The Ocrafolk Festival features musicians, storytellers, artisans, and characters of Ocracoke Island and beyond who come together for one incredible weekend of performances and fun!
Now in its 19th year, Ocrafolk Festival is recognized throughout our region as an extraordinary event in a one-of-a kind setting. The fans and audiences have been an integral part of the story, along with countless volunteers, performers, and supporters that they call family. The festival isn’t produced by an incorporated town or large corporation. This event is grassroots and happens only when everyone lends a hand.
Ocracoke Island is an incredibly special place. You may know this already. What visitors might not be aware of is how this small community struggles to provide the resources that are often taken for granted in other parts of the country.
Your musical hosts welcome you to the Ocrafolk Festival 2017!
Molasses Creek returns to the festival stage in their 25th season! Gary Mitchell, Fiddler Dave Tweedie, Kim France, Gerald Hampton and special guests look forward to hosting you under the live oaks on Saturday afternoon. www.molassescreek.com
Upstate Rubdown is an acoustic septet drawing inspiration from every corner (and decade) of America’s musical heritage. Based in New York’s Hudson Valley region, the band has spent years cultivating its sound, and continues to grow by the tune. The instrumentation includes Harry D’Agostino on upright bass, Ryan Chappell on mandolin, Dean Mahoney on cajón, and Christian Joao on flute and alto/baritone saxophone. The dynamic rhythm section supports a three part vocal harmony powerhouse of founding members Mary Kenney and Melanie Glenn with recent Nashville-transplant Allison Olender.
Pulling from the greatest corners of American music, this group has the power to get feet moving with or without amplification. Like fresh-farmed vegetables, their music is as organic as it is good for you. From foot-stomping bass, highlighted by the slap of a cajon, to the familiar strums of the mandolin over a wailing saxophone – there’s so much going on instrumentally that when the harmonious lead vocalists chime in, the result is nothing short of a homegrown hurricane of sound.” www.upstaterubdown.com
Sarah played at Ocrafolk with the iconic old-time trio, The South Carolina Broadcasters, and appears with Molasses Creek on their Waterbound album. She has garnered tremendous experience and exposure to the wide expanse of American roots music.
Austin always loved the music his family played, but didn’t know it had a name. His relatives in Southwest Virginia played bluegrass and his parents in Wilmington, NC immersed him in 90s country classics (hellllo Alan Jackson with a mullet) and beach music standards. Somewhere in the middle, he found the name for his favorite sound: old-time. www.chathamrabbits.com
mahaloJazz is Alison Weiner (piano, melodica, vocals), Robbie Link (upright bass), Carter Minor (harmonica, vocals) and Beverly Botsford (percussion) – four eclectic musicians and great friends coming together to have their delightful way with jazz standards and original tunes. Blossom Dearie comes to mind often when hearing Alison sing. Robbie’s sensitive and passionate playing makes the music soar. Carter reaches down into our souls and wakes us up. Beverly keeps all of us in the pocket as she shares her vast experience of global drum traditions.
Don’t be looking for any CDs from them. They are live, in the moment, celebrating their love of music, aiming to make inspiring memories with you.
Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro, have an engaging and spontaneous presence that invites listeners and audiences into their proverbial living room with enchanting, intimate songs and colorful music tinged with folk, rock, blues and jazz flavors. They were members of Molasses Creek for half of the 18 years they’ve lived on the island. They can now be found at their new magical music spot, Coyote Music Den, on the edge of the harbor in Community Square. www.coyotemusic.net
Storytellers and Characters
A featured storyteller at festivals around the world, Donald Davis makes his home right here on Ocracoke Island! He was born in a Southern Appalachian mountain world also rich in stories. “I didn’t learn stories, I just absorbed them,” he says, as he recounts tales (and more tales) learned from a family of traditional storytellers who have lived on the same Western North Carolina land since 1781. Davis grew up hearing gentle fairy tales, simple and silly Jack tales, scary mountain lore, ancient Welsh and Scottish folk tales, and most importantly, nourishing true-to-life stories of his own neighbors and kin. It was Uncle Frank, a man who “talked in stories,” who helped Donald capture the real and daily adventures of life. . . and it was Uncle Frank who gave him the creative courage to tell about them.
