Will Ridenour, Instructor

Will Ridenour is a musician from Greensboro, NC specializing in percussion styles from
willriddenouraround the world. Since 1994, Will has been teaching, performing, and studying in the United States, Mali, Senegal, and Sweden, and has appeared in 40 states and 28 countries worldwide. He has made four trips to study drumming in West Africa, and has been a guest musician with many West African Dance companies in North Carolina. Will currently performs with a variety of groups including Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, and SUAH African Dance Theater.

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Thanks for Signing Up!

Thanks for registering for Sing Your Heart Out Vocal Workshop on March 11, 2017.

Click HERE to make your $30 suggested donation in advance. Donation not required for attendance.

You may email Marie at jmvbeck@aol.com with any questions. See you on March 11th!

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Marie Vanderbeck, Instructor

marietrioMarie Vanderbeck has been singing professionally for many years – Old Country, Blues, Rock, Jazz, Bluegrass, Appalachian – to name a few of her styles. Her voice is her instrument and she fine tunes it to be soft and sensuous or loud and sassy. Her love of music is contagious: she teaches both to learn and to have fun. Marie’s current professional endeavor is jazz band, The Marie Vanderbeck Trio.

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John W. Vanderheyden, Instructor

John & Gail Vanderheyden. Photo by Elizabeth Larson

John & Gail Vanderheyden. Photo by Elizabeth Larson

John recently retired from a 35+ year career with Verizon Communications doing internal computer work. He chose to move to North Carolina from Washington D.C. because of the natural beauty of the state, and the Piedmont in particular due to easy access to both the mountains and seashore. As a landscape painter, there is more subject matter than he could ever possibly paint!

John says: “I work in three or four styles and landscapes are my prominent subject matter. Bright color combinations usually dominate my paintings. My scenes are from all over the United States with a lot of the Southwest Desert and Washington, D.C. I’ve done a lot of water studies and floral still-lifes. Why do people love looking at water? I think it has to do with the constant change between patterning and randomness. Where patterns meet chaos is a recurring theme of mine. Examples of this would be changing ripples in a river or light dappled maples in the fall. Click HERE to visit his website.

Art Highlights:

20 paintings exhibited at Richmond State House in Jan.-Feb., 2005. This led to exhibiting at John Tyler Community College, also in Richmond

Represented by Lazy Lane Gallery, Key West, Fla., Jan., 2003- Jan., 2005

Represented by Herndon Old town Gallery, Aug.- Oct., 1994

Annual Juried Labor Day Shows at Glen Echo Park sponsored by the National Park Service. Sold “Canal Scene” to the National Historical Society

Annual Juried Spring shows at Oxen Hill Manor

Capital Hill Art League member for several years. Solo show at Long & Foster Realty on Capital Hill with multiple sales

Member of Great Falls, Fairfax and Vienna Art Leagues. Awarded Best in Show at monthly Fairfax League Show. Awarded Honorable Mention at annual Great Falls League show

Education: B.A. Art History and Studio Art from University of Virginia, 1977

Contact Information: John.W.Vanderheyden@Gmail.com

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Jaime Coggins, Class Instructor

Jaime Coggins received her degree in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 2002 and has taught on various levels and practiced art for the last 18 years. After graduating, she taught as a Visiting Artist at UNCG and opened a Community Art Gallery and Studio (The Space) to present developing artists’ works. The Space also offered classes and workshops free to the public. Many successful NC artists created and displayed early works here. Jaime’s personal works have been shown around the United States, with a few now having permanent homes in Germany and the UK.

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Purchasing Shakori Hills

shakori hills bridge to meadow field

Shakori Hills only exists because or your support.   With help from hundreds of contributors, our down payment goal of $75K was reached in 2013 after a three-year campaign.

As a joint venture Shakori Hills Community Arts Center (local non-profit benefiting NC that hosts the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival) and Fingerlakes GrassRoots Festival (Trumansburg, NY based non-profit that produces the four seasons of GrassRoots Festivals series) organizations completed the purchase on December 10, 2013.

