Each year, Western Carolina University awards two Mountain Heritage Awards, one to an individual and one to an organization, for a strong involvement with Southern Appalachian history, culture and issues. This year, one of those awards will go to Dogwood Crafters, a craft collaborative and shop located in Dillsboro.Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Dogwood Crafters is more than just a shop filled with traditional and contemporary handcrafted goods. Each item is a piece of art created by a local artist, and depending on when you visit, you might meet the very same person who created your custom piece behind the cash register.Because it is a collaborative, it is volunteer-run and operated with several artists chipping in and working shifts. More than 80 artisans hold a membership, but many more hold Dogwood Crafters in a special place in their hearts.Chosen for the award by a committee of people throughout the community and university, past awards have been given to photographer and conservationist Hugh Morton and Mountain Faith, a bluegrass group that performed on the TV show, “America’s Got Talent.””We are truly humbled by this honor, to be included in the company that has come before uswe never thought we’d win this award.” said Brenda Anders, a collective member who has been with the crafters since 1979.
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