Catch the Spirit of Appalachia
                      "Keeping Appalachian Heritage Alive"

Scholarships & Endowment

Supported, in part, from the Catch the Spirit of Appalachia Endowment,
a component fund of the North Carolina Community Foundation,
and by the efforts of the Board Of Directors for Catch the Spirit of Appalachia
It is our desire to support and encourage the youth of Jackson, Swain, Haywood and Macon Counties in honoring and  preserving our local authentic Appalachian heritage. Therefore, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Inc. a Jackson County Heritage non-profit organization wishes to provide three opportunities for a scholarship in the amount of $500 for “Appalachian Studies,” with a 2014 focus on Traditional Craftsmanship, Traditional Music, and Community Service to be presented to three deserving seniors within four western NC counties: Jackson, Swain, Haywood and Macon.

Scholarship Application for Appalachian Studies
2015 Scholarships Focus on Music, Craftsmanship, & Community Service

               Title of Scholarship                                                      Focus                        Amount
o  1) Annie Lee Bryson Memorial Scholarship               Traditional Craftsmanship            $500 
o  2) Mary Jane Queen Memorial Scholarship               Traditional Music                          $500
o  3) Elmer & Irene Hooper Memorial Scholarship         Community Service                      $500
o  4) Founders Scholarship                                             Visual Arts/Writing/History           $500

General Instructions:
Overview:  The Appalachian Studies program provides an opportunity to study the Appalachian region through the social and biological sciences, humanities, culture and applied arts. Students become well equipped in better understanding and promoting regional development. For our purposes:  We support the study of art, writing, music, craftsmanship, literature, history, vocational, education, social work, human services all with intentions of producing an understanding that is supportive of regional pride and identity of the Appalachian people.

1.  Applicant must submit complete application and all supporting documents to the
     Guidance Counselor of your school by March 10, 2015 in order to be considered for 2015.
2.  Student must have a letter of reference from teacher(s).
3.  CSA committee will meet with applicant(s) before award is announced.
4.  Each scholarship winner will be invited to attend our Scholarship Dinner on March 20, 2015 at 5:30pm.

Specific Instructions for each individual scholarship (Please read carefully):

A.  Annie Lee Bryson Memorial Scholarship:
   Established in memory of Annie Lee Bryson by her children, Norma Clayton, Anna Allen and Carolyn Wiggins, and Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, the fund provides financial support for deserving students from Jackson, Macon, Haywood and Swain counties in North Carolina.  The committee will select a student who has demonstrated academic and artistic achievement, community participation and financial worthiness.  Preference is for a student from these counties who has declared a major/minor in Appalachian Studies or
related studies with an interest in “traditional crafts." Submission of a one page written essay to answer the
following questions: "What is my primary goal in life and why am I a candidate for this scholarship?"

B.  Mary Jane Queen Memorial Scholarship:
    Established in memory of Mary Jane Queen by “The Queen Family”and Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, the fund provides financial support for deserving young students from rural Jackson, Macon, Haywood and Swain counties in North Carolina. The committee will select students who have declared a major/minor in Appalachian Music: Roots and Influences undergraduate minor or graduate concentration within the Appalachian Studies MA. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of merit or potential in the area of music scholarship, with consideration of financial need. Description of Scholarship Essay Requirements:
A brief (2-3 page) essay which describes your interests, activities, and goals in Appalachian music, OR, a one page essay and a performance recording (CD or DVD).

C.  Elmer & Irene Hooper Civic Scholarship:   
    Established in memory of Elmer Hooper by his wife Irene Hooper, and Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, the fund provides financial support for deserving young students from rural Jackson, Macon, Haywood and Swain counties in North Carolina. The committee will select students who have declared a major/minor in Appalachian Studies. The committee is looking for high school seniors who have demonstrated excellence in volunteerism and leadership and who are committed to making a difference in the community.  The 2011 scholarship will be awarded to the student who has:
- Accumulated 100 or more volunteer hours through a charitable nonprofit organization
- A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (most recent transcript required)
- A letter of verification from the predominant charitable nonprofit organization with which you volunteer.
- An essay describing your vision and mission for making a difference in the community.

