North Carolina Folklife Area

Every year, the North Carolina Folk Festival celebrates the music, crafts, and storytelling traditions that are thriving in our state. Through performances, workshops, and artist demonstrations, the Festival shines a light on master artists from our region.

The 2019 North Carolina Folk Festival Folklife Area celebrates our state’s rich traditions of fiber arts. From transporting our belongings and staying warm to adorning our bodies for special occasions, some of humanity’s most fundamental needs are addressed by the art forms that involve stitching and weaving.

In this year’s Folklife Area, outstanding artists from across North Carolina will demonstrate traditional methods of weaving baskets, quilting, beadwork, and hat-making.

Two traditions of basketry will be featured: Cherokee rivercane basket weaving, represented by Gabe Crow, and white oak and other basket traditions of the Piedmont, as made by Denton artist Chip Badgett.

Shelia Epps Wilson and fellow members of the Sappony Indian Tribe will share the quilt-making heritage that their community carries on through annual quilting bees.

Betty Williams-White, from the milltown of Eden, will showcase how she carries the art of hat-making into modern times through her original contemporary millinery designs.

Jessica Dingle, a member of the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe of eastern North Carolina, will give another perspective on how individual designers express themselves in decorative traditions, demonstrating her work as a maker of beaded powwow regalia and jewelry.

Deftly interweaving community heritage and individual creativity, North Carolina artists who express themselves through stitching and weaving represent the continuity of some of humanity’s most ancient art forms in the modern world.