Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. – Gourd Instruments with Dr. Dena (Jennings) Lee.
Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. – A Visit with Dolley and James Madison of Montpelier.
Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. – The Battle of the Wilderness and Civil War Prisons, presented by Ms. Jayne Blair.
Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. – “Dolley Madison,” presented by Dr. Holly Shulman of UVA’s “Dolley Madison Project.”
The Gourd Banjo: From Africa to Appalachia
An interactive overview of the elusive history of the banjo and it’s journey through time from the heart of Africa through the Caribbean and to North America. Presented by Dr. Dena Jennings, Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. Please RSVP to (540) 672-1776 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat. Admission is free. Free Will donations always appreciated.
Biography of Dr. Jennings
Dr. Jennings was born in Akron, Ohio in the 1960’s during the city’s heyday as an international beacon. Akron was the Rubber Capital of the World, held the national Soapbox Derby Downs and built the Inventors’ Hall of Fame during her childhood there. Her mother was a banker and father was a diplomat for Goodyear International. Both parents were respected in the community for their generosity, wisdom and determination.
After she obtained a biology degree from the University of Akron, and a medical degree from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Jennings completed specialty training in Internal Medicine. She opened two offices: a private medical practice in Kent, Ohio and a nearby free clinic in the largest suburban ghetto in US history. During her 10 years in Portage County, she began to understand the crippling impact of drug addiction and mental illness on families and their communities.
Dr. Jennings moved her practice to Columbus, Ohio in 2005 hoping that she could have an even greater impact. She developed a solo practice in the state’s capital and served over 3,000 medical patients including those addicted to heroin, pain pills, tobacco, alcohol, food and behaviors that effect our lives. In her career, she worked as a neuroscience consultant with Eli Lilly, the Franklin County Drug Court and on investigations with the Ohio Attorney Generals’ office regarding diversion, fraud and the misuse of opiate prescription medications. As an author, Dr. Jennings developed a life coaching system to help people recover from addiction, manage time, build self esteem and live more productive lives. Most recently, she converted her medical practice in Ohio to a meditation center.
Folk and traditional music have been a strong influence in Dr. Jennings’ life. She taught herself to play guitar at an early age and learned percussion as a young woman. After discovering the work of Mike Seeger, Elisabeth Cotten and Addie Graham, the banjo seemed a natural fit. Dr. Jennings began building banjos and gourd instruments. She took an apprenticeship with premier luthier, Jeff Menzies of Ontario which continues today. In partial retirement, she moved to Canada and opened a studio and retail interactive center focusing on the history of the banjo and it’s African and Caribbean roots.
In 2013, Dr. Jennings moved her studio to Orange, Virginia to share the rest of her life with her new husband, Donald Jennings, her new home town and the church family at the historic Shady Grove Baptist Church, a church started in 1871 by former slaves.
Tools, Gadgets & Gizmos- A special exhibit from October 5, 2013 – March 31, 2014
Enjoy this diverse collection of 1700’s – mid-1900’s tools and other gadgets and such. Some of the unique artifacts include a Civil War “peg leg,” an early 1900 typewriter, a tobacco bench with a hand-crafted (1700’s) tobacco grinding box, a good number of early farm implements and Model T mechanic’s tools, a Civil War Umbilical Hernia truss…. so much to enjoy.
BOOK SALE – Continues in our Book Room.
New books are 10% of list price! All ages and genres. Thanks to the continuing generosity of MPS publishers, The James Madison Museum held our annual book sale to benefit the museum. A great selection of books are available. This is a great time to find books for loved ones on your holiday list. We also have a nice selection of previously enjoyed books and welcome trades.