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Doreyl & Amy Ammons

Ammons Sisters/Catch the Spirit of Appalachia

Storytellers and resource organization Jackson County, NC

Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (CSA) is a nonprofit resource organization founded by the Ammons sisters, Amy Ammons Garza and Doreyl Ammons Cain.

CSA supports the Appalachian Mural Trail (125 Historic Mural Art along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia) and publishes work by Western North Carolina writers (155 books as of 2022). Catch the Spirit of Appalachia has produced the largest collection of all-sound oral history in Western North Carolina which can be heard online at  Stories of Mountain Folk, with a goal of honoring and saving the heritage of the area. The collection is archived by the Hunter Library at Western Carolina University. 

For over 30 years, the Ammons Sisters of CSA have been visiting schools and festivals to share the family stories they learned growing up in Jackson County. In their Heritage Alive! performances, Amy tells stories while Doreyl illustrates them at an easel onstage, creating drawings that are then given to the host schools to keep. CSA’s work draws upon the sisters’ seven generations of family heritage in the North Carolina mountains. The Ammons sisters perform at many schools and libraries throughout North Carolina and the south, and CSA has long-standing relationships with school districts across the region.

In 2013, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia received the prestigious Mountain Heritage Award from the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University in recognition of the organization’s contributions to preserving and interpreting Southern Appalachian history and culture.


CSA offers Heritage Alive! storytelling performances and traditional arts events throughout the year. Publishing is available throughout the year.