Built of native rock, a historic schoolhouse offering native crafts
Growing from an abandoned school building just a few short years ago to the vibrant center of the community today, Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center now offers over 20 programs to approximately 10,000 people annually. Located near Robbinsville and the Cherokee tribal community of Snowbird, the center brings music to the mountains through the summer performing arts series An Appalachian Evening, as well as the Annual Harvest Festival and other events.
The Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center is housed in the old Stecoah School building, which was built of native rock with the skill and labor of local community members. The school and its students were photographed on the dedication day ceremony in 1926. That panoramic photograph is now reproduced in an 18-foot mural overlooking the historic auditorium.
The Center is home to the Stecoah Artisans Gallery & Guild, a regional artists gallery featuring a variety of original artworks and fine crafts, the Stecoah Valley Food Ventures culinary co-op, and the Stecoah Textile Studio, which offers classes year round. It is also the starting point for the Stecoah Drive-About Tour and home to the Courtyard of the Cherokee.
The school building houses a “Cherokee in Stecoah Valley” exhibit devoted to the heritage of local Cherokee families. The name Stecoah comes from the Cherokee language. The term “Usdi Gohi,” meaning “little place” was applied to many places by the Cherokee, but here the words became “Stecoah” and the name stuck.
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Listen to a Living Traditions Moment about Stecoah and Graham County’s rich history.