The Ozark Folkways family is made up of an entire community of volunteers, supporters, artists, and friends, but as with any family, there are always a few special people at the heart of the organization whose special job it is to keep the dream alive.
Our Board of Directors guides, plans, and organizes, but the members also vacuum carpets, paint doors, and replace lightbulbs — in other words, whatever needs to be done, they do.
Stephanie handles software implementation and project management for Cargill, the world’s largest privately held company. In her sixteen years with Cargill she has also served as the chair for their philanthropy council and continues her service on this council today, working with organizations like the NWA Foodbank and the Nature Conservancy. Despite dealing with the tech world on a daily basis, her heart is deeply rooted in the Ozark hills where she grew up. Her great great great grandfather, William Crawley, was the first non-native potter in the state and built the first beehive kiln near Strickler, AR where her family still owns a farm that was homesteaded.
Stephanie makes her home in West Fork, AR with her three kids (one of whom happens to be a Jack Russell Terrier, the other teenagers) and her expat British boyfriend. Making sure rural kids have access to the arts and preserving the Ozark’s crafts is a deep passion for her, and why she hass served on the board of Ozark Folkways for four years now, taking the reins as president in 2017.
I have always dabbled in the arts; from childhood I enjoyed drawing, taking photos, being in outdoors and discovering. I find the arts to be a wonderful way to express thoughts and feelings as well as enjoy a sense of accomplishment, humility and humanity.
My intention when starting college was to study world religions at Phillips University in Enid OK, but once there I discovered there was a job called Art Therapy and I was in. My Bachelors degree is in Art and Psychology. I then proceeded to go further in debt and earned a Masters Degree in Art Therapy from Wright State University in Dayton, OH. I worked in residential treatment facilities with children through the elderly. My next career move was the jump to computer graphics. I created t-shirt designs for fourteen years. As I started to think about retiring someday and 401Ks and insurance, all things a small t-shirt business did not have, I made another change to what I do today. I am a supervisor in a laboratory. The section I work in tests children’s clothes, accessory items and bedding products for both physical and chemical safety.
And how did I get involved with OFW? I shared a couple years at Phillips with Rebecca Buchannan, who introduced me to Ozark Folkways. After attending a fundraiser and a cleanup day she recruited me to become board member. I have enjoyed serving for about seven years. OFW has seen so many positive improvements in that time, the stage, the kitchen remodel and an amazing elevation in the quality of arts and crafts for sale. I am continually encouraged by the hard work and support of all who believe in Folkways and her mission, so I am very excited about what future we can create going forward.
Emma Yingling, a Winslow native, is a third grade teacher at Mountainburg Elementary. She served as a sponsor and secretary for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, a 501(c)(3) organization, from 2011-2014. Emma enjoys cooking, gardening, and music.
Ken is an artist who has exhibited extensively, including at the Nelson-Atkins Museum and the Butler Museum, with solo shows at the Arkansas Arts Center, the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris and the Goldstrom Gallery in New York City. He has received the NEA/Mid-America Arts Alliance Fellowship in Painting, the MacDowell residency and the Arkansas Arts Council Fellowship in Painting.
He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, having come as Art Dept. Chair (1980-1984) as well as professor of drawing and painting, taking early retirement in 2003. Before coming to northwest Arkansas, Ken spent ten years in St. Louis, where he taught painting and drawing at Washington University School of Fine Arts and Fontbonne College.
In 1985, he and his wife Donna, who is also a widely exhibited painter, discovered and moved to Winslow. Donna is a master gardener who does the town’s gardens and plantings. Ken is also involved coordinating “green” projects here, including Winslow as a Tree City USA, monthly recycling downtown, stream bank restoration in Peek’s Park, and kudzu removal in Tunnel Park. He is also president of the Winslow Community Development Council.
Amanda is an artist and writer who has developed a professional reputation as a print designer. She helped produce award-winning magazines including Edible Ozarkansas, the local food magazine of Northwest Arkansas, and Arkansas, the magazine of the University of Arkansas Alumni Association. She has a passion for print pieces, as well as Arkansas heritage.
Amanda enjoys gardening, cooking and canning, music and plays, her monthly book group, and traveling whenever possible–particularly along back roads of Arkansas.
Amanda and her husband, Russell, live atop Gaylor Mountain, near Winslow, Arkansas. They are restoring a 1930s stone cottage, launching a printing press, cultivating a small peony farm, keeping bees, and sharing their home with a very spoiled cat and dog.
Dan and his wife, Laura, co-founded the non-profit Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks in 1998 and Dan served on the board for 10 years. They moved to Winslow in 2009 and established Windberry farm. Dan is a LEED accredited Architectural Designer (former licensed architect), musician/songwriter, and proud Winslow Squirrel.
Cindy is a long time resident of Winslow, an artist and a supporter of creativity and the arts. She and her husband, Cary own and operate Arsaga’s Enterprises in Fayetteville, AR. She has served on the Folkways board for the past 2 years.
Tammy was born and raised a few miles from Ozark Folkways and grew up coming to Folkways events. After completing graduate degrees, travelling and working around the U.S., she was glad to come home to find Ozark Folkways entering a new phase of its life in the Boston Mountains.
Tammy is an Anthropologist with experience in health and livelihoods and a certificate in sustainable development. She is currently working in the River Valley in healthcare and has contributed to gardening and livelihood classes at Folkways. In addition she is a novice weaver and lacemaker so is involved in the Folkways Weaving Room and hopes to contribute to continued fiber arts events at Folkways.
Tammy has a background in Cultural Anthropology and Archeology so is no stranger to museums and artifacts. These interests combine to create an Anthropologist with a personal and professional interest in Ozark lifeways, both historic and contemporary. Tammy believes humans impact and are impacted by their environment and enjoys seeing the constants and the evolution of life in the Ozark Region of the Boston Mountains that she calls home.
Dean Wheeler is Project Director for EnergySolutions and is currently in charge of decommissioning the SEFOR Test Reactor Site in Strickler, AR. He and his wife (Jody) relocated from Maine to Arkansas in November of 2016 to take this job and to establish their permanent retirement location and get closer to their children. They have established residency now and live on 8.5 acres near Brentwood, AR.
Mr. Wheeler obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1981 and completed Nuclear Power School at the Naval Reactor Facility in Idaho in 1982. He became a registered Professional Engineer in 1987. He has worked in the Nuclear Industry for 36 years and has been decommissioning nuclear power plants since 1994.
Dean and Jody have spent the past year building their retirement home and have had limited time to relax and enjoy life. Now that their house is nearing completion they look forward to spending more time with friends, playing music, canoeing, fishing, woodworking, carving, spinning, weaving and being active in the Winslow community.
Jody Wheeler, Associate Manager
Jody Wheeler has retired to the Ozarks from Coastal Maine. She worked for many years as a nurse administrator before attending Cumbria Institute of the Arts in England where she was a double major in Fiber Arts and Ceramics. She is a spinner, weaver, knitter, and she dabbles in watercolor painting.