Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Appalachian Heritage Schools, Inc

Making Art, Making Music, Making History

aka The Henderson   |   MARION, VA   |  www.thehenderson.org

Mission

The mission of The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts is to preserve, promote and provide a learning experience that has its roots in the culture and heritage of our Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Ruling year info

2012

Executive Director

Ms. Catherine Marie Schrenker

Main address

203 North Church Street

MARION, VA 24354 USA

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EIN

45-5050781

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Folk Arts (A24)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our programs encourage youth involvement with artisan mentors/musicians while preserving and passing on the rich lineage of Appalachian craft and music. This region is decimated with addiction. Removal of art, craft, and music from the school systems has contributed to this crisis. Providing a safe environment for students to focus on a “creative escape” through craft or music while instilling a sense of pride and ownership in their heritage offers an alternative from similar (and seemingly simpler) escapes through drugs and alcohol. We envision space in which all children have the opportunity to experience community through the joy of participating in traditional mountain music and craft together. We believe that children who are actively engaged in traditional mountain music and craft are more connected and better prepared to strengthen their communities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Henderson Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM)

The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts (The Henderson) has offered traditional acoustic music programs to the children (4th-8th grade) of Smyth County, Virginia since the school’s inception in 2015. The Henderson JAM program honors the traditional music of our Appalachian heritage, providing transportation to our facility via Mountain Lynx Bus system as well as after-school snacks and drinks for all the children. Our enrichment activities introduce the JAM children to the rich history of this region while providing context for their music. Our program is based on the successful JAM model that was established by Helen White in 2000 at Sparta Elementary School in Alleghany County, North Carolina.

Population(s) Served
K-12 (5-19 years)
At-risk youth
Budget
$15,000

Where we work

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

The mission of The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts is to preserve, promote and provide a learning experience that has its roots in the culture and heritage of our Southern Appalachia. HendersonJAM is an after-school program for children in grades 4 – 8 that introduces music through small group instruction on instruments common to the Appalachian region, such as fiddle, banjo and guitar, mandolin, and bass fiddle. HendersonJAM provides access to the joy of music to Smyth County youth while instilling renewed interest and pride in their heritage. HendersonJAAR (Junior Appalachian Artisans) is an after-school program for middle school children that focuses on craft in our region: Lutherie, Letterpress, Wood carving, Basket Making, Quilting, Pottery, and weaving. In JAM, instrument instruction is often augmented by dance and vocal instruction as well as string band classes and group enrichment lessons, which introduce children to additional Appalachian culture and history. The JAM program model provides children with opportunities to not only learn traditional music, but to also perform in small and large groups. Field trips, visiting artists and an introduction to the rich history of music unique to each local community further supplement program offerings. Each JAM program is encouraged to foster musical traditions by teaching local styles of traditional mountain music and dance to children. Instructors are also encouraged to teach students to learn music by ear, as to preserve oral traditions as much as possible. In JAAR, our immediate and tangible outcomes and goals are to initiate dialogue between students and artisan mentors, and provide consistent and substantial studio time with an artisan mentor. Studio sessions are followed up with connecting activities that engaged the students in active recollection, reflection, and personalization of the craft. Throughout the program students AND artisan mentors are encouraged to document their experiences through sketchbooks or journals. Overall, our goal is to instill pride in our youth for their mountain roots, connecting them to their rich heritage that is Appalachia and Southwest Virginia.

1. Both programs must be accessible to all students by providing free or low cost instrument/craft supply loans and free or highly subsidized tuition based on financial need. No student should be turned away because of an inability to pay tuition. 2. Both programs must be safe and accessible to all students. They are housed in a publicly maintained facility and teachers, supervisors and volunteers are screened with criminal background checks prior to employment. 3. HendersonJAM will teach traditional mountain music (old time and bluegrass music styles local to their particular region). HendersonJAAR will teach traditional Appalachian craft (Lutherie, Letterpress, Wood Carving, Basket Making, Quilting, Pottery, and Weaving) that is particular to this region. 4. Artisan Mentors/Musicians will provide evidence of program planning by submitting objectives at the beginning of the year and information about student enrollment and performances at the end of the year by completing an annual evaluation survey. 5. The Henderson has a board of directors dedicated to the oversight of both programs.

