Foothills Folk Art Festival Wins Statewide Award

NEWTON, NC (March 29, 2018)—The Foothills Folk Art Festival recently won a statewide award for the best downtown special event from the N.C. Department of Commerce.
Foothills Folk Art Festival
The festival was recognized at the N.C. Main Street and Small Town Main Street Awards Ceremony on March 14 in Clayton. Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development and Workforce Napoleon Wallace and Assistant Secretary of Rural Economic Development Kenny Flowers presented awards in categories that included economic vitality, design, promotion and organization.

A partnership between Downtown Newton Development Association and Hickory Museum of Art, the Foothills Folk Art Festival is a juried, folk-art themed show held in Downtown Newton on the first Saturday in October. This year’s festival will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Admission to the festival is free. Visitors have the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of folk art directly from about 100 artists who come to Newton from throughout the southeast. In addition, there are artist demonstrations, live music, food vendors, beer gardens, and other special activities.

The mission of the Foothills Folk Art Festival is to celebrate contemporary folk art, both locally and regionally, while maximizing the benefits to Downtown Newton both economically and culturally. The composition of the event exemplifies true, self-taught art depicting everyday life or items with no training, guidance, or instruction of the artist. Additions to this festival are aimed at elevating the experience of attending such an art event.

“The Foothills Folk Art Festival has quickly become a signature event for Newton,” said Shannon Johnson, Newton’s Main Street Program coordinator. “Thanks to the the efforts of hundreds of volunteers throughout the year, we are able to bring close to 100 amazing artists to the festival for a day that celebrates folk art. This award from the N.C. Department of Commerce speaks to the quality of the festival, and we are dedicated to to making the festival even better each year.”

“The N.C. Main Street and Small Town Main Street programs provide communities with a recipe to succeed in economic and community development,” said Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development and Workforce Napoleon Wallace. “I am honored to be here today to recognize the outstanding projects that have helped their communities succeed.”

“These award-winning projects have made a significant difference to their communities, bringing new jobs, new activities, businesses, and new investment to their Main Street and Small Town Main Street communities,” said Liz Parham, director of the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center. “We are proud of the change that these communities are making as a result of the Main Street America program and its principles.”

The N.C. Main Street Program helps small towns create vibrant central business districts by preserving their historic fabric and building on their unique characteristics using local resources. A panel of judges chose this year’s award winners from dozens of applications submitted by Main Street communities throughout the state.

For more information about the Foothills Folk Art Festival, visit