Appalachian Arts & Culture Classes
Holly Springs Center has been hard at work developing and growing our various programs this year. We have learned lessons about our market and what seems to work best for that niche.
Continuing to strive to create a model that resembles John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.
We have expanded some of our School of Mountain Arts (SOMA) offerings this year into: woodturning. wood carving, cooking classes, basket making, gourd carving, stained glass making, and soap making and more!
For SOMA classes alone, we were able to enroll approximately 300 students into our classes, 10% (30) of the participants were from out of town.
The Artisan Gallery at HSC serves as a trading post for local and regional artisans/craftsmen to market and sell their wares to the public.
The gallery also serves as a place where students and teachers involved with our School of Mountain Arts (SOMA) classes can also sell their products to the public.
Like most other programs, the Artisan Gallery is operated with completely volunteer staff, and is open (currently) each Friday and Saturday from 10am - 2pm.
The gallery includes items of fiber arts, woodworking, pottery, paintings, silversmithing (handmade jewelry), and other truly unique finds -- exclusive to the Appalachian region. Finally, our Artisan Gallery was able to attract at least 78 paying customers, who contributed to gross total earnings of $3,487.
Camps & Mountain Arts Field Trip Experiences
Betty and Abby have collaborated with Hagood Mill as well as the Youth Learning Institute, associated with Clemson University to create a triad partnership in order to host 1 to 3-day field trips for students all over. As stated at the onset of our occupancy of the Center, we fully intend to develop HSC into a community hub that will coordinate and host experiential learning field trips -- similar to Barrier Island -- in the upstate. These trips will focus on the Appalachian Arts and Culture we want all of our Southeastern students to be proud of! HSC was recently awarded a $15,000 grant from the SC Arts Commission in order to provide these field trips during the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
The SOMA program is not the only one growing at Holly Springs! In the second year of operation, we have expanded our reach from 3- and 4-year-olds to 2, 3, and 4-year-olds for the 2018-2019 Academic Year, increasing our attendance rate from 18 students to 35 students.
We have 3 classes: a 2-year-old class, a 3-year-old class, and of course a 4-year-old class, all taught by experienced and passionate educators. The curriculum we chose to use this year is new as well. Preschool staff have completed training in the Growing Up WILD preschool curriculum.
Growing Up WILD is a multi-award winning early childhood education curriculum program that bolsters children’s sense of wonder about nature and uses play-based and nature-focused activities to help them explore the world around them.
This is an area of learning we feel needs to be addressed in the community. Offering preschool education with a play-based curriculum that also includes extended hours for working parents (7:30am - 5:30pm daily) will accomplish the fulfillment of this need and accommodate parents in the process.
Community Events & Fundraisers
This branch of our organization is focused on housing events and fundraisers benefiting HSC, but also providing a community inclusivity opportunity for our local residents as well as tourists. Some of the events we have held thus far include: Christmas Fair (vendors, food, entertainment, etc.) and Golf Tournament at The Rock Golf Course. The most notable event, the Christmas Fair, drew in 45 vendors, and an estimated 400 visitors with approximately 5% (20) being from out of town. The golf tournament, included 11 teams of 4 golfers.
Coming up this year, is a Harvest Festival, scheduled for November 17, 2018 (10am-2pm). Currently, we have 52 vendors already registered! We know this event will be even better than our Christmas Fair. The other new fundraisers we anticipate adding during this upcoming year in addition to the Harvest Festival will be: another Golf Tournament, a 5K Walk/Run, and an Outdoor Appalachian Arts Fair (funded by a grant we’ve already received). The SC Arts Commission invited and paid for Abby and Betty to attend a National Creative Placemaking Conference, in Chattanooga, TN last year. At this conference, Betty and Abby learned one proven way to encourage community growth, as well as tourism, is to host a Festival that celebrates the unique contributions and cultures a town or region has to offer. Knowing this, the Festival Betty and Abby proposed was approved for over $4,000 in grant funding from the South Arts Association.
With the proper advertisement, our rental opportunities are poised to offer a great source of revenue for our organization. As with most small towns, Pickens is no exception to being limited on affordable venues for small family get-togethers like birthday parties, family reunions, or even work/business parties. We envision the spaces we rent not stopping as a venue for parties, but to also offer space for small conferences. We have already had a number of individuals ask if they could host their small business annual staff meeting, conference, etc. We currently have 2 long-term rentals and usually rent about 2 spaces per month.
Artists in Residence (AiRs)
Thus far, Holly Springs Center has welcomed three Artists in Residence to our “family.” The first was Doug Berky, with Doug Berky Theatre, LLC. known for his elaborate and immaculate mask sculptures. Mr. Berky’s work has been featured in plays across the country. Another Artist we have in Residence with us now in Room 303 is Mrs. Christina Laurel. Laurel has taught regionally at the Greenville County Museum of Art, Spartanburg Art Museum, and Pickens County Museum, and at the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY. Upcoming exhibits and installations: September/October, Aiken Center for the Arts. Aiken, SC; and in 2019, Appalachian State University's Turchin Art Center, Boone, NC.
The image you see here is an example of Mrs. Laurel's work. Each butterfly in this paper fan was hand-cut and hand-painted.
Finally, we also house a local branch of the Upcountry Heritage Quilt Trail -- displaying quilt patterns on hand-painted panels. Over 200 of this region’s homes, barns, churches, community buildings, and historic sites participate in showcasing the colorful stories and generations of craftsmanship that contribute to this region’s rich history.
So far, HSC has hosted two Summer STEAM Camps for campers ages 4K - 8th grade, where we averaged 30 - 40 students. Just as STEM education has caught the attention of many educators and administrators, STEAM education is set to be “on the horizon” for the new logical step forward in innovative education. We at HSC are proud to be ahead of the curve, anticipating how we can uniquely blend and cross-pollinate the innovative ideas of STEAM with the traditional, Appalachian Arts the rest of our center boasts.