When John C. Campbell Folk School was organized, near Brasstown, NC, in 1925 a call was put forward for community support. Folks in the community did not have much money and offered what they could: land, stone, lumber, labor and narcissus bulbs.
Like the Campbell Folk School in its beginnings Blue Stone Folk School has a need to raise money and to develop community support. For the first two years of our struggle to emerge much of our financial support has come from the pockets of just a few folks. These donations were generous but where difficult to sustain and did little to develop community ownership. As the economy has slipped these limited donations have dried up.
Like a handful of others my family and I have often paid out-of-pocket to support Folk School programs. This is neither healthy for the organization or possible to continue. Like the folks that helped support the beginnings of the Campbell Folk School I’ve searched my own resources to find ways that my work can generate financial support and community involvement in the School.
In response to this I am pledging the next 50 birds that I carve to Blue Stone Folk School. I’ve birds in all stages. Some are finished and hanging on my kitchen wall. A few more are in the shop in various stages of completion. Most fill my head and my sketchbooks waiting to discovered within a piece of wood.
Along the way I will document my carving and design process. The School will organize bird carving classes and demonstrations. You’ll see little birds at Folk School events. Look for them at Porch Swing Jams, Indiana Fiddlers’ Gathering, Folk Series Concerts at Noble Tea and Coffee, In the end I hope that we can raise some money, share some passions and engage folks in our community.
The John C. Campbell Folk School was able to build their school from its initial donations. The school stands on donated land and is built of donated lumber and stone with donated labor. The donated narcissus still bloom on the hillsides. The legacy of those early partners is evident all around the school.
We cannot build a school with little carved birds. We need to develop the means to convert these birds to computers, to insurance premiums, to rent, to heat and light, and to visiting artists and performers.
This is where you come in. Support the Folk School by purchasing little birds to give as gifts. Collect little birds. Donate little birds. Think of the Folk School and an opportunity to support local tradition when shopping for gifts and treasures.
Every time that you buy a bird every penny will go directly to supporting the Folk School. The fund will be transparent and you will know exactly where your money is being spent.
It is my wish that other folks supporting the Folk School step up and make donations in any way that you can. A gift of your time, talent, vegetables, carvings, rugs, needlepoint, photography and website development will all be appreciated.
As birds are completed they will be photographed and cataloged here. Links will be available for you to further explore or purchase these little birds.