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.