The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

August 1, 2013

Legislature keeps historic sites open


CNHI

Thursday, August 1, 2013 — RALEIGH -- Tremendous local support and appreciation for the economic and cultural value of state historic sites and museums have led to continued funding for all of the historic sites and museums in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The legislature did not recommend closing any of the venues, including support for Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace, House in the Horseshoe, President James K. Polk State Historic Site, Aycock Birthplace and Mountain Gateway Museum.



"I am thrilled that these sites and museum will be able to remain open. I am very grateful to the Governor and the legislators who understood the importance of these locations to our State and to the tremendous support shown by the local communities in voicing their concerns," said Secretary Susan Kluttz, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

"When Governor McCrory appointed me last December, he made it clear that he wanted our cultural resources to help provide our children with education of our state's history. We are thrilled that we all collectively found a way to keep these sites open. These destinations are excellent examples of how history can inspire a child to learn more about how children lived and played during an earlier time and to dream about becoming governor or even president."

Cultural Resources provides the foundation for heritage tourism in N.C., an important segment of the tourism industry attracting visitors nearby and from around the world.

 

"Since our funding was reduced, I hope that the sites' communities will strengthen their partnerships with us in providing volunteers and resources so that we can continue our quality programs," Kluttz added.

Each of the Department's sites and museums benefit from the work of local support groups who provide volunteers and funding that expands offerings.

 

The House of the Horseshoe near Sanford, Aycock Birthplace in Fremont, Vance Birthplace in Weaverville, President James K. Polk State Historic Site in Pineville and the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort had been considered for closing. These attractions are particularly important to the areas they serve, as are many historic sites. The Department's sites and museums provide anchor institutions about which local communities often tie their locally supported attractions and events.

 

Visitation at N.C. State Historic Sites overall is up almost 22 percent this year, and is up 2 percent overall at State History Museums. Visitation for Cultural Resources overall is up 4 percent. All across the department, informative and entertaining programming that promotes authentic North Carolina history and culture provide great and typically free family recreation. All venues are participating in the department's 2nd Saturdays program, which are free programs or have no additional cost at fee-based sites.



About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR's mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state's history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.



Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state's communities. NCDCR's Divisions of Archives and Records, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina's rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR's State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for the blind and physically handicapped.



NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state's creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.