Cory Brown Memorial Dye Garden Dedication

If you have been to campus in the last few years, you may have strolled past our garden and noticed a growing addition. Known as the Cory Brown Memorial Dye Garden, this space was created in 2019 by Donna and Cliff Brown in memory of their son, Cory Brown. Donna and Cliff are long-time friends and supporters of the Folk School. Donna has been an instructor at the Folk School since 2008 and has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience in fiber arts and the natural dyeing process.

The purpose of the dye garden is to bring people together, and it has become a space where students and instructors can gather resources for their class, learn about natural dye plants, and share seeds with community members interested in starting their own gardens. Cory’s aunt, Vicki Paret, says, “…there is joy in the garden and in putting your hands in the dirt.” Honoring Cory’s spirit, which was kind, welcoming, accepting, gentle, creative, adventurous, and full of boundless love, the garden transfers that joy to anyone who visits or uses the garden.

In May of 2023, we held a dedication for the Cory Brown Memorial Dye Garden to recognize the collective work it took to make this project possible. We joined for live music and heard from staff, family and friends who supported this project. The dedication concluded with the revealing of Cory’s haiku sign to honor his impact and serve as a tribute of his love for the outside world. A silkscreen, created by Donna from a music noise pattern design of Cory’s, was lifted to show the permanent sign for this space on campus.

Throughout the garden, you will be able to see the work of talented artists, including wood carvings by Carolyn Anderson, a garden sphere created by Karen Meek and Donna’s dye garden group in Denver, and forged pieces made by Mike Dixon.

A special thanks to those who spoke at the dedication, including Bethany Chaney, Catharine Ellis, Jason Ebinger, Martha Owen, Vicki Paret, and Donna and Cliff Brown. Our thanks to everyone who attended and celebrated this day with us- you made this moment so memorable. If you could not attend in person, please relive this special day by watching the dedication video below.

Since its start, over 20 people have donated to continue to grow the dye garden. If you are interested in making a gift to the Cory Brown Memorial Dye Garden, we would love to hear from you.

Barbie White
Development Manager

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