Meetings scheduled for 2018 Ozark Folk Center Craft Village Opportunities and Music Auditions

The Ozark Folk Center State Park will be holding its annual contract meetings in the White Oak Auditorium, inside the Administration Building across from the Skillet Restaurant, for all returning crafts people, musicians, and dancers. Those who are interested in having a shop or performing during evening shows in the Music Auditorium during the 2018 season should plan to attend one of these meetings:

Saturday February 10th, 2018 Crafters from 10am-11:30 / Musicians from 12 noon until 1:30pm

Saturday February 24th, 2018 Crafters from 10am-11:30 / Musicians from 12 noon until 1:30pm

Saturday March 3rd, 2018 Musicians ONLY 12pm until 1:30pm

Saturday March 3rd Open Music Auditions for first time musicians, starting at 1:30pm

“The meeting takes an hour or two, depending on how many questions you have” said Craft Director, Jeanette Larson. “We have openings for contractors to drive the donkeys on the picnic swing; to work in the Young Pioneers Shop; to demonstrate in the new living history area; and to substitute in craft shops.”

Daren Dortin, Music Director for the Park, is looking forward to reaching out to local up-and-coming singers and players. “We’ve had some incredible talent audition in the past few years and we’re glad to see the next generation of musicians step up to the plate.”

Open auditions are required for anyone interested in performing at the Ozark Folk Center Sate Park for the first time. Musicians should bring their own instruments and have three songs prepared; two “traditional” folk songs written prior to 1941 and one tune of their choosing (no date limit). To set up an audition time, please call Music Director, Daren Dortin at 870-269-3851 or email

If you cannot make it to one of these meetings call Jeanette or Daren at 870-269-3851 to make other arrangements or discuss your interest in the Ozark Folk Center Craft Village.

The mission of Ozark Folk Center State Park is to perpetuate, present and promote the Ozark way of life in an educational and enjoyable manner; through craft demonstrations, musical programs, the Heritage Herb Garden, workshops and other special events.

Keith Symanowitz
Park Programs Specialist, CIT
Ozark Folk Center State Park
Mountain View, Arkansas


Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.