“Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-on Adventure” Open at Discovery Park of America

Union City, Tenn.—Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure” is now open at Discovery Park of America in the museum’s ATA Temporary Exhibit Hall and will remain open through Jan. 10, 2023.

The exhibit, created by Imagine Exhibitions, Inc. in partnership with The Franklin Institute, features eight galleries, each inspired by different visionaries from the Victorian Age and focused on how their philosophy, art, innovation and science have shaped our world today.

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction inspired by the Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style and art, along with a celebration of 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.

Authors featured are: Mary Shelley, the English novelist who wrote the Gothic novel “Frankenstein;” Jules Verne, the French novelist, poet and playwright who wrote bestselling adventure novels including “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and “Around the World in Eighty Days;” and H.G. Wells, the science fiction author who wrote “The Time Machine,” “War of the Worlds” and “The Invisible Man” and who is often remembered today as the “father of science fiction.”

Along with the visionary authors, the exhibit features four influential Victorian-era inventors: Isaac Singer, who developed the sewing machine; Thomas Blanchard, who worked on automation and the first automobiles; George Eastman, who helped popularize photography; and Jan Matzeliger, the son of a Surinamese slave, whose inventions made decent footwear accessible to the masses.

The exhibit uses steampunk to provide a fun opportunity for children and adults to experience the humanities, science, technology, engineering, art and math. It includes robotics, photography, automation and sculpture along with a variety of opportunities for hands-on learning.

“Having ‘Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure” at Discovery Park is the perfect way to further the vision of the museum’s late founder, Robert Kirkland,” said Scott Williams, Discovery Park’s CEO. “On opening day, Robert Kirkland shared that he hoped in the future, guests would arrive for each visit with an expectation that they would experience innovation presented in a fun way. This exhibit certainly does that.”

Teachers and administrators wishing to book a school group should download Discovery Park’s Student Group Planning Guide, e-mail reservations@discoveryparkofamerica.com or call reservations at 731-885-5455, option 6.

“Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure” is free with park admission or membership and will be at Discovery Park June 18, 2022 to Jan. 10, 2023. Visit DiscoveryParkofAmerica.com to plan your visit.

“Discover Steampunk” is funded in part by a grant from the Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Discovery Park of America to Host 2023 Northwest Tennessee Native American Educational Pow Wow

Discovery Park of America to Host 2023 Northwest Tennessee Native American Educational Pow Wow

 

Union City, Tenn.Discovery Park of America in Northwest Tennessee will be the location of a three-day Native American Pow Wow to be held Oct. 27 – 29, 2023.

The goal of the event, unique in Northwest Tennessee, is to provide a place for Indigenous people from tribes around the country to celebrate their culture while educating Discovery Park visitors on this aspect of our nation’s past, present and future.

Organizers are partnering with Obion County residents Kim and David Bugg who have been active at pow wows and indigenous art markets around the country for more than 25 years. David is of Cherokee descent and Kim is a member of the Oneida Nation on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada. The couple also mentor adolescent groups through rehabilitation centers, churches and schools using ancient life lessons passed down to them through their native culture.

“Every time I have visited Discovery Park’s beautifully landscaped, 50-acre heritage park and toured their Native Americans gallery, I’ve dreamed about having a pow wow there,” said Kim Bugg.

Discovery Park’s Native Americans Gallery takes guests from the ancient past through European contact and up to today. There are numerous artifacts on display in the gallery, including more than 4,500 arrowheads and spear points mounted to the walls. Also included in the museum’s exhibit are painted vessels and works of art, a holographic presentation of legends, myths and storytelling and an exploration of Tennessee tribes and the Trail of Tears.

The 2023 Northwest Tennessee Native American Educational Pow Wow will include competitions and displays of Indigenous storytelling, drumming, singing and competition dancing. There will also be Native American artisans, craftsmen and traders displaying and selling their work. Food vendors will provide opportunities to enjoy traditional cuisine like fry bread, tacos and hominy.

“Historically, pow wows were meant to welcome warriors home from a hunt or battle. Today, they are a joyful celebration of identity through song, dance and community,” said Scott Williams, Discovery Park’s CEO. “With our location here in what was once the hunting ground of the Chickasaw Nation and our mission of educating children and adults in a fun way, we believe Discovery Park is the perfect location for a pow wow today.”

