Release: From Stigma to Acceptance

Student curators with Professor Blee (3rd from left) at the exhibition opening in 2015.

“Release: From Stigma to Acceptance,” features the words and art of formerly incarcerated offenders and was a collaboration between Project Re-entry of the Piedmont Triad Regional Council and students in Dr. Lisa Blee’s public history course at Wake Forest University. The exhibition opened originally in early 2015 at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art in Winston-Salem.

Project Re-Entry assists former offenders throughout various stages of the criminal justice process — offering programs designed to meet the needs of individuals re-adapting to life following a prison sentence. “Release” challenges our preconceived notions about former offenders.

In an interview with WFDD’s Triad Arts producer David Ford, Blee described how the students came to understand the humanity of former offenders and learned to put aside stigma and negative connotations. As for visits to the prison, the point was not to observe prisoners, Blee told Ford. The point was for students to observe themselves and how they were reacting to the situation.

The exhibition includes student writings where they describe their physical reactions to being in a prison and how these physical reactions revealed subconscious biases and stereotypes. “The hope was that viewers would acknowledge that there are these unconscious expectations that we’re bringing, and if the viewer can see they are not alone in that, then they can be open to the rest of the exhibit as they walk through.” Blee said.

The exhibition is co-sponsored by Wake Forest’s Department of History and the University’s Humanities Institute.

The War at Home, revisited

originally on display: October 19, 2013 – August 28, 2014

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Explore “The War at Home” by clicking the image above

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This project is made possible by funding from the
North Carolina Humanities Council,
a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Teachers! Click HERE for exhibit related lesson plans.

Winston-Salem Music History

The Five Royales

Musicians and audiences have long gathered in Winston-Salem churches, parks, factories, and homes to share rich musical traditions. This exhibit explores the city’s musical culture from the 1950s to the present. As the city’s economy and downtown development evolved over the years, musicians and venues have responded to and shaped the city’s social and cultural environment.

This exhibit was produced by students in the Wake Forest University History course, “Topics in North Carolina History” in 2016. Students interviewed musicians, attended performances, and conducted archival research on venues and local trends.

Student-produced podcasts highlight specific events, musicians, and venues to discuss larger issues facing Winston-Salem’s musical past and future.

Permanent & Digital Exhibits

City at a Glance (click the image to explore the interactive exhibition)



This exhibit chronicles our history, from humble beginnings, to an industrial powerhouse, to a leader in innovation. The citizens of Winston-Salem have an important story to tell, this exhibit engages audiences with iconic imagery and fascinating stories recanting the rich heritage of our beloved city.

Images in the exhibit have been provided by Old Salem Museum and Gardens Photograph Collection , Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection, The City of Winston-Salem, Center for Design Innovation, R.J. Reynolds Photograph Collection, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, The Winston-Salem Journal, The Dorothy Carpenter Medical Archives at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, C.G. O’Kelly Library at Winston-Salem State University, Mrs. Charlotte Hanes, The Society for the Study of Afro-American History and Mr. Frank Tursi.

This exhibit is located in our lobby and includes in-house access to our corresponding digital exhibition via iPad tablet computer. For online visitors, you can access our digital City at a Glance exhibition here.

Local Legacies

The Civil War: Ten Years Later

This digital magazine is set in the year 1875, just one decade after the end of the American Civil War. It is a companion project to New Winston Museum’s The War at Home exhibition. The quotes and articles presented in the magazine are not primary sources. Instead, you will find contemporary pieces intended to place the reader in a historical moment, reflecting on the tenth anniversary of the War’s end. This was a time of great transition in our community, one in which Winston and Salem was just beginning to witness the massive growth that would turn the area into a booming industrial force.

This project was created by UNC Greensboro Museum Studies graduate student, Jessica O’Connor, in 2016.

You can expand the viewer using the menu on the left, and “turn” the pages forward and backward using your cursor.

