CULLOWHEE – A presentation of “The Liars Bench” show focusing on Appalachian journeys will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center.
Special guest for the show will be author and storyteller Dot Jackson, a co-founder of the Birchwood Center for Arts and Folklife in Sunset, S.C. Jackson will join the cast of “The Liars Bench” in celebrating the “eerie and supernatural” because Halloween is coming soon, said Gary Carden of Sylva, founder of the Southern Appalachian variety show.
Born to Appalachian parents in Miami, Jackson garnered several Pulitzer Prize nominations during her journalism career, during which she worked for the Charlotte Observer, Greenville (S.C.) News and other newspapers in the region. She is author of the novel “Refuge” and has co-authored four works of nonfiction.
In addition to Jackson, the show also will feature Carden, a playwright, author and storyteller who earlier this year was named recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature, and Cherokee storyteller Lloyd Arneach and claw-hammer guitarist Paul Iarussi.
The Oct. 18 event is part of a series of free public programs being held in conjunction with the “Journey Stories” Smithsonian Institution exhibit that will be on display at the WCU museum through Friday, Nov. 9. An accompanying exhibit focusing on local “journey stories” that was researched, designed and built by WCU public history students, “In, Out, Through and Back Again: Smoky Mountain Journeys,” is being shown at the Jackson County Public Library through Saturday, Nov. 17.
The “Journey Stories” exhibit showing in Cullowhee is made possible by the North Carolina Humanities Council and is part of the Museum on Main Street program, a collaboration between the Smithsonian and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for the exhibit is provided through Congress and its showing at WCU is part of a six-stop tour of North Carolina.
For more information about the “Journey Stories” exhibit and related activities and events, contact the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129.