The land purchase is particularly significant in terms of community-building because of how it was funded – a bank was never approached. Since it’s inception as “Shakori Hills,” two different supporters, Anne Winfield and Robert Michener, have owned the land, essentially holding it while the money was raised to pay for it. Once the downpayment was raised, Carol Hewitt, a longtime volunteer and organizer at Shakori Hills, and founder of Slow Money NC assembled a group of more than 30 individual lenders to cover the remaining $620,000. This group of lenders acts as a bank for this “community mortgage,” and will be repaid with a competitive interest rate over ten years.

All donors who contributed to the “Buy-the-Farm” Campaign will be commemorated with a promised art installation this May, 2016, during the GrassRoots Festival. The Bridge of Souls commemorative ceremony will be Saturday, May 7th at 1:30pm.

Here are a few articles about the land purchase: News &ObserverThe Indy & The Herald Sun

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Education, Cultural Preservation & Sustainable Communities

In 2007, Shakori Hills launched a music-in-the-schools program in conjunction with the GrassRoots Festivals.  Our Roots in the Schools program (formerly Hopes and Dreams) is coordinated cooperatively with interns from UNC-Chapel Hill’s APPLES program.  Schools in Chatham, Orange and Durham Counties have all benefited from the program in which  artists/musicians/dancers go into the school to perform, demonstrate, and involve students in their craft. At a time when music and art departments are being cut from schools, this program continues to fill an important need for our young community.

The Northwood Jazz Band from Northwood High School, as well as a group of young string musicians, The Walker Street Fiddlers from Greensboro, North Carolina perform annually at the GrassRoots Festival. Young musicians are also given the opportunity to perform during the festival at the area for teenagers, The Outpost, and in the festival’s band and instrument contests. Providing opportunities for young people to learn and to participate in new and healthy experiences is very important to SHCAC and our partner, the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival Organization.

In September 2007 another annual event came to life produced by Shakori Hills CAC, the Hoppin’ John Old-Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention. Originally a two-day event grown to three in 2011, musicians, dancers and music lovers come together to celebrate the traditions of bluegrass and old-time music.  They enjoy dance, instrument and band contests, square dances and many unscheduled special musical moments.  The convention helps keep traditional music alive and also provides an invaluable opportunity for young people to play on stage, regardless of their age or skill level.  North Carolina is renowned for its fiddlers’ conventions and attendees herald Hoppin’ John as a new favorite in the state.

The GrassRoots Festival sponsors an on-site Sustainability Fair during the festival in which local earth-conscious organizations, green businesses and individuals participate and share their experience and knowledge of sustainable living.  In an interactive area, experts give talks and demonstrations and festival-goers dialogue with one another on  specific issues. Examples of participating organizations are: Central Carolina Community College’s Green Building Program, Chatham Marketplace, Solar Tech South, LLC, Chandler Design-Build, Piedmont Biofuels, Chatham Transit and Sol Food Mobile Farm.

Each year Shakori Hills events use approximately 10,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. In an effort to increase sustainable practices, Shakori Hills partnered with the Abundance Foundation and began the Solarize Shakori project in the fall of 2008. To offset our usage we are building a permanent grid inter-tied solar electric system located on-site. We invite our community to be part of the project by donating solar cells at $10 per cell.  Festival-goers and community members have already donated more than $7000 towards this goal and the first solar array is in place.

With the help of instructors from Central Carolina Community College, a Community Garden was planted at Shakroi Hills in 2010. The garden now occupies approximately 8800 square feet, with three crop rotation areas, utilizing organic farming methods of cover crops and hog raising. Everyone who wishes to be part of the crop decisions, planting, maintenance and harvest is welcome to contribute, and share in the garden harvest. Excess produce is donated to CORA, and we are proud to announce that over 400 pounds of carrots, beets, greens, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes and other produce have been donated.

