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NC Arts Council Grant Contributes to interactive Earl Scruggs Center Exhibit
 Destination Cleveland County has been awarded $20,000 from the North Carolina Arts Council for the Earl Scruggs Center: Music & Stories from the American South. 
The award has been used in development of an interactive exhibit for the Earl Scruggs Center called Meet Our Musicians and Storytellers. The exhibit is available now online at www.earlscruggscenter.org and will also be available as a hands on interactive exhibit in the Earl Scruggs Center when it opens. The exhibit engages visitors by providing musical excerpts as well as readings from musicians and authors of the region.  It provides a sampling of the rich cultural heritage of this region as shown through the works of musicians such as Earl Scruggs, Don Gibson, Etta Baker, Nina Simone, and Alecia Bridges as well as authors such as Ron Rash, W.J. Cash, Cathy Smith Bowers, Marshall Chapman and Monique Truong.  In the future, the online exhibit will also provide access to more than 100 local oral histories gathered during the development of the center.  Online visitors will be able to select an oral history and listen to the entire recording or browse by key words and topics within the recording. 
According to Emily Epley, Director of Destination Cleveland County (DCC), “By supporting the development of this exhibit and the Earl Scruggs Center, state funds allow us to provide additional quality arts related exhibits and programming for students and adults in the county and support our local economy by drawing visitors to the area to visit the Center.”
An example of the types of programming that the Scruggs Center will provide is the six week Smithsonian exhibit that DCC hosted at the Don Gibson Theatre in 2010 with over 4,000 visitors, including 2,000 Cleveland County students, participating in the exhibit and related arts and education programming. 
“The support of our grants program by the General Assembly during these economically challenging times demonstrates the role the arts play in our economy and quality of life,” said Mary B. Regan, executive Director of the N.C. Arts Council.  “Nonprofit arts organizations employ workers, stimulate commerce, generate tax revenues and help communities retain their vibrancy.”
More than 8.7 million people participated in N.C. Arts Council-funded projects last year in schools, senior centers, museums, concert halls and community centers.  Nearly 2.9 million of these were children and youth.
The N.C. Arts Council awards grant money each year to provide diverse arts experiences for citizens in all 100 counties of N.C.  In fiscal year 2011-2012, the Arts Council distributed $6.4 million in state and federal grant funds to arts organizations, schools and other nonprofit organizations that sponsor arts programs. 
If you are interested in learning more, visit the newly launched Earl Scruggs Center microsite at www.earlscruggscenter.org or call 704-487-6233. 
Destination Cleveland County, Inc. is a non-profit whose mission is to unite our county’s history, heritage, culture and arts to create a vibrant economy while embracing the future and preserving the past. www.mydestinationcc.org
The N.C. Arts Council, www.ncarts.org, is a division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future.  Information on Cultural Resources is available at www.ncculture.com.

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