Reviving North Carolina Towns through Art and Tourism

Reviving North Carolina Towns through Art and Tourism

Whirligig. Photo Tonya Fitzpatrick

Aired on September 13, 2019

On one side of the state, North Carolina has the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains.  On the coastal side, the state boasts wild horses and deep blue waters.  However, the center of the state holds surprising treasures and a rich history.

After losing the tobacco and textile industries, Kinston’s Mayor, B.J. Murphy tells us that his small town turned to the arts for economic revitalization.  Even after traveling to Kinston for decades, Ian experienced a new community that is rich in all art forms– from music and visual arts to brewing and distilling arts.

North Carolina has a rich musical heritage. Darrell Stover, Cultural Historian for African Music Trails of North Carolina tells us how the Eastern part of the state is now being recognized for its musical contribution.

A kinetic art sculpture park created by visionary artist Vollis Simpson forms the center price of a new district in historic Wilson, North Carolina.  Whirligigs have also been adopted as North Carolina’s official folk art.

Bob Timberlake (a possible relation to Justin Timberlake) is one of America’s foremost artists, and the person behind some of the most successful furniture sold around the world.  We visited him at his home gallery in Lexington, NC.

Join us as we experience the art of central and eastern North Carolina and get a history lesson aboard the Confederate Ironclad ship the CSS Neuse II.  Plus, Learn the secrets of barbeque from a master cook…on World Footprints radio with Ian and Tonya Fitzpatrick.

A large BBQ pit at Lexington Barbeque. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick
Keith Wright of Lexington Barbeque shows off his large pit and the art of making great BBQ.
Photo:  Tonya Fitzpatrick

 Additional resources:

African American Music Trails of North Carolina

CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center

Kinston, North Carolina Visitor Guide

Lexington Barbeque

The Bob Timberlake Gallery

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park

Book Your Stay Now in North Carolina

Use the interactive map below to search, compare and book hotels & rentals at the best prices that are sourced from a variety of platforms including,, Expedia, Vrbo and more.  You can move the map to search for accommodations in other areas and also use the filter to find restaurants, purchase tickets for tours and attractions and locate various points of interest!

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