Folk School of Fayetteville to host open house May 27

( Staff photo)

The folks behind the new Folk School of Fayetteville are ready to introduce themselves and their new space to the community.

School officials will host an open house event on Saturday, May 27 at their new headquarters, located in the Walker-Stone House at 207 W. Center St. just off the square in Fayetteville.

The school will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. that day and available to the public to tour the space, check out the music rooms, and “have Q&A time” about organization, officials said.

The folk school, created by Fayetteville Roots Festival founders Jerrmy Gawthrop and Bernice and Bryan Hembree secured a lease from the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission over the winter in the historic building to “offer music lessons, workshops, weekly jam sessions, and serve as a collaboration space for musicians and other organizations.”

The space has already begin hosting events, and have several on the calendar at the moment including an Irish Jam on Monday, May 22, a Folk Jam on May 25, a workshop series on Old Time String Band Ensemble on June 3, private music lessons, open mic nights, and more.

Bernice Hembree told us in February that her vision for the Folk School is inspired in part by the Folk School of KDHX in St. Louis, which is not only a performance venue that the Hembrees played at with their group, 3 Penny Acre, but also a school with a mission to pass of skills and traditions in the true folk tradition. 

“We also taught workshops there; a vocal harmony workshop, crafting songs workshop, and a guitar workshop,” she said. “Those experiences laid the ground work for us forming our own Folk School of Fayetteville in 2012.”

Hembree said that larger concerts similar to the Fayetteville Roots On the Avenue street concerts held in 2020-21 – though not in the immediate plans – are still a possibility in the (possibly distant) future.

“We are taking this project slow and listening intently to the needs of our community,” she told us when the project was announced.

The open house next weekend is free to attend and open to the public.

For a bit more information about the Folk School of Fayetteville, visit their website.