Making Sense of the Factory  

August 8, 2016 – December 2, 2016


This exhibition is the product of a collaboration between Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and New Winston Museum. It was researched and developed by Amanda Holland as a Capstone project for UNC Greensboro’s Master’s in Museum Studies program. The exhibit explores the working experience within the former downtown R. J. Reynolds’ tobacco factories through the five senses, creating an approachable format to better understand an area of town that is rapidly changing. This is a traveling exhibit that will be on display at other locations following its installation at NWM.

July 9th – 30th, 2016

Letters to the New Year


The evening of Friday, January 8, 2016 saw the first product of a months-in-the-making collaboration between Blakeney Bullock, Michael Durando, Tim Nolan, and Jacob Paul. Volunteers had previously signed up to have Blakeney compose a letter on their behalf, to which end, each had completed a questionnaire to help organize their thoughts and intentions.

Blakeney’s composition though, was not with words, but with her body, embodying what she imagined the volunteers wished to express in a dance improvised live, then and there. The dance was accompanied by Tim Nolan on drums and a silly, but lovely, toy keyboard.
Meanwhile, outside, looking in through the plate glass storefront, Jacob sat at a manual typewriter loaded with carbon copy paper sandwiched between two sheets of stationary. He watched, and after each dance, he wrote a translation of Blakeney’s dance. They wished to explore the relationship between what can be expressed outside language, and then back within it again. Each volunteer was given a copy of their letter, which was then read aloud to the audience. Meanwhile, Michael, who’d lit the stage(s), photographed and filmed.
This July, New Winston Museum will exhibit photographs, video, and original artifacts from the January 8th event, and will host a new creative experience. The original collaborators will perform a new body of letters, solicited by new volunteers, again for a live audience. Plans are forming to present workshops on collaboration and inter-medium translation, and, likely, some other fun stuff too.

June 3rd – July 2nd, 2016

Birth of the COOL

Courtesy Owens Daniels Photography
Courtesy Owens Daniels Photography

We are proud to host Birth of the COOL, a compelling collection by local photographer Owens Daniels. Birth of the COOL is a beautifully engaging look at our area’s rich heritage in music, notably blues and jazz. In 20 images, Mr. Daniel’s collects the spirit and constant dynamism in a uniquely American art form.

Love of Jazz which was a inspirational product of the music culture during the 60′ 70′ 80″s which helped produced these iconic figures which were independent, creative, passionate and trend-setters in their music, craft & personification they were the very essence of “The Birth of the COOL.”

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

September 19, 2015 – May 28, 2016

From thundering locomotives to soaring flying machines, the idea of open, free movement has long captured our collective imagination. Historically, we know that the advent and growth of mechanized transportation has had an intense and lasting effect on all aspects of our communities and nation. For Winston-Salem, a town with an identity inextricably tied to agricultural industry, the story of transportation is an existential one. The advance of transportation from the wagon to the airplane follows closely the story of our city’s founding and development, and New Winston Museum (NWM) will tell that story of intertwined fates in our upcoming exhibition, Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: Winston-Salem’s Wheels of Change.

piedmont aviation

We are grateful to our lead sponsors, Piedmont Aviation Historical Society and the Tom Davis Fund, for making this project possible.


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This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.




*Educators, this Google Docs folder includes lesson plans, classroom activities, ebooks, and field-trip activities all related to “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles!”

TSTC 36x12 Poster.indd


The National Black Theatre Hall of Fame & Museum Preview Exhibit

August 4 – August 21, 2015


TSTC_FC_ProfileThis School, This City:

Celebrating 50 Years of UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem

September 2014 – June 2015


lo res title image copyThe War at Home:

Exploring Winston and Salem During the Civil War

October 2013 – August 2014

Explore “The War at Home” by clicking the image above

This project is made possible by funding from the
North Carolina Humanities Council,
a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Teachers! Click HERE for exhibit related lesson plans.


Other Past Exhibits