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Sarah Nobles' Fundraiser:

William King Museum of Art: New Gallery for the Betsy K. White Cultural Heritage Collection

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Sarah Nobles


Our Story Are you proud of your Appalachian Heritage? The Board of Trustees and staff of William King Museum of Art would like to invite you to contribute to the development of a permanent gallery that will showcase the Museum's cultural heritage collection---featuring nineteenth century regional furniture, handcrafted pottery, baskets, hunting rifles, and other items that define the history and heritage of southern Appalachia.

The gallery will honor Mrs. Betsy K. White for her development of the cultural heritage collection. Betsy was the founder of the Museum, and served as the Director for nearly twenty years. Under her direction and vision she transformed the historic William King High School building into a nationally accredited fine arts museum. She also initiated the award winning VanGogh Outreach program that delivers art education to children in thirteen school districts in southwest Virginia and eastern Kentucky. Betsy is a respected scholar of Southern Appalachia’s cultural heritage. She has authored several books on the region’s heritage, including Great Road Style and Backcountry Makers.

The Museum plans to renovate two rooms on the main floor to permanently display the cultural heritage collection. The items currently remain in storage for much of the year, and have since the closing of the Fields Penn House in Abingdon, their former home. As a free-admission institution, WKMA wants to make the collection available to the public on a permanent basis.

Through crowdfunding and individual gifts we have raised $20K. We have also applied for a grant to supplement the gallery's development. Please join us in preserving this historic building, honoring Mrs. Betsy K. White for her many years of unselfish dedication and hard work for the Museum, and preserving southern Appalachia's cultural heritage as exemplified in this unique collection.

We need your help to bring this project to fruition. With the decline of the coal industry, especially, we need your help more than ever. Please donate now. If you have questions or concerns about the project, or would like a more detailed account of renovation estimates, call Chase Mitchell, Director of Advancement, at 276.628.5005 ext. 108.



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