Birthplace of Country Music Museum reaches out online

Published: May. 13, 2020 at 7:06 PM EDT
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Like many cultural organizations, the

in Bristol has had to adjust to challenging times. From virtual tours to front porch concerts, the museum is reaching out.

Since the museum opened in 2014, it has showcased "the Big Bang of Country Music," the Bristol recording sessions in 1927 that discovered some of country music's earliest stars.

And there are other special exhibits, like 'Real Folk,' highlighting the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program, featuring artists and musicians including Patrick County's Sammy Shelor.

"You know he's a world-renowned award-winning banjo player," said Marketing Specialist Charlene Baker, "and he has taken on an apprentice and is showing her the ropes."

Baker said the exhibit opened two weeks before the galleries closed, so the museum is giving virtual visitors a closer look online.

And then there's the Farm and Fun Time Home Edition, which has taken a popular concert series from the museum to a front porch in Johnson City, streaming on Facebook Live.

"It's just one of those, one extra thing that we want to do to engage people, and not only just entertain them, but you know let them know that we're still here," Baker said.

The museum is still weighing its options for Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, the annual music festival that's scheduled for September.

And Baker said the museum is looking forward to the day when it can reopen its doors and welcome visitors again with open arms.

"If we all just pull together, and do what we're supposed to do," Baker said, "you know we can all gather again safely and it will be a great big party when we do, I guarantee it."

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