Johnnie Ray Francis

Johnnie Ray Francis considers his work in traditional arts to be an integral part of his Native American identity. Once, he remembers, an acquaintance asked him, “’Have you quit building Indian crafts?’ I said, ‘How can you ask the Indian such a thing as that?’”

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John Earl Alston

Alston has had a lifelong fascination with insects, which began when he was a child and would save biscuit crumbs to feed ants in order to observe the orderly way in which the ants carried them away.

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Carolyn Long

Among Long’s childhood recollections is a memory of her grandmother and cousins gathering to make soap. The soap was made with lye and lard put aside at hog-killing time. Long remembers the finished product as large, rough blocks that contained a variety of colors.

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Patrick Draffin

Patrick Draffin says of his upbringing, “I was raised to understand that stories are our history, and that’s how you learn it. [I] was told at a very early age, ‘Listen to your elders.’”

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Peggy Stocks

Through her class she has made a significant contribution to the renaissance of quilt-making in this part of North Carolina, teaching many students who have gone on to become expert quilters as well.

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Roy Burroughs

Work in Progress is a mixture of traditional hymns and contemporary music, all of which Burroughs arranges meticulously. “Music has always been in me,” he says, “and I suspect it always will be.”

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Richard Holtzmann, Sr. and Richard Holtzmann, Jr.

True Ridgeway cantaloupes have become increasingly rare. Of the farmers who have brought the crop into the twenty-first century, among the very last are Richard Holtzmann of Ridgeway and his son, Richard Holtzmann, Jr.

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Royal Jubilee Singers

“The Lord has blessed us,” says Jones. “We have been to many places. We’re getting slower in age now, but God continues to bless us.”

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Portia Hawes

Her quilts, which have been shown in exhibitions in the region, include both traditional and original patterns and motifs, and she still draws inspiration from the quilts that her mother made many years ago.

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About the Project

Information coming soon!