Joe Wilson to explore roots of traditional music

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Acclaimed music historian to present "How Hillbillies Invented American Music and Why" at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

By April Wright, Reporter

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the Galax Old Fiddler's Convention, Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is hosting a retrospective featuring photographs, news clippings and other memorabilia pertaining to the convention.

Located in the front lobby of the building in the Grand Gallery, this exhibit is free and open to the public.
Also as part of Fiddler's Week, CCSA is hosting a free lecture, “How Hillbillies Invented American Music and Why,” on Thursday at 2 p.m., presented by Joe Wilson, former executive director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts, a position he held from 1976 until 2006.
Wilson's many honors include: a National Heritage Fellowship presented to him by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2001; a producer's award presented to him by RIAA (record industry) in 1994; and a Smithsonian Honors award presented in 2006 by the Smithsonian Institution for contributions to Smithsonian Folkways recordings and for work on its festivals.
In 2009, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presented him with a “Living Legend” award on behalf of the Library of Congress for his contributions of materials and guidance to the Library.
In 2004 he was appointed a U.S. Commissioner to UNESCO by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, a position in which he still serves.
For more information about CCSA and the classes it offers, visit and tour the school at 100 N. Main St., Galax, anytime between 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday.
Visit the website at www.ChestnutCreekArts.org or call 236-3500.
CCSA has been awarded an IRS 501(c)3 nonprofit designation and donations are tax deductible.