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PRESS RELEASE – SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN FOLK SCHOOL
If we teach it, they will learn.
JASPER, January 3 – 2018 will be the inaugural year for Southern Appalachian Folk School,
(SAFS). SAFS is a homegrown effort to keep our mountain culture alive by sharing our arts,
crafts and stories.
Beginning February 2018, Southern Appalachian Folk School will begin offering classes in a
wide variety of folk arts. Among the initial offerings will be Basket making, wood whittling,
making cane blow guns, and chair caning. As SAFS grows, it will purchase equipment that
will allow us to offer such classes as metal working, wood turning, pottery, and quilting.
The initial goal is to offer weekend retreat-like classes. Each weekend will kick off with a meet
and greet student/instructor reception followed by Saturday and Sunday classes. The vision of
SAFS is to be a Folk School with the mission of preserving the spirit of the Southern
Appalachian Mountains by inviting the world to participate in the Arts, Crafts and Stories of
our mountain culture. We aspire to create a walkable, residential campus that offers workshops
and classes that encourage open participation and learning.
Heather Poole, who is part of the founding group said, “Pickens County has its own unique
flavor as the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. SAFS will provide classes in the
handicrafts and arts that helped develop this flavor. The Folk school will celebrate and share
our mountain culture!”
SAFS founders are C. Larry Wilson-folk artist, Billy Roper-folk artist and lifelong resident,
Rhonda Lindsey-poet and lifelong resident, Debbie Brownlee-graphic artist, Heather Poole,
potter and local studio owner, JJ Roper – businesswoman and local resident, Amelia McIntyre-
Educator and PACA President, and Pat Jewell-poet and thespian.
SAFS is located at 255 Chambers Street in the building that once housed DEFACS. This is a
large building that will enable us to have an art gallery and classrooms under one roof. SAFS
is actively working to gain its 501c3 not for profit tax ID. Until this is accomplished, Pickens
Arts and Cultural Alliance, (PACA) is acting as the sponsoring organization for SAFS and can
take tax deductible donations on SAFS behalf. For further information on donating to SAFS,
please contact Larry Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org