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Carnegie Cultural Center
Summer, 2014
The mission of the Carnegie Cultural Center is to establish a vital presence
of the Arts, History and Cultural Awareness for the enlightenment, enjoyment and benefit
of all Chickasaw County residents and visitors.
I Hate To Start Out By...
...talking about the weather, but at least it’s something you’re sure to relate to! I suppose like anything else, it’s one of those good news/bad news things. The bad: the Cultural Center was hardly open during Feb. and part of March due to the extremely nasty weather and, for only the second time in our 20 year history, the allotment we receive from the City that usually covers a year’s worth of utility costs didn’t quite make it to the end of the fiscal year. The spate of rain, rain and more rain we’ve been experiencing lately has been bad news for many folks, but it has been the test that demon-strated our good news. The repairs that were completed on a section of the Carnegie’s foundation last summer did the trick...not one drop of water made its way into the lower level.
The work that was done on the foundation last summer, as it turns out, was phase one of a three phase rehab project. This summer some of the stonework will be repaired and tuck-pointed and next summer the rest of the stone will receive the same treatment along with chimneys and stone piers to the main exterior entrance.
I’m looking forward to having some repair and replacement on my knees...they didn’t last as long as this good old building and I’m sure the Carnegie will outlast me in other ways as well!
On the Temporary Exhibits Scene...
We have dedicated our 2014 Temporary Exhibits agenda to the Visual Arts. The year started out with “Art of the People” which focused on different ethnic art forms. During its run...which was extended due to being closed so much in Feb. and Mar.)...we conducted a series of workshops for people to try their hand at creating ethnic art forms... worry dolls (Guatemalan), dream catchers (Native American), and coiled baskets (South and Native American, African).
On exhibit now is “Art of the Alumni” which features works produced by NHHS graduates who continued to pursue artistic interests after graduation. The earliest work came from a graduate of the class of 1934 and the most recent from graduates of the class of 2014. An open house reception was held on Saturday June 11 and about 125-130 folks recon-nected with fellow artists and shook hands with retiring NHHS Art Teacher, Dave Prehm. As you might imagine, the style, medium, and subject matter of the artwork is quite varied and is a visual testament to the quality of education available in our hometown. The exhibit will be on display through the beginning of August, so you still have time to take it in.
“Art of Our Ancestors” will go on display at the end of August. This exhibit will showcase all kinds of art pieces produced by someone who came before us...perhaps something that has been handed down in your family and has found a place of honor or a place in the closet of your home. This is not limited to Chickasaw County residents, so scrounge around a bit and see what you might have to add to the exhibit. We will once again be offering weekend work shops...such as crafting a Victorian trinket watch for more details this fall.
Advertising art will be highlighted in “Selling Christmas” during Nov. and Dec. The holiday season is too busy a time to offer coordinating workshops, so we’re thinking about punctuating this exhibit with a coloring book comprised of vintage ads from local businesses and perhaps some well-known products. Hey! What a great gift idea!
Works in Progress - Permanent Exhibits
Thanks to a grant generated by the local hotel/motel tax, we are in the process of...finally!...completing the exhibits on the lower level. By way of a somewhat lengthy evolution, the majority of the lower level is now designated as “Paths and Power” and focuses on how developments in transportation and technology in the 20th century have trans-formed our culture.
“Rural Reminiscences” illustrates the transition from horse and man to mechanical power on the farm through photos and artifacts as well as impressive hand-crafted implements by Martin Jones, Garland Van Kleek and Harold Wolf. Models of farmsteads by Bob Palmershiem and  Richard Busse complete the picture of life early rural life.
The railroads were the first highways. They not only changed the face of Chickasaw County, they transformed America. “The Railroad Room” presents an interpretive model of Chickasaw County from 1900-1999. With farms from three different time periods, three operational model trains, pieces of each of the towns, highways, rivers, etc. etc. all hand crafted by a number of volunteers, there is plenty to see and learn about.
“Highways and Byways” traces the creation of the first roads, the Farm to Market system and the highways in Chickasaw County. Interpreted though photos, maps and more of Martin Jones’ incredible hand-crafted from wood models of road building equipment, this densely packed display makes one appreciate the ease with which we travel today.
The last display, in the process of being equipped with a really fun assortment of toy and model vehicles thanks to the grant noted earlier, is being called “Power with a Purpose.” From the vintage Marx garbage truck and the Structo utility truck to delivery vans and trucks and a cavalcade of cars (one for each decade), this display really demon-strates how much our culture has changed over the last one hundred years. Remember when there was no such thing as garbage, when you could have dairy products delivered to your front door, and greyhound buses made stops in all of the small towns across the state? Even if you don’t remember, you’ll love this nostalgic display.
Looking for Lego
Have any Lego building blocks you don’t mind parting with?  We’d very much like to initiate an after-school Lego Club for students in grades 3-5. During Club time, students would be involved in directed activities/challenges with the goals of fostering creativity, problem solving skills and co-operative work habits. For obvious reasons¸ it is not feasible for students to bring their own blocks, so we hope to accumulate a large selection of Lego to be kept at the Cultural Center and be used on an on-going basis. If you have ever purchased Lego, you know they don’t “come cheap”. To put it mildly, by the end of the summer we will have exhausted all of our reserve funds on the building restoration and it will be a few years before we get the reserves built back up enough to allow us to purchase the blocks.
So, in the mean time...have any Lego building blocks you don’t mind parting with?
Preserving and Sharing Your Story
We spend a lot of time doing what needs to be done to establish a central Chickasaw County archives that is both well-stocked and user-friendly. We recently purchased an external hard drive to back up what we work so hard to accumulate and have thus been able to share some neat historical photos and information with groups such as the Lawler Irish Fest as well as individuals from far and near. If you have anything that we might be able to scan and enter into our archives, PLEASE let us know. It will be quickly returned to you if you wish. THANKS!
CCC Volunteer Administrator

Mark Your Calendar
Farewell to Summer Concert
Don’t Quit Your Day Job Band
Sun., August 17
7 pm

(Middle School Auditorium as back up site)
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