Recipient of both “Circle of Excellence” and “Lifetime Achievement” awards from the National Storytelling Network, author of seventeen books and producer of more than forty audio recordings, he is also a popular teacher and workshop leader. Subject of the PBS television special, “What’s Your Story?” Donald and his original stories often inspire listeners to search for meaningful stories of their own lives. www.ddavisstoryteller.com
Join world renown storyteller, Donald Davis, for a special event (w/dessert included) on Saturday night at the Ocracoke Community Center. Limited tickets are $10 and can be purchased through the ticket portal on this site. Door opens at 7:30. Show runs from 8:00-9:15. General seating. Be prepared to pick up dessert and be in your seat by 7:55. Latecomers may be held at the door so as to not interrupt the performance. Thank you!
You may remember Louis from hearing his fine trio “Warren, Bodle and Allen” at a previous Ocrafolk Festival. Once again this year we are very happy to welcome him as our emcee for the Howard Street stage. Apart from his ‘side job’ as the head of the Federal Public Defenders office in Greensboro, NC, Louis’ connection to the Ocrafolk Festival actually goes all the way back to 1970 at Walter Williams HS in Burlington, NC, where he and festival co-director Gary Mitchell were singing harmony together in the boys’ bathroom (tile has nice reverb). Were it not for those formative years, Gary might have gotten a real job and the Ocrafolk Festival would have never come into existence. Thank you Louis!
Remember “Old Jake”, “Phoene Bell Gillikin”, and “Duke the Duck Dog?”
A crowd-pleaser and proven ‘spellbinder’ of adults and children alike, Eastern Carolina’s beloved Rodney Kemp is a Morehead City native who managed to actually remember all those Down East tales he heard while growing up. His humor comes not only from his folksy manner but also from his knowledge of, and affection for, the people and places of his boyhood days along the Carolina coast. He is often featured at festivals and events in the coastal region, was a performer at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC., and we’re pleased to say, has been with us every year of the Ocrafolk Festival since our beginnings in 2000.
Judith’s woven sculptural baskets are representative of Ocracoke through the use of shells found on the island, as well as a number of plant materials harvested here. Her work is popular with both residents and visitors. Her display features the “shell series” baskets, plaited baskets in copper and painted paper, and woven bead earrings. [email protected]
Martha is a collage artist who draws her inspiration from the natural world, her travels far and wide, the words of many authors, and from color and texture itself. Her collages, cards, and magnets can be found in various local, regional, and national galleries. [email protected]
Stephanie loves her life as an island girl. Her island happens to be Hatteras Island, NC, where she is literally immersed in the textures, colors, patterns, shapes, and movements that you will find in her soft pastel, colored pencil/ink, and silk painting. When not at the drawing board, Stephanie is likely to be kitesurfing or surfing…doing a little market research! www.stephaniekiker.com
Enchanted Fungi – Classy Glassy
Amy Brown creates fun, hand-painted glassware for all occasions. A bottle of wine becomes an event with a beautiful, themed, hand-painted wine glass. She also paints coffee beakers, vases, candy jars, steins, and other functional glassware. www.etsy.com/shop/EnchantedFungi
Artists Rosalyn Kutchins and Wendy Johnson make handmade glass wearable art. Using many glass forming techniques, each piece is paired with handcrafted fine metals to make unique one-of-a-kind pieces. Their art may be seen in many galleries in eastern North Carolina, from Oriental and New Bern to the Outer Banks. [email protected]
Anne Hinton started working with art glass, making a traditional mosaic to create a table top for her daughter. The Back Room Studio was born as her interest in traditional mosaics grew and she discovered the technique of mounting art glass on acrylic. Anne has work for sale at www.etsy.com/shop/thebackroomstudio.
Karen Casey and Arlen Custer are Durham NC artists who love color and interesting shapes for their glass pieces. You will find fused glass jewelry, hair accessories, vases, dishes, clocks, and mirrors. The waterfall tables are fun and functional. Designs from elegant to wild! They also enjoy music and art shows. www.KarenCaseyFusedGlass.com
Colors fascinate Nancy Aldridge. Through fused glass, she shares the wonder of color, light, and glass. She finds the luminescent pieces can encourage healing & transformation. Dichroic glass simultaneously reflects multiple colors, and is featured in her creations. Angels are often highlighted. Each piece is completely unique. [email protected]com
Crystal Blackmon can be found at her studio in Frisco on Hatteras Island. She designs jewelry by molding shells and beach finds into silver, copper, and bronze. Her pieces are a unique creative fusion of organic treasures and textures, complemented with beach glass, gemstones, and pearls.
