Two and a half years ago, Matt and Mary Williams purchased the building at 332 Elm St. in Ludlow, Ky., at the insistence of their late friend Mike Amann, founder of BLDG
. They moved in upstairs and a month ago opened Folk School Coffee Parlor
in the first-floor retail space.
“It’s an attempt to keep the community alive and the shared knowledge aspect of traditional American arts, tied into the local folk/Americana music scene,” says Casey Campbell, who manages the Folk School.
The Folk School offers small Americana-based workshops, including beginners guitar and mandolin, clawhammer banjo and songwriting workshops. The classes aren’t all music related, and there are plans to have a few installations from local visual artists as well as a series of rotating resident artists, gallery showings and hands-on workshops.
In January, Folk School will start offering masters series classes, with the first featuring renowned recording artist Jeff Plankenhorn
“Folk is a very broad term, but I regard true folk arts as something that has its heart and roots in traditional American storytelling and mediums, quilt-making, songs of protest and worker’s rights, and banjos and fiddles playing two-step music no matter the decade it was written,” Campbell says. “Folk can be whatever you want it to be. But I think of it as something that ties me to a time way past my own, like a black-and-white picture of something extraordinarily familiar.”
Everything at Folk School is small batch, including a limited food menu. But you can enjoy Grateful Grahams
, Whirlybird Granola
and Dean’s Mediterranean
while you sip coffee from Deeper Roots
“Ludlow is on the cusp of bringing in a top-notch arts and entertainment scene to an area that is still run by quiet side streets and people that live and work in peace,” Campbell says. “It’s the epitome of small town by the big town.”
Folk School is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Keep tabs on Folk School’s calendar
for upcoming classes and installations.