A! Magazine for the Arts

Allen Hurley and Tim White announce the new location of the Mountain Music Museum.

Allen Hurley and Tim White announce the new location of the Mountain Music Museum.

Mountain Music Museum and Pickin' Porch coming to State Street

November 20, 2012

BRISTOL, TN-VA - The Appalachian Cultural Music Association announced at a press conference that it will be relocating their Mountain Music Museum and Pickin' Porch to State Street in Bristol, Tennessee after the first of the year.

With the backdrop of ACMA banners and music from the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Band, co-founder of the ACMA, Tim White said that the non-profit organization has been talking with the Foundation Event Facility owner and businessman Allen Hurley for approximately nine months working out details for the move.

"We cannot express enough how much we appreciate the Bristol Mall for giving us a home for 15 years," said White. "Back in 1998 Harry Esenwine who was the Bristol Mall manager at the time, let us establish a museum there. Harry passed away this year but without his support and the support of the Bristol Mall ownership and management we could not have achieved the success we have enjoyed through our non-profit organization over the years," said White.

White added, "We also want to thank our wonderful friends and benefactors, James and Barbara Bryant who have operated the gift shop at the Mountain Music Museum since the museum opened in 1998 at the mall. The Bryants have done more for the music in our region than most people realize. Not only helping and supporting the ACMA but also the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Va., Song of the Mountains in Marion, Va., as well as the BCMA in years past." James Bryant is also the co-founder of the ACMA with White.

Hurley approached the ACMA early in 2012 and offered his assistance to the organization with a proposal for a new home at his building at 626 State Street (the former location of Sassy Bags). Hurley owns the building and has been in the process of gutting and remodeling the structure for the ACMA's museum to move to there by early spring of 2013.

The Mountain Music Museum will move next door to the Foundation Event Facility. Hurley said, "We know that having the ACMA, the Mountain Music Museum and their Pickin' Porch downtown will add to the momentum that Bristol has now as being a "magnet' for music and music lovers. This will be a big plus for downtown Bristol and the businesses located in the Country Music Birthplace."

The ACMA's Pickin' Porch has been located at the Bristol Mall since 1998. The final regular Thursday night concert took place last week at the mall location. The ACMA did present the legendary Larry Sparks this past Saturday night for a special concert which marked the official "final event" for the long running series at the Bristol Mall.

The Pickin' Porch will also be relocating to downtown Bristol in 2013. The Pickin' Porch will be moving from Thursday nights to Monday nights and will be located on the second floor of the Foundation Event Facility in their concert theater. "We have a state-of-the-art sound system and lighting system at our concert facility," says Hurley. "We are pleased to have the Pickin' Porch move to our venue on Monday evenings and with our resources I know that we will provide professional musical presentations working with the ACMA."

Pickin Porch concerts will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday evenings starting Monday, Jan. 14. The Foundation Event Facility is a handicap accessible venue with access from State Street and Shelby Street with elevators to the second floor. As always it will be free admission to the ACMA Pickin' Porch and the Mountain Music Museum and Gift Shop.

Plans are also being developed to broadcast the "live" Pickin' Porch concerts in 2013 over the 10,000 watt 870am/100.7fm "Tri-Cities Top Gun Radio" station which is located in Bristol, Tenn " We are excited to be part of this event and are pleased to announce that we plan to broadcast the live Pickin Porch concerts on our station on Monday evenings and re-broadcast the shows on Saturdays," said Dr. Kenneth Hill of WPWT Radio. "Tri-Cities Top Gun Radio" features bluegrass, classic country, old time and Americana forms of music in their broadcast format. The station also streams live at www.topgunradio.com.

John Necessary, president of the ACMA says, "We have a lot of work to do over the next two to three months. We will be installing security devices at our new facility, putting in new phone lines and Internet services, printing new brochures and moving our artifacts to State Street. We have a great board of directors and group of members who as always will pitch in and get this work done. We are looking forward to our new home and want to thank Mr. Hurley for his support."

The public is invited to attend the Pickin' Porch concerts at the Bristol Mall on Thursday evenings until Dec. 20. The "old Pickin' Porch location" on the upper level of the Bristol Mall will be closed for renovations for a new tenant. Pickin' Porch shows will take place on the lower level of the mall near the old Piccadilly location and will be free to the public Thursday evenings until the end of 2012.

Also supporting the renovations for the move to State Street is J.A. Street Construction, Gla-Mar Galleries, Bryant Label Company, White Sign Company and Kiser Supply. If you are interested in making a tax deductible donation to the ACMA or are interested in advertising at the Pickin' Porch shows at the Foundation Event Facility or on Tri-Cities Top Gun Radio, call 423-383-7829 for information.

"The ACMA welcomes any and all support you can lend our all volunteer non-profit organization," says Necessary.

During the relocation process information can be found at the following websites: