Folkmoot USA will host an Open House from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 26, to celebrate Haywood County’s generous donation of the historic Hazelwood School to the cultural organization.
On June 16, the Haywood County Board of Commissioners approved the donation of the historic Hazelwood School facilities to Folkmoot USA. According to county tax records, the facility is worth approximately $1.3 million. This marks the first time that Folkmoot USA has had a permanent home in its 31-year history of offering its annual summer festival and other events celebrating international culture.
“We have operated as tenants in this facility for more than a decade,” explained Karen Babcock, Executive Director of Folkmoot USA. “Ownership opens the door to both new responsibilities and exciting opportunities.”
By fixing the roof, renovating the auditorium and making other facility changes, Folkmoot USA can achieve its goals of offering events year-round and operating a center that brings the local, regional and international communities together. Some of the possibilities include hosting guests and creating venues for community and international events and performances. Folkmoot USA has already secured $167,000 in cash support to help initiate these changes.
“We are very grateful to Haywood County for providing the largest donation in Folkmoot USA’s history,” said Rose Johnson, president of the board of Folkmoot USA. “The open house is an opportunity to celebrate this amazing gift and also start the conversation about the future. We are thoroughly committed to utilizing this historic school facility to serve the community. We’re eager for people to come see the center and offer their ideas.”
Folkmoot USA supporters, former teachers and students at the historic Hazelwood School, Hazelwood neighbors, and the general public are all welcome to attend the open house. This free event will include light refreshments.
Nominations for new Folkmoot USA board members are also now being accepted. Terms will begin in September 2014. Forms may be picked up during the open house or requested via phone or email.