In the lobby of CoMMA (City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium), the Etta Baker Memorial Archive is now in place.  There are historical photographs, Etta’s National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, her NC Heritage Award from the NC Arts Council, along with other artifacts that document her remarkable career as a “national cultural treasure”.
In May 2017 a larger-than-life sized bronze sculpture will grace CoMMA’s grounds and serve as the crowning touch to the Etta Baker Memorial.
The artist selected to create the memorial bronze sculpture is Thomas Jay Warren of Rogue River, Oregon.  Jay is a member of the National Sculpture Society and was commissioned through a national search.  He was chosen based on his artistic professional and artistic approach to creating this historic tribute to Etta. The Bronze statue will be placed on Tennessee Red Limestone beside CoMMA.  The location will feature flowers from Etta’s residence.

Your tax deductible gift in support of
The Etta Baker Tribute can be made to:
The Burke Arts Council, 115 E. Meeting St. Morganton, NC  28655.
Questions – please call BAC Executive Director, Deborah Jones:  828-433-7282
CoMMA Executive Director,
Dr. Jim Smith:  828-433-7469

THURSDAY – MAY 25, 2017: Times and some details are subject to change.  Additional information and tickets available at COMMAONLINE.ORG 

5:30 Reveal and Dedication of Sculpture (Open to the Public):

  • Welcome: Bill Wilson (Director Emeritus) 
  • Lamesha Wittington
  •  Jay Warren, Sculpture Artist 
  • Etta’s Granddaughter Nakia Baker
  • Etta’s Son, Edgar Baker
  • Lucy Allen and Marshall Goers

Concert  6:00 (Tickets are required and can be purchased at COMMAONLINE.ORG )

  • Wayne Martin, NC Arts Council
  • Sam Tate – DJ of the evening
  • Laura Blackley
  • Larry Moore and the Crowns of Light 
  • Ed Phifer, Bobby Denton, Allen Van Noppen, and Alex Bernhardt
  • David Holt and the Lightning Bolts

February 20 – 24, 2017:  “Etta Baker Week” in Burke County Schools.  State education regulations require every third grade student to study a local artist that has impacted their culture and community.  In conjunction with Black History Month and Etta Baker’s birthday, all third grade music classes in Burke County will study Etta Baker’s life and legacy.  Each student will receive a booklet which will include her musical philosophy and why she was called the “Queen of the Piedmont Blues”.  They will also receive a commemorative Etta Baker guitar pick.