Amy Allen was born and raised in Greensboro, NC before attending the UNC-Chapel Hill to study American Studies and Creative Writing. She is the host of Clarified Butter, a podcast that invites people to share stories about their lives by asking them about food. Now living in Durham, Amy spends her time performing and teaching improv comedy, painting, quilting, and hanging out with her dog, Ralphie.
Lauren V. Allen
Chapel Hill, NC
Lauren V. Allen is a visual creative focused on food, travel, and culture freelance photography who also loves to immerse herself in video and virtual reality production. By way of the Air Force and with a deep appreciation for Cheddar Bo Biscuits, she calls Eastern N.C. home. She studied photojournalism and art history at UNC-Chapel Hill where her lifelong passion for visual storytelling allowed her to make a career of her eclectic mix of documentary and fine art photography. Connect via her website or instagram.
Angel Bailey is a creative producer, arts activist, strategist, adventurist and photographer in the heart of Raleigh. A Detroit native, she ventured south in search of discovering new cultures and cultivating new communities. Born from a desire to be mindfully creative, innovative and purpose-driven, she encompasses an entrepreneurial mind with a creative core, mixed with a colorful aesthetic, side of quirkiness and love for all things outdoors.
After finishing a degree in photography, Christy Baugh left the Utah mountains for a buzzing DC where she fell in love with working in coffee. Seizing an opportunity to combine the two, she moved to Durham to become a visual designer for Counter Culture Coffee—spending her days there taking photos, creating videos, and doing design work. At home, she and her husband, Bryan, hang out with their fat cat, Lucille, their giant cat, King Karl, and their crazy dog, Dottie.
A Chicago native, Holly Bourne ventured to Dallas and San Francisco before landing in the Triangle with her husband and two kids. Her love of food led her to buying land in Chapel Hill and running a small family farm for two long seasons. Always drawn to artistic expression, Holly started learning photography with a focus on food, farming, and sustainability. She has a background in technology marketing and spends her free time practicing yoga, experimenting in the kitchen, and giving tours at the North Carolina Museum of Art.
Melissa Cahoon is an Outer Banks native and coastal enthusiast whose post-college career as a digital marketing account executive led her to Washington, D.C. While many miles on I-95 separate her from the Old North State, its culture and people are never far from her mind. Outside of work, Melissa dabbles in freelance graphic design and enjoys hiking, stand-up paddleboarding and perfecting her champagne sabering skills.
Katy Clune is engaged in cultural communications — writing, design and multimedia storytelling — to build bridges between diverse audiences and institutions. She has a BA in Art History (UC Berkeley, 2008) and an MA in Folklore (UNC Chapel Hill, 2015). Find her writing in Our State, The Southern Foodways Alliance's Gravy and UNC-Chapel Hill's Southern Cultures. Growing up abroad in the foreign service meant Katy was surrounded by the arts of the world as a child, and she has since applied this passion in a variety of professional work for museums. She is now proud to call Durham home. Learn more about her work on her website.
Annie Cockrill wasn't born in North Carolina, but she got here as soon as she could. When she relocated to Raleigh from the Louisiana Bayou at age 9, she quickly fell in love with Eastern-style, whole-hog, wood-cooked barbecue. Annie admires the architectural diversity preserved from this state's rich history, and she believes inside of every building there is a story that begs to be told. Her photographs are able to resurrect the many relics of North Carolina's past and bring their untold stories to light.
Hannah swears she was born on the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon Line, growing up in Narragansett Rhode Island despite having a father from the Outer Banks. She followed his footsteps to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she began exploring her southern roots by getting a B.A. In American History with a focus in Cultural Food Studies. She now lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with her dog Kenan (named after the Carolina football stadium) and is happily engaged to her fiancé Zach.
A Greensboro native, Christina Cooke is associate editor at Civil Eats and a freelance writer who covers people, place, culture, outdoor adventure, and travel for venues including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Oxford American, Our State, and High Country News. A Davidson College graduate, she holds a certificate in documentary nonfiction writing from the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies and an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Portland State University. Christina finds herself drawn to tell stories at the fringes of society, about people who are offbeat and unconventional, passionate and obsessed, and masters of their own, very specialized domains. She currently lives in Durham. Find out more and view writings at www.christinacooke.com.
