VIRTUAL – From Another Time: The Legacy of Ray Hicks  @ Tryon Fine Arts Center Zoom Series
Feb 11 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

We have been looking up to him from the beginning…the lanky 6’ 7’’ man of the mountains, who came out into the world, bearing old-world gifts that have enriched modern lives beyond measure.  Connie Regan-Blake first met Ray Hicks on October 7, 1973, in Jonesborough, Tennessee. It was an afternoon that changed her life…and the course of storytelling in the United States. The setting was the first National Storytelling Festival.

Come listen to stories of how Ray became the face of traditional mountain storytelling along with Connie’s personal reflections on her long friendship with the Hicks family. Available through Tryon Fine Arts Center (scroll down the page to find the link to register for the event).

Find your local time for this event here!

Virtual – International Storytelling Center Summer Series @ International Storytelling Center Website
Jun 10 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Storytelling concerts you can watch from home – ISC’s online Summer Series on Thursday nights. 

Storytelling Online! is our new concert series that you can watch directly from your living room. Using the state-of-the-art platform we developed for the National Storytelling Festival, we’ve planned a summer series of evening concerts and one special children’s show beginning in June and running through the end of July.
Storytelling Online! tickets are $15 per household and available for sale through Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET the week of the event. We are delighted that Connie Regan-Blake is opening our Summer Series on June 10th. Purchase tickets for her performance here. You can also purchase a season ticket to all eight concerts for just $75. Videos can be watched from Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. ET until Mondays at midnight ET. Prices include all fees.

One of America’s most celebrated storytellers, Connie Regan-Blake has captivated the hearts and imaginations of people with her powerful performances. Recognized in the storytelling community with the NSN ORACLE Circle of Excellence, Distinguished Service, and Lifetime Achievement awards, Regan-Blake has recently been invited by the Library of Congress to house the compilation of memorabilia from her life’s work as a storyteller, including her role in the birth and beginnings of the American Storytelling Revival.
“With artful direction she lures us into the depths of joy and terror, hilarity and grief. One minute we feel the pangs of regret, revenge, even the chill hand of death . . . in the very next story we luxuriate in the rib-bursting laughter of a mountain Jack Tale. It’s all part of the storyteller’s magic.” – School Library Journal

Virtual – ASST (Artists Standing Strong Together) Program @ Zoom viz ASST
Aug 2 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Artists Standing Strong Together (ASST, meets every Monday, 4-5:30 pm (EDT), and is open and free to all. During these meetings many creative topics are presented. Connie Regan-Blake is featured during this session telling about her collection of storytelling memorabilia the Library of Congress.

Radio & Virtual – Chuck Fink’s Storyville Interview of Connie Regan-Blake @ WPVM
Aug 4 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
In-Person: 94th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival @ Lipinsky Hall Auditorium - UNCA campus
Aug 6 @ 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Connie is storytelling Friday, August 6 at 6:30pm in Lipinsky Auditorium on UNCA’s campus.

Are you ready to be  part of the 94th Mountain Dance and Folk Festival®? On August 5, 6, 7, 2021, a different show will be presented live on stage each evening allowing you to appreciate the talent and dedication of the hundreds of musicians, dancers, and storytellers who are preserving the traditions of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. These traditions involve not only the hand-clapping, toe-tapping rhythms of Bluegrass, the style and stories of century-old ballads, the high energy of clogging, the elegance of Big Circle Mountain Smooth Dance, the fun and entertainment of storytelling, but also include an awareness of the hardships and trials that have brought us to this place and time.

This 94th Mountain Dance and Folk Festival® has been made possible through the generosity of our music community volunteering their time and talent to preserve and promote the Southern Appalachian music, dance and storytelling heritage.

A listing of performers who volunteer their time and talent to make our events possible can be found on Our Performers 

page. Please visit their websites and support their generosity by purchasing music, merchandise, making a contribution to virtual tip jars where available or just to tell them you enjoyed their performance. Our artists especially need our support during these difficult times.

The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival was founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford as a means for people to share and understand the beauty and dignity of the Southern Appalachian music and dance traditions that have been handed down through generations in western North Carolina. He saw the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival grow to be the oldest gathering of its kind in the nation and it continues in this way, a platform for the talented of the high country lying between the Great Smoky and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Since 1928, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival has served a crucial role in raising awareness and understanding of the vitality and importance of Southern Appalachian culture throughout the region, nation and world. Bascom Lunsford’s mission was to present the finest of the Appalachian ballad singers, string bands and square dance teams for education and entertainment. The songs and dances shared at this event echo centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage found in the valleys and coves between the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lunsford’s was the first dubbed a folk festival, and he later consulted with many communities across the country interested in organizing similar festivals.