Delaney Goldberg is 21 years old and a brain cancer survivor. She grew up on the Outer Banks with her two Chihuahuas and family, and started making jewelry when she was in the hospital. Her 3rd grade teacher brought her a beading kit, and she started selling her creations to the nurses and doctors. Once she was out of the hospital she created a business. She has been participating in the Ocrafolk Festival since she can remember and has watched all the local children grow into teenagers! [email protected]
Rosalyn Sharpe has been making jewelry for a living for 38 years. All creations spring from her imagination. Nature is her inspiration; it is ever-changing and continuously grows & evolves.
Extraordinary mermaids! Handcrafted by Joy, one at a time, in sterling silver and gold, with genuine gemstones. She cuts each one out of precious metal sheet with a tiny jeweler’s saw, solders them together, adding wire for hair, polish, and texture, and lastly gives them names. Come see her! www.kidoodles.com
Robin Macek is a mother of three grown children and wife to her husband, Chad. They left Connecticut for the North Carolina coast in 2012, and started YouMeUs Designs shortly thereafter. She makes things that are fun and evoke great memories for people. Who doesn’t feel good when they think about the 60’s/70’s? www.instagram.com/YouMeUsDesigns
The Victorian Magpie captures a memory in each timepiece-inspired jewelry item they create. They marry non-functioning timepiece parts with whimsy and style, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry items and repurposing treasures from the past into items that can be enjoyed for years to come. Their work synthesizes popular nostalgia with the steampunk movement that is so popular today. Whatever your connection with these timepiece trinkets, the Victorian Magpie is sure to please. VictorianMagpie.com
Woodcrafty offers wooden jewelry adorned with intricate mosaics that are handmade by Jon Pitts in Raleigh, NC. The designs feature recycled woods that are given a second life as art. www.woodcraftyart.com
Amy Friend’s work, rooted in foundations, delves into the complexities of life, finding balance between her desire for adventure versus security. Using metaphors and abstracts, her work maintains realism in its depiction. The compositions create a graceful struggle and an uncertain balance. Friend received a BFA from Art Academy of Cincinnati. www.amydraws.com
Bitsy Crawford / Kara Rider are two gals whose NC based company features hand-poured, small- batch soy candles created with intention, and handcrafted, all-organic bath and body products. All creations have intention, and the candles have cleansed, blessed crystals in them. www.2chickswithscents.com
The Bearded Heart is where Horace Long hand-screen-prints his original artwork onto high-quality Tea Towels, Cotton Napkins, Tote Bags, and T-shirts. His studio is located in downtown Wilmington, NC. thebeardedheart.com
Mattie Cordio is a polymer clay and paper quilling artist whose work can be seen at fine galleries on the island. She is a past instructor in Ocracoke Alive’s Arts Partnership Program with Ocracoke School. https://m.facebook.com/Imperfectionzartstudio/
Wanda Gardner and Joane Dundore have been sewing and creating together since they were girls. The antique weaving loom belonged to their mother, and Wanda continues the family tradition of weaving beautiful rugs. Joane enjoys creating children’s toys and homespun items.
