Shakori Hills Community Arts Center’s mission is to provide culturally significant arts, music and sustainability education and outreach to our local community and schools, while preserving the greenspace of its 72-acre Chatham County homestead.
Shakori Hills Community Arts Center is a North Carolina non-profit, 501c3 corporation.
Management and Organization
Shakori Hills is under the management of a volunteer board of directors, consisting of professionals from various backgrounds, plus one full-time and two part-time staff members. Our office is located in the former farmstead home at Shakori Hills. Following is brief background information on each person:
Carol Woodell, Board President, was thrilled to learn of the inaugural Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival and has volunteered at every festival since. A seventh generation North Carolinian, she grew up working on her granddaddy’s farm just east of Shakori Hills, and on her godparents’ shrimp boat on the coast. She now works at RTI International. Her background in community organizing, project management, and community-based participatory research doves well with the Arts Center’s mission. Carol helps teach Zydeco and Cajun dance lessons at the Festival; be sure to ask her for a dance at the next Shakori Hills event!
Jim Graves, Board Vice-President – bio coming soon!
Lissa Farrell, Board Secretary, helped start the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival and is happy to have been introduced to Chatham County, North Carolina and all it holds. She works for the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival in Trumansburg, NY, as the organization’s business manager, and oversees these operations for the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival, as well. Additionally she is the Roots in Schools Coordinator for the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival Org., a birth and postpartum doula and a yoga teacher! “At Shakori Hills my love of music, dance, people and the earth are all rolled into one.”
Hannah Eck – bio coming soon!
Darrell Phillip Foushee, a Bennett, North Carolina native, has a passion and love for working hard, the arts, music and his community. He was exposed to value of hard and the importance of sustainability early on, as he grew up helping his grandparents run the family farm. It would also be with his family that he would discover his love for community events and the arts, as he family exposed him to many local fairs and music events early on and he remained involved in some capacity until graduation from high school.
After graduation from Chatham Central High School in 1984, Darrell joins the United State Army and later attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he received his Bachelors of Science in Aeronautical Science and Applied Meteorology with a certification in Rotary Wing Simulator Instruction. After a successful career with the Federal Aviation Administration, Darrell retired and moved back to Chatham County.
During his vast travels with the military and the Federal Aviation Administration, he was able to experience hundreds of cultural and musical events. His love for the arts inspired him to seek them out on a local level, which lead him the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival. Since then, he has committed himself to attended annually and has developed a real passion for helping to ensure the continued success of grassroots programs such as Shakori Hills.
Jordan Puryear is a co-founder of the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance as well as the Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg, NY which is now twenty-six years old! He is the talented Old-time guitarist of the Bubba George String Band. Jordan went to his first ever music festival in Union Grove North Carolina in 1969, “that experience changed my life in more ways than I imagined anything could!”
Andrew Branan first brought his children to Shakori Hills six years ago, and it has become a favorite place for his family. He lives in Hillsborough and runs a law practice that serves farmers and rural landowners across Virginia and North Carolina, including Chatham County. He takes particular interest in sustainable food systems and has taught farm law as part of the Sustainable Agriculture Program a CCCC in Pittsboro. Before opening his law practice, he worked for several agricultural non-profits and continues to help establish and counsel non-profit organizations serving varied communities.
Shakori Hills Community Arts Center & GrassRoots Festival Staff
Abby Hileman, Director of Operations, got her start at Shakori Hills seven years ago as a ticket booth volunteer for the GrassRoots Festival. She instantly fell in love and affectionately refers to Shakori Hills & the GrassRoots Festival as her second family and home away from home. Abby handles all business and operations for the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center, as well as organizes and manages several aspects of the GrassRoots Festival. Abby has a BA in English, a professional background in data management and program coordination, and brings with her a fiery passion to continue the work of her fearless predecessor, Julie My Amani. She looks forward to working toward making Shakori Hills a one-stop shop for all things arts, culture, music, sustainability, and community-related!
Emily Wilhelm, Festival Co-Coordinator, started working for the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival in 2015. Beginning with promotions, she worked with Sara Schwartz learning all she could. Now as filling the shoes of a great predecessor, she uses her communication skills and love for the organization to maintain the ship’s course!
Luke Miller, Site Manager – bio coming soon!
Strengths and core competence
The community has embraced Shakori Hills as a vibrant gathering place. Events at Shakori Hills range from girl-scout camp-outs, music workshops and speaker series, 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, Piedmont Earthskills Gathering, and, of course, GrassRoots.
Events produced by 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.
Marketing & Promotion
Shakori Hills Community Arts Center continues to receive good media coverage from local and state newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and radio. Events sponsored by SCHAC are advertised in the media vehicles that are determined to reach the intended audiences. SHCAC has attracted the attention of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Affairs, North Carolina Arts Council, and other arts and culture organizations across the Southeast. Word of mouth and friend-to-friend networking will always be an effective strategy, as we build our data base of supporters and event attendees. We regularly communicate with our contact list via email, standard mail, social networks and our website.
Facility and location
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 concession stands, nice gravel roads, a shower house, a new permanent bathroom structure, a general store, deep-well drinking-water, and a whole lot of beauty. Currently underway are plans for the conversion of our festival kitchen space into a meeting, yoga and dance building. On-site and adjacent parking will accommodate approximately 2,000 passenger vehicles. Campsites will accommodate approximately 500 campsites and vehicle parking spaces.
SHCAC is located at 1439 Henderson Tanyard Road in Chatham County, North Carolina in the fire district of Silk Hope–14 miles northeast of Siler City and 18 miles west of Chapel Hill. Shakori Hills is a beautiful farm of rolling hills and meadows in the very heart of North Carolina. This region is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, which brings artists, presenters of events and festivals and their participants from the mountains, the coast, and other areas of the United States. SHCAC is located near major highways and well-mapped state roads.
Click HERE For 2017 Annual Report and previous years’ 990s and Financial Statements.