Preserving Folk History in Region 8

September 15, 2006 -- Posted at 6:29 p.m. CDT

MOUNTAIN VIEW, AR -- The 'Head for the Hills' fundraiser supports all the crafts apprenticeships, the musical roots program, the herb gardens, the folk cultural archives and all the antique acquisitions that are at the park.  The Committee of 100 funds all of it," said chairman Lenore Shoults.

The Committee of 100 is comprised of members from each of the 75 counties in Arkansas and 25 other at large members.

This fundraiser has been going on for the past 30 years.  Like last year, they will host an art and jewelry sale this year.

Last year $17,000 was raised, money that went directly into the park.  One visible change to the park is a new Children's Folk Garden.  The garden features educational items to help children learn and have fun at the same time.

"There's a waddle and dob hut that they can play inside.  The garden has an Arkansas time line that is etched into stones around the original herb garden here at the Folk Center," said Shoults.

In addition to funding the children's garden, the committee helps fund a program that is keeping the folk music traditions alive for the 21st century.

"Many people in our community were somewhat concerned that maybe the old time music was beginning to die out.  Therefore, the Ozark Folk Center and the Mountain View Public Schools formed a partnership and started teaching the old traditional string instruments in our public schools," said Danny Thomas, former superintendent for Mountain View Public Schools and fiddle maker at Ozark Folk Center.

The committee's support is vital for this program because it actually helps buy instruments for children who can't afford them.  And it's not just children that are interested in learning, Brenda Bennett is new to playing the banjo and came to the park

for a workshop with musician Alan Munde.

"I love the sound of the banjo.  That's why I decided to play the banjo.  I like music, and I thought, 'Why not?'  I can play the banjo," said Brenda Bennett.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $25 for adults and $10 for children.