Our First Kid & Me Class

Southern Appalachian Folk School hosted the first class at our new location this summer! Sandra Quinton taught a Kid & Me quilting class to a creative group of local girls. The group learned sewing machine basics and quilted some adorable hearts. Quilting is a longstanding Appalachian tradition, and it is wonderful to see it be passed on to such enthusiastic learners. Getting to see these girls embrace this part of their heritage is so rewarding–this is why we do what we do!

A New Home

This summer Southern Appalachian Folk School found ourselves a new home! We moved into the former Sharptop Arts Association building in downtown Jasper, Georgia. Locals of Pickens County may recognize the historic significance of the building; it was owned by the Lions Club, a civic organization formed in Jasper in 1939, and has been put to use in various ways since then. At one point, it was the library. Many locals even remember having sock-hops here when they were in high school! The expansive gardens behind the building were created by the Master Gardeners of Pickens county. This building has a history of housing creatives and creative pursuits, and SAFS is proud to carry on that legacy. Below are some photos; please come visit us at 68 D.B. Carroll Street, Jasper, GA.

Street view of SAFS
Our fireplace, constructed from Jasper pink marble
Our giftshop

Spring Tonics

To early settlers the arrival of spring meant it was time to forage for spring plants, make a spring tonic and detoxify their bodies.

When most foods were raised at home folks depended on what they put by to last them the winter.  They dried, canned, and cold stored vegetables.  Winter diets, often heavy in cabbage, canned corn, dried beans and root vegetables, lacked sufficient quantities of vitamins and minerals provided by garden fresh greens and other veggies. 

Drinking a spring tonic was thought to invigorate the body and stimulate the digestive and circulatory systems sluggish from winter diets and reduced activity. Spring tonics can be made as teas, infusions or tinctures.

The following links will provide additional information and recipes for spring tonics.

How to make roasted and fresh dandelion tea from your garden.

Spring Tonic Vinegar

Tincture 101

Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before drinking any homemade spring tonic as herbs may interact with prescribed medicines. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding consult your physician before drinking any spring tonic. Some plants and flowers can cause allergic reactions. Avoid drinking spring tonics if you have allergies to any of the ingredients. Keep all plants away from children. As with any product they can be toxic if misused. Read all warnings and disclaimers of the listed websites.

Bringing You Up to Speed

July 27, 2018

Hello Everyone!

Southern Appalachian Folk School opened for classes February 24, 2018 and we have seen a whirlwind of activity ever since.  I thought today was a good day to stop and give you a summary of what we’ve been up to lately.


The heart and soul of our folk school are the classes taught here.  I can’t say enough about the caliber of instructors who have stepped forward to join us.  We appreciate every single one and thank them for teaching and helping us in large and small ways around the school.  Our instructors are the BEST!



We are delighted at the overwhelming response to our Community Folk Art Fence Fundraiser.  We knew this project would be fun and it has exceeded our expectations.  We cannot wait to present this piece of community artwork to you guys.  If you would like to paint a picket, please contact us or come by the school when classes are in session to pick one up. 


As you know, our home is a building once used for offices.   These small office areas are not always ideal for classrooms and we knew from the beginning we needed to remodel.  Last night, the journey began.  We knocked down walls and will be taking up carpet.   By the time our Grand Opening arrives you will see many changes.  Classrooms will be larger, the gallery area up front will be more open and we will have a gift shop.














As we grow we are finding more and more opportunities for you to be involved with the school.  Southern Appalachian Folk School is more than a place where classes are taught.  So far this year we hosted the Youth Art Month Exhibit, we had an evening dedicated to learning about the history of mountain music and we moved the Art Pickens Artist Gathering to the school campus.   The founders created the school to “keep our mountain culture alive”.  This dream will be impossible without you.  We invite you to volunteer.  We will keep you posted on opportunities.  You can email us at info@safsga.org or call 706-253-0329.


Thank you for going on this journey with us!




Rhonda Fouts Lindsey is a Founder and Board Member of Southern Appalachian Folk School.  She is a lifelong resident of Pickens County, GA, a poet, a grandmother and a mystic mountain woman who has a special connection to the hills she was born to.

Southern Appalachian Folk School Folk Art Fence


What’s more welcoming than a white picket fence? A color crazy Folk Art Fence!!

Spread the word and start painting. Beginning May 18 SAFS will have fence pickets available so you can put your signature on the Folk School campus.

For a $10 donation, pick up and decorate your own 4′ picket that will become part of our 200′ Folk Art Fence!! For more information contact debbie.brownlee@safsga.org. Download the Registration Form/Flyer

Southern Appalachian Folk School needs your help. Whether you volunteer, donate, shop, paint or just sit with us while we do all these things, we want you to be involved. So pick an activity (or two, or three) and help the folk school grow.


Many of our friends have asked how they can help Southern Appalachian Folk School get started. If you would like to help, please click to see what our current needs are: Donate

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 clarry.wilson@safsga.org

Press Contact:
Heather Poole

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