Kinston, NC Arts Scene
History, music and art play a big part in Lenoir County's cultural scene. Here's a look at attractions well worth visiting.
Heritage Place at Lenoir Community College
Heritage Place was established in 1988 on the campus of Lenoir Community College to provide resource materials that go way back in history. The records focus primarily on eastern North Carolina, especially Lenoir, Greene and Jones counties, and a large section of Virginia. Several genealogical and local history collections dating back to the late 1700s contain death records, maps, picture files, newsletters and a microfilm collection.
African American Music Trail
The North Carolina Arts Council has been spearheading a project called the African American Music Trail, which will tell the story of past and present musicians who represent eastern North Carolina. Council officials hope this regional tourism trail – a self-driving tour – will be in full swing during 2013. Maps will be available at the Arts Council, which also has photo displays of musicians. A two-acre music park, slated to open in September, will feature a landmark sculpture and several interactive exhibits.
The driving trail will wind through Edgecombe, Greene, Jones, Nash, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson counties. Recognized musicians from the eastern North Carolina region include trumpet player Dick Knight, drummer Melvin Parker, saxophonist Maceo Parker, gospel singer Bishop F.C. Barnes, Wilson native Bill Myers of the Monitors and popular singer Roberta Flack.
Chamber Centennial Park
The Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce has been serving the community since 1911, and part of its 100-year celebration in 2011 was a ribbon-cutting and time capsule ceremony at newly dedicated Chamber Centennial Corner Park. The park is named in honor of all who had an impact on Kinston and Lenoir County. Located at the corner of Herritage and King streets in downtown Kinston, it includes a sculpture, engraved bricks and benches.
Harriet's Chapel and Starr's Battery
Harriet's Chapel, a 19th-century church, served as a Civil War field hospital where both Union and Confederate soldiers were tended following the 1862 First Battle of Kinston. The church, on U.S. Highway 258 South, was eventually destroyed. Today, the New Beaverdam Primitive Church, similar in design to Harriet's Chapel, is on the site. A historical marker on the grounds describes the Starr's Battery encounter during the First Battle of Kinston. The church is open to visitors from dawn to dusk.
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