From hearing the calls of endangered birds in a sanctuary in eastern North Carolina to seeing a mountain sunrise in the west, our state has unlimited rural treasures awaiting discovery.

North Carolina is a rural state, with 80 of 100 counties beyond the hustle and bustle of major cities. Without a doubt, the state’s most beautiful natural resources can be found in rural North Carolina.

In 2020, the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is launching a new initiative to celebrate North Carolina’s rural counties.

Hello NC will explore rural culture across the state, focusing on hometown heroes and histories, highlighting rural heritage, foods, crafts, festivals and traditions. Hello NC is a platform for rural communities to tell their stories in their voices. These stories will be told through rich photography and video that represents the unique natural beauty and cherished culture from each community.

N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources staff will engage with local partners in seeking local programming and events for sponsorship opportunities.

These events will be supplemented with DNCR traveling exhibits and educational resources to highlight the state’s extraordinary rural vibrancy and cultural diversity. In addition, historical information from the State Archives will be collected and shared with local communities.

Hello NC initially will focus on four counties: Halifax, Madison, Columbus and Ashe. The goal is to share and promote authentic and compelling stories about North Carolina’s rural counties starting with this mix from the eastern and western parts of the state.