HendersonJAM is an affiliate of “Junior Appalachian Musicians” which was incorporated in 2008 as a non-profit 501(c)3 tax exempt corporation to promote a shared vision of JAM and to provide an umbrella through which to offer resources, training materials and activities to benefit programs individually and collectively. Currently in nearly 30 locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, JAM affiliates are providing access to the joy of music to thousands of youth while instilling renewed interest and pride in their heritage. Through affiliation with JAM, we are provided with an incredible support system that provides thorough guidelines through their Guide to Operations, Registration Database, Finance Management System, Core Skills Monitoring, Fundraising, Instrument Inventory and much more. We have had a successful 5 years with our HendersonJAM program and a solid foundation for expanding the JAM resources to include our JAAR programs.

There are tangible outcomes with both music and craft, ultimately retention of students and expansion of students in our programs will illustrate progress. HendersonJAM has been measured by both retention of students in our programs and their level of performance during the year. They are encouraged to participate in community events and perform with their instructors and other acclaimed musicians in our area. HendersonJAAR, like JAM is retention and expansion of students, but also tangible results in what is created in the studio with their artisan mentors. We also have data in place that will establish a method to track student involvement in this program and how it relates to a variety of risk factors, including student retention, addiction, alcohol use and teen pregnancy. Americans for the Arts has created a system for measuring outcomes such as this and we see this as an added benefit when we seek additional funding for our youth programs.

The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts aka Appalachian Heritage Schools, Inc opened its doors in 2015. In the short span of four years, we have implemented a successful Junior Appalachian Musician program for 4-8 grade Smyth County students and Junior Appalachian Artisan (JAAr) programs. We established a traditional Monday Night Jamboree which draws pickers from 4 states every Monday, which is also in conjunction with our JAM program, introducing cross-generational learning of traditional mountain music. We have received "Best Emerging Arts Organization" award from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. We have established a thriving Lutherie, with world renowned Luthiers, such as Wayne Henderson, Spencer Strickland, and up until his death, Gerald Anderson. Our Wood shop, is top notch, The Burke Letterpress shop holds one of the finest collections of vintage wood type and images in the region. We are currently establishing a pottery program which will be open for the community in the fall of 2019. We offer watercolor, drawing, quilting, book arts, printmaking, wood carving as well as fiber arts and spinning. Establishing our after school programs designed to pass on our traditions to the next generation is our current endeavor. Offering an Artist in Residence (Artisan Apprenticeship) Program, those that choose to learn, choose to be mentored by Wayne Henderson, Debbie Grim Yates, Willard Gayheart, Randal Eller, and the countless numbers of other craftsmen and artisans have the opportunity to observe these artisans in their own studio environments. How a professional studio or workshop is set up is just as important and vital in the educational process as technique. That is why people from all over the world make a special trip to Wayne Henderson’s workshop. In tandem with establishing a Residency program, we will create an “Artisan Apprenticeship Trail”. Residents can visit artisans in their studios, learn techniques and practice certain skills. These techniques and experiences are brought back to The Henderson residents would use our facilities to hone the skills that they have learned. Supporting artists and their creative development is always viewed as “risky business”. It is not easily measured by tickets sold or tourism generated, by test scores or tax returns. The tangible results – the instruments carved, quilts pieced, bowls turned, stories caught and songs collected – often emerge months or years after the first creative spark. And many times the greatest impacts – on the individual artists themselves, on the communities that contributed and audiences that receive the creative gift, as well as all the lives touched DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY – continue for a lifetime, measured or unmeasured.

Financials

Appalachian Heritage Schools, Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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This organization has no recorded board members.

Keywords

education