Happy Spring, Friends!

2018 is off to a running start and is already proving to be a year of big changes for Shakori Hills Community Arts Center! 

To start, there have been several staff and board changes coming into the new year. Ed Griffin stepped down as the President of the Board of Directors for SHCAC after two years of dedication to this role. Ed still remains deeply involved with Shakori Hills through his continued work to seek out new business and expertly run the sound at the Carson Grove stage for future GrassRoots Festivals and other events. Though we will deeply miss his daily involvement, we fully support his decision to focus on work and family. We cannot thank Ed enough for his dedication to supporting this community that we love and hold so dearly.

Julie My Amani, our fearless and dedicated Director of Operations and Co-Coordinator for the GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance has also left Shakori Hills to pursue other interests. After 12 years of unrelenting service to Shakori Hills, and the outlying community as a whole, we are deeply saddened to be losing such an invaluable member of our family. While it takes a village to keep Shakori Hills up and running, Julie has single-handedly managed the day-to-day operations here at SHCAC, as well as sought out and implemented countless programs, grants, partnerships, sponsorships, and community engagement – all in an effort to support and stimulate growth for the organization.  Julie may have stepped down from this role, but remains actively involved at Shakori Hills through her continued participation in the JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicans) program. Additionally, Julie will continue to partner with SHCAC in the administration and direction of the annual Hoppin’ John Fiddlers Convention.  

Sara Waters Schwartz, our other Co-Coordinator for the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance stepped down from her role at the conclusion of the Fall 2017 festival. Since 2007, Sara has worked tirelessly to produce more than 20 GrassRoots festivals, 7 NC Stars In the Round events, as well as countless proms, luaus, and other various fundraising events to support SHCAC and SHGRF. Her dedication and hard work will be sorely missed, but we wish her well in her future endeavors!

Finally, Steve Fagan, long-time Site Manager and renaissance man for Shakori Hills, has also left his post to pursue new adventures. Steve has played a massive role in keeping things running smoothly here at Shakori Hills for many years. From running water, to the building of a new bathroom structure, to various artistic projects, Steve has contributed an invaluable amount of time, dedication, and care to the grounds. We’ll miss you, Steve – we wish you the best!

With the departure of Ed Griffin, so too comes the addition and expansion of board members for SHCAC. Carol Woodell, who previously held the role of Vice President for our Board of Directors has graciously accepted the role of President, taking over Ed Griffin’s duties. Carol has been a part of SHCAC & SHGRF for some time and we are very excited to have her at the helm of our increasingly diverse board! Jim Graves, also a current board member and long-time supporter of all things Shakori Hills, has now stepped into the role of Vice President. Charly Lowry, local musician and lead singer of Deep Water Rising has also recently joined our Board of Directors, along with Darrell Foushee, who is committed to fostering new partnerships and sponsorships with our community. 

Julie’s exit has brought in Abby Hileman, the new Director of Operations for SHCAC. Abby has been a volunteer for Shakori Hills and the GrassRoots festivals for more than seven years and is overjoyed to step into this role. She brings with her a long-standing passion for all things Shakori Hills, as well as a strong dedication to continued growth for SHCAC, both internally and with the outside community at large. Abby hails from Raleigh, NC, but is very excited to become a permanent member of Chatham county this summer. 

Emily Wilhelm, our Program Coordinator for the GrassRoots Festival, has stepped into Sara’s role as the new Co-Coordinator. With the assistance of Sarah Cullen, our new Social Media 

Luke Miller is the most recent addition to our permanent staff here at Shakori Hills, having just accepted the role of Site Manager. Luke is no stranger to Shakori Hills, having been the man behind the set up and break down of countless GrassRoots festivals. We are so lucky to have his expertise and institutional knowledge here to continue to work toward making Shakori Hills the best it can be!

Programming Updates

The calendar of events will be updated by March 21. Please be sure to visit the calendar and see what events we have on tap for this season! Remember, we are always scheduling, so be sure to check back often!

New Website Coming Soon! 



Roots in the Schools


We’ve been continuing and expanding this program of bringing musicians, artists and dancers into local schools to help supplement the curriculum. If you are a teacher, parent or school administrator interested in bringing this program to your school, get in touch at info@shakorihills.org

Junior Appalachian Musicians

JAM Fiddle Class, June 2017

In April of this year, we launched the Shakori Hills JAM chapter, covering Silk Hope, Siler City Elementary, Virginia Cross Elementary and Chatham Middle Schools. Over 30 students were given low to no-cost musical instruction in fiddle, mandolin, guitar and dance! This starter group will re-convene at the beginning of the school year for another 8-week session with their first performance at the Fall Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival. Click HERE for more information…

 Community Garden

Want to grow your own food but don’t have the space or time commitment for your own20160620_125037 garden? Community garden workers get a share of everything harvested and excess is donated to the CORA Food Pantry. You can contribute as much or as little as meets your schedule and energy level. Everyone is welcome to participate in the garden, from the early planning stages like deciding what crops to grow, ordering seeds and tilling the ground to planting, weeding, mulching and harvesting. No previous gardening experience is necessary.

Cheryl is also offers free monthly gardening workshops every summer in a variety of topics for those who have their own gardens or just want to swap knowledge and experience! Send us an email if you’d like to have your own custom workshop!

Thank you for all your support! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Your contributions will help us reach our vision of giving back to our community by making the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center a place for everyone to enjoy now and for decades to come! Click here to make a donation.

Slideshow Photo Credits: Todd E. Gaul, Kevin James, Paul Kerr, Matthew Coburn, Allison Springer, Sara Waters, Dwayne Ritchie

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