Blanket Town Kicks Off Community Discussion
On Friday November 20th, approximately 200 people attended Beacon Blankets: Portrait of a Swannanoa Textile Mill, an evening of film, music, and stories about the rise and fall of the Beacon Manufacturing Company, at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Asheville. The event included the screening of excerpts from Blanket Town: The Rise and Fall of An American Mill Town.
The event was presented in collaboration with CCCD's current exhibition, Made in WNC, which examines the legacy of craft-based industry (textiles, pottery, and furniture) in Western North Carolina and its influence on artists and designer-makers working in the region today.
Beacon Blankets: Portrait of a Swannanoa Textile Mill began mill-inspired music by Robert (Bert) Brown, a native of Swannanoa whose grandparents worked at Beacon.
Filmmaker Rebecca Williams showed clips from her ongoing documentary project Blanket Town: The Rise and Fall of an American Mill Town, which examines the migration of the textile industry from England, to New England to the American South, and, with the advent of globalization, overseas. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with previous Beacon Blanket mill employees and local historian David Whisnant.