Those with documented tribal affiliation who want to compete or reserve a booth at the 2023 Northwest Tennessee Native American Education Pow Wow should call Kim and David Bugg at 901-833-6411 or email powwow@discoveryparkofamerica.com.

More information is available at DiscoveryParkofAmerica.com/powwow.

Photo Caption: (Left to right) Kim Bugg, member of the Oneida Nation on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada; David Bugg, descendent of the Cherokee Tribe; Scott Williams, Discovery Park’s president and CEO planning the Northwest Tennessee Native American Educational Pow Wow.

Press Release: Winners of the Tennessee Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest Now on Display at Discovery Park of America

Winners of the Tennessee Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest Now on Display at Discovery Park of America

Union City, Tenn. –  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is displaying the winners of the 27th Annual Tennessee Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest at Discovery Park of America from May 25 to June 30, 2022.

Part of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program, the contest features an art- and science-based curriculum that teaches wetland and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school.

“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with Discovery Park of America on helping more people discover the importance of waterfowl conservation,” said Joan Howe, refuge ranger and Tennessee state coordinator for the Junior Duck Stamp Program. “With their current exhibits and educational programs that relate to the wildlife of this region, they are a natural fit.”

While specific details have not yet been announced, Discovery Park currently has a permanent exhibit about waterfowl of the Mississippi Flyway planned for 2023.

The Junior Duck Stamp Program is managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition to Discovery Park, other Tennessee partners include Tennessee Wildlife Resources AgencyDucks UnlimitedTennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation and Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge.

After studying about waterfowl and their habitats, students from across the United States draw or paint a picture of an eligible North American waterfowl species. They submit their artwork to their state, territory or district art competition.

The “Best of Show” from each competition is submitted to the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest where judges select an image to become the next Junior Duck Stamp and one they believe has the strongest conservation message. The top three artists at the national level and the student with the winning conservation message receive scholarships.

The Junior Duck Stamp Program was inspired by the successful Federal Duck Stamp Program. Waterfowl hunters ages 16 and older are required to purchase and carry a duck stamp while hunting. A Duck Stamp also provides free admission to national wildlife refuges that are open to the public. Duck stamps are sold at post offices nationwide and at many refuges and sporting goods stores. Electronic versions of the duck stamp can also be purchased online.

Revenue generated by the sales of Duck Stamps and proceeds from the Junior Duck Stamp Program fund environmental education programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several territories.

For those interested in participating in next year’s contest, a Junior Duck Stamp curriculum guide is available for educators and homeschool parents.

Photo Caption: (Left to right) Joan Howe, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency refuge ranger and Tennessee state coordinator for the Junior Duck Stamp Program; Glenn Schreiber; Isaac Schrieber, Best of Show winner in the 2022 Junior Duck Stamp Competition; Ruth Schreiber; and Don King, chief multimedia development for Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Fun in the Sun at the Cardboard Boat Regatta 2022

Fun in the Sun at the Cardboard Boat Regatta 2022

The spirit of creativity, competition and fun was alive and well at the south lake at Discovery Park of America on Sat., May 14, 2022 as 15 teams gathered to compete in Discovery Park’s 9th Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta. It was the perfect weather for a regatta as competitors had a beautiful sunny sky and little wind to hold them back. Teams had been preparing for months to build the perfect boat using only cardboard, duct tape and paint. This year’s judges, David Hill, Linda Lu Harding and Cherry Pyron had their work cut out for them as they awarded prizes in six different categories: Cardboard Boat Regatta General Division, Cardboard Boat Regatta Student Division, Champion Boat, the Van Gogh Award, the Titanic Award and Team Spirit.

Regatta color commentators Karl Johnson and Russel Orr kept the crowd entertained with fun and educational observations throughout the event as the Commodore, John Watkins, kept the heats organized.

Special guest, Miss Tennessee Junior Miss, Hazye Wright, joined the Commodore and Discovery Park CEO, Scott Williams, to give trophies and medals to the winners. Congratulations to all who participated.

