NC Folk Staff
Evan Hatch, Interim Executive Director
Evan Hatch has been working as a folklorist, producer, curator and programmer for 15 years. While at the Arts Center of Cannon County, Hatch produced over 50 music titles for Spring Fed Records, including Discovery: The Rebirth of Mississippi John Hurt, and the Grammy-winning John Work III: Recording Black Culture. He raised over $500,000 in grants and donations, and brokered the gift of The Caldwell Collection, a $300,000 folk and vernacular art collection. Hatch created, programmed and administered the Cannon Cultural Museum, developed exhibitions and heritage tourism programming, and conducted hundreds of hours of fieldwork with vernacular artists in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.
Hatch served as president of the Tennessee Folklore Society, a fellow at The Center for Historic Preservation, and grants panelist for the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. He’s created programming for the Southern Foodways Alliance, Tennessee Arts Commission, National Council for Traditional Arts, and the American Folklore Society.
While in North Carolina, Hatch developed the first Handbook for North Carolina Folk and Traditional Artists, secured the gift of The Jack Guy Collection of Western North Carolina music, photography and film, and helped curate the One State, Many Worlds area of the 2016 National Folk Festival.
Joy M. Salyers, Education Coordinator
Joy M. Salyers is a folklorist and professional adviser in ethical and effective practice for individuals, organizations, and projects. She helps clients place an honest and compassionate assessment of themselves into the context of the systems within which they work.
She is also an award-winning curriculum developer who has developed and taught courses at the elementary, middle school, university, and adult education levels. She has taught courses for the certificate in documentary arts at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies for more than a decade. Her work has been recognized with the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Fellowship from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Center for Public Service.
Salyers, who received her MA in Folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill, serves on the North Carolina Folklore Society board, the Orange County Arts Commission, and the advisory board for Looking at Appalachia. She is also a writer, performer, lecturer, and mother. When she’s not doing any of those things, you might find her pulling barbed wire out of the ground, floating down a North Carolina river, or dressing up for a costume event.
Sol Weiner, Administrative Coordinator
Sol Weiner is a folklorist who focuses his work on Left political movements in the American South. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, and Dallas, Texas, Weiner has lived in North Carolina for nearly six years. He received a B.S. in Community and Justice Studies from Guilford College in Greensboro, and an M.A. in Folklore/American Studies from UNC Chapel Hill.
As an undergraduate, Weiner began working with organizations active in the environmental justice movement in North Carolina. In 2013, he debuted his film Swine Country: The Fight For Clean Air and Water in Duplin County, North Carolina, which he co-produced with then-Guilford student Tom Clement and Devon Hall of the Rural Empowerment Association For Community Help in Duplin County. Since then, he has worked with other environmental justice organizations to document their campaigns and histories.
Weiner also writes about music, sports, food, politics, and the culture of the American South. He has had his work published in Scalawag, North Carolina Folklore Journal, Bit + Grain, and Southern Things. When he isn’t writing or working in the field, Weiner enjoys watching baseball (major and minor league) and college football; fermenting foods; playing country and old-time music; and spending Saturday nights at the Orange County Speedway.
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.
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.
Lyss DeCaulp attended UNC Chapel Hill to study Folklore from 2010-12. She worked in the area for a time as an educator, with Triangle spoken word group the Sacrificial Poets, and as the Director of Chapel Hill’s Street Scene Teen Center, but felt the call of the mountains and eventually relocated to Asheville. She currently works as a chef and moonlights as a circus producer and medicine woman.
William “Mac” McLaughlin