Perry hosts traveling Smithsonian music exhibit

awoolen@macon.comSeptember 14, 2012 

The “New Harmonies Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit” has set up shop at the Perry Arts Center.

The Perry Area Convention and Visitors Bureau applied to the Georgia Humanities Council in summer 2010 to be a host site for the event, which goes through Oct. 20 and focuses on the tradition of musical influences in the U.S.

Part of that history was made in Macon, where some artifacts will be on loan from the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House; Alan Walden, a co-founder of Capricorn Records; and others.

“The exhibit itself explores the tradition of American music,” said Sheila Averett Jones, executive director of the Perry CVB.

The idea was formed to incorporate some of the traditions of local music as well to expand the exhibit.

Since the CVB found out in late 2010 that it was selected as a site, there have been meetings each quarter to plan.

Jones said originally about 40 people were invited from surrounding CVBs, chambers of commerce and festivals such as the Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival and the Georgia National Fair, which coincides with the exhibit, to be part of the steering committee.

There will more than 20 exhibits at the Perry Arts Center, where the main programs will be held.

Jones said some local musicians will perform at various times throughout the event’s run.

The traveling exhibit, which ends in 2013, visits Perry on its fourth stop through 12 communities in Georgia.

“We could’ve done nothing else but the Smithsonian exhibit, and it would’ve been cool,” Jones said.

Some of the programs include a “Remember When” wine and cheese event at 8 p.m. Friday, where photos and videos will be shown of the Atlanta International Pop Festival held in Byron in 1970. Adult content will be shown due to the nature of the festival and the event is open only to mature audiences.

“It influenced a generation of teenagers,” Jones said of the festival.

Because of its historical implications to the city and the country, “we’re going to show the good, the bad and the ugly,” she said.

Jones said other towns have had 10,000 people attend the exhibit during its time at a particular town.

Most of the events will be free of charge.

The exhibit is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 2-5 p.m. Sundays. The exhibit is closed Mondays.

Because the exhibit will have rotating films, themes and performers, “there is not the same thing every day,” Jones said.

For a full list of events, visit or call 988-8000.

New Harmonies Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit

When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 2-5 p.m. Sundays

Where: Perry Arts Center, 1121 Macon Road, Perry

Cost: Free

Information: 988-8000

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