Out & About

Washington College Academy is gearing up for two fall events on its historic campus.

First up is the WCA Fall Craft Festival. It will be held Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to walk around and explore the local history on campus, enjoy the pumpkin patch and old-time family photo booth, see and shop for goods from local craft vendors and see demonstrations from WCA’s School of Arts & Crafts. There’ll be food trucks, live music and more during the festival.

Vendor space is still available, but reservations are required. Proceeds from the event benefit the historic preservation of the circa 1842 Harris Hall, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit the website at www.wca1780.org to learn more.

In November, WCA will host a single performance of the original play, “Nancy,” in its historic girls’ dormitory.

The show, a fundraiser for the WCA Alumni and the Heritage Alliance, will be held Nov. 13 at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $20. To purchase tickets, call 423-257-5151, email washingtoncollegeacademy@gmail.com or visit the website at www.wca1780.com. Seating is limited to 50 people, so advance ticket purchases are strongly recommended as “Nancy” premiered June 19 at the Embree House Historic Farm and played to three sold-out audiences.

“Nancy” was penned by Anne G’Fellers-Mason, executive director of the Heritage Alliance. It follows a year in the life of Nancy, an enslaved woman owned by Elihu Embree.

In 1820, Embree published his newspaper, “The Emancipator,” on Main Street in Jonesborough. The seven- edition paper is the first publication dedicated solely to the cause of abolitionism. Embree passed away in December 1820, and the paper died with him. Even though it was short-lived, “The Emancipator” had over 2,000 subscribers and it reached all the way to Boston and Philadelphia. In spite of his abolitionist beliefs, Embree himself was an enslaver. The story focuses on a year in Nancy’s life, from January 1820 when Embree wrote his will to January 1821 when his will was read before the Washington County court.

In his will, Embree tried to free Nancy and her five children, but were his wishes carried out? What was Nancy feeling and thinking during this time?

The play is based on primary research relying heavily on documents from the Washington County Archives.

The role of Nancy will be performed by local actress Ubunibi-Afia Short.

“It is an honor to bring the show to Washington College Academy, the oldest college in the state,” Mason said. “We are very excited to partner with them.”

The Heritage Alliance is dedicated to the preservation of the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of the region and to providing educational experiences related to history and heritage for a wide range of audiences. To learn more about the alliance and its mission, visit the website at heritageall.org or call 423-753-9580.

WCA is now home to the Washington College Academy School of Arts and Crafts, which draws students for a diverse lineup of course offerings. Call 423-257-5151 or visit the WCA website at www.wca1780.com to learn more.

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