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Infrastructure & Community

Over the last ten years we have built much of the infrastructure needed to support and sustain a community arts center.  There is a permanent stage, a well-kept barn (known as the Coffee Barn), campgrounds, the Nonagon, ticket booth, security booth, parking gate booth, three concessionstands, nice gravel roads, shower house, a general store, and drinking water faucets throughout the property. Planned for 2016 are permanent structure bathrooms and the conversion of our festival kitchen into a workshop space.

Events at Shakori Hills have ranged from girl scout camp-outs, fundraisers for a local charter school, a camping space for college students attending an energy summit at UNC Chapel Hill, to more extensive, annual festivals and events such as Hoppin’ John Fiddlers’ Convention, Wild Goose Festival, Piedmont Earthskills Gathering, Furry Friends Festival, and of course, GrassRoots.

Events produced by the SHCAC are almost entirely run by volunteers.  Volunteerism creates a unique opportunity for everyone to work together and to participate in hands-on activities, learn new skills and meet new people.  This involvement and participation of many folks has made Shakori Hills a valuable resource for building community.

Shakori Hills has built strong relationships with other area nonprofits like the Haw River Assembly, Chatham County JAM, the Abundance Foundation and CORA Food Pantry. We  provide large tents and performance infrastructure for these groups to hold annual fundraisers. Our community garden also donates hundreds of pounds of fresh, organic produce to CORA each year, also.

Mountain Aid, created by Mike O’Connell of Haw River Films, was hosted by Shakori Hills in June 2009.  After releasing his documentary film Mountain Top Removal in 2007, Mike coordinated the concert event to help create a clean energy future for North Carolina and beyond.  Mountain Aid helped generate awareness of mountain top removal, mobilize support against it, and raised money for the successful Pennies of Promise campaign to build a new school for the children of Marsh Fork Elementary located in Raleigh County, West Virginia. Until moving to the newly built school in 2011, the children attending Marsh Fork Elementary were threatened daily by a 2.8 billion gallon coal sludge impoundment in the hills above them.

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The Festival

The Festival

In April 2003 our community pulled together, against all wet and muddy odds, the first

Photo by Amos Perrine. With the new spring date, and lots of good energy, we hope that the days of these boots at Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival are as archived as this segment of the website!

Photo by Amos Perrine. With the new spring date, and lots of good energy, we hope that the days of these boots at Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival are as archived as this segment of the website!

Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance. Though the inclement weather negatively affected attendance, it did create a fast bond between attendees, volunteers, and staff, as well as building a solid base for this wonderful event. In 2004 we decided to add a fall festival, and with two GrassRoots Festivals each year, we continue to grow and have been given great support and acclaim from the diverse folks of central North Carolina.

At every moment the festival is taking place, there are many exciting and educational things to do, and we invite the whole family to participate.  There are two specific areas dedicated to the younger crowd: a Kids’ Area with games, crafts, and workshops and The Outpost, which is a space for teenagers to interact, be themselves and to learn in a fun way from multiple workshops and activities.  Interactive workshops offered for all ages include everything from how to play the fiddle, to movement classes, to seminars on current green issues affecting the world around us.  The festival also provides a great venue for local food and craft vendors to display and sell their wares.  We support our local nonprofit community by offering space to area groups to set up a booth or table and to share their mission with festival attendees.  We also partner with two local businesses,  The Pittsboro Center for Natural Medicine and the Joy of Movement Studios in the festival’s Healing Arts Area.

And, of course, there is the music…we have four stages: an intimate Cabaret Tent, a Dance Tent, and two large outdoor stages, The Meadow Stage and Carson’s Grove Stage, where artists of many genres, backgrounds, and cultures share their talents. Folks come to listen to their favorite band but nearly always leave with many new discoveries of previously unheard talents. Each fall and spring GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance hosts at least fifty performing groups of varying genres including: Old-Time, Zydeco, Bluegrass, Salsa, African, Latin, Cajun, Reggae, Americana and more.

Visit the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival to learn more!

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