Mary-Hanley Coleman wanted to live in a world where the beach is two hours away, the mountains are three hours away, and people don't laugh when you say "y'all," so she moved back to Raleigh. She's a writer, a reader and a firm believer that guacamole shouldn't be extra. A marketer by day, you can find her in a downtown art gallery, freelancing for ArtsNow NC. Listen to her ramblings @harymanley, and on her blog and like all her photos on Instagram.
Wyatt Dickson is the “Barbecue Man” behind PICNIC in Durham, NC – a whole hog barbecue joint, praised in Time Magazine and Bon Appetit. His devotion to authentic wood-smoked barbecue can be traced from one stump speech to another. The son of a Fayetteville, NC judge and North Carolina Senator, Dickson’s youth was spent at pig pickin’s, surrounded by talk of politics – both about candidates and the age-old debate over eastern vs. western North Carolina barbecue. For Dickson, North Carolina barbecue means oak-smoked, locally raised, whole-hog– that’s picked, never chopped.
Chapel Hill, NC
Proudly hailing from Western North Carolina, Anna Feagan is a media expert. With a Journalism degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and 3+ years working in marketing in New York City, Anna is now advertising Fortune-500 brands through the evolving power of social media. She is a retired sports editor, a closeted history buff and a born-again champagne addict. Ask her about Carolina's upcoming football season, Asheville's burgeoning tourism economy or how to make her mother's famous pound cake. You can follow her on her current favorite medium, pinterest.
Brittney Forrister received her degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and hails from the state's most western town, Murphy, NC. She lived in Raleigh for 8 years before moving to Nashville, TN, where she currently works as an account executive at Garden & Gun. Brittney hopes to open her own boutique car lot someday, but according to her father she needs to learn more about cars first. She also hopes to marry a man from Manteo, because, wouldn't that be cool?
Chapel Hill, NC
Laura Fieselman works and writes at the intersection of farm, kitchen and culture. A native of North Carolina, Fieselman has launched Raleigh City Farm and Carolina Cooks, Carolina eats and is a graduate of the Folklore master's program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Find her exploring the forests and rivers of North Carolina, at home in the Triangle or sampling her way across the state's edible landscape. Fried okra and spring strawberries are her favorites.
Elijah Gaddis is a folklorist and cultural historian who grew up in rural Cabarrus County and is the proud holder of degrees from both N.C. State (B.A., English) and UNC (M.A., Folklore). He's still toiling away at the latter institution, where is a doctoral candidate in American Studies, a sometimes-instructor in folklore, and a researcher and project manager for digital projects. Elijah has also been a restaurant cook, a farmhand, and done research and interpretation for historical sites and cultural heritage organizations. He currently lives in Carrboro with his wife and bird.
Nation Hahn is the Chief Growth Officer for EdNC.org. Nation also serves his community as President and Co-Founder of the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation, named after his beloved wife, and a variety of other roles focused on food-related issues, poverty, and education.
Nation is an avid reader (especially of all things Anne Lamott, Pat Conroy, and other assorted authors who shake your soul), writer, food lover, runner, and he spends entirely too much time on email.
Kristy Woodson Harvey
North Carolina born and bred, Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of the award winning book Dear Carolina. She is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism and holds a master's in English from East Carolina University. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and four-year-old son. Her newest novel, Lies and Other Acts of Love, will be released on April 5th, 2016. You can find it any where books are sold.
Liza is a marine scientist and videographer from Nashville, Tennessee. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal, she vowed to never live in such a cold place again and moved back south to Durham, North Carolina, where the weather is just right. Her work focuses on reducing accidental catch of endangered species like sturgeon and sea turtles in North Carolina fisheries. Although she spends most of her time describing the natural world using numbers and graphs, she loves exploring and learning about both nature and people through the lens of her camera.
Graham Hoppe writes about culture and history with a focus on food, music and tourism. He is a recent graduate of the Folklore program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. White at UNC, he wrote his thesis on Dollywood and studied topics such as Cracker Barrel, firehouse dinners, and parking garages. He is a contributor to the American Ethnic Food Today Encyclopedia and has presented his work for The Appalachian Studies Association and the Southern Foodways Alliance. Graham currently lives and works in Raleigh, North Carolina. Interested in talking? Find him on his website.
