NC Folk Staff
Joy M. Salyers, Executive Director
Joy M. Salyers received her MA in Folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill, and has conducted fieldwork in several states, including a long-term life review oral history project, and a collaborative project documenting, through text and photos, members of a modern performance community. She is the current secretary of the North Carolina Folklore Society.
Salyers has more than ten years’ experience in project management, including running her own consulting business, facilitating an innovative education program at UNC-Chapel Hill, and developing and executing projects with multiple partners, including county agencies, nonprofits, community groups, and museums. A decade of work in the white anti-racist movement informs her particular interest in the ethics and equity of engagement. Her work has been recognized with the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Fellowship from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Center for Public Service.
Salyers is also an award-winning curriculum developer who has developed and taught courses at the elementary, middle school, and university level. She has taught courses for the certificate in documentary arts at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies for more than ten years. Salyers was appointed in September, 2014 to a three-year term to the Arts Commission by the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
Evan Hatch, Director of Development
Evan Hatch has been trying to get back to North Carolina for 15 years. The first 12 he served as Director of Folk and Traditional Arts Programming for the Arts Center of Cannon County in Woodbury, Tennessee. There he designed and implemented a progressive, award-winning folk arts program that provided a national model for similar organizations. He served as producer for Spring Fed Records, a Grammy-winning traditional music label boasting over 50 titles, including records from Uncle Dave Macon, Mississippi John Hurt, and the Fairfield Four. He served as Director and Curator for the Cannon Cultural Museum, which housed a 500-piece Southern vernacular artwork collection. He also developed a self-driven student internship project for the Center. He served as president of the Tennessee Folklore Society, worked as a panelist for state and national grants agencies, and curated the Tennessee Folklife area of the 73rd National Folk Festival. He is home now, and does not want to go anywhere else.
Sarah Bryan, Director of Administration
Sarah Bryan is a native of both Carolinas. A UNC-trained folklorist (MA, 2003), she specializes in documenting the cultural heritage of the American South. She has conducted documentary fieldwork for NC Folk, the North Carolina Arts Council, the South Carolina Arts Commission, and other organizations, and previously served as NC Folk’s Program Director from 2007 – 2011. Bryan is the editor of the Old-Time Herald magazine, a quarterly publication about old-time string band music and related traditions, and beginning in 2016 will also be the editor of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Journal. Her publications include Lead Kindly Light (co-authored with Peter Honig, Dust-to-Digital, 2014), African American Music Trails of North Carolina (co-authored with Beverly Patterson and Michelle Lanier, UNC Press, 2013), and Moon North Carolina (2008 and 2010, Avalon Travel, a division of Perseus Books). In addition to her work as a folklorist and editor, Bryan collects antique photography, plays old-time fiddle and banjo, and blogs at Carolinophile (fieldwork stories), Folk Funeraria (documentation of Southern graveyards), and Everyday Ago (antique photography).
NC Folk Board of Directors
André Nabors, Chair
Tourism Development Manager for the NC Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development, André Nabors is a marketing professional with a focus on heritage tourism development. Nabors is committed to supporting sustainable efforts to preserve, protect and promote North Carolina’s natural, historic and cultural resources. During his tenure with West Virginia tourism, he created the first Civil War Trail Guide and the first African-American brochure identifying cultural and historic attractions throughout the state of West Virginia. He also serves as co-owner and co-director of Rising Star Athletics in Charleston, WV and is on the Concord University Foundation board.
Clay Johnson, Vice Chair
An award-winning television producer, writer and journalist, Clay Johnson has worked as a TV news reporter, newscast and special projects producer, segment producer and documentary producer at several network-affiliated television stations and a regional PBS network. He’s also produced many award-winning video projects for government and non-profit agencies and businesses. Currently the documentary producer for WRAL-TV, Johnson is also an adjunct faculty member and visiting lecturer at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, teaching a course in television journalism. He regularly speaks to other classes at public schools, colleges and universities.
Greg Bell, Treasurer
Greg Bell has coordinated the Eno River Association’s Festival for the Eno since 2001, presenting many of North Carolina’s traditional performers and artisans to large mainstream audiences and creating opportunities for hands-on interactive learning for attendees. A musician, he has performed with artists ranging from Ora Watson to Blind Melon and worked extensively in both theatrical and musical production. Additionally he is on the Board of the Chapel Hill Library Foundation and leads the pre-school chapel service at the Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church.
Jesalyn Keziah, Secretary
As the Community Food Coordinator of the Resourceful Communities Program, Jesalyn Keziah supports grassroots organizations whose work increases low-income consumers’ access to local foods in Eastern North Carolina, combining her background in local food systems, justice organizing, and education to build capacity and deepen programming impact. She is driven by her deep roots in North Carolina, with Lumbee and Scots-Irish family heritage spanning from the coastal plain to the southern Appalachians. Keziah was born and raised in the red clay of the Piedmont, where she sang bluegrass on Thursday nights in her great-grandfather’s shed, inherited her grandmother’s passion for cast-iron cornbread, and learned crafting and gardening from her mother. She brings to the NC Folklife Institute a deep and broad appreciation for North Carolina foodways and folkways, and spends her free time carrying forward many of these traditions – namely pottery, beekeeping, gardening, baking, hiking, and playing music.
Community & Rural Development (CRD) Agent for the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in Edgecombe County, Jamilla Hawkins was reared in Riegelwood, North Carolina and at an early age, the concept of “leading by serving” was etched into her heart. As the CRD Agent, Hawkins enjoys working with citizens and staff to promote tourism, small business development, community unity, and leadership development in Edgecombe County by providing workshops and facilitating group meetings. She has a passion for serving others and uses the tools of listening, healing, and commitment, to support growth and equity for all people. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.A. in Political Science and a graduate of North Carolina Central University with a Masters’ in Public Administration. Her greatest joy comes from reading, writing, enjoying nature and spending time with her family, godchildren and close friends.
James “Bo” Taylor
Director of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee and member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, “Bo” Taylor has also served as Tribal Council representative for the Big Cove community. Known for his work in preserving and perpetuating Cherokee culture, he has lectured around the country, appeared in documentary films, and teaches Cherokee language as a second-language learner. He is a founding member of the Warriors of AniKituhwa, a traditional dance group who are cultural ambassadors for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Taylor’s CD, Rebuilding the Fire: Traditional Songs of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, received a Nammy from the Native American Music Association in 2010.
Board members may click here for access to documents.