Sunday, January 4, 2015

Introducing the author, Ann Miller Woodford
Ann Miller Woodford was born and raised in Andrews, North Carolina. She attended the one-room, one-teacher, Andrews Colored/Negro Elementary School through 8th grade. Due to segregation in Andrews, she enrolled in a girls boarding school, Allen High School in Asheville, North Carolina. There she was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated with honors in 1965. Ann graduated cum laude in 1969, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio where she was a member of Mortar Board honor society.  She is currently working on a Master of Arts Degree from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina and working for an AA Degree in Business from Tri-County Community College in Murphy, North Carolina. She was the first African American to work in an office and the first to teach (art) in the Cherokee County Schools. Her home church is Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Andrews where she serves as Sunday School Treasurer and Youth Director.

Ann is the Founder of One Dozen Who Care, Inc. (ODWC). The African-American, women-led 501(c)3 community development corporation (CDC) has a vision to create leadership capacity and build community unity in far western North Carolina through training, supporting community, collaborating with other community groups, and organizing economic development, social, cultural and educational activities. For 12 years, Ann was Executive Director of ODWC, the first of its kind in far western North Carolina. She is also the Founder of Chautauqua AVE! (Andrews Valley Experience!), a festival held each spring and fall in Andrews that features local and national speakers. Before founding ODWC, while serving as Executive Director at the Andrews Chamber of Commerce, Ann was honored with the Rural Leader of the Year Award from the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center in Raleigh. In 2008, she received the honor of the Z. Smith Reynolds Sabbatical and the coveted ODWC Emma Cline Moore Award for Community Service.

She is a professional fine artist who has traveled extensively. As an artist/designer, she has created works of art and crafts that have been marketed locally, nationally, and internationally. In the 1980s she partnered with the actress, Esther Rolle who played "Florida Evans" on the TV series "Good Times. Their company, E & A Global Enterprises in Los Angeles, California marketed Ann’s artworks, Annie and Charlie Ragg® dolls and African American Heritage playing cards.

Ann credits her high school English teacher, Betty Sue Smith with her writing ability. This book comes from her desire to record the lives of the African American people who labored under very difficult conditions to make it possible for her and so many more to have enjoyed all the unique and exciting experiences of life.
This blog is intended to help Ann gather more information about the very special people who blazed a trail for those who followed them as they founded churches and built communities in far western North Carolina.


  1. My apologies to you if I do not respond in a timely manner. My priority at this time is to publish the book When All God's Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina.

  2. I affirm the best of everything for you in this very worthy pursuit Ann. You are now and have always been an inspiration to those around you. Keep on, keepin' on.

    1. I cannot believe that I missed your inspiring comment, my friend. Thank you so much! Hope to see you one day very soon with a book in my hands.

  3. Ann, you are an amazing woman and so talented. I just love you. You make Andrews proud. Um, where do you get your energy, I need to borrow some.

    1. I am so sorry to have missed your message, Carol. You come from a family that I have loved and respected since I was a child. Bless you and thank you for your thoughtfulness.

  4. We have used my book When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina to form a partnership for our new project of the same name. Using Black church music as the narrator, this project focuses on the musical traditions of the African American communities of far western North Carolina, as manifested in churches, schools, and workplaces.
    I am very pleased to be a guest curator for a traveling exhibit, as I work in partnership with Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center and Director, Pam Meister with Peter Koch. WCU public history students and Andy Denson will be involved in the exhibit development process, providing them with a real-life engaged learning experience. The exhibit will open at the Mountain Heritage Center in February 2017, then tour to community venues throughout far western North Carolina. The project will also include musical heritage events in three communities:
    • Sylva, North Carolina, a Black History Month event hosted by the Waynesville Missionary Baptist Association at Scotts Creek Liberty Baptist Church; Sunday, February 19, 2017.
    • Murphy, North Carolina, hosted by the Texana Community Development Center (the day before the annual Texana Homecoming that is held at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church) and the Murphy Arts Center in Cherokee County; Saturday, July 22. 2017.
    • Waynesville, North Carolina, hosted by the Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center and Jones Temple AME Zion Church; October 7, 2017.
    The events, held on Saturday or Sunday afternoons between 2 - 6:30 pm, will feature programs of traditional music by four or five African-American gospel groups, community/attendees singing, and dinners-on-the-ground. Each event will be documented by video and sound recording, and still photography by audience members for use in a future documentary film.

    We have formed a great partnership with WCU in Cullowhee, Texana Community Development Center in Murphy, Liberty Baptist Church and the Waynesville Missionary Baptist Church in Sylva, and the Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center in Waynesville.

    I will also travel to eight schools or community venues in western North Carolina with a small portable version of the exhibits to present educational programs exploring the exhibit’s topics and themes. All project components will be free and open to the public due to grants from the NC Humanities Council and the Cherokee County Arts Council.