The Purpose of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia
Established in 1989, incorporated as a A 501(c)3 nonprofit heritage organization in 1991, the vision of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (CSA) is "Planting the seeds of heritage through the arts." We accomplish this through the painting of historical regional murals, publishing local writers, bestowing Appalachian Studies scholarships, encouraging the youth to learn and play mountain music, and by recording oral history and storytelling through Stories of Mountain Folk. Winner of the 2013 Mountain Heritage Award.
CSA Cofounders Amy Ammons
Garza, Mountain Storyteller,
and Doreyl Ammons Cain,
Visual Artist, a team known as
The Ammons Sisters, are
dedicated to reaching every
child they can with the message
that they are creative, can
achieve success and have the
heritage background that will
sustain them throughout their
lives. The sisters are actively
promoting literacy and aware-
ness of self-worth in all children and adults.
Performing stories of mountain heritage, Amy and Doreyl travel around the South entertaining as storytellers. Through the art of storytelling, the sisters want their audiences to experience tales of real adventures in the fertile forests of North Carolina. As Amy tells the stories, Doreyl captures them with her strokes of pastel art—bringing the story alive! While interlacing humorous family stories and rich local legends, Amy’s tales and Doreyl’s art lighten and speak to the heart. Also within the one hour performance will be dance, music, song & the entertaining Canhouse Band.
The CSA board of Directors
A group of local people who believe in the mission of the organization and extend themselves, involving the goals of CSA into their private lives. Many members of the board have been with the organization many years: Gail Stillwell Cooper, Etheree Chancellor, Mary Jo Hooper Cobb, Judy Rhodes, Neal Hearn, Heather Gordon, Terry Michelsen, Betty Brown, Nicole Jarosinski, Nikki Henke , Sylvia Lyday-GoForth, Nita Owenby, Roy Owenby and Jenny Johnson.
Regional Board of Advisors are Irene Hooper, Vera Holland Guise, Becky Nelson-Yandell, Dot Conner, Norma Clayton and Karen Branscome.
Winners of the 2013 Mountain Heritage Award
The Ammons Sisters, Co-founders of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia
Mountain Heritage Award, September 28, 2013: (l-r) Etheree Chancellor, Nicole Jarosinski Gunn, Kendra Coker, Gail Stillwell Cooper; Chancellor David Belcher; Gail Nolen (behind Amy); Amy Ammons Garza; Terry Michelsen (between Amy & Doreyl); Doreyl Ammons Cain, David Ammons, Judy Rhodes, Norma Clayton, Nicki Hinkke, Heather Gordon, Mary Jo Hooper Cobb. Not shown: Betty Brown, Victoria A. Casey McDonald, Irene Hooper, Neal Hearn
A new book documenting 30 years of storytelling and spontaneous art performance by The Ammons Sisters was published in May, 2020, by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia: "Mountain Storytelling & Spontaneous Art". Go too CSABooks.com to purchase the book.