News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

SFF offers educational programs

Sisters Folk Festival (SFF) has announced its slate of educational offerings planned for this spring and summer, including a weekly songwriting class in March and five-week-long summer creativity camps for kids.

Beginning March 1, Sisters resident and musical artist Jenner Fox will offer A Song a Week Songwriting Workshop, a five-week course on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Sisters Art Works building. This will be a small group workshop limited to just 10 participants. Registrants are asked to come prepared to write songs, share, and dig deep for inspiration. Participants will write from prompts, explore individual “taste,” dissect favorite songs, share originals and support one another in their musical journeys. All genres of music are welcome, and some level of musical experience is encouraged.

Fox, who tours the world as a river guide, guitar player, and multi-instrumentalist songwriter describes the workshop setting as “a welcoming place to find inspiration and carve out time to write and share and make music.”

A student from the last workshop that Fox facilitated said, “We learned so many ways to approach songwriting and every single person wrote songs — beginners like me and professional musicians! Life changing and super fun! I highly recommend it!”

Registration for A Song A Week opens February 2; the suggested fee for the five-week class is $150 but registrants will be able to select an amount that is based on what they can afford when they register.

In the summer of 2022 SFF will once again offer Creativity Camps for middle school-aged students that will include music, visual art and general creativity. From July 11-15, Joe Schulte, mandolin player and band leader from Moon Mountain Ramblers and String Theory Music School in Bend, will offer the Seed to Sprout Music Camp for players with minimal previous music experience on their chosen acoustic instrument. Joe will teach the students songs that can be played with the most basic common chords with short, easy-to-learn melodies to memorize.

This session is open to students going into grades 5-8.

Then, over the week of August 1-5, Schulte will offer the Branch to Fruit Music Camp for players who are comfortable on their acoustic instrument and relatively fluid in the common major and minor chords found in popular music. This camp will break out into some small group ensemble sessions in which two to four players will work out tunes that may include custom song arrangement, individual solos, harmonies, and improvisation. Branch to Fruit is open to students going into grades 6-10.

Judy Fuentes, the art teacher at Sisters Middle school, is planning two weeks of half-day visual art camps. August 1-5 will be focused on felting and fiber arts, and August 8-12 is primarily centered around watercolor painting and drawing. These week-long camps are open to students going into grades 5-8 with a maximum of 15 participants. Both will be held at Sisters Art Works in the mornings.

August 14-19 will bring songwriter-poet (and winner of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry) Beth Wood together with Judy Fuentes once again to teach The Nature of Expression.

This popular creativity camp explores art, music, creative writing, and nature.

Campers will investigate animals and nature through sounds and color, and explore storytelling and self-expression through art, creative writing, and music.

Each day will include immersive experiences in both visual arts and creative writing, as well as time for reflection and making new friends.

The goal of the camp is to have fun with many forms of creative expression through awareness, discovery, and play.

This camp is open to students going into grades 5-8 and will be capped at 20 participants.

Registration for the three full-day summer camps opens March 2, and all three opportunities will offer the option to “pay what you can afford” at registration, with scholarship support available through SFF. No student will be turned away for inability to pay. Details about registration for the half-day camps is forthcoming.

For registration and additional information on all Sisters Folk Festival programming, please visit


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