Key West, FL
Ashley Johnson was born and bred in Eastern North Carolina. She developed a taste for oral storytelling at an early age by listening to her great-grandmother paint pictures of her life with words. Ashley studied creative writing and publishing at UNC Wilmington where she fed her growing craving for reading and writing personal essays in the company of inspiring fellow writers. Though she's spent the last year working in the art communities in Key West and Alaska, her real passion remains to be writing about home and profiling those who make it.
A Cleveland, OH, native, Emily Kennard moved down South to study Journalism and Anthropology at UNC-CH. It was during her time at UNC and working for the student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, that she fell in love with storytelling and The South. After working at ESPN Films and National Geographic Television & Film, Emily found herself back down South once again, where she currently works as a producer at Trailblazer Studios. Here, she mines, produces and develops broadcast and digital documentary specials and series. Although she works in TV, her heart will always belong to the written word. In her spare time, she enjoys searching for the next story, freelance writing and cheering on her beloved Cleveland and UNC sports teams.
Chapel Hill, NC
Monique, a 2016 Bit & Grain summer intern, is a rising senior at UNC Chapel Hill. As a part of the Robertson Scholars program, Monique is a dual student at UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University. At UNC, she is earning a double major in Southern studies and women’s and gender studies. At Duke, she studies documentary studies at the Center for Documentary Studies. Monique is interested in digital storytelling, especially audio storytelling. In addition to interning with She+Her Radio , Monique works with the SNCC Digital Gateway and Bit and Grain. On the weekends, she works at the Carrboro farmers’ market and practices yoga.
Cameron Laws is an artist and designer based in Raleigh. She hails from rural Angier, NC, but her life and work have taken her from the volcanic tropics of Big Island, Hawaii, to the historic port city of Savannah, GA. Her work and craftsmanship transcends mediums, from custom urban chicken coops to hand-painted quilt squares. She is also a contract illustrator and graphic designer. See more of her work at Kingsnake Creative.
Growing up in the Triangle, Phillip MacDonald documented his environment and adolescent adventures with his dad's "borrowed" 35mm camera. His love of photography and storytelling has culminated in his career as a folklorist, writer and photographer. He received his BA (in history) at NC State University and his MA (in folklore) at UNC. His academic work deals with the intersection between African American cultural expression and tourism in the Mississippi Delta. When Phillip is not listening to blues records, taking pictures or hanging out with his partner, Cara, and their cat, Tinker, he works on his collaborative musical project, Folk'd. Learn more about his work at Phillip Thomas Folk.
Taylor Meadows hails from the Old North State. She loves everything about the state, especially the North Carolina fall twilight. By day, she is an account executive at a PR/Marketing agency and coffee drinker. By night, she is a writer, content creator and cocktail drinker. She lives to listen to and tell the stories of others. When she isn't creating content calendars, she is busy finding someone she can encourage. Her ultimate purpose in life is to give a voice to those who may not have one, because at the end of the day, words at the most powerful tools we have.
Kate Medley is a photojournalist and filmmaker of food culture. Employed by Whole Foods, Medley travels the East Coast documenting the stories of farms and producers growing our food. Through a longtime partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance, Medley has created several documentary film projects exploring Southern culture through stories about food, including Counter Histories and A Spoken Dish. Her work can be found at katemedley.com.
Kaitlin Montgomery is a writer, storyteller and bookworm. Although born in Long Island, she grew up on Camp Lejeune before moving to Monroe with her family. Her favorite meal is dessert, and she once at a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts all by herself. She's a sucker for a great story and ofter finds herself making up silly ones throughout the day. Drawn to stories of heartbreak, tragedy and struggles, she likes to find the extraordinary in the mundane.
Ronny Nause was born and raised on the coast of NC. After growing up at the beach, he moved to Raleigh and attending NC State in 2003, and hasn't had the urge to leave just yet. After playing football and serving as photo editor for The Technician, NC State's student newspaper, he began a career behind the lens. Working in television for 4 years allowed him to experience many of the things that make the Triangle so awesome. He currently works as a production specialist and director of photography at Centerline Digital. He lives in Raleigh with his girlfriend, Thea, and two dogs, Paxton and Lucy. He's always got his eye open for unique rides and his never-ending quest for #whips can be followed at @ronnyhasabeard.
