On Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m., the Whitewater Bluegrass Company will perform a concert at Blue Ridge Community College’s Thomas Auditorium. The concert will act as a fundraiser for River Heroes of the South, the most recent project by the Center for Cultural Preservation. “In the past, we all had a pretty tangible connection to the closest body of water or spring because our lives revolved around them,” says Center founder and filmmaker David Weintraub. “We would wake and fill a water bucket for the day’s activities, to be used as a source of food, irrigation, refrigeration and transportation. In our industrial age, we’ve lost that connection and my hope with this film is to re-inspire people to cherish our waterways like our ancestors did.”
Jere Brittain will open the concert with traditional tunes from the Mills River region. “Jere is a sixth-generation mountain elder who has been involved for decades in working to protect the French Broad Watershed from efforts by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to build more than a dozen dams which would have flooded nearly 20,000 acres of farmland and displaced thousands of locals, including Jere’s ancestral home,” says Weintraub. “He is a river hero and his music tells the story of life along the river way back when and why it still inspires him today.” Weintraub chose the Whitewater Bluegrass Company to headline this fundraiser concert because of its deep connection to regional waterways: the band was formed 35 years ago on the banks of the Nantahala River.
The Thomas Auditorium is located at 180 West Campus Drive in Flat Rock. Tickets for this show are $15 and advanced reservations are strongly recommended by registering online at saveculture.org or calling the Center at 828.692.8062.