was to carry on and the lives of our made-up characters progressed, my dad wanted to gradually incorporate a failing economy in the student’s salaries at work and price of groceries in the store. As the children are beginning to notice small changes, it was my dad’s hope that a few students would take leadership roles and try to figure out the problems, only to amp up the experience and introduce the actual bankruptcy. As the bankruptcy takes hold it’s the goal of the exercise to teach a little about money, problem solving and coming up with a solution; similar to Detroit using creditors to help bail themselves out.

This exercise was very appealing to me because I knew it would make the students think and help them learn about their great city. Using interactive approaches, especially with younger children, gives them a reason to stay engaged while also having fun in the process of gaining everything, losing everything and then learning how to recover. I hope there are more interactive approaches to centers of history, science and art as they give the patrons of the facility a different experience and a great way to learn.

The Structure & Organization of Museums and Historic Houses

By Morgan Condrey

 

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Morgan at the Horry County Museum

When you walk into a museum or historic house you always note the cleanliness as well how everything is in a specific order or place. Both are known for their attention to detail in regards to both the exhibits as well as the official structure of the operations. So what keeps these places organized, and how are these institutions structured? We will discuss this throughout the blog post, as well as touch on the importance of museums to society.

The way a museum structure is set up involves several tiers of jobs and bosses. The first and most job is the museum director; museum directors are also known as museum curators. The museum director/ curator is in charge of overseeing the storage of the museum’s collections that it displays. They are also in charge of raising funds to keep the museum running in tip top shape. In a sense the director is the backbone of the museums and oversees most all of the operations that take place in or in reference to the museum they work for. The next job while working in a museum is the education portion, the people who work in this area of the museum have an important job as well. The educators come up with good information and transfer that information to the public in a way that is deemed exciting and informative. The education portion of the museum is in charge of creating the tours of the museum that everyone finds so exciting. The next section of the workers in the museum are the tour guides and such. As in their title they are responisible for the execution of the tours designed and made up by the educators of the museum. They walk around the museum and inform the public of all of the information on the exhibits within the museum. After the tour guides we have the marketing and communications portion of the museum staffing. This area is the central point of distributing information to the public about the museum as well for the museum. This particular area promotes exhibits, events, the donations, as well as other important goings ons around the museum through strategic marketing and advertising.

blogtierAlong the way there are other important jobs that are done by everyday people such as the janitors, the people who work the front desk, and other smaller areas. As a child your schools and parents probably took you to various museums. Whether it had been an art, historical, science, or any other science museum it is not always why they exist.

From my prior knowledge museums are here to inform and educate the public in a wat that is also entertaining! It is the job of public history and museums to almost “trick” people into being educated about a topic or idea. Lots of time museums will make education fun by making it interactive or perceiving said information in a way that makes the public interact and learn.

Sources: