Luckey-Smith receives CSA Founders Award

Mar 27, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo CATCH THE SPIRIT — Presenting the CSA Founders Scholarship are Amy Ammons Garza, Keegan Luckey-Smith, scholarship winner, and Doreyl Ammons Cain.

The Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (CSA) awarded four $500 scholarships for Appalachian Studies March 15, at its scholarship fundraising dinner. Keegan Luckey-Smith, from Four Oaks Academy, in Haywood County, was one of the recipients, winning the CSA Founders Award.

The Founders Award focuses the arts, writing, and history, and was presented by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia co-founder, Doreyl Ammons Cain.

Luckey-Smith is described as “a young man who loves music.” He picked up the banjo at age 8, and felt a connection to old time music.  He spent the next year listening to all the Appalachian music he could find. He built his first banjo and learned as much as he could. Soon afterward he found out about the Junior Appalachian Music program (JAM), sponsored by the Haywood County Arts Council. He had found a place to explore the history and his love of music

“I never looked back,” he said.

With his band, he has opened for Doc Watson and David Holt, and played for N.C. Gov. Purdue. In giving back to his community, he’s served on the youth council for 4-H; played for fundraisers, area nursing homes, and volunteered his teaching talents at JAM. Luckey-Smith plans to enroll at Haywood Community College, then go on to East Tennessee State University.

For information about the Catch the Spirit of Appalachia Scholarships for Appalachia Studies, visit or call 631-4587.