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July 2009 Group News-- Southern Culture Organization

Southern Culture Organization

It seems very appropriate that Wilkes Community College's Southern Culture Organization participates at MerleFest. The club's members have staffed a beverage booth at the festival for the last four years. Club advisor Julie Mullis says that attending and volunteering at the festival gives students a chance to witness first-hand some important aspects of southern culture. "The music and storytelling fit so well with the objectives of our class."

By selling drinks and light snacks to festival goers, the Southern Culture Organization earns funds that pay for field trips, guest speakers, and club t-shirts. They travel to regional historic sites such as the Wilkes Heritage Museum and Moses Cone Estate. The humanities class, of which the organization is an off-shoot, invites guests such as Civil War experts, the world champion hollerer, storytellers, and musicians.

Ms. Mullis also believes that the MerleFest experience instills pride in her students for both their school and their heritage. Club projects that also help to promote Southern pride are the creation of a cookbook using recipes from a potluck feast and interviews with community and family members to preserve stories from the past. These interviews are often placed in the Wilkes Community College genealogy collection. Another advantage she sees of her students attending and working at the festival is that they carry their MerleFest stories into the community where they spread the positive message of the festival.

Thank you, Wilkes Community College Southern Culture Organization members, for your hard work and dedication and for your valuable contributions to preserving southern heritage.