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WCU Stories

First Thursday concert tied to Mountain Heritage Center exhibit

Western Carolina University’s next First Thursday Old-Time and Bluegrass Series event will feature folklorist, storyteller and musician Lee Knight performing at MadStone Café and Catching Light Books.

The concert and jam session will take place Thursday, Nov. 1, beginning at 7 p.m. in conjunction with an ongoing Smithsonian exhibit, “The Way We Worked,” on display at WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center through Wednesday, Nov. 7.

Lee Knight

The exhibit documents late 19th- and early 20th-century jobs and labor shaped by many factors ― immigration and ethnicity, slavery and racial segregation, wage labor and technology, gender roles and class ― as well as by the American ideals of freedom and equality. To accommodate additional viewing, the Mountain Heritage Center will open with special Saturday hours from noon to 4 p.m. on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.

Knight will perform traditional work songs from across the country. A regular performer for workshops, Elderhostels, festivals and camps, he has participated in artist-in-residence programs for the North Carolina Arts Council and other arts groups across the Southeast.

The event at the combination eatery and bookstore, located in WCU’s Noble Hall, is free and open to the public. Pickers and singers of all ages and experience levels are invited to take part in the 8 to 9 p.m. jam session, also open to those who just want to listen.

For more information, call the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129 or visit

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