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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Culture Week

by H. G. Jones, 2006

Culture Week brought together annually an unusual assemblage of North Carolina historical and cultural organizations from the late 1930s to around 1970. Under the supervision of the State Literary and Historical Association, some of the state's cultural elite went to Raleigh and spent the entire week at the Sir Walter Hotel, usually the headquarters for the participating groups. Art and historical exhibitions, poetry readings, musical concerts, performances, recitations, addresses, and presentation of art, history, literary, and other cultural awards filled the week. With tongue in cheek, Jonathan Daniels, then the editor of the Raleigh News and Observer, accused fellow North Carolinians of trying to imbibe all of their culture in one week so they could ignore it the remainder of the year. Rather than taking offense, C. Christopher Crittenden, secretary of the Literary and Historical Association from 1935 through 1967 and thus chief coordinator of the various meetings, appropriated Daniels's term "Culture Week" as the unofficial designation of the annual assemblage.

Additional Resources:

Associated Press. "Tar Heel 'Culture Week' Gets Underway Tomorrow." The Dispatch (Lexington, N.C.). December 2,1957.

"Culture Week focuses on state history." Wilmington Morning-Star. November 1, 1979.

Parker Jr., Roy. "State Salutes its Writers During Culture Week." The Fayetteville Observer-Times. December 2, 1984.