Olive’s Porch renews community engagement.
A new Appalachian cultural experience is opening in Western North Carolina. Olive’s Porch is an extension of the John C. Campbell Folk School, named for the beloved co-founder of the school, Olive Dame Campbell. Featuring a retail shop showcasing the work of Appalachian artists, as well as classrooms and studio space dedicated to the Folk School’s unique Artist in Residence program, this creative space brings Campbell’s vision of “the ultimate form” of the John C. Campbell Folk School to life. Conveniently located in downtown Murphy—less than 10 minutes away from the John C. Campbell Folk School campus—Olive’s Porch brings the folk school experience to local communities by offering shorter courses at a lower cost and providing a gathering place to get to know regional artists.
(Left) Olive Dame Campbell; (Right) Learn to craft like an Appalachian.
Jerry Jackson, Executive Director of the Folk School, says the inception of Olive’s Porch came from a community listening session in which “area residents repeatedly called for alternative ways to engage with the Folk School.” According to Jackson, Olive’s Porch will afford locals and visitors to the area a way to celebrate Appalachian heritage all year long. Partnerships with artists, schools, nonprofits, and other organizations will allow the Folk School to make itself more accessible by meeting people where they are.