North Carolina Artists Shine at National Folk Festival in Greensboro

RALEIGH, NC Sept. 3, 2015 – Next weekend, Sept. 11 to Sept. 13, during the National Folk Festival in downtown Greensboro, some of the state’s best traditional artists will perform and share their artistry – all in one place.

See North Carolina potters like Sid Luck,  pictured here, at this year's National Folk Festival  in Greensboro.

See North Carolina potters like Sid Luck,
pictured here, at this year’s National Folk Festival in Greensboro.

Legacies of Song and Fire: The North Carolina Traditions Stage and Pottery Demonstration Area, sponsored by the North Carolina Arts Council, at the National Folk Festival brings together musicians, such as Sheila Kay Adams, John D. Holeman and the Monitors on one stage, as well as 12 of the state’s finest traditional potters in one demonstration area.

“Legacies of Song and Fire is a rare opportunity to both listen to legendary performances, from bluegrass to jazz and blues, and to watch and talk with potters from Seagrove, and from the Cherokee, Catawba and the Haliwa-Saponi tribes,” said Sally Peterson, Folklife Director at the North Carolina Arts Council. “The magic is that all of this is happening in downtown Greensboro; otherwise you’d have to travel from Manteo to Murphy to experience these culturally rich North Carolina traditions in one place.”

The North Carolina pottery demonstration area is the only venue in the entire festival that will include North Carolina artists working and demonstrating, Peterson added.

The 75th anniversary of the National Folk Festival will feature 300 artists on seven stages in downtown Greensboro. A mix of open air and tented sites will provide a variety of performance venues ranging from intimate stages to amphitheater size. Legacies of Song and Fire will be located along the corner of South Green Street, near the Guilford County Courthouse and City Hall.

There will be a dance pavilion dedicated to non-stop participatory dancing, a family stage with performances appealing to both the young and the young-at-heart, a Family Activities Area, the North Carolina Arts Marketplace, and the Festival Food Courts, in addition to the North Carolina Traditions Stage and the Pottery Area.

Here is the performance schedule for the North Carolina Arts Council stage:
Saturday, Sept. 12, Noon to 6 p.m.

12 – 12:30 p.m.: Jeff Little Trio, a Blue Ridge Mountains piano playing trio.

1 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. A Bascom Lamar Lunsford Tribute, featuring:

  • Buckstankle Boys, old-time and bluegrass musicians influenced by the legendary musicians of Surry County.
  • National Heritage award winner, Sheila Kay Adams, a seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller and musician from Madison County.
  • Todd Family Dancers, Marsha and Marty Todd of Mount Airy, who are accomplished flatfoot and clogging dancers.

3 – 3:45 p.m. Warriors of AniKituhwa, the official cultural ambassadors of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, will perform ceremonial dances.

4 – 4:45 p.m. The Monitors, an Eastern North Carolina R&B, soul, jazz and gospel band featuring founder Bill Myers, who is also a N.C. Heritage award recipient. This group has entertained audiences for almost 60 years.

5 – 5:45 p.m. The Harris Brothers, who come out of the American songster tradition, drawing from diverse currents of vernacular music, including Appalachian bluegrass and old-time and the distinctive blues styles of the upland South, as well as country, jazz and rock.

6 – 6:45 p.m. John Dee Holeman, one of the most renowned and respected Piedmont blues artists in the state and nation. John Dee will be accompanied by buck dancer Williette Hinton, James “Bubba Norwood” on drums, Tad Walters on harmonica, and Harvey Dalton Arnold on bass.

Sunday, Sept. 13, Noon to 6 p.m.

Noon – 1:45 p.m. Welch Family Singers of the community of Snowbird in Graham County, will join Sheila Kay Adams and the Buckstankle Boys for Western Carolina Sacred Traditions. The Welch Family sings gospel in English and Cherokee and carries on a 200-year-old tradition of Christian music among the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

2 – 2:45 p.m. The Branchettes, with Lena Mae Perry and Wilbur Tharpe, outstanding North Carolina performers of African American congregational hymn singing with traditional piano accompaniment.

3 – 3:45 p.m. The Stuart Brothers, Trevor and Travis, are masterful performers of Appalachian fiddle and banjo.

4 – 4:45 p.m. Ticklin’ the Ivories workshop will feature piano traditions of the dynamic Bill Myers of the Monitors, Wilbur Tharpe of the Branchettes, and Jeff Little of the Jeff Little Trio; the musicians will compare and contrast Appalachian and African American keyboard traditions.

