A year to remember
50 YEARS OF FOXFIRE
Preserving Appalachian Heritage Culture
â€œIn 1966, a young high school teacher in Rabun County, Georgia, scrapped the standard English curriculum and encouraged his students to get outside the classroom to document the traditions and accumulated wisdom of their own mountain communities. The students sat down with their relatives and elders, recording interviews about everything from making soap to brewing moonshine to cooking hominy, and compiled their work into a magazine called Foxfire. It was the start of what would become a best-selling book series spanning twelve volumes and a vast archive of Southern Appalachian life and culture.â€? Garden & Gun Magazine
Today, Foxfire is a nonprofit organization headquartered on 110 acres of mountaintop land in Rabun County, Georgia. More than 12,000 visitors come annually to experience its original log cabin buildings, museum and heritage center. Scholars regard Foxfire’s rich archive of oral histories, music recordings, photographs, artifacts, tools, and artwork as a definitive resource for Appalachian folklife.
“There are demonstrations in blacksmithing and basket weaving. It's a living, breathing museum, a home for traditions that are dying out — but worth preserving.” Ari Shapiro, NPR All Things Considered speaks of the Foxfire Heritage Center and Museum
A CELEBRATION OF THE PAST WITH A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
In 2016, Foxfire celebrated 50 years of preserving Appalachian culture by presenting a signature series of events and programs from Atlanta to Athens and back again to the beautiful mountaintop Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center in Rabun County, Georgia. 4
CELEBRATES ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A FULL YEAR OF PROGRAMMING IN ORDER TO: • Reach new audiences as Foxfire shapes its vision for the future of the organization; • Renew our relationship with longstanding members and supporters who remain committed to Foxfire’s mission; • Use the Foxfire story to ignite a resurgence of interest in core values of Appalachian heritage - self reliance, collective consideration, and commitment to community; • Position Foxfire and its mission on a national platform in order to empower student led education as a timely solution for communities and educators across the country; • Envision the next 50 years to come.
This report will highlight how this 50th anniversary year, attracted the attention of the nation once again to the mountaintop message of Foxfire - still aglow.
Foxfire Receives the Governors Award
Foxfire launches its 50th Anniversary year with the anouncement of the prestigious Governorâ€™s Award. 6
FOXFIRE FOLKLIFE AND HERITAGE CELEBRATION A signature event, this year’s Folklife and Heritage Celebration: • Made the Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center come alive with demostrations and performances; • Attracted record numbers in attendance; • Catered to over 500 families and youth; • Included past “contacts” (those interviewed by Foxfire students over the years). “That is my community!!!! Foxfire is an amazing organization that is working to preserve southern Appalachian crafts, history, and culture. The books are a treasure trove of information, including interviews from people who have never had running water or electricity in the modern era, the very last man to build a wagon in the old way, and wonderful folklore stories. I've read them all too many times.” Facebook post by Lauren Hockaday
50 YEARS OF EMPOWERING STUDENTS
Foxfire 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDUCATION CONFERENCE
Foxfire returned to Rabun GapNacoochee School, where it all began 50 years ago, for an historic gathering of national leaders in education to envision the future of student centered learning.
EDUCATION CONFERENCE • Attracted participation from leaders in education from as far as Los Angeles, St. Louis, and even Canada; • Served as a forum for networking and resource building; • Was hosted in the historic mountaintop setting of Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, where it all began 50 years ago; • Was made possible by Foxfire key education partners, Piedmont College School of Education and the University of Georgia College of Education; • Was supported by scores of local businesses as sponsors and hosts; • Exposed Woodrow Wilson Fellows to core practices of the Foxfire Method of Teaching and Learning; • Positioned the organization on a national platform for dialogue and impact on current issues in education and learning practices.
The full year of Foxfire 50th Anniversary programming served nearly 100,000 patrons and touched millions with the Foxfire story.
