Enriching lives through art and craft

Appalachian Craft and Culture Fellowship

at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

Arrowmont inaugurated the Appalachian Craft and Culture Fellowship in 2019. The Fellowship provides a three-month residency at Arrowmont to an Appalachian craftsperson or culture bearer.

Fellows will have the opportunity to work and learn in Arrowmont’s supportive environment. In addition to a generous stipend, Fellows will be provided with lodging, studio, meals (when in session) and an allowance for materials, travel and food. They will also have the opportunity, depending on the date of the residency, to attend certain Arrowmont workshops and functions.

Fellows will present at least one public lecture or craft demonstration and mount a small exhibition (two-weeks) of their work. Arrowmont will host an opening or closing reception.


ᎺᎵ ᏔᎻᏏᏂ, Mary Welch Thompson is the Spring 2021 Appalachian Craft and Culture Fellow. Thompson is a second-generation basket weaver, potter and member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) from the Big Cove Community in Cherokee, NC. Thompson’s Fellowship begins March 1, 2021.

“I have some weaving projects which I am looking forward to getting started,” Thompson said.  “With spring coming, I can harvest fresh dyes for my cane splits.  I do selective harvesting of mature cane prior to it dying back.  Spring and Fall is usually the time we like to harvest basketry materials.”

ᎺᎵ ᏔᎻᏏᏂ, Mary Welch Thompson, Spring 2021


Geri Forkner






To apply, potential Fellows must meet the following criteria:

  • recognized master craftsperson residing in one of the Central Appalachian counties listed below
  • an artist working in a traditional Appalachian craft and/or a culture bearer who transmits traditional Appalachian values and culture through their art
  • non-classically trained artist

The Fellowship is intended for artists who may be working locally or regionally and who have not had the experience of a formal education in art. The nominees may be educated in a discipline other than art but are recognized for their art and contributions to the cultural life of their community. Two Fellows will be selected annually, Spring and Fall. Potential Fellows may self-nominate or may be nominated by any person who is familiar with their work. Selection of Fellows is based on:

  • quality of work
  • connection to Appalachian craft tradition
  • commit to three-month residency at Arrowmont
  • potential of residency to advance career as a craftsperson


Applicants can apply directly or be nominated. Applicants will need to identify which time frame they are interested in being in residence at Arrowmont. The approximate time frames are: September – December 2020, January – April 2021, April – June 2021, June – September 2021.

Applications will be accepted through slideroom.com. The application requires a letter of intent, and a .pdf portfolio that includes examples of the applicant’s work.

  1. To apply, go to arrowmont.slideroom.com and upload a one-to-two-page letter describing why you would make a good candidate for the Appalachian Craft and Culture fellowship. The letter should include your contact information, a detailed discussion of your work, why you are interested in the opportunity, previous experiences and recognitions, and any other information you would like us to know.
  2. Dates Available: Please list the date ranges you are available. The date ranges given above are flexible and do not necessarily indicate the full length-of-time of the residency. We will work with the finalists and selected candidates to determine the length of the residency.
  3. Please list the county in which you live.
  4. Portfolio of Artwork, Creative Work or Research: Please upload a .pdf file that features your creative work or research. This could be 5-10 images of your craft or visual artwork (with information — title, medium, size). It could also be essays, photographs, or examples of your storytelling and/or examples of your ties to the culture. It could also be a combination.

If you have difficulty completing the application on slideroom or need other assistance, please call or email: Fran Day, Director of Institutional Advancement, 865.436.5860, fday@arrowmont.org

Eligible Counties

Kentucky: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Greenup, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Wayne, Whitley, and Wolfe. North Carolina: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Davie, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey. Ohio: Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton, and Washington. Tennessee: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Loudon, McMinn, Macon, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White. Virginia: Alleghany, Bath, Bland, Botetourt, Buchanan, Carroll, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Henry, Highland, Lee, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, Rockbridge, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe. West Virginia: All counties: Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood, and Wyoming.


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