Folk School Stories : “It’s the home of my heart” – Janet Davis

Janet Featured Photo

When Janet Davis first made her way to Brasstown, it was due in large part to the determination of her late husband, Jim, who wanted to introduce her to one of his favorite places. When she finally relented, she found herself in a wet cement carving class. “We made planters. Mine’s on the deck and I grow basil in it every year.” 

One weekend class in, she was hooked.  

A couple of weeks after Janet and Jim drove back from Brasstown, NC to Hammond, LA, Hurricane Katrina changed their plans. It would take another year to return to the Folk School, but it didn’t take long after that trip for Janet and Jim to find themselves in class once a year, then twice a year, then back-to-back weeks, sprinkled with a holiday or theme week here and there. “People kept asking me when we were going to move here and my response was, ‘Then where would we go?’” 

The school became a vital part of Janet and Jim’s life, and they quickly realized that their financial support would help guarantee a place where future students could share their experience. “It’s fun!” Janet says of her giving. She has especially enjoyed the opportunity to support a special project. “The roof of the log cabin museum was a lot of fun. I live in Louisiana, and I know roofs are important.” 

For Janet, the joy of giving keeps her on the lookout for the next thing, whether that’s a studio floor or coffee urns. Every moving part matters and being able to gift to specific studios or buildings on campus has been a helpful tool. “I like the idea of breaking things into smaller pieces – one table or one set of tongs. It allows people to pick something within their budget, so you can choose an item or a program area that is near and dear to your heart.” 

Over six years since her last trip with Jim, the Folk School remains Janet’s refuge from the world. In her own words, “It’s the home of my heart. When we turn at Clay’s Corner, I can feel the weight of the world falling off my shoulders.” It’s also a promise to Jim, who wanted the Folk School to stay in her plans. “He told me to keep going,” she says, “and I’m doing it for myself. The friendships I’ve formed and the sense of home that I feel haven’t changed. I want to take care of this place as much as I can.” 

Janet & Jim at The Folk School
"I Sing behind The Plow" Touchstone

When Janet turns at Clay’s Corner again in April for a woodcarving and weaving class, she’ll be traveling with some of Jim’s carving tools in tow. She donated many to the Folk School and kept a few of his favorites in Louisiana. That’s also where she keeps part of the Folk School hanging above the door to her bedroom. “There was this piece from a multimedia class that was found in the director’s office years ago. It was put into the auction. Now it’s a touchstone!” 

In our own words, so is she. 

Why We Need Your Help

It takes a lot to be your Folk School. With 800+ weeklong and weekend classes for 6,200+ people per year, and with vibrant music, dance, craft, and art event offerings, all on a large, 270-acre campus, your non-profit needs the support of everyone who values immersive creative learning and relational interactions as a way to a more fulfilled life.

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