N.C. Folk Festival Announces 2018 North Carolina Artists

Greensboro, N.C., August 21, 2018 — North Carolina Folk Festival organizers today announced the North Carolina artists who will showcase their talents at the 2018 North Carolina Folk Festival – a free admission, three-day weekend celebration of America’s roots & heritage in downtown Greensboro, Friday, Sept 7 to Sunday, Sept. 9. 

The North Carolina program is produced with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the North Carolina Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.  

“In this transition from the National to the North Carolina Folk Festival, we have a great opportunity to shine an even brighter light on the homegrown talent here in our state. The N.C. Folk Fest will feature North Carolina performers on every festival stage,” says Amy Grossmann, Director of the North Carolina Folk Festival.

“North Carolina is a state where our traditional arts continue to reflect a unique sense of place and our unique folkways through craft, music, storytelling and more,” Wayne Martin, executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council said.  “The North Carolina Folk Festival is a wonderful backdrop to discover the cultural treasures found in communities small and large across North Carolina.”

In addition to performers, the festival will feature North Carolina potters who will exhibit in the North Carolina Folklife Area. This year, organizers collaborated with the North Carolina Folklife Institute to showcase traditional artists in North Carolina’s world-renowned pottery community.

“Our incredible potters will engage in live demonstrations, narrative discussions, and sell examples of their work in the heart of the festival site at Center City Park,” says Grossman.

Among the artists will be North Carolina Heritage Award recipients, and other outstanding representatives of the ceramic traditions of Seagrove, the Catawba Valley, and American Indian communities.

The North Carolina artists include: 


Bobby Hicks, Mark Kuykendall, and Asheville Bluegrass, Bluegrass; Madison County, NC

Bobby Hicks and Mark Kuykendall-- bluegrass veterans who have a combined 110 years of professional experience between them -- are known for fiddle and banjo innovation. They will perform with Asheville Bluegrass, adding mandolin, bass, vocals, and a second banjo to their performance. Hicks has won 10 Grammy Awards and is a 2014 recipient of the North Carolina Heritage Award.

Connie Steadman, Gospel singer, and storyteller; Yanceyville, NC

At 79 years old, Connie Steadman has been singing spirituals and gospel songs for fully three-quarters of a century, having been pulled into her family's a cappella quartet when she was only five years old. She is the recipient pf the prestigious North Carolina Heritage Award, presented every other year by the North Carolina Arts Council.

Arnold Richardson, Haliwa-Saponi musician, craftsperson, and storyteller; Hollister, NC

Arnold Richardson is a master carver of stone, wood, and gourds; an expert bead artist and potter, leather worker; and self-taught flutist and Native American flute maker. Richardson’s efforts to revitalize the cultural heritage of eastern North Carolina’s American Indians have long been credited for the resurgence of artistic vitality among the eastern tribes. He is also a North Carolina Heritage Award recipient. 

Cabin Creek Boys, Old-time music; Southwest Virginia and Northwest North Carolina

The Cabin Creek Boys play old-time hillbilly music from the mountains of southwest Virginia and northwest North Carolina. Led by multi-instrumentalist and award-winning husband and wife duo Chris and Erika Testerman of Lansing, North Carolina. The band also includes Jackson Cunningham of Grant, VA on guitar; Karlie Keeper of Sparta, NC on claw-hammer banjo; and Jerry Steinberg of Salem, VA, on bass.

The Rorrer Boys old-time/bluegrass music, Rockingham County, NC

Doug Rorrer and his son Taylor Rorrer, along with guitarist Scott Manring form The Rorrer Boys.  Doug and Taylor were inspired and taught by Doug’s great-uncles Charlie Poole and Posey Rorer and carry forward their family’s musical tradition through teaching and performance.

NC Folklife Potters

Darrin Bark, Cherokee tradition

Darrin Bark draws from his family's rich artistic heritage and from the history of Cherokee ceramics in creating his distinctive gleaming black pottery.

Gabe Crow, Cherokee tradition

Through his accomplished pottery, basket weaving, and teaching, Gabe Crow is helping to ensure that artists of his generation and younger will carry on Cherokee craft traditions.

MD Flowers, Catawba Valley tradition

A member of one of North Carolina's oldest pottery communities, MD Flowers is the only woman actively representing the Catawba Valley's wood-fired ceramic tradition.

Sid Luck, Seagrove tradition

A legend in the state's world-renowned Seagrove pottery community, Sid Luck is a sixth-generation potter and has been recognized with the North Carolina Heritage Award.

Senora Richardson Lynch, Haliwa-Saponi Tribe

Senora Lynch, a North Carolina Heritage Award recipient, is nationally renowned for her exquisite and richly symbolic hand coiled pottery.

Hal and Eleanor Pugh, Historical pottery techniques

Hal and Eleanor Pugh of New Salem Pottery dedicate themselves to preserving Quaker, Moravian, and other early pottery traditions of North Carolina, as well as to their original lines of redware and stoneware.

To learn more about the N.C. Folk Festival, please visit ncfolkfest.com. The North Carolina Folk Festival will continue to post updates on its Facebook page (facebook.com/NCFolkFestival), Twitter (twitter.com/NCFolkFestival) and Instagram (instagram.com/ncfolkfestival).


About the North Carolina Folk Festival: Produced by ArtsGreensboro with help from the City of Greensboro and many other partners, the North Carolina Folk Festival celebrates its first year in 2018, building on the success of the three-year residency of the National Folk Festival (2015-2017). The FREE admission, three-day weekend is North Carolina’s fastest growing cultural event and will be presented in downtown Greensboro September 7, 8, 9, 2018. ncfolkfestival.com

About ArtsGreensboro: As it has been for more than 50 years, ArtsGreensboro is an arts council and catalyst for connecting the community and building recognition and support for the arts. Through its annual community-wide Campaign for the Arts, it supports more than 50 arts organizations, projects, artists, and schools annually. In addition, ArtsGreensboro hosts events and manages facilities – from the North Carolina Folk Festival and Sternberger Artists Center (Summit Avenue) to the collaborative 17DAYS Arts Festival, and the innovative Van Dyke Performance Space. Through all these activities, ArtsGreensboro drives the health and vitality of our community by supporting arts education, celebrating the diversity of Greensboro, and driving economic impact through excellence in arts programming. artsgreensboro.org

About the North Carolina Arts Council:  The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s long-standing love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions while investing in innovative approaches to art-making. The North Carolina Arts Council has proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education. www.NCArts.org