Sisters Folk Festival Receives Luthier Grant

Sisters Folk Festival Inc. (SFF) received a $25,000 grant from the Chichester DuPont Foundation for the Americana Community Luthier Program at Sisters High School. This is the second grant given to the program by the foundation; the first totaled $20,000 and was used to make equipment facility upgrades to better serve the students. The original 2011 grant played a pivotal role in building a stronger, healthier program.


We are so grateful for the Foundation’s faith in this program,” said Development Director, Katy Yoder. “This additional investment elevates this unique class to an even more professional level. There will be more opportunities for cross-curricular learning because of the equipment available to students.” The luthier program develops makers of stringed instruments such as violins or guitars.


Three main areas were addressed in the second grant: safety upgrades, vocational education expansion and construction equipment upgrades. The second grant will provide continuing safety training classes for instructors and will better prepare them for future safety challenges. Enhancements include improved ventilation, replacing safety equipment and the construction of a storage area for guitar cases.


Expanded vocational training will help Sisters High School students to be competitive. The class provides experience students need when looking at fields they might want to pursue. It also gives them a better chance at getting a job working in a design/manufacturing field right out of high school. Several students have graduated from Sisters High School and found work in the field of engineering and luthier because of the training they received. The grant will allow the class to do even more.


In order to build their own guitar or ukulele, students must first take the Woods I class to ensure proficiency and a commitment to the arduous process ahead. The class is the proving ground for the Americana Community Luthier Program and is integrally connected to the success of luthier students. As the foundation class, it is imperative to have equipment that supports the students. Replacement of worn-out tools will help students to continue their work with Habitat for Humanity and local builders who provide low-income housing in our community and beyond.


 “I am so pleased by the support we have been given by the Sisters Folk Festival/Chichester grant,” said Sisters High School Woods Instructor Tony Cosby. “This will move us into a new dimension as far as safety goes, and will enable us to implement the Engineering and Technology part of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).


Info: Artistic Director Brad Tisdel –

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