The mission of The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts is to preserve, promote and provide a learning experience that has its roots in the culture and heritage of our Southern Appalachian Mountains.
The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts and the vision of it becoming an integral component of the Town of Marion, Virginia began with a few dedicated town folk several years ago. In an effort to save the 1908 Schoolhouse from being torn down, a small committee began to raise funds in order to save the structure. In late 2012, the Town of Marion took over the project and The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts was created.
The school is named after Wayne C. Henderson, a craftsman that resides in Rugby, Virginia and specializes in the crafting of handmade custom acoustic guitars, all hand-built in limited quantities. Wayne was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship in 1995 in recognition of his instrument-making talents and has built guitars for Eric Clapton, Doc Watson, and Tommy Emmanuel as well as many others. Wayne is well on his way to having built over 800 guitars and has an international following.
Initially, it was to be a school that focused upon the rich musical heritage, not only the playing of music, but the making of stringed instruments, a craft known as Lutherie. Lutherie has a rich heritage in Southwest Virginia and The Henderson hosts some of the finest workshops in the country. It has since become the creative center of the community, offering Lutherie, Letterpress, Basket Making, Pottery, Quilting, Weaving and so much more.
Please stay in touch through our Facebook page, website and subscribe to our e-newsletter: “Happenings @ The Henderson”. Thank you for your interest as the school continues to inspire our community and share in our magnificent world of Appalachian Craft. Please become a Friend of The Henderson and help us preserve our rich cultural heritage!
Catherine Schrenker, Founding Executive Director
Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts