Mark Freed

Mark Freed plays a new song, ‘Old Home Place,’ in early 2018.

BOONE — The town of Boone didn’t have to look far to find its new cultural resources director, announcing Mark Freed has been hired to the post on June 28.

“We are excited for Mark to take on this new role as department director in promoting our great town, offering opportunities for everyone to learn more about Appalachian culture and working toward making the town of Boone an even better place to live, work, learn and visit,” Boone Town Manager John Ward said in a statement.

According to the town of Boone, Freed will be administering all cultural resource programs throughout town and operations at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center and Daniel Boone Park.

Freed previously has been employed as the cultural resources coordinator with the town of Boone’s Cultural Resources Department since 2012 and has served as an adjunct instructor with Appalachian State University teaching for both Appalachian Studies and in the Hayes School of Music, according to Boone’s statement. Mark’s previous experience includes positions as folklorist with the Watauga County Arts Council, project manager with the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and project manager with the North Carolina Folklife Institute.

“Mark possesses a wealth of knowledge in various fields including marketing, technical writing, grants and programming,” Ward’s statement said.

Freed holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in Appalachian Studies from ASU and a master’s in library science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, according to the town of Boone.

Freed will succeed Pilar Fotta, who has been Boone’s cultural resources director since September 2012. Fotta’s last day is July 4, as she told the Boone Town Council on June 18.

The town is asking for suggestions on how to make downtown Boone even better. Freed’s office is located inside the Jones House Cultural and Community Center at 604 W. King St. and he can be reached at or (828) 268-6280.

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