North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
|Jurisdiction||State of North Carolina|
|Headquarters||109 East Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27699-4601
The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is a cabinet-level department within the state government of North Carolina dedicated to overseeing projects in the arts, culture, and history within the borders of the state. The current Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources, the cabinet-level officer who oversees the Department, is Susan W. Kluttz. Kluttz has been in office since January 5, 2013, and was immediately preceded by Linda Carlisle, who served as secretary from 2009 to 2013.
The department was originally founded as the North Carolina Department of Art, Culture, and History. Its first secretary was Sam Ragan, poet and arts advocate who later became North Carolina Poet Laureate. It was renamed to Department of Cultural Resources in 1973. In 1973, Grace Rohrer succeeded Ragan, becoming the first woman to hold a cabinet-level office in North Carolina.
Many of the Offices and divisions of the Department were founded as separate, independent institutions, such as the State Library of North Carolina, founded in 1812, the North Carolina Museum of History, founded in 1902, and the North Carolina Symphony, founded in 1943. These organizations either remained independent or were gradually combined under the Office of Archives and History until 1971, when the Department of Cultural Resources became the first cabinet-level office of any state in the United States to deal solely with history, the arts, and cultural knowledge.
On September 18, 2015, the Department of Cultural Resources was renamed the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The name change came with a transfer of several divisions to the department, including North Carolina's state parks, aquariums, zoological park, museum of natural sciences, the Clean Water Trust Fund and the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program.
Property and holdings
The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources supervises and cares for a large number of historic sites, documents, pieces of art, and other items and places of cultural value for the state. The State Archives, for instance, contain over 100 million historic documents, including North Carolina's copy of the United States Bill of Rights and the original 1663 charter for the colony as granted by Charles II of England. Perhaps the most prominent building supervised by the department is the North Carolina State Capitol, an 1840 Greek Revival building that contains a substantial number of historic artifacts, furniture, and monuments related to the history of North Carolina. The North Carolina General Assembly's initial appropriation in 1947 of $ 1 million for the purchase of artworks and sculpture to be housed in the Museum of Art made it the first state in the nation to use public funds for the purpose of building a state art collection
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