Cardboard Boat Regatta General Division

First Place: Family Truckster

Included in this photo is Hazye Wright, Miss Tennessee Junior Princess, Riley Richison, Andrew Richison, Shelly Corlett, Miranda Richison, Cooper Richison, Monte Bass and Discovery Park's John Watkins and Scott Williams.

Second Place: Sea Josh

Included in this photo is Hazye Wright, Miss Tennessee Junior Princess, Gary Allison, Austin Davis and Discovery Park's John Watkins and Scott Williams.

Third Place: Water Hammock

Included in this photo is Hazye Wright, Miss Tennessee Junior Princess, Jenna Claire Anderson, Cody Anderson, Sarah Anderson, Lori Beth Butler and Discovery Park's John Watkins and Scott Williams.

Cardboard Boat Regatta Student Division

First Place: Shark Repellant

Included in this photo is Hazye Wright, Miss Tennessee Junior Princess, Josh Lightfoot, Kimberly Lightfoot, Grayson Lighfoot, Grant Walker and Discovery Park's John Watkins and Scott Williams.

Second Place: Reidland Pirates

Included in this photo is Hazye Wright, Miss Tennessee Junior Princess, Abby Hamilton, Jaimison Miller, Barrett Brophy, John Shelton, Catherine Shelton, Brian Brophy, Luke Rowley, Ashton Brophy, Alana Hughes, Joshua Lee and Discovery Park's John Watkins and Scott Williams.

Third Place: Revenge of Leif Erikson

Included in this photo is Hazye Wright, Miss Tennessee Junior Princess, Andy Zimmerman, Stewart Connor, Austin Reason, A'loni Harris, Daniel Pitts and Discovery Park's John Watkins and Scott Williams.

Champion Divison: Union City Fire Department

Included in this photo is Hazye Wright, Miss Tennessee Junior Princess, Corey Jones, David Stone, Lynne Cox, Timm Hopps, Rick Sanders and Discovery Park's John Watkins and Scott Williams.

Van Gogh Award: Shark Repellent 

Included in this photo is Hazye Wright, Miss Tennessee Junior Princess, Josh Lightfoot, Kimberly Lightfoot, Grayson Lighfoot, Grant Walker and Discovery Park's John Watkins and Scott Williams.

Titanic Award: Bubbles

Included in this photo is Hazye Wright, Miss Tennessee Junior Princess, Cole Barnett, Kalyn Gant, Bryn Goodrich, and Christopher Reamos and Discovery Park's John Watkins and Scott Williams.

Team Spirit Award: Reidland Pirates

Included in this photo is Hazye Wright, Miss Tennessee Junior Princess, Abby Hamilton, Jaimison Miller, Barrett Brophy, John Shelton, Catherine Shelton, Brian Brophy, Luke Rowley, Ashton Brophy, Alana Hughes, Joshua Lee and Discovery Park's John Watkins and Scott Williams.

For more photos, check out our Flickr Page.

Sponsored by Vincent Outfitters.

Save the date for the 2023 Cardboard Boat Regatta to be held May 3, 2023.

Press Release: Discovery Park of America Upgrades Theater to Include State-of-the-art 4K Digital 3D Technology

Discovery Park of America Upgrades Theater to Include State-of-the-art 4K Digital 3D Technology

Union City, Tenn. – Discovery Park of America has begun a project to upgrade the current Starship Theater incorporating a state-of-the-art, laser-illuminated 4K Digital 3D projection system designed and integrated by D3D Cinema.

Included in the upgrade is the latest high-efficiency 40,000-lumen laser projector on the market, an advanced surround-sound system and the ability to show 3-D films which will provide significant new programming capabilities in the theater.

An additional change is the renaming of the theater to “The Discovery Theater.”

“For all of us at Discovery Park, this is more than just new technology and a name change,” said Karl Johnson, Discovery Park of America director of information technology. “The new projection and audio system and the ability to show 3D films gives us a fun, new way to implement our mission to inspire children and adults to see beyond.”

The Discovery Theater will close for the remodel on September 12, 2022 and reopen on October 8, 2022 with the 20-minute version of two award-winning 3D films, “Dinosaurs of Antarctica 3D” and “Tiny Giants 3D.”

