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12th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival 2016

Saturday, August 20th, 10-4

12th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival by the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County and the Cowee School, Arts & Heritage Center. 




The Franklin Area Folk Festival features living exhibits and demonstrations to allow visitors to experience what mountain life was like way back when. These folks learned at their parents’ knee woodcarving, moonshinin', basket making, weaving and spinning, and all the many other heritage skills they’ll be demonstrating. There will also be a full schedule of old time and mountain music with plenty of good food to eat.


Exhibits include everything from quilting and moonshinin' to Civil War Re-enactors plus much more.

2016 Awards -- Press Release, Anne Hyder, Chairperson of Folk Heritage Association of Macon County

Awards were presented on Saturday, August 20, 2016 at the 12th annual Franklin Area Folk Festival at Cowee School, Arts and Heritage Center.   


Beth Moberg, was honored by the Cowee School, Arts and Heritage Center Advisory Board with a posthumous Heritage Award.   The board's vice chair, Bobby Kuppers told those in attendance of Moberg's hard work and dedication to Cowee School and the Cowee Community. "When Beth saw a need in the community or something that needed to be done, she didn't ask about it, she just did it," Kuppers said. "Much of what you see here today is the fruit of Beth's work. Besides that, she was a great friend to many.  As soon as someone met Beth, they loved her," he added. Kuppers presented a pottery platter made by local artist Doug Hubbs. The pottery will be displayed at the School in Beth’s memory.


A Heritage Award given by The Folk Heritage Association of Macon County (FHAMC) Board members was presented to Theresa Ramsey. Claire Suminski, FHAMC Board member recognized Ms. Ramsey by first referring to Theresa’s long standing dedication to the Association and specifically to her work with the Franklin Folk Festivals.  “In 2004, she served on the Heritage Steering Committee for the County and that committee later developed into the FHAMC,” Suminski noted.


“She has been the Treasurer of our organization and has chaired, co- chaired or served on the Leadership Team for the Franklin Folk Festival for many years,” Suminski explained. “I want to emphasis Theresa’s love of heritage including her appreciation of the beautiful Cabarras Quilt that is hanging on the stage behind us”.  Mrs. Suminski closed her comments noting, “we would not be here enjoying the Festival today had it not been for Theresa’s leadership and undying dedication to this project”.  She was presented with a work of art by artist Doug Hubbs – a pottery fruit bowl.

Ms Ramsey is the wife of Joe Ramsey and the daughter-in-law of Margaret Ramsey who is  well known for her dedicated work with the Association, past work with Maco Crafts and love of Macon County heritage.


The Macon County Board of County Commissioners has proclaimed Honorary Historians of Macon County at previous Folk Festivals.  Barbara McRae, Margaret Ramsey and Merritt Fouts have been recipients in the past. Commissioner Chair Kevin Corbin, County Manager Derek Roland and County Commissioner Ronnie Beale were in attendance to present the award this year to Sally G. Kesler. 

Mr. Beale shared that “Ms. Kesler first came to the Cartoogechaye Community at the behest of Rufus Morgan, an Episcopal priest with a long history at St. John's Church.  She had met Lucy Morgan, his sister, while attending Penland School of Crafts and was influenced by their visions of community life and craftwork.  Leaving for two years when she apprenticed  in Boston with a well-known silk screen artist, she returned to the community in 1950 to become a leader and resource of craft education”.   

Beale added, “Sally later became a 4-H leader, Nantahala Hiking Club organizer, leader of Nonah Weavers, and a member of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild all the while producing the beautiful screen prints for which she is widely known.  In later years she became a much respected botanist and helped to spearhead progress on our Greenway and the preservation of other historic and beautiful parts of Macon County, as well as keeping the craft traditions of the mountains alive through Nonah, where she taught several generations of new weavers”.

 “As a native of West Virginia, I understand that Ms. Kesler loved Macon County for its similarities to her childhood home and that she devoted her life to the preservation of our shared cultural and natural heritage”, said Beale.  He added “from the comments I have heard about Ms Kesler, I feel how she is loved in this community.” 

Ms. Kesler was not able to be present for the award but will be sent the resolution from the Macon County Board of County Commissioners and be given a pottery piece also created by artist, Doug Hubbs.

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