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Stage Plans Progressing, New Artist Showing


August 28, 2011 by wcobserver

Yes, it’s happened. I have become so overwhelmed with all the wonderful things happening at Ozark Folkways, that I now have to be reminded to write my articles, attend planning meetings, and teach my own classes! I have a wonderful volunteer Programs Director. I only wish I had the funds to hire her to hang around me, full time, just to remind me to: “Get it in gear, Rebecca”!

Ok, so now I will focus.

Allow me to announce: Modern Woodmen of America has matched the $2500 we raised for our stage project! We will use the combined funds of $5000 to begin a children’s music program and to support phase one of construction on our outdoor stage at Ozark Folkways!

And speaking of our stage, we have a wonderful Project Director, John James, who will take the lead to “raise the stage.” James has an impressive background in construction and project management and his original stage design inspired the drawings of our Project Designer, Fred Derwin. Derwin has a background in Design and Architecture and worked closely with E. Fay Jones on the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs. Although he is no longer a working architect, Fred’s designs remain innovative and highly creative. These men are excited to be leading the project and look forward to gathering local volunteers, crafts persons and professionals willing to donate some of their time to give back to the local community by building this outdoor stage. At the moment, Ozark Folkways is looking for specific volunteers. For instance, those with a background in carpentry, decking, stonemasonry, licensed electricians, and/or anyone who runs a sawmill, hardware store, etc. who is will to donate or sell supplies at or below cost. If you can help us out, please give me a call at 479-445-0887 or email us at

We also need monetary donations to help us move into phases 2 and 3 of this outdoor stage building project. We will be releasing drawings and more details in future columns. So keep your eye on this column!

One more huge announcement: We are extremely pleased and honored to be showing the work of Ellen Gregory during the month of September in the Connie Wright Gallery at Ozark Folkways. Ellen’s reception will be the First Friday, September 2 from 6-8 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. You do not want to miss this reception and show! Here’s a bit of biography on Ellen and her work:

“I am from New York City (17 years) via Los Angeles (32 years). At the end of 1990 I decided there had to be a better life and fresher air to breathe. For the next two years I roamed the country with my willing golden retriever, searching a new frontier. When I rolled into Fayetteville via the old 71 from Highway 40, I felt an overwhelming at-home feeling, like I had been here before. Indices of quality of life were apparent (jobs, property value, health care, a reasonable cost of living). Excited, I fretted that the arts and theater would be minimal in my new adopted home. The Walton Arts Center surpassed my expectations. I started volunteering at the beginning of 1993 and have been part of the Center ever since. Northwest Arkansas is an artist’s pallet. Opportunities for photographic memories abound.

Until a tragic house fire in 2002, I had an eclectic collection of cameras including my first Brownie Box Camera. It started with snapshots of my friends and family and segued into recording happenings in the park and on the street. I became the official photographer at school events and parties. Currently, I am a volunteer photographer for Osher Institute (OLLI) classes and the volunteer event photographer for the Fayetteville Senior Activity Center. I work in color and black and white and have a gift of catching expressions and moments in time.”

You are always welcome to visit us at Ozark Folkways, Monday through Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 12-5.



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