WHEREAS, the North Carolina Department of Art, Culture, and History was created effective February 1972, becoming the first cabinet-level office of any state in the country to manage the state’s history, arts, and culture; and

WHEREAS, the department’s first secretary was Sam Ragan, a poet and arts advocate who later became North Carolina Poet Laureate; and

WHEREAS, the department was renamed to the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources in 1973, when Grace Rohrer succeeded Ragan, becoming the first woman to hold a cabinet-level office in North Carolina; and

WHEREAS, in September 2015, the Department of Cultural Resources was renamed the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources following a legislative transfer of several divisions to the department, including North Carolina's state parks, aquariums, zoo, Museum of Natural Sciences, the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (now the North Carolina Land and Water Fund), and the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), manages the things that people love about North Carolina, from A to Z, from the arts to the zoo; and

WHEREAS, DNCR is home to 27 state historic sites, where visitors can step back in time and experience the places where many of North Carolina’s most significant historical events actually happened; and

WHEREAS, DNCR is also home to 7 history museums, 2 art museums, 5 science museums, 41 state parks and recreation areas, 3 aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, the North Carolina Zoo, the North Carolina Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the North Carolina Arts Council, the State Historic Preservation Office, Office of State Archaeology, the African American Heritage Commission, the Office of Land and Water Stewardship, the Highway Historical Marker Program, as well as a new American Indian Heritage Commission; and

WHEREAS, DNCR’s vision is to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational, and economic future of North Carolina; and

WHEREAS, DNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in North Carolina by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural heritage tourism, and promoting economic development; and

WHEREAS, in 2022, DNCR celebrates 50 years as a state cabinet agency providing educational experiences, contributions to local economies, support of public health and quality improvements of life in all 100 counties;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ROY COOPER, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim April 21, 2022, as “DNCR DAY” in North Carolina, and commend its observance to all citizens.

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