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Music Heritage Resources

A variety of organizations offer technical assistance, funding, archives, and other resources to assist with efforts to preserve and promote the traditional music heritage of Western North Carolina.

State Resources

North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources
This state agency works to preserve the state’s history and culture and to recognize and promote its cultural resources.

Center for Appalachian Studies, Appalachian State University
In addition to coordinating undergraduate and graduate coursework in Appalachian Studies, the Center encourages research and collaborative projects with local scholars, community groups and other organizations concerned with the region’s past, present and future.

Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University
The Mountain Heritage Center celebrates the natural and cultural heritage of the southern Appalachian region through exhibitions, publications and educational programs.

Collections and Archives

Appalachian State University-W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection of Belk Library
The W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection is a repository with more than 37,000 volumes of books and over 200 periodical subscriptions related to the Southern uplands, with strengths in the social sciences, regional history, folklore, music, religion, genealogy, fiction and African and Native Appalachia.

Mars Hill College-Ramsey Center-Southern Appalachian Archives
The Southern Appalachian Archives at the Ramsey Center include the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Folk Music Collection and a variety of other collections featuring Western North Carolina musicians.

University of North Carolina at Asheville-D.H. Ramsey Library
The Special Collections and University Archives contain a manuscript register for Mountain Dance and Folk Festival (the nation’s oldest folk festival) and Shindig on the Green.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-Southern Folklife Collection
The Southern Folklife Collection is one of the nation’s foremost archival resources for the study of American folk music and popular culture.

Arts Councils

North Carolina Arts Council
The North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the state’s Department of Cultural Resources, provides technical assistance, resource information and grants to artists and non-profit organizations. The NC Arts Council’s website includes an extensive database of artists, art organizations and related information.

Western Arts Agencies of North Carolina
Western Arts Agencies of North Carolina is a supportive peer network of 21 members representing local arts organizers and presenters in 20 counties in Western North Carolina. The group is dedicated to sharing information, technical assistance and cooperative programming to strengthen and expand the services of member agencies and promote Appalachian arts and cultural traditions. A list of member agencies is available on its website.

Alleghany County Arts Council
Sparta, NC
(336) 372-2578

Ashe County Arts Council

Asheville Area Arts Council

Avery Arts Council

Burke Arts Council

Caldwell Arts Council

Cultural Arts Council of Wilkes

Haywood County Arts Council

Arts Council of Macon County

McDowell County

Madison County Arts Council

The Arts Council of Henderson County

Toe River Arts Council (Mitchell and Yancey Counties)

Transylvania County Arts Council

Watauga County Arts Council

Other Resources

Blue Ridge Music Trails
The Blue Ridge Music Trails project grew out of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative, a multi-state partnership of organizations, communities and individuals committed to promoting the cultural heritage of the region. Its purpose is to guide travelers to the many public settings in which Blue Ridge folk music and dance thrive today.

Carolina Gospel Association
The Association sponsors an annual series of gospel concerts at the R-S Central High School Auditorium near Rutherfordton, NC.

Carolina Music Ways Music Heritage Resource Group
This grassroots organization is dedicated to increasing awareness of the diverse music traditions of North Carolina’s Northwest Piedmont (including Surry and Yadkin Counties).

James C. Harper School of Performing Arts
A community music school in Lenoir, NC.

John C. Campbell Folk School
The Folk School offers week-long and weekend classes in traditional music, dance, and instrument building.

North Carolina Folklife Institute
A nonprofit, statewide folklife service organization located in Durham, NC.

North Carolina Folklorists Directory
The directory offers an extensive list of folklorists in North Carolina who are available to speak to community groups or to work on special projects.

North Carolina Mountain Acoustic Music Association (NCMAMA)
This nonprofit, volunteer-run and community-based organization works to foster the acoustic music culture in Western North Carolina.

Sacred Harp Singing
Resource website of the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association.

Shape Note Singing
This Western Carolina University website provide links to numerous websites with information on shape note singing.

The Christian Harmony
A schedule of events for shaped note singers and Christian harmony singers in Western North Carolina is posted on this website.