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Grave Creek Mound to hold Black History Month celebration Sunday, Feb. 5

Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex in Moundsville will celebrate Black History Month on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006 from 2 - 4 p.m., with a reception, exhibition opening for African-American Influences, a History Alive presentation and a jazz concert. The program, presented in conjunction with West Virginia Northern Community College, is free and open to the public.

The African-American Influences exhibit will include selections from the collection of the West Virginia State Museum and six compressed charcoal or conte crayon drawings by Wheeling artist Patricia Jacobson. Jacobson’s drawings were made from photographs in “Minds Stayed on Freedom, The Civil Rights Struggle in the Rural South,” an oral history by the youth of the Rural Organizing and Cultural Center of Holmes County, Miss. The exhibition will remain on display through Feb. 28.

Jacobson has taught classes in drawing and painting at the Stifel Fine Art Center and ceramics and drawing in the continuing education program at West Virginia Northern Community College. Her work has been included in many juried exhibitions, and she won a $2,000 Award of Excellence in the West Virginia Juried Exhibition 2005 at the Cultural Center in Charleston.

Joseph Bundy of Bluefield will bring Booker T. Washington to life with his History Alive presentation. Bundy is a graduate of Marshall University with a degree in theater. In addition to being a History Alive scholar, he is the director of the Afro-Appalachian Performance Company and a member of the West Virginia Storytelling Guild.

Rounding out the day’s activities will be a jazz concert by students in the jazz studies program at West Virginia University (WVU) under the direction of Curtis Johnson, associate professor of saxophone and member of the jazz/applied faculty. Johnson received his bachelor of music degree from West Liberty State College and his master’s from WVU. He has extensive performance experience with such famed artists as Frankie Valli, Wynton Marsalis, Ray Charles and Maynard Ferguson.

For more information about the Black History Month celebration at Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex, contact Susan Yoho, site manager for the facility, at (304) 843-4128.

Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex features one of the largest and most famous burial mounds built by the prehistoric Adena people. A massive undertaking, construction of the mound took place in successive stages from about 250-150 B.C., and required the movement of more than 60,000 tons of earth. Exhibits and displays in the complex’s museum interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The Museum is located at 801 Jefferson Ave., in Moundsville. Operating hours are Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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