Kim and Roger Meacham invite you to one of the BEST showers of the year! Sponsored by Milk Street Soap Co. Big, effervescent bubbles, shower blooming essential oil blends, and skin nurturing premium ingredients. Earth conscience handcrafting, organic and long lasting… a LOCAL FAVORITE! Warning: May be HABIT FORMING. MilkStreetSoap.com
Minhas Henna Tattoos have been around for thousands of years, and are a part of her culture! And Mehak Minhas is so happy to share this tradition with Ocracoke! She applies Live, Free Hand Tattoos in Black, Brown and White henna. She also hand-designs Candles, Decorative plates and much more to create unique pieces of artwork. www.facebook.com/mehakminhasartist
Since 2011, Danny Robinson has been a full-time knife and tool maker. All handcrafted cutlery and tools are made from vintage files and farriers’ rasps. Facebook: Ex-file Knives
Kathy has always loved the beach and collecting shells, and has now translated this interest into a medium that can be shared with others. All pieces are handmade with love, with seashells harvested from the North Carolina coast, including Ocracoke! The process of her grouted oyster shell projects and “tabby shell” is both unique and beautiful, utilizing mostly hand-picked shells directly from the beach. https://www.facebook.com/SeasideReflectionsKathy/
Sarah Setzco has been professionally face painting for three years, using high quality, FDA approved, skin-friendly face paints. Her designs range from simple cheek creations to full face “embrace the paint” artwork. 252-917-2998 www.facebook.com/CheekToCheekFacePainting
Growing up along the beaches of NC has inspired Karen Mason’s love of nature and the sea. She strives to bring her visions of whimsical beauty to life in colorful home and garden creations. www.facebook.com/TheGlassGarden
North Carolina artist Douglas Hoover enjoys creating colorful paintings with oils on canvas. His work consists of urban-inspired city scenes as well as coastal scenes of Ocracoke and surrounding coastal towns. Douglas’ original oil paintings are currently shown in several galleries and are also available at art festivals he attends. www.douglashoover.com
Welcome to Linda’s colorful world of alcohol ink painting. She paints with alcohol ink on ceramic tile and yupo paper. Alcohol Inks are dye-based inks, and they are bright, luminous, and spontaneous. Painting with these inks allows your inner creativity to flow in a fluid and organic way. She can create more spontaneously and lets the ink flow guide her through many compositions. www.LindaFlynnArt.com
Originally from UK, Manda Holden has lived in NC for 23 years and recently moved from Ocracoke to Beaufort. Her bijou whimsical ink and watercolor paintings are places and things she loves on her travels. Every piece is an original, framed in vintage up-cycled frames that she repaints in soft, salty colors fitting to the artwork. Instagram: onmytravels Facebook: On my travels [email protected]
Sue is a fine art painter who turns her passion into hand-painted handbags and one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces on leather. Many of her designs are related to nature and yoga. Her popular series called the Painted Faces is inspired by the emotions of kindness, love, global humanity, and connection between all people. https://instagram.com/sues_handbags
Cyndi is a fine art and nature photographer from Kill Devil Hills, NC. Cyndi is a member of the KDH Cooperative Gallery and the Dare County Arts Council. Her work can be seen and purchased at art shows across the region as well as on cjnewlifephotography.com.
Marty Freeman is a retired nurse who fell in love with pottery. Her work is continually evolving and changing. She loves color and blends of texture with lots of movement; she enjoys hand-building and exploring bold glazes on her functional pieces. Brilliant color that bleeds and blends together seems to make her pieces “happy”. Most of all she enjoys the feel of the clay and working in mud. mgfmudpies.com
William A. Flowers is a self-taught artist from North Carolina. He began making functional pottery in 1969, after building his first potter’s wheel using an old truck axle, odd metal parts, and a bag of cement. His earliest wood firing experience nearly set his cabin on fire! Now, after years of trial, error, and endless experimentation, William has changed the face of Southern Folk Art. waflowerspottery.com
After many years working in New York designing housewares, Vicky Lowe moved from the city to Hatteras Island. She creates whimsical, bright watercolors, as well as functional items for the home, including pillows, table runners, and shower curtains. Her work is available in galleries on the Outer Banks and online at www.agoodcatch.us
Jen Ray creates handmade, one-of-a-kind clothing from recycled T-shirts. She also features adorably crocheted stuffed animals and dolls, along with reversible bucket hats for the little ones. There is something for everyone. www.facebook.com/jenraymadethis
Working hard sewing, Lorrie has done several new shows but her heart is on Ocracoke.
Maribeth loves to create with fabric. She does machine embroidery as well. Her favorites are fabric luggage tags . . . an awesome way to find your bags. Microwave bowl holders that save your hands from hot food bowls (or cold ice cream). Embroidered aprons for you or for gifts.
Creative collaborators, Tom & Keven Eriksen, use an innovative process of combining hand carving and technology to create wood sculpture & wearable art. The unique colored wood is created using veneer intended for skateboard decks. They have also recently begun to incorporate metal into the designs. Exploring new materials adds to the range of expression in design. Windyislanddesigns.com
Vic and Ellen have been carving on the OBX for over 30 years. www.outerbankswaterfowl.com