Paradise of Bachelors
Brendan Greaves and Chris Smith are the founders and owners of Paradise of Bachelors, a record label, recording company, soundsystem and archive located in the North Carolina Piedmont. They are dedicated to documenting, curating and releasing under-recognized musics of the American vernacular, historical and contemporary alike, with an emphasis on The South — broadly defined — and its global sound diaspora. You can find them here.
Originally from Decatur, Georgia, Joanna now calls Western North Carolina home. After graduating from Sewanee: The University of the South with a B.S. in Ecology, she spent a hot and rainy year in Costa Rica. Joanna enjoys observing and documenting the intersection of environment and culture. The Georgia coast, the Cumberland Plateau, and the Blue Ridge Mountains are just a few of the places seared in her memory.
Originally from Columbia, Missouri, Josh Parshall is a folklorist and cultural historian interested in Jewishness, politics, bicycles and American subcultures. He holds an M.A. in Folklore from UNC and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in UNC's department of American Studies. This picture of him is from fall 2005, when he was a senior at the University of Kansas, had long, curly hair, and spent a whole lot of time playing ultimate. He lives in Carrboro with his wife, their two-year-old son and two cats.
Katy is a Louisiana native who fell in love with North Carolina, from mountains to sea. During the week, she works with a non-profit that connects local farmers to hunger relief organizations. Her great love is tending a flower farm for an eight-week Community Supported Agriculture program she organizes. In addition to teaching Pilates, she enjoys running the North Carolina forest trails and sharing meals around her dinner table with neighbors and friends.
Cara Smelter is a researcher and historian of late 19th century African-American history. In addition to her academic pursuits, Cara is an advocate for animal rights and has been for fourteen years. In the fall of 2015, Cara joined the board of directors at Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge (The Refuge), a farm animal sanctuary in Pittsboro, NC. If Cara is no in a library or archive, you will find her at protests advocating for farm animals, volunteering at The Refuge or at a vegan outreach events. You can reach out to her on Instagram.
Durham native Dan Smith is a Masters Candidate at the Duke University program in experimental and documentary arts. After spending a decade in Washington, D.C. as a national security policy analyst, he returned to North Carolina, in 2006, to raise a family. Through photography and filmmaking, he explore where we've been and where we're going, how we connect with one another and the space in which the global and the local intersect. A self-taught photographer, he holds a B.A. in political science from The George Washington University. Learn more about his work on HeyDanSmith and connect with him on twitter and instagram.
Kinsey Lane Sullivan
Currently based in Charlotte, Kinsey Lane Sullivan is a marketer, freelance writer and co-founder of Be Your Own Muse. She fell deeply in love with North Carolina's unique identity and aesthetic while studying reporting at UNC-Chapel Hill. When she's not working, you can find her making bad puns, singing to her dog, or exploring local cities. Connect via her website, twitter, instagram or LinkedIn.
Ann Borden McIver Thomas
Chapel Hill, NC
Ann Borden grew up climbing trees and running barefoot in Pittsboro, North Carolina. She is currently finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Southern Studies and History. She plans on a career in Historic Preservation, focusing on homes and outbuildings all over the state. She comes from a large family with a long North Carolina history and believes in honoring the state’s past, present, and future.
Lauren Utvich is a native Floridian and recent Brooklyn defector. She has a BA in Art History and graduated from The French Culinary Institute in New York. She is a food writer, recipe developer, and food stylist. Her writing has in Saveur, Food52, and elsewhere. She lives in Wilmington.
Lisa Watts is a former magazine editor turned nonprofit communicator. She and her husband have been migratory, moving from New England to Ohio, then Greensboro, now Durham. She likes her new city just fine, but lately she’s been sneaking off to a little renovated fishing shack on the Neuse River in Pamlico County. There, she’s brewing up some nonfiction writing along with many pots of coffee.
Sol Weiner lives in Carrboro and is a candidate for an M.A. in folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill. Originally from Texas, Sol has been living in North Carolina for five years; although most of his writing, academic or otherwise, focuses on North Carolina's landscapes and politics, he also writes about everything from Tex-Mex conjunto, to baseball, to DIY punk and hardcore music. Connect with him via LinkedIn.
Susan West writes about the people who live in NC's coastal fishing villages. She has worked as a correspondent for National Fisherman magazine and once received a NC Press Association award for a story about "animal grass," a bryozoan that fouled fishing nets. West lives in Buxton with her husband Rob and a yellow lab named Lydia.