When folks in Lexington, North Carolina discovered the city’s oldest barbecue pits hidden behind a wall in their soon-to-be-renovated city hall, they knew they had discovered something special – a real link to their past and a real part of their identity. A lot of North Carolinians know that Lexington and barbecue are synonymous, but Lexington wanted to make sure they were strengthening their city’s cultural foundations while telling their story. NC Folk began to uncover the heartbeat of the city using our guided consulting process.
DISCOVER & IDENTIFY NEEDS
Lexington knew they had a story, but were not quite sure how to tell it. Through conversations with the city managers, local restaurant owners, and local citizens it was discovered that Lexington wanted a catchy, informational documentary piece that celebrated the tradition as part of their culture and history. They wanted folks to know that the barbecue tradition started as the efforts of a few hard working and enterprising men who saw and acted on opportunity. So just how does Lexington, NC use historic brick pits to tell a story about itself? NC Folk had some ideas and were happy to assist!
CREATE PROJECT TIMELINE
Most of the work correlated with the renovations of the City Hall. Since it was during the demolition that the pits were discovered it was critical to document and preserve while the renovation was ongoing. It took six months, but from July 2015-January 2016, NC Folk documented the original site, interviewed stakeholders, documented the barbecue landscape, and created a compelling narrative piece.
NC Folk worked with the city of Lexington to document the original site, made suggestions to incorporate the historic site into new designs, and to create an engaging, interpretive short piece that demonstrated why Lexington NC was Built on Barbecue. And thus – a short documentary film that interpreted the history, culture, and community ties that surrounded good barbecue was born.
IMPLEMENT & ENERGIZE
NC Folk did the research and delivered a film that would greet thousands of citizens who visited the hall annually. Lexington takes its history seriously, and you can tell, by the sights, sounds and smells that carry on the air. We are proud to have been chosen to help with this project and would love to assist you in your next documentary!
EVALUATE & IMPROVE
When the City of Lexington uncovered the original bricks and mortar barbecue pits while renovating City Hall, the remarkable discovery was historically significant and was mission critical to have it professionally documented and archived. NC Folklife Institute was amazing in their promptness and professionalism to capture poignant photography of the pits, essential interviews from historians and government officials, and bridge all of those materials into a video documentary that absolutely tells the story. The City of Lexington was exceptionally pleased with the results and could not have asked for a better end product!”
~ Terra Greene, Assistant City Manager, City of Lexington, NC.