Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Public ‘Conversations with Cissy’ sessions scheduled at four county locations

The design team working on a master plan for a revitalized historical center based in the old courthouse building in Shelby, N. C., has been engaged for months in dialogue with Cleveland County people.

And to keep the conversation going, four more public meetings have been scheduled to share findings and progress of planning efforts to date, elicit more local input, and hear any questions about the process.

The sessions will be led by Cissy Anklam, who heads the master planning team for the prospective Earl Scruggs Center – Stories & Songs of the Carolina Foothills. The center is being developed by Destination Cleveland County, Inc. (DCC), a local non-profit organization working toward improvement in the area’s economy through cultural tourism.

The four County Conversations with Cissy will be held at sites across the county and at varying times to make it more convenient for local residents to take part in a session, said Brownie Plaster, DCC board chair. The schedule:

Wednesday, April 30:

7:30 p.m., Cleveland County Arts Council, 111 S. Washington St., Shelby

Thursday, May 1:

9:00 a.m., Lawndale Community Center, Piedmont Drive, Lawndale
12:00 noon, Boiling Springs Methodist Church fellowship hall, 215 S. Main St., Boiling Springs (please bring a bag lunch)
7:30 p.m., Kings Mountain Historical Museum, 100 E. Mountain St., Kings Mountain

Ms. Anklam is a professional museum planner and formerly directed exhibit design and educational programming for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. She is now a principal of Museum Concepts, which works with museum clients across the country.

The master plan being developed anticipates the former courthouse building as a base of exhibits, interactive features, and lively programming showcasing the area’s unique history and heritage, including culture embedded in song and story. It will draw upon the county’s store of historical artifacts remaining from an earlier, now-closed historical museum at the site.

At the meetings, Ms. Anklam will report progress and identify major themes emerging so far from the design team’s research and engagement with local citizens – for example, the county’s farm and textile-industry roots and political history.

Design team members gathered much valuable information during their earlier public sessions and interviews with county residents, Ms. Plaster said. “At our Conversations meetings, we’ll encourage even more suggestions of people to talk to for additional insights.”

Targeted for completion in June, the master plan report will provide the broad strokes of program concept and collections plan, facility, site, and staffing requirements, and planning foundations for the work of subsequent architectural, exhibit design, media and interpretive teams.

Design team members in addition to Ms. Anklam are Richard Molinaroli and Beth Miles, exhibit designers and principals of MFM Design; Jeff Place, archivist of folklife archives and collections at the Smithsonian; and John Hubbell, exhibit writer/researcher. Herman Viola, Ph.D., curator emeritus of the Smithsonian, is an advisor.

No comments: