Leading women educators impacting education worldwide…….experience this international conference with an arts and humanities theme.  Potential topics include:

  • Storytelling
  • Music
  • Books
  • Writing

You will also be able to learn about Asheville, North Carolina and visit these sites:

  • Biltmore House and Gardens
  • Asheville Arts District
  • Appalachian Crafts Center
  • Blue Ridge Parkway

Mark your calendar to attend!


  • Dr. Kevan Frazier is an Asheville native and the Executive Director for Western Carolina University’s Asheville programs located at Biltmore Park. Prior to WCU, Kevan was a member of the History faculty and an administrator at UNC Asheville. He is also the founder of Asheville by Foot, a local walking tour business in Asheville as well as one of the co-owners of Well Played Board Game Café on Wall Street. Recently featured on C-Span, Kevan gives dozens of talks on Asheville history each year,and published a book in 2014 on Asheville history called Legendary Locals of Asheville.

  • Born and raised in the Sodom Laurel community of Madison County, N.C., Sheila Kay Adams is a seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and claw-hammer banjo player. Originating in the border country between England and Scotland, the ballads that Adams sing have been passed down through her family since the early 1700s, when Adams’ ancestors first settled in Appalachia. Learning how to sing as a child from her great-aunt, Adams has developed an illustrious resume showcasing, documenting, and advocating for Western North Carolina’s unaccompanied ballad singing tradition. She has performed at festivals, workshops, and other events all across the United States and the United Kingdom, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., and the International Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Her songs and stories have been recorded for several albums: My Dearest Dear (2000), Other Fine Things (2004), and Live at the International Storytelling Festival (2007). Her two books, Come Go Home With Me (1997) and My Old True Love (2004), have garnered praise from Life Magazine, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and other outlets.
    Adams is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship (2013) and North Carolina Heritage Award (2015). In a letter supporting her nomination as a NEA Heritage Fellow, George Holt, director of performing arts and film at the North Carolina Museum of Art wrote, “Sheila Kay Adams is the key figure in carrying forward to this day the tradition of unaccompanied ballad singing that has enriched her community for more than two centuries, promoting its beauty throughout our country and beyond, and insuring that it will be perpetuated by younger generations of singers well into the 21st century.”
    Adams has complemented her international acclaim with deep, local commitment to her community. She continues to mentor the new generation of unaccompanied ballad singers on the history and technique of the tradition. With support of the In These Mountains Folk and Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowship, Adams intends to write a book telling the story of her ancestors’ interactions with folklorists, documentarians, and song-collectors since the early 20th Century. “To my knowledge,” says Adams, “this book will be the first publication of a cultural insider’s view on this complicated relationship between the singers who lived and breathed within the culture and those drawn to them from faraway places.”