D.  Founders Scholarship:    
    Established to honor the heritage and creativity of the local people through the arts. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of merit or potential within the visual arts, writing or history, with consideration of financial need. Submission of a one page written essay to include your view of living and working in the mountains. Helpful would be an example of a short story, photography and/or art print.

CLICK BELOW to download the application for 2015.

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A Lasting Remembrance of Our Heritage:
Annie Lee Bryson
The Legend of the “Corn Husk Doll Lady”
Born Annie Lee Potts on December 17, 1921, Annie Lee grew up in Cullowhee, NC.  With a mother skilled in cooking, crocheting, sewing, quilting and patience, naturally Annie Lee learned early on to use her hands to create and her mind to “cipher.” Her mother also taught adult education, teaching adults to read and write, so this was another attribute the mother impressed upon her daughter—the importance of an education. To receive that education, Annie Lee walked over a mile each day to school and then back again, and still worked at home.  In later life, Annie Lee became known as “The Corn Husk Doll Lady,” teaching and demonstrating all over the area, and each year at the Appalachian Homestead in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.In 1973, she received “The Woman of the Year” award from Western North Carolina Development for her leadership and heavy community involvement. In 2010, Annie Lee received the WCU Mountain Heritage Award.

Mary Jane Queen — Balladeer & Musician
Born on February 20, 1914 on Brown Mountain in the Caney Fork Community of jackson County, NC, Mary Jane Prince was one of eleven children of Jim and Clearsie Prince. Growingly up she learned and cherished the musical traditions her family passed on to her, singing the old time ballads and playing the banjo. Living on the land, working with her hands, raising 8 children, making her own music, this woman of the mountains has been a true inspiration for countless people, sharing her time and talent with others. “Keep on keeping on” was her motto. Mary Jane and her family won numerous awards for their music: Charlotte Folk Music Society, 1992; Asheville Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, 1992; NC Folk Heritage Award, 1993; WCU Mountain Heritage Award, 1999; Brown Hudson Folklore Award, 2001; National Folk Heritage Fellowship Award, 2007.

Elmer & Irene Hooper — Civic Leaders
Elmer Hooper was born on August 12, 1923 in the Moses Creek Community of Caney Fork, Cullowhee, NC. His parents were Roscoe L. & Rouia Stephens Hooper. He was a WWII Army veteran, attending WCU University, and became a builder by profession. According to his wife, Irene, the two were inseparable for their 69 years of marriage. The two have shared countless hours working in the communities in which they lived. Some of their volunteer works have been: Deacon Board Members, mission trips & mission service coordinators, teaching bible classes, ushers and greeters, and overseeing church’s renovation projects. Elmer was a strong believer in building home ramps for disabled individuals to make them handicap accessible. They have both been involved in many non-profit organizations, including Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Jackson County Genealogical Society, Jackson County Historical Association, Democrats Men & Women’s club, American Legion (Post 104), Jackson County Transportation (Elmer was a volunteer driver taking people to doctor’s appointments, locally as well as to Raleigh). The two were active members of the Jackson County Senior Center (building and renovating projects, as well as coordinators of the “Breakfast Committee.” Everyone loved Elmer’s gravy! Irene has been named “Mother of the Year,” statewide.

Cannie Owen Ammons— Mother of Founders of CSA
Cannie was the fourth child of Reverend Wiley Isiah Owen and Ella Canzadie Galloway Owen. She was a sensitive, timid child who kept a journal, and loved to write poetry & songs, paint and to sing. At the age of 15, she married Franklin Lee Ammons in May, 1941, and then had four children (lost one) by the age of 19. Her vast artistic talent was shared only with her children. A mountain woman growing up in economic validation struggles, she was never able to achieve what she could have as an artist, singer, or writer. Her success comes with each success of the recipientsof Catch the Spirit of Appalachia’s Founder’s Scholarship.

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