Living Traditions on WNCW
Lives of men and women in the North Carolina hills and mountains are being respected with a weekly storytelling on the radio waves.
"Living Traditions Moments celebrate the people and places that have preserved the traditions unique to the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina," said Angie Chandler, executive director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA).
The hope of the radio segment is to keep the deep and wide existence of mountain lives in the minds of new generations. For those who have lived past their youth in the hills, the segments are meant to be reminders of their great heritage.
"We don't want to give (listeners) information that everybody knows, but things that they would love to know about." K.C. Cronin, of BRNHA, said. "It's recorded, so it's forever."
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is partnering with WNCW radio to air short stories of the area. The two minute segments will air on Fridays just before 8 p.m.
The BRNHA was designated by the United States Congress and the President in 2003, recognizing that Western North Carolina holds a significant place in the history of the nation. Because of the unique character, culture, beauty and importance of the area, the BRNHA is working to retain its history, as well as bolster economic development.
Living Traditions Moments will cover traditions and knowledge of the Western North Carolina's crafts, music, Cherokee agriculture and natural heritage. These insights will be drawn from 25 counties and the Qualla Boundary that make up the heritage area.
Segments will be changed weekly and play at different times on Fridays.
"Not only is it our intention to share these rich stories, but to preserve them before they disappear," Chandler said.
Cronin started Living Traditions of the Blue Ridge several years ago to help preserve the rich stories of Western North Carolina. When BRNHA partnered with WNCW, it seemed natural for the stories to be shared.
"I have talked to local people who have lived for generations and generations (in the area) and they tell me incredible stories," Cronin said.
"These hidden stories of the mountains have been told on the front porch for many generations, and they really speak of the cultures and traditions that have been going on for hundreds of years," Cronin said. "They have never lost their cultures and traditions here, but they might lose their stories."
Visit the Blue Ridge Heritage Area Web site, http://www.blueridgeheritage.com, to view a growing catalog of more than 300 area craftsmen, artists and others who have given their work to be shared.
Living Traditions of the Blue Ridge is doing its part on Fridays on WNCW to keep mountain stories alive. For more information, visit the Blue Ridge Heritage Area office in Asheville