In September of last year, Toe River Arts was awarded a grant for Traditional Arts Program for Students (TAPS) from the North Carolina Arts Council. This enabled us to offer after- and in-school programs that unite North Carolina middle school students with local traditional artists. Taught by experts utilizing traditional instructional techniques, students receive training in local artistic traditions that have deep cultural roots in their community. Classes are small and dedicated. Students use their own instruments or borrow them from Toe River Arts’s musical library. They learn not only to play the guitar and banjo but to feel the music and understand the reasons to continue the traditions. This school year, we have after-school classes in Bowman (banjo) and Harris (guitar) middle schools. In-school classes are held at Cane River and East Yancey (guitar) middle schools.
TAPS is free to any dedicated student, ages 8 to 17. Spaces are limited and practice is mandatory. Contact Education Coordinator, Mea Johnson, or call 828.682.7215 for more information.