23 February, 2010

Coming to Manteo in the Fall

Great news - I have been awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust travel Fellowship for 2010 and will be travelling to North Carolina and Virginia for 6 weeks. I will be researching the North Devon Pottery Trade and also making strong links with artists, arts organisations and artists’ networks. Exact dates of travel are to be confirmed but I will be in NC and VA from mid September to the end of October. I will be spending a lot of my time in Manteo on this trip.

I have done lots of research on where to go and who to meet with, but I am sure there will be plenty more to add to my list. So far I am planning to visit Manteo based artists, galleries and arts organisations, Manteo First Friday Committee and the Artrageous Extravaganza Committee; Dare County Arts Council; N C Arts Council; historic sites and museums in Raleigh; Historic Jamestowne and Colonial National Historical Park (including its collection of Pottery; The Lost Colony Production; Roanoke Island Festival Park; Fort Raleigh National Historic Site; arts communities in the Outerbanks area; Seagrove potteries;

I am in the process of writing an itinerary for the 6 weeks and am open to suggestions of other places / people who would be able to help me with my research and also who would be good to connect to, whether they run an arts or heritage organisation/programme; are historians, archaeologists; or are an individual artist, potter or gallery owner. If you are reading this and think you can help please email me at sadie@experiencedevon.com.

The travel fellowship is an award that is open to any UK citizen to apply for and the focus is very much on being able to bring information back to the local community and to disseminate it on my return.

I hope that this fellowship will be a catalyst - a starting point to enable the relationship between both Bideford and Manteo as new sister cities, and the wider relationship between North Devon, NC and VA, to flourish. It will be an opportunity for the local communities and arts communities to begin to get to know each other and for future joint projects and programs to be devised and executed.

Official twinning of Bideford and Manteo

The twinning of Bideford and Manteo will become official with the signing of a formal twinning charter in the Easter holidays this year. This will cement a connection that has existed since Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Richard Grenville first founded a colony on the site of Manteo in 1587. Here in Bideford Sadie Green and I are members of ‘Bideford 500’ a group dedicated to researching and celebrating Bideford’s unique history and heritage, specifically of the last 500 years, hence the name, although the town is more than twice this age. Whilst the delegation from Manteo are here, at the end of March, they will be invited to experience some of Bideford’s past by walking the Heritage Trail. This was devised through Bideford 500 and the Chamber of Commerce and you can follow the link here which takes you to some web pages all about Bideford 500 and the Heritage Trail.