5 – 5:45 p.m. The Monitors

In addition to the performance stage, 12 potters including Ben Owen and Sid Luck from Seagrove and Joel Queen from Cherokee will exhibit their pottery and conduct pottery demonstrations.

North Carolina is renowned as the home of what many ceramic artists, scholars and collectors acclaim as the most vital, diverse and longest pottery traditions in the United States. North Carolina’s traditional potters incorporate global influences and appeal to an international market of collectors, galleries and museums, while retaining powerful connections to family, place, and function.

Potters participating in the demonstration area:

Steve Abee (Lenoir, N.C.)
Chad Brown (Ether, N.C.)
Josh Floyd (Seagrove, N.C.)
David Garner (Seagrove, N.C.)
Anna and Crystal King (Seagrove, N.C.)
Sid and Jason Luck (Seagrove, N.C.)
Senora Lynch (Warrenton, N.C.)
Tara McCoy (Cherokee, N.C.)
Ben Owen III (Seagrove, N.C.)
Boyd Owens (Seagrove, N.C.)
Hal and Eleanor Pugh (Randleman, N.C.)
Caroleen Sanders (Concord, N.C.)
Joel Queen (Cherokee, N.C.)

Here is the schedule for demonstrations in the North Carolina Pottery area:

Saturday, Sept. 12:

Noon to 6 p.m. Exhibition of 6 to 8 pieces of exemplary N.C. pottery
1 to 4 p.m. American Indian Pottery Traditions with Senora Lynch (Haliwa-Saponi) Tara McCoy (Cherokee), Caroleen Sanders (Catawba); Joel Queen (Cherokee)
2 to 2:40 p.m. Face Jugs and Figurative Traditions with Jason and Sid Luck (face jugs) and David Garner (figurative pieces)
3 to 3:40 p.m. Slip Decoration and Surface Treatments with Josh Floyd, Senora Lynch and Hal and Eleanor Pugh
4 to 5 p.m. Pottery Family Dynasties and Narratives with Sid Luck, Caroleen Sanders, Boyd Owen, and Chad Brown

Sunday, Sept. 13:

2 to 2:40 p.m. From Frogskin to Chinese Red: The Art of Glazes with Ben Owen, Boyd Owen, David Garner, Steve Abee
3 to 3:40 p.m. How History Informs the Hands: Archeology and Revivalism in NC Pottery featuring Joel Queen, Tara McCoy (on Cherokee traditions); Hal and Eleanor Pugh (on Moravian and red ware traditions)
4 to 4:40 p.m. Face Jugs and Figurative Traditions II featuring Steve Abee (face jugs); Crystal King (figurative pieces)
Also, be sure to stop by Henry Crissman’s booth and kiln area to watch live firing with a Mobile Anagama Kiln.
The N.C. Arts Council will also have an informational booth / tent area where you can learn more about the state’s pottery tradition, including an historic pottery exhibition curated by Charles G. Zug, III. Additionally, information about several music trails projects that formed the foundation for the Arts Council’s musical stage performances will be available. This includes Blue Ridge Music Trails of Western North Carolina and the Foothills and African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina.

Stop by and say hello to the Arts Council’s Folklife Director, Sally Peterson and Amy Hoppe, program administrator. On Sunday, meet Seagrove potter Ben Owen.

For more information on Legacies of Song and Fire visit:

Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, although some of the stages will have folding seats available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Festival hours are:

Friday, Sept. 11 from 5:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 12 from noon to 10:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 13 noon to 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the festival visit

For information on places to stay in Greensboro and other visitor information go to:
About the North Carolina Arts Council
The North Carolina Arts Council works to make North Carolina The Creative State where a robust arts industry produces a creative economy, vibrant communities, children prepared for the 21st century and lives filled with discovery and learning. The Arts Council accomplishes this in partnership with artists and arts organizations, other organizations that use the arts to make their communities stronger and North Carolinians-young and old-who enjoy and participate in the arts. For more information visit
About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan W. Kluttz, NCDCR’s mission is improve our state’s quality of life by creating opportunities that promote economic development, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and spark creativity to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.
Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state’s communities. NCDCR’s Divisions of State Archives, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR’s State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for people who are blind and have physical disabilities.
NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state’s creative industry that accounts for more than 336,000 jobs and generates nearly $22 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit