News

**Documentary Release**

Beginning in the 1960s, folklorist George Mitchell spent the better part of two decades canvassing the rural reaches of the American South in search of the blues.

He roamed the back alleyways of Atlanta, his hometown, and later worked as a photographer for the newspaper in Columbus. On the weekends, George and his wife, Cathy, would drive around the Chattahoochee Valley seeking musicians to record, often crossing stringent racial divides in the process. Like other folklorists who wandered the South making field recordings, Mitchell spent a significant amount of time in Memphis and the Mississippi Hill Country.

“Rock on Away From Here” tells the story of George Mitchell and his contemporaries, Art Rosenbaum and Fred Fussell, discovering and documenting a vital aspect of Georgia’s vast musical legacy. Through interviews, music, photographs, and archival footage, the film offers a glimpse of a once-thriving musical tradition drawing its last defiant breath.

Written and directed by Brian Crews for the Center of Public History at the University of West Georgia as part of the Joseph Johnson Fellowship Program, this historical documentary was supervised by Dr. Ann McCleary and Dr. Julia Brock and edited by Steven Broome and was shot and recorded by Jason Thrasher of Athens, Ga., and Main Sail Video of Fort Myers, Fla. This film could not have been made without the generous support of Lisa Love and the Georgia Music Foundation.


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Preorder form: here!

Our new book, Images of America: The West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail, will be available to the public on December 14th! Staff will be available to mail pre-ordered books if payment is received by December 10th. The books are also available for pick up in the Center for Public History. Staff will contact those individuals and institutions who contributed to the book this week, and please let us know if you would like to receive your book before December 12th.

Textile Heritage Trail directors have arranged four book signings so far — two in Carrollton, one in Newnan, and one in Cartersville! See our Facebook events page or the trail website events page for details and new signings. Editors Ann McCleary and Keri Adams would love to give a brief presentation followed by questions and a signing at member institutions! Please contact wgtht@westga.edu or our Arcadia Marketing Specialist Jonny Foster to arrange a book signing and/or presentation event.

Fabric and clothing industries touch us all, and since the 1850s, northwest Georgia has been a powerhouse of textile production: cotton fabric to apparel, stockings to chenille robes, and parachutes to carpeting. The Center’s publication Images of America: The West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail illustrates how the mills transformed families, livelihoods, and communities in our region.

Funded by the Callaway Foundation, Inc., of LaGrange, Georgia, Images of America: The West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail was a collaboration between faculty members and students at the University of West Georgia’s Center for Public History. Project directors Ann McCleary and Keri Adams supervised an extensive team including Dr. Jae Turner, Cecilia Stephens, Yanique Leonard, Kymberli Darling, Patrick J. Elias, Janae Hightower, Rachel Opolka, Dusty Dye, Kamil McElwee, Lacey Lawrence, Dustin Klein, and Daniel Kellogg, with maps prepared by Debby Holcombe at UWG Publications and Printing.

Building on regional research projects and the work of past students, public history students at UWG conducted primary research for this project, uncovering previously-unknown stories and collecting hundreds of historic images.

Photography students took contemporary photographs of active textile industries and extant resources:

The project also received images from private individuals, families, local and regional institutions, and historical repositories. Sources included organizations such as the Troup County Archives, the Vanishing Georgia Collection of the Georgia Archives, the Bartow History Museum, and the Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia:

In the end, the book features 35 communities in 19 counties. It serves as a pictorial guidebook for visitors to Textile Heritage Trail communities and as a supplement to Trail exhibits. We invite locals and visitors alike to explore and share their connections to this story, as well as discover the landscapes and cultures along the Textile Trail.

For more information, visit: http://westgatextiletrail.com/.