“Dinosaurs of Antarctica 3D” from Giant Screen Films and D3D Cinema uses the latest in CGI technology to follow a team of paleoecologists on a quest to understand the southern continent’s profound transformation from a warm and bio-diverse Mesozoic to the frozen desert we know today. “Tiny Giants 3D” from BBC Earth is an adventure film created by the award-winning nature filmmakers Michael Gunton (“Africa, One Life,” “Madagascar”) and Mark Brownlow (“Planet Earth,” “South Pacific”) and narrated by English actor, broadcaster and comedian Stephen Fry.

“Our team is honored by the trust placed in us by Discovery Park to design, integrate and support this important re-imagination of their theater,” said Derek Threinen, D3D’s Senior Vice President of Business Development. “The versatility of this new system will allow Discovery Park to open new worlds of discovery with stunningly-immersive sights and sounds from around the world, and in subjects as diverse as the museum and park itself.”

Photo Caption: Left to right, Discovery Park docent, Alexis Millsaps, greets Ivan Hogan, Levi Hogan, Tiffany Hogan, Fred Hogan and Oliver Hogan, a family visiting Discovery Park from Mississippi, as they enter The Starship Theater to enjoy one of the current films. 

Military History and Armed Forces Symposium 2022 Held at Discovery Park of America

Military History and Armed Forces Symposium 2022 Held at Discovery Park of America

Thousands of children and adults enjoyed the 2022 Military History and Armed Forces Symposium that was held here at Discovery Park April 29 to May 1, 2022. The event featured a variety of programs and interactive activities that explored the past, present and future of the American military. For the first time ever, all branches of the military had representatives at the symposium.

Attendees experienced a number of special guests including Bill Allen, one of the last remaining D-day survivors. You can hear an episode of our podcast recorded earlier with Mr. Allen here. Jennifer Horbelt with WPSD Local 6 also recorded an in-depth interview with Mr. Allen at Discovery Park.

Other special guests participated in panel discussions and presentations on a wide range of topics that included details on how to enter the military, managing a military career and tips to apply after leaving the armed services. Videos and recordings of the panels and conversations will be shared in the coming weeks.

Discovery Park CEO Scott Williams recorded a live episode of “Reelfoot Forward: A West Tennessee Podcast” featuring Kevin Rumley. Kevin went from homeless, drug-addicted veteran to having a master’s degree in social work, performing in numerous bands as a drummer and running the Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court, a program that helps divert veteran offenders from prison to community service and recovery.

Music was also a big part of the event with concerts and live performances by Operation Song and the 52nd Regimental String Band. Operation Song empowers veterans, active-duty military members, and their families to tell their stories through the process of songwriting. Their performance at the members only reception on Friday night included songs written after spending time with local veterans David Blincoe and Ray Pollard. In addition to performing at the reception, the string band also provided guests with music and dance instruction at a new event, an early-American folk dance.

A number of historic interpreter groups were on hand inside and out to educate guests on the military of the past and authors of military-related books were here to share their stories from their years in the military.

A Country Divided: Photos from the Civil War,” an exhibit of rare Civil War photos and artifacts, made its world debut at the event and will be on display through May 25, 2022. Designed by Discovery Park’s collections and exhibits team featuring items from the collection of Jason Pate, the exhibit consists of several early photography examples depicting soldiers that either lived in or traveled through Obion County and the surrounding Tennessee/Kentucky region during the Civil War.

The popular Lantern Walk returned to The Settlement with stories and voices from the Civil War. Among the new cast members was Flo Roach who has appeared in films including “The Help.”

New to this year’s symposium was the U.S. Navy “Nimitz” virtual reality experience. Guests had the opportunity to participate in a 360-degree virtual reality view of what it is like to be on a Special Warfare Combatant-Craft crewmen mission in America’s Navy. Outside, guests could also view a Black Hawk helicopter, an M113 armored personnel carrier, Oshkosh M1070 tank transporter tractor unit and more.

Be sure to save the date for the 2023 Military History and Armed Forces Symposium that will be held April 28-29, 2023.

Sponsored by Union City Coca-Cola and Dixie Gun Works.

For more images, check out our Flickr page.

Volunteer of the Year: Carol Whitmore

Volunteer of the Year: Carol Whitmore

April 18, 2022 – Discovery Park of America would like to honor 2021 volunteer of the year, Carol Whitmore. She has for years routinely distinguished herself through her ability to blend an educational environment with a unique experience. Carol Whitmore is an accomplished basket weaver who enhances the experiences of guests by practicing her craft in the Settlement.

Discovery Park’s Settlement is an area set aside to show the tools, construction, and way of life that predominated in West Tennessee for a great many years of its history. Guests curious about the past are in for an amazing surprise when they enter the Settlement cabin and see the far-ranging and extremely impressive variety of Carol’s creations and workspace, usually accompanied by the pleasant greeting by Carol herself.

When her work invariably brings out the inquisitiveness in guests, she speaks to patrons and answers their questions with the same diligence, patience and calm attentiveness with which she pursues her craft. Discovery Park of America is pleased to recognize Carol for her outstanding volunteerism, and thank her for making Discovery Park of America a more interesting, friendlier and a more memorable place for staff and guests alike.

Polly Brasher (left), director of education, and Scott Williams (right), president and CEO of Discovery Park, present Carol Whitmore with the 2021 Discovery Park of America Volunteer of the Year award. 

Actress Flo Roach to Join Cast of Lantern Walk as Part of 2022 Military History and Armed Forces Symposium

Actress Flo Roach to Join Cast of Lantern Walk as Part of 2022 Military History and Armed Forces Symposium

April 14, 2022 – Discovery Park of America announced today that actress Flo Roach will join the cast of the Lantern Walk that will be presented on Sat., April 30 at 7:30 p.m. and at 9 p.m. as part of The 2022 Military History and Armed Forces Symposium. Roach has appeared in films including “The Help,” “100 Lives” and “Chapters.” Most recently, you may have seen her in an episode of Bluff City playing to role of a shelter director.

In addition to writing a new portion of the production, she will play the role of a soldier’s mother. Roach joins a talented group of historic interpreters who portray events and share stories from all perspectives of those living in South Western Ky. during the Civil War.

The Lantern Walk features an evening tour through the Settlement at Discovery Park, a collection of hand-hewn log buildings resembling what one might have found in a mid-19th century frontier community. For this special evening event, guests encounter those historic interpreters as they sit around the fire, make themselves comfortable on the front porches or just go about their lives. The audience moves from place to place observing the performances.

Tickets to the Lantern Walk are free but limited and must be reserved in advance here. This event will sell out, so to allow as many guests as possible to enjoy the Lantern Walk, please reserve tickets in only one of the two time slots.

Press Release: Discovery Park of America Adds U.S. Navy “Nimitz” Virtual Reality Experience, Black Hawk Helicopter and Exhibit of Rare Civil War-era photos to the Military History and Armed Forces Symposium 2022

Discovery Park of America Adds U.S. Navy “Nimitz” Virtual Reality Experience, Black Hawk Helicopter and Exhibit of Rare Civil War-era photos to the Military History and Armed Forces Symposium 2022

Union City, Tenn. – Discovery Park of America announced even more military vehicles, the U.S. Navy “Nimitz” Virtual Reality Experience and a never-before-seen exhibit have been added to the 2022 Military History and Armed Forces Symposium. In addition to the rare appearance of a Black Hawk helicopter, guests will be able to experience an M113 armored personnel carrier, Oshkosh M1070 tank transporter tractor unit and more. The 360-degree virtual reality “Nimitz” provides a view of what it’s like to be on a Special Warfare Combatant-Craft crewmen mission in America’s Navy. The Nimitz will be open to visitors 14 and older. All participants must register either onsite or online prior to the event. Guests 17 and younger will need to present a waiver completed by a parent/legal guardian or have completed online registration in advance request a link by emailing education@discoveryparkofamerica.com.

Those with an interest in Civil War-era photos will appreciate “A Country Divided: Photos from the Civil War,” an exhibit of rare Civil War photos and artifacts that is making its world debut at the event and will be on display through May 25, 2022.

