It was yet another busy week as I visited three more museums and interned a day at the WRA! The first museum I visited was on Friday. The Colburn Science Museum occasionally has an event called Beer City Science Pub. This event involves serving a locally brewed beer and refreshments, opening the museum up for patrons to view, and having a lecture (this week the lecture was on climate change and the beer was from Twin Leaf Brewing). Upon discovering this event, I immediately considered how the museum was being very clever in curating an event that would be sure to attract a healthy sized crowd, especially in Asheville! The curators certainly did a great job of appealing to the public and getting their attention. Sure enough, the museum filled up quickly. The artifacts were arranged in certain groups—the minerals section, a section about the earth’s layers and volcanic activity, a section on mining (the history of mining as well as equipment used and the technique), and a display on minerals and stones found in this area of the state and how these raw materials were used. Seeing as my geology is the only science that I’ve ever enjoyed, the mineral section was naturally my favorite! I enjoyed pointing out to my fiancé which stones were igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. I even remembered what a conglomerate rock was and pointed that out as well. His response was to promptly poke fun at me, saying that I was acting like a kid in a candy store. That was ok, though, I got my chance to return the jesting when he became fascinated with a DVD playing in the earth-layers room about spelunking and refused to listen to me talk about the metamorphic rock display. The setup of the exhibits themselves was quite inviting, having an appropriate amount of displays in cases, brief yet thorough descriptions of all the items, and plenty of hands-on activities and minerals and stones to touch. There was even an interactive mining activity in which one could “activate” the explosives outside of a cavern and then walk in to learn about the various materials that had been uncovered. We also bought our very own geode to bust open at home. We didn’t get to stay for the lecture, but I am certain that we will be going again.
The other two museums I had the pleasure of visiting were the Swannanoa Valley Museum and the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center. This was a very different experience from the museums that I had visited before. The Swannanoa Valley Museum afforded me a great opportunity to see what exactly goes into not only building a museum, but restoring a historical building and preserving the integrity of the original structure to incorporate it as a part of the museum. I thought it was really neat how the crew managed to keep the original pipe leading down from the second floor, and thought they did a beautiful job restoring the outside face of the building! I thought that, after the Swannanoa Valley Museum is finished, it would complement the property adjacent to it, the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center. The Arts Center took what was an old structure that had been used to serve multiple needs in the community (a jail, library, town hall, etc.), and repurposed it so that it is now a wonderful community center that offers various different types of classes such as art, dance, and yoga, so as to help the community come together and grow. Overall the two museums served as a wonderful example of how older buildings that had long been part of a town could be reused to serve the community again while still preserving much of the integrity of the structure.
Monday saw me back at the WRA and on to a new subseries in AdvantageWest. Heather and another intern, Kayla, helped me as I weeded through binders and binders of movie/TV proposals and ideas. We were specifically looking for information on any projects that actually came to fruition and were produced in western North Carolina. As a result, much of what we found was not kept because no footage was ever shot here for many of the projects. As tedious as it became, we kept ourselves amused by finding hilarious project descriptions and requests for landscape/settings that were needed. I pulled aside some of my favorites to include in this post with my own commentary in parenthesis:
- Lots of prisons were needed for various films
- Project description for a movie about venison eaters (a movie about… really?)
- “Nerd Camp” (Title of a project)
- Lots of commercials and photo shoots for catalogs and magazines
- PBS pilot for a mini-series about a Civil War Hospital during the late 1700s-early 1800s (I kid you not. I could not make this up. This was hands down one of our favorites, although it made us a little sad.)
- “Attack of the 50 foot Cheerleader” (another project title)
- “Bitter Coffee” (this little gem was about an unlikely trio of survivors who had only their wit and bitter coffee to survive a post-apocalyptic phenomenon… yes, my thoughts exactly.)
- Request for a piece of property to portray a Texas ranch (… here… in the mountains… where it looks nothing like Texas.)
- Request for a “town resembling Washington, D.C. in around 1860” (…. Yes, this was a real request.)
- “Rock the Mic” (what would have been a hip-hop version of “High School the Musical,” although I dare say it might have been better than a movie about a 50 foot cheerleader.)
- Request for a place to shoot a scene, but here’s the hitch—no mountains could be visible.
- Five ideas that were considered for a reality TV show: Lazoom, Sunburst Trout Farms, The Blue Ride Parkway (following officers along the parkway), Pisgah Forest (same idea as the parkway, but with forest rangers), and Rosetta’s kitchen
I really have no idea how a trout farm or a vegetarian restaurant made it on to a list of potential reality TV ideas, and can you imagine a show about Lazoom?! Anyway, this was just an example of a few ideas that we ran across in the six to eight huge binders that we went through. We did have good laugh, though! And, after a few hours of work, we made it all the way through this series, which is really saying something since, due to the nature of the information that these documents contained, each paper had to be looked at and read to ensure that it did not contain important information. It was a busy day and an even busier week, but I am looking forward to getting some extra interning time in during spring break!