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‘A Proven Record of Success;’ Mark Freed Hired as Cultural Resources Department Programs Coordinator

By Paul T. Choate

MarkFreed1smallJan. 2, 2013. Last Thursday, Dec. 27, folklorist and musician Mark Freed became the newest employee of the newly formed Cultural Resources Department. Freed will serve as the cultural programs coordinator and joins Pilar Fotta, director, and Victoria Allen on the staff of the department.

Freed said on Wednesday that he feels he brings “some continuity to the programs here,” adding that he felt his background in Appalachian Studies and experience as a folklorist played a role in his being offered the position.

“Mark has developed a wonderful knowledge of the cultural heritage of this region, both through his education as well as his experience,” Fotta said. “He has a proven record of success and has established relationships and programs that have taken years to cultivate.”

In the past, Freed has coordinated the popular Concerts on the Lawn summer series that was once put on by the Watauga Arts Council (WAC). Following the partnership between WAC and the Town of Boone coming to an end, Freed also coordinated the Concerts at the Jones House series this past summer, which was the 20th anniversary of music at the Jones House.

“It is an additional benefit that duties can immediately be delegated to him with confidence that there will be no lapse in programming and that he will continue to deliver high quality outcomes while working to implement new programs and ideas,” Fotta said. “I have enjoyed working with Mark this summer. We share an excitement about the opportunity that we have been given and we are committed to help make Boone and the High Country the best that it can possibly be.”

Freed said there are already some ongoing and upcoming programs that he is looking forward to. A new set of music lessons at the Jones House will begin on the first Thursday in February and will run through mid-May in three five-week sessions for children and adults. Also, the weekly jam sessions at the Jones House are ongoing from 7:30 to 11 p.m. every Thursday.

Looking further out, Freed said he has even been looking into potential performers for the upcoming 21st season of Concerts at the Jones House.

“As the cold winds blow, we’re starting to get ready for summer,” Freed said.

For more information on the Cultural Resources Department, call 828-262-4532.