Sara Queen Shares The Story Behind The Globe

Have you noticed the new addition to the front entrance of the Folkmoot Friendship Center? Last summer, Sara Queen and her dad, Joe Sam Queen, donated a large globe to be placed at the entrance of the building as a representation of the unity that Folkmoot helps to create. The new globe lights up the front of the Folkmoot Friendship Center and was designed and constructed by two outstanding undergraduate students at the College of Design at NCSU who worked closely with Professor Sara Queen and Joe Sam Queen in the summer of 2016.

Conor Lenhardt, Graphic Design student, and Peter Rozakis, Industrial Design student, designed and constructed this nearly 5′, 80-triangle octacontagon based on Buckminster Fuller’s 20-sided dodecahedron projection of the earth. The design team wanted to construct a light that represented Folkmoot’s mission. Without the political boundaries typically seen on a globe, this depiction of Earth shows us all as a unified planet. The large glowing globe also serves as a welcome sign, inviting people from all over the world into the Folkmoot Friendship Center.

The globe is constructed from translucent acrylic plastic which was laser cut and etched with the earth’s continents before being sandblasted and painted.   The globe form is supported by over 300 custom-made brackets connecting each of the triangles together.  The design of the globe took about two weeks beginning with cardboard prototypes and material tests. The final construction took around one week to make all the pieces and 1 day for assembly. The globe began construction at the College of Design in Raleigh and was completed in Waynesville.  

I have known about Folkmoot most of my life. It is a summer staple for those who grow up in Waynesville. I attended the performances as a kid, traveled to the Asheville Farmer’s market with my granddad to help pick out produce for the cafeteria when the festival was at the Middle School, and I served as a guide when I was in high school for a number of summers.   It has been an honor to work with my father, Joe Sam Queen, on the renovation of the historic Hazelwood School for its continued use as Folkmoot’s Friendship Center,” said Sara Queen.

Visit the Folkmoot Friendship Center to see the globe!

Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!

Blood Drive is set for Folkmoot on June 1

Blood Drive is set for Folkmoot on June 1

A community blood drive is set for Folkmoot on June 1. The mobile blood donation unit, the bloodmobile, will be parked in front of the Folkmoot Friendship Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All types of blood are needed. The blood drive is being held in conjunction with the Music Saves Lives organization and … Read more

The Sam Love Queen Auditorium at Folkmoot!

The Same Love Queen Auditorium at Folkmoot!

It was a stellar night of music March 19 as Folkmoot formally recognized its renovated performance venue in the historic Hazelwood School as The Sam Love Queen Auditorium at Folkmoot!

Sam Love Queen was among the most famous and most beloved figures in Haywood County history, known around the world as the premier mountain dance caller and ambassador of mountain culture and heritage. Known as, “Sam Love Queen, the square dance king – the dancin’-est man in the land,” Queen presided over the mainstay of Haywood County social events, the frequent dances at Moody Farm in Maggie Valley beginning in the 1930s.

“You danced in the front yard, in the barn or in the middle of the parlor floor,” said Joe Sam Queen, a grandson of Sam Love and current civic leader and Haywood representative to the North Carolina General Assembly. “It was the genuine folk dance. It was a social institution of the day. It’s where you courted, socialized with your neighbors. It was an art form.”

Sara Queen Brown
Sara Queen Brown

Sam Love was also among those early supporters and organizers of the Folkmoot Festival of traditional folk dance and was immortalized in song by Buddy Melton, Milan Miller and Mark W. Winchester.

At the request of President Franklin Roosevelt, Sam Love took his Soco Gap Dance Team to Washington in 1939 to display the unique Haywood County style of dance and perform before King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England.

Sara Queen Brown, daughter of Sam Love and herself a revered and venerable Haywood County figure, was part of that 1939 Soco Gap Dance Team and together with her nephew, Joe Sam, made possible the endowment for the restoration of the old Hazelwood School auditorium and its transformation into the Folkmoot performance venue, the Sam Love Queen Auditorium.

“Tonight we take the opportunity to honor a woman and a family who has made a contribution that will have a meaningful, positive impact on Haywood County,” explained Folkmoot Executive Director Angie Schwab at the March 19th event. “Over 90 years of positive influence from this person, Sara Queen Brown, and now she has insured at least 90 more years because she has contributed the money to improve this space in which you are sitting right now.

“Sara Queen Brown has been a teacher in Clyde, has directed Mountain Projects, has been on the board of the Haywood Community College and is the only surviving member of the Soco Gap Dance Team. Clogging is important here. Sara’s father, Sam Love Queen was very passionate about folk dance. He believed, and surely passed on to his children and grandchildren that when you holding hands, in one big circle, there is no reason to fight. Dance contributes to peace and harmony in the world. Sara Queen Brown and the Queen family have helped to define Haywood County and Waynesville as a folk dance hot spot, the center of Appalachian dance in the US. What better way to recognize the Queen family than to dedicate this space as the Queen Auditorium in the name of her father, Sam Love Queen.

“The programs in the space, from here on out will be in his name.”

Folkmoot’s founding director, Jackie Bolden, introduced Sara and Joe Sam to the crowd and here is a video of her presentation and remarks from Joe Sam Queen and Sara Queen Brown:

And with the Queen Family gift the circle will remain unbroken: (video by Patrick Parton)

Other performances from March 19…

The Darren Nicholson Band:

Whitewater Bluegrass Company with special guest, Dr. Marc Pruett:

Give the gift of Folkmoot this year!

Give the gift of Folkmoot this year!

Give the gift of Folkmoot this year! Maybe give the gift of a new auditorium seat in our renovated concert hall. Maybe the gift of an international flag in your loved one’s honor. Maybe a brick emblazoned with your loved one’s name in our entrance or courtyard. Maybe think bigger and give a Friends of … Read more

Haywood Sheriff aids the Folkmoot Center

Haywood Sheriff aids the Folkmoot Center

Like most nonprofit organizations, Folkmoot depends on volunteer support and while maybe not a traditional volunteer corps our own Haywood Sheriff aids the Folkmoot Center with dependable work crews on a regular basis. We’re grateful, of course, to Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher for sharing with Folkmoot work crews from his Trustee population to help us as … Read more

I am thrilled to join the Folkmoot staff!

Elizabeth Burson, Folkmoot Programmer with Thai Dance Group

I am thrilled to join the Folkmoot staff! We have so much to catch up on…. Nearly everyone who knows Folkmoot thinks of it as something that only happens two weeks out of the year.   This is no longer the case.  How do I know you ask? I was just hired here! Let’s start … Read more

Clean Up Day at Folkmoot Friendship Center!

Folkmoot Friendship Center

Gather with your friends and fellow volunteers on Saturday, April 25, to help spruce up the Friendship Center in advance of our big May Day @ Folkmoot Celebration on May 2! Work begins at 9 a.m. and lasts until 1 p.m. and – you’ll get a free lunch! Please bring your own yard tools. The … Read more