The John C. Campbell Folk School is located in the far western corner of North Carolina in Brasstown. The School was founded in 1925. Who founded it and what was their goal in doing so?
The founders of the folk school were Olive Dame Campbell and Margeurite Butler, working in conjunction with the residents of Brasstown. Their goal, as defined in Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, was to build “a unique institution that seeks to bring people toward two kinds of development: inner growth as creative, thoughtful individuals and social development as tolerant, caring members of a community” The folk school goes about achieving this by offering students and community members an education in arts, crafts, and agriculture from Southern Appalachia and around the world.
Fittingly, the school is a place where mountain music and dance traditions are carefully and lovingly fostered. Visitors can attend weekly concerts and biweekly square and contra dances. In addition, the school hosts an annual Fall Festival with traditional food, music, arts, crafts, and dancing. The festival takes place on the first full weekend in October. For more information about all of these events, see the school website.
The Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, a project of the N.C. Arts Council and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, is available from UNC Press.
Hannah Allen is a contributing writer for the North Carolina Arts Council blog, NCArtsEveryday, and social media pages. A native of North Carolina, Ms. Allen is a 2011 graduate of Meredith College and has worked as a professional dancer, English teacher, and Russian teacher. She has lived abroad in Moscow and St. Petersburg.