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WCU Stories

Retired educator receives lifetime achievement award from craft guild

Anna Fariello, a retired Western Carolina University associate professor for digital initiatives, has been presented a lifetime achievement award by the Southern Highland Craft Guild for her work at WCU and its benefit to the community.

Chartered in 1930, the Southern Highland Craft Guild is considered one of the strongest craft organizations in the country. Based in Asheville at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the guild has a mission to preserve and promote knowledge and appreciation of traditional and contemporary crafts. Programs include exhibits, demonstrations, collections and special events.

Anna Fariello

Fariello arrived at WCU in 2005 and began to build the university’s craft revival digital collection, gaining international recognition for interpretation and preservation. The database and webpages were constructed from selected photographs, letters, pamphlets, records and images of objects to create a cohesive story that interprets the craft revival in the mountains.

As director of the WCU Craft Revival Project, Fariello was recipient of the Brown-Hudson Folklore Award from the North Carolina Folklore Society in 2010. She also authored three books on Cherokee arts and crafts and published numerous chapters and articles on folk arts, Southern Appalachian crafts and mountain artisans. In 2013, she garnered the Guardians of Culture Award from the Association of Tribal Archives and Museums, and in 2016, a Preservation Excellence Award from the North Carolina Preservation Consortium.

Fariello retired from WCU in July 2016. She currently is working with Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in a project to identify and showcase Western North Carolina craft makers for the Blue Ridge Craft Trails booklet.

WCU’s digital collections provide a foundation for research, education and humanities programming through the documentation of significant aspects of the American story. For more information, call 828-227-7474 or email

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