â€œFoxfire interviews have touched every aspect of life in this slice of Appalachia, from birth to death. Some are simply accounts of local lore: The first Foxfire recording is of a man who witnesses a bank robbery, while getting his hair cut.â€? National Public Radio All Things Considered
EVERY SEED HAS A STORY PRESENTED BY THE APPALACHIAN STUDIES CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH GEORGIA
PRESENTS “EVERY SEED HAS A STORY” • Was presented by the students and faculty of the University of North Georgia Appalachian Studies program; • Was a featured component of the Foxfire Education Conference at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee; • Presented the scholarly work of Dr. Chris Dockery on seed banking and oral histories; • Featured student read oral histories followed by lively discussion; • Attracted a diverse and enthusiastic audience who showed sincere interest in cultural preservation; • Was made possible by the generous support of the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Georgia Humanities Council. 13
FOXFIRE FOLK ON THE MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL
FOLK ON THE MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL • Attracted record audiences to its mountaintop festival grounds; • Featured the works of over 25 of the regions most celebrated folk artists; • Served as a regional draw for tourism to the area; • Was supported by scores of local businesses as sponsors and hosts; • Was featured on local media and radio stations including a live broadcast from the festival grounds; • Highlighted the North Georgia gallery scene; • Positioned Foxfire to serve folk arts patrons in the Southeast region for years to come.
FOXFIRE - WEAVING A LIVING HISTORY A SPECIAL EXHIBITION PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE HAMBIDGE CENTER
FOXFIRE FOLK ON THE MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL
FOXFIRE FEATURED AT THE DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL
“The 50th Anniversary Book The Foxfire Book of Simple Living” was featured by the Decatur Book Festival, the largest literary festival in the country.
FEATURED AT THE DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL • Served as a featured component of the largest literary festival in the nation; • Served as the platform for the release of the Foxfire 50th Anniversary commemorative book, “Foxfire A Book of Simple Living”; • Exposed the Foxfire brand to thousands of festival patrons; • Featured a panel discussion at the Decatur Library on the WABE (Atlanta NPR station) sponsored stage; • Featured the performance of the world renowned, Foxfire Boys in concert on the main stage of the event.
A special exhibition on the history of Foxfire at the University of Georgia Russell Special Collections Library: •Featured rare archives and Foxfire artifacts; •Featured footage and recordings of original interviews; •Featured a life-size log cabin installation; •Drew audiences from across the region; •Was curated by University of Georgia students; •Engaged local community businesses in creative content for a Family Day event; •Invited presentations by national scholars in education; •Attracted the attention of local, regional and national media alike - including Garden & Gun Magazine, GPB and the Atlanta Magazine; •Served as the setting to celebrate teachers from across the state; •Positioned Foxfire to realize its efforts of archival preservation forward.
THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA SUPPORTS FOXFIRE
“50 years of foxfire”
“50 Years of Foxfire” exhibition at the The Univeristy of Georgia Russell Special Collections Library served over 4,000 patrons and engaged nearly 1000 students.
OCTOBER 26 • 11:15 A.M. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS LIBRARY
“FOXFIRE AT FIFTY: STORIES OF CULTURE” PANELISTS: CARL GLICKMAN UGA PROFESSOR EMERITUS AND FOXFIRE BOARD MEMBER CHRISTIAN LOPEZ ORAL HISTORY AND MEDIA ARCHIVIST, SPECIAL COLLECTIONS LIBRARIES KATIE LUNSFORD, THE FOXFIRE MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTOR MODERATED BY JANICE HUME, DEPARTMENT OF JOURNALISM HEAD
Sponsored by: College of Education Grady College Special Collections Library
FOXFIRE MOUNTAINEER FESTIVAL • Entertained over 5,000 families and children; • Is a signature event in the region; • Was named one of the top festivals in Georgia by the Georgia tourism department; • Featured over 100 vendors and local businesses; • Was sponsored by the Foxfire Community Board (Foxfire alumnae); • Was sponsored by the Clayton Tribune; • Raised over $25,000 in scholarships for local Foxfire students.
FOXFIRE COMMEMORATIVE BOOK RELEASES Over 2,000 Foxfire publications sold during the anniversary year.
Attracted attention from national media which resulted in features on National Public Radio (NPR) All Things Considered with Ari Shapiro.
MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO (NPR) All Things Considered Preview
All Things Considered
WABE (ATLANTA’S NPR STATION)
GARDEN & GUN
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUION
GEORGIA PUBLIC BROADCASTING (GPB)
Learn More at Foxfire.org
Foxfire celebrates its 50th anniversary with a full year of programming attracting national audiences once again to its mountaintop mission...