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.
Lyss Hunt, Vice-Chair
Lyss Hunt 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.
Her childhood in rural Oklahoma inspired deep respect for the idea of place, and the importance of understanding one’s ties to geographic and cultural memory. After a lifetime looking back on the religious and indigenous traditions that surrounded and influenced her, she has joined the board of NC Folk in order to help create space and awareness around the incredible emergent culture of this state. From integrative foodways inspired by our rapidly diversifying population, to the Cirque Nouveau troupes popping up in our cities, to the young demographic using old time music patterns to create original sounds, the new and changing practices of folklife and culture in North Carolina fascinate her.
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.
William “Mac” McLaughlin
William McLaughlin is a retired pharmacist, a pianist for 45 years and a jazz musician whose interest in jazz has followed him since high school. He has been known throughout the City of Durham, Durham County and the State of North Carolina community as an avid jazz artist committed to keeping the art of jazz alive, especially in communities of color. In 1988, he established the Winston Band and continues to be the owner, conductor and keyboard artist. His fervent desire is to re-introduce jazz to African-American youth. a practicing pharmacist for over 37 years, a pianist for 45 years and a jazz musician whose interest in jazz has followed him since high school. He has been known throughout the City of Durham, Durham County and the State of North Carolina community as an avid jazz artist committed to keeping the art of jazz alive, especially in communities of color. In 1988, he established the Winston Band and continues to be the owner, conductor and keyboard artist. His fervent desire is to re-introduce jazz to African-American youth.