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Program 807

1. Philip Hultgren’s artistry in wood
2. the Louisville Science Center
3. Hasan Davis and the story of A.A. Burleigh
Season 8 Menu

Fayette County

For more information:
Philip’s WoodWorks, 621 Rutledge St., Camden, SC, (803) 432-5454

Producer, videographer, audio: Gale Worth
Editor: Jay Akers

Bowling ’em Over

Wood sculptor Philip Hultgren

Sculptor Philip Hultgren has loved wood ever since he was a boy playing in his father’s workshop. Today, he makes his living—and creates works of art—by fashioning it into stunning bowls, furniture, and statuary.

The bowls are his signature form. Made mostly of mahogany, these bowls are hardly tableware, though. Rather, they are large-scale, ceremonial pieces, more sculptural than utilitarian.

To preserve the essential qualities of the wood with which he works, Philip has developed many of his own woodworking tools and techniques. Our profile, taped in 2001, includes a visit to his former studio in Lexington (he has since set up shop in South Carolina) to see him putting these unique methods to work as well as a tour of some of the results.

Jefferson County

For more information:
Louisville Science Center, 727 W. Main St., Louisville, KY 40202, (502) 561-6100, (800) 591-2203

Producer: Joy Flynn
Videographer: Michael Follmer
Editor: Dan Taulbee

The Wonder of It All

The Louisville Science Center

Judging from the facade, you might never suspect that there’s anything particularly high-tech going on inside 727 West Main in Louisville. The building started life in the 19th century as the headquarters of a dry-goods company, and it’s a fine (award-winning, in fact) example of the city’s efforts to preserve examples of its historic architecture.

Today, though, the business conducted at the former Carter Brothers emporium is the business of education, inspiration, and wonder. It’s the home of the Louisville Science Center, a museum and learning center where the emphasis is on hands-on discovery of how things work in the world around us. Inside, you’ll find an IMAX theater, permanent exhibits devoted to the workings of the outside world as well as the interior of the human body, and banks of interactive educational displays, quizzes, and games.

Actually, the science center’s location is not as incongruous as it may seem. The center itself has roots going back to 1871, when the Public Library System of Kentucky started a Natural History Museum to house curiosities. The first big acquisition was a 15,000-piece collection of minerals, some of which are still on display at the Louisville Science Center.

The Public Library of Kentucky folded in 1878, and the natural history museum became the ward of the Polytechnic Institute, which has since evolved into the Louisville Free Public Library. As the institute/library’s headquarters moved around town over the next few decades, the museum went with it, growing all the while. The two landed at Fourth and York, where the library is still headquartered, in 1908. The museum finally got a place of its own, one block over at Fifth and York, in 1957.

But that space was too small almost from the start, and a 1965 city bond issue authorized the construction of a new museum headquarters. The city bought the Main Street building and hired an architectural firm to renovate it. The museum moved in—as the Museum of Natural History and Science—in 1977, at first sharing the building with some city government offices. Finally, in 1985, the science museum became a separate nonprofit organization. The upper floors were remodeled into exhibit galleries and the IMAX theater added over the next three years. In 1994, one last name change completed the transition to the Louisville Science Center.

Our private tour is led by Executive Director Gail Becker and Director of Exhibits Theresa Mattei. But you can plan your own visit for any day of the week. The Science Center is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (ET) Monday through Thursday, 9:30 am to 9:00 pm Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6:00 pm Sunday.

Madison County

For more information:
About Hasan Davis from the Empowerment Solutions web site
Kentucky Chautauqua from the Kentucky Humanities Council

Producer, editor: Ernie Lee Martin
Videographers: Gale Worth, Ernie Lee Martin

Angus and Hasan

Hasan Davis as Angus Augustus Burleigh

In 1864, a 16-year-old slave named Angus Augustus Burleigh ran away from an Anderson County farm; made his way to a recruiting station in Frankfort, where he enlisted in the Union Army; and was sent to Camp Nelson for training. As the Civil War ended, he was making plans to go north to Massachusetts for an education when he met John Fee, the fiery abolitionist preacher who had already tried to establish an integrated school at Berea and had been run out of Kentucky for it. Determined to try again, Fee convinced Burleigh to be a part of his bold experiment, and the former runaway enrolled as one of Berea College’s first African-American students. Paying his way at the school by working in the brickyard, he graduated nine years later and went on to become a preacher himself, even serving for a time as the chaplain of the Illinois Senate.

Remarkable as his story is, Angus Burleigh might have been relegated to history’s footnotes if not for another fascinating Kentuckian—actor, storyteller, and writer Hasan Davis, who portrays Burleigh in a one-man stage show. Hasan talks about the historical research he did to prepare for the role and gives us some excerpts from the performance in this segment.

Hasan, who now lives in Berea himself, has an inspiring life story of his own to tell. He grew up in a violent neighborhood and did poorly in school because of unrecognized learning disabilities, finally dropping out. But along the way, he also discovered a talent for writing (he is a published poet), got his GED and then a college education, and became a community activist. He is a motivational speaker and the founder of Empowerment Solutions, a consulting and training organization dedicated to helping young people who face the same kinds of obstacles he did.

At the time of our visit, Hasan was performing his show about A.A. Burleigh for the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Kentucky Chautauqua series. He has also performed for Chautauqua in the role of York, a slave of William Clark who was the only black man on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Though he had not “volunteered”—he had no say in the matter—York became a valued member of the “corps of discovery.”

SEASON 8 PROGRAMS: 801802803804805806807808
809: Simple Pleasures and Hidden Treasures810811812813

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