Designed by Discovery Park’s collections and exhibits team featuring items from the collection of Jason Pate, it consists of several early photography examples depicting soldiers that either lived in or traveled through Obion County and the surrounding Tennessee/Kentucky region during the Civil War. Guests will learn of the main photography mediums used during this time (ambrotypes, tintypes and cartes de visite) and of the soldiers’ stories that have survived along with their 160-year-old photographic counterparts on display.

Jason Pate, an award-winning educator currently employed with Obion County Schools, is an avid collector and “caretaker” of Civil War history. Using his nationally published collection, Pate has told, and brought to life, the stories of hundreds of Civil War soldiers from both sides of the war.

Sponsored by Union City Coca-Cola and Dixie Gun Works, the Military History and Armed Forces Symposium will also feature presentations from special guests including COL Many-Bears Grinder, USA (Ret), Maj Gen Tommy H. Baker and Kevin Rumley, USMC just to name a few. Guests will also experience historical interpreters and period musicians throughout the museum and park.

The popular Lantern Walk returns now representing stories and voices from the Civil War-era from a multitude of perspectives. The members-only reception will feature entertainment provided by Operation Song and an early-American folk dance with live music and dance instruction provided by the 52nd Regimental String Band. The band will also be performing during a church service held on Sunday morning. Friday’s events have been designed with students in mind and will provide both military- and history-related content perfect for school groups.

All the programs, panel discussions and other events during the symposium are included with park admission or membership. Tickets to the Lantern Walk, members-only reception and an early-American folk dance are free but limited and must be reserved at discoveryparkofamerica.com/event/military.

All active military, veterans, their guests and student groups receive free admission all three days of the event. Group leaders wanting to request scholarships for student groups should email Sheridan Wells at education@discoveryparkofamerica.com or call 731-599-1132.

For a full list of events and biographies on the special guests, visit discoveryparkofamerica.com/event/military.

Photo Caption: The U.S. Navy “Nimitz” Virtual Reality Experience will be on display during the Military History and Armed Forces Symposium 2022.

Photo Caption: Images from the Civil War-era using an ambrotype, tintype, and carte de visite as the photography mediums.

Exhibit of Civil War-era photos Premieres at Discovery Park’s Military History and Armed Forces Symposium

Exhibit of Civil War-era photos Premieres at Discovery Park’s Military History and Armed Forces Symposium

April 13, 2022 – “A Country Divided: Photos from the Civil War” premieres at Discovery Park’s Military History and Armed Forces Symposium on April 29, 2022 and will be on display at the museum through May 25, 2022.

Designed by Discovery Park’s collections and exhibits team featuring items from the collection of Jason Pate, it consists of several early photography examples depicting soldiers that either lived in or traveled through Obion County and the surrounding Tennessee/Kentucky region during the Civil War. Guests will learn of the main photography mediums used during this time (ambrotypes, tintypes, and carte de visite) and of the soldiers’ stories that have survived along with their 160-year-old photographic counterparts on display.

Jason Pate, an award-winning educator currently employed with Obion County Schools, is an avid collector and “caretaker” of Civil War history. Using his nationally published collection, Pate has told, and brought to life, the stories of hundreds of Civil War soldiers from both sides of the war. He also serves his community as the youth pastor at Woodland Mills First Baptist Church.

Discovery Park of America Exhibit Featuring Self-taught Sculptor Hattie Marshall-Duncan to Open with a Members-only Reception with the Artist

Discovery Park of America Exhibit Featuring Self-taught Sculptor Hattie Marshall-Duncan to Open with a Members-only Reception with the Artist

Union City, Tenn.– Discovery Park of America will be open to the public May 27 to Oct. 24, 2022.

Art in the exhibit is on loan from a variety of collectors including the West Tennessee Regional Art Center (WTRAC) in Humboldt, Tenn., Tom & O.E. Stigall Ethnic Library and Museum in Humboldt, Tenn., Arts in McNairy in Selmer, Tenn. and the private collection of Joanna and Shawn Pitts.

Marshall-Duncan has exhibited work in many galleries, including the Customs House Museum in Clarksville, the West Tennessee Regional Arts Center in Humboldt, the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, the Latta Theater in Selmer and the Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center in Selmer. She was the recipient of the 2019 Tennessee Governor’s Folklife Heritage Award. Marshall-Duncan was also recently chosen to participate as a master artist in Tennessee’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, an initiative created to preserve rare and endangered art forms.

