January 16, 2017

Plum Granny Farm: Old Land, New Passion

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim When Cheryl Ferguson graduated from South Stokes High School back in the mid 1970’s, chances are she wasn’t planning on returning to her family’s King homestead farm to live as an adult and become a USDA Certified Organic small family farmer. But that’s exactly what she did. The land, now called Plum Granny Farm, has been in Cheryl’s family well over 140 years, growing tobacco … [Read more...]

Agri-tourism in North Carolina’s Happy Valley

by Leda Hartman North Carolina's Happy Valley, in the Blue Ridge foothills, is known for its pristine beauty and its traditional music and stories. Development is threatening to eclipse the community's old way of life. But one local farmer is determined not to let that happen. Tony Jones hopes to protect the Happy Valley's heritage by inviting outsiders in to enjoy it. His plan rests on a story and a song. … [Read more...]

Strike at the Wind: the Struggle to Sustain a Culture

by Amy Nelson In the southeastern North Carolina town of Pembroke, it's hard to come by anyone who hasn't heard the name Henry Berry Lowery. The 19th-century Native American is a cultural icon for the Lumbee population there. In 1976 a musical drama was created about Lowery’s life called “Strike at the Wind.” The production ran out of money and ceased running last year. Historian Malinda Maynor wants to revitalize … [Read more...]

Blue Ridge Parkway

Although it is a scenic byway with plenty of natural attractions, the Blue Ridge Parkway also has a mission to interpret the culture of the region. Signage, exhibits, and restored historic structures help educate visitors about the history and culture of Appalachia. Of the Parkway’s 469 miles, more than half are located in North Carolina. As a partner in the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative, the Parkway connects … [Read more...]

Center for Appalachian Studies

The Center for Appalachian Studies, a department of the College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University, was established in 1978 to coordinate and promote curriculum offerings, public programs, and research activities in the Appalachian region. Built on the work of generations of Appalachian scholars, including folklorists Amos Abrams and Cratis Williams, the Center works to illuminate and sustain the … [Read more...]

Folk Heritage Committee

The Folk Heritage Committee is a special committee of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and is made up of dedicated individuals charged with the mission of preserving and presenting the music and dance heritage of the Southern Appalachians for entertainment and education. The Folk Heritage Committee’s purpose is to produce two events: Mountain Dance and Folk Festival and Shindig on the Green. These events aim to … [Read more...]

John C. Campbell Folk School

www.folkschool.com Founded in 1925 in the mountains of western North Carolina, the John C. Campbell folk School was the result of a collaboration between Olive Dame Campbell, Marguerite Butler, and the people of Brasstown. The Campbell Folk School has long played an active role in the continued vitality of traditional and contemporary crafts, music, dance and folklore through education, marketing, research, … [Read more...]

Mountain Heritage Center

From its beginning in 1889, Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, collected regional manuscripts and artifacts to celebrate its Appalachian history. In 1975, stimulated by a nationwide interest in heritage in general and a rediscovery of Appalachia in particular, Appalachian-born Chancellor H. F. Robinson announced plans for the creation of a formal museum and research center dedicated to … [Read more...]

One Dozen Who Care

One Dozen Who Care is an African American-led community development organization in the far western part of North Carolina. Members have come together to strengthen their leadership abilities and create community bonds through their common cultural interests. The group’s main goals are to increase and strengthen community leadership, assure the well-being of children and youth, honor and support community elders, and … [Read more...]

Southern Highland Craft Guild

The Southern Highland Craft Guild, which is headquartered in the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Folk Art Center in Asheville, is a non-profit educational organization with a membership of more than 700 crafts artists living and working in the mountain regions of nine southeastern states. Since its inception in 1930, the Guild has worked to instill and maintain standards of excellence in the design and workmanship of crafts … [Read more...]