“At Discovery Park, we strive to share the visual arts with our guests and to encourage public interest in the cultural heritage of Tennessee,” said Jennifer Wildes, senior collections and exhibits director for Discovery Park. “Hattie’s work certainly allows us to do that, and I look forward to sharing this special exhibit.”

“Southern Artist Showcase: Hattie Marshall-Duncan” will be on display May 27 to Oct. 27, 2022 and is free with park admission or membership.

Photo caption: Jennifer Wildes, senior collections and exhibits director for Discovery Park of America, gathering pieces for the “Southern Artist Showcase: Hattie Marshall-Duncan”

Press Release: Discovery Park of America Celebrates Ag Day 2022

Discovery Park of America Celebrates Ag Day 2022

Union City, Tenn.— Although it was a rainy day that required many of the activities to move indoors, a crowd of more than 1,200 attended Discovery Park’s celebration of National Ag Day 2022 that took place at the museum and heritage park on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. Among those in attendance were 13 student groups from throughout the region who received free admission thanks to the Kirkland Scholarship Fund. Students from all K-12 schools with 50% of the students qualifying for free or reduced lunches qualify for scholarships that pay for 100% of the ticket price to visit Discovery Park.

During the event, representatives from Discovery Park and Farm Credit Mid-America marked the beginning of construction of the Farm Credit Mid-America Education Pavilion and greenhouses that will open at Discovery Park later in the year.

During opening remarks, Scott Williams, Discovery Park’s president and CEO, shared that Discovery Park’s board and leadership felt a greenhouse was an obvious addition to the park. “With our 50 acres of landscaped grounds, our European, American and Japanese gardens and our new exhibit, “AgriCulture: Innovating for Our Survival,” a greenhouse just makes sense,” he said. “In the coming years, our talented grounds crew and education team will be hosting many classes and events at the Farm Credit Mid-America Education Pavilion and greenhouses. This will also give our guests an opportunity to observe the work being done by our grounds crew.”

After additional remarks from Tim Williams, senior vice president of ag lending for Farm Credit Mid-America, Scott Williams introduced nine students who have excelled in agriculture in various ag-related clubs and organizations. After a countdown from those in attendance, the students planted wildflowers in flower pots that were on the stage.

Also at the event was Haley Wheeler, Miss Kentucky 2022, who assisted in agriculture safety protocol demonstrations. Wheeler serves as the official spokesperson for the Kentucky Proud initiative.

For a complete list of all companies and organizations that participated in National Ag Day 2022 at Discovery Park of America, visit Discoveryparkofamerica.com/blog.

Organizations and individuals may give a gift to support the building of the greenhouses, and donations may be made in memory or honor of a friend or loved one. Those who give a gift of $100 or more will be included on the sponsorship wall as a “Green Thumb” supporter. Those interested in supporting Discovery Park’s greenhouse project can make a gift on Discovery Park’s website or by contacting Mary Nita Bondurant at mbondurant@discoveryparkofamerica.com.

Educators interested in more information about planning a group visit or accessing funds from the scholarship should email education@discoveryparkofameriva.com or call Sheridan at 731-599-1132.

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Download a video package of the day’s events here.

Photo Caption: Students from various schools helping mark the beginning of construction of The Farm Credit Mid-America Education Pavilion and greenhouses. Back row, l to r: Tim Williams, senior vice president of ag lending for Farm-Credit Mid-America, Wyatt Cunningham, Kendall Crabtree, Taylor Cantrell, Scott Williams, CEO and president for Discovery Park of America, Remi Gardner, Cassie Lewis, Haley Wheeler, Miss Kentucky, Jason Matthews, Caleb McClure, Autumn Smith and Andrew Melton, regional vice president for Farm Credit Mid-America. Front row: Suni Ray Wright.

Photo Caption: Suni Ray Wright from Union City Elementary enjoying the farm animals brought to Ag Day by Hooker Farms.

 Photo Caption: Representatives from Nutrien Ag Solutions, Tyler Hopper and Misha Sams, speaking with students at Discovery Park for Ag Day 2022.