The Firefly Gathering is a grassroots, community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Western North Carolina, providing educational and cultural programming to the Asheville area since 2007. By offering a cyclical sharing of traditional craft and wisdom in community, we reconnect people in the Southeast with the teachings of the past to engage with the rapidly changing present to co-create a sustainable future.
Our classes offer the opportunity to touch, see, smell, hear and fall in love with the natural world. They offer connection to community, an integral part of being human, which can be challenging in the modern world. They combine the wisdom and skills our ancestors cultivated with modern understandings of our world to shape better ways of living together on this planet.
Many of our topics reach deep into our ancestral lineages. We offer classes on fire craft, herbal medicine, storytelling, foraging, flint knapping, basketry, cordage, hide tanning, bow making, and more. Older than written word, these ancient and unifying skills were developed and used all over the globe. When possible, we honor the origin of the skills that have been passed down to us, in thanks to the generations of people who’ve kept them.
Modern skills, conversations and appropriate technology also have their place, as humans are consistently learning and adapting. Firefly appreciates contemporary approaches when they help us live well and align with our values. You might find a class on environmental remediation with fungus, safe chainsaw operation, animal care and sustainable agriculture, NVC, solar power, decolonization and racial justice, bicycle repair and much more.
Most of our classes combine elements of old and new. Among these you’ll encounter topics like timber framing, blacksmithing, permaculture, natural building, organic gardening, wood carving, food preservation and fermentation, healing arts, fiber arts, tiny house design, and more.
Whether you are looking for personal growth, a deeper connection to nature and your ancestors, healthy global ecosystems, a sustainable future for humans, wilderness survival, farmsteading, or a fun thing to do with loved ones, Firefly has a class for you!
The Firefly Gathering has long had an intention to make the life-changing skills that we offer at our Annual Gathering accessible to more people. We are incredibly excited and grateful to announce Perennial Firefly! This program serves to broaden our reach into every season of the year. Whether you’ve been curious about our annual gathering but haven’t yet made it, or if you’ve attended in the past but simply want more, this is a great opportunity to learn!
Each year near the full moon of summer solstice, hundreds of people from diverse lineages, expertise, and backgrounds convene from around the globe at Firefly for a multi-day gathering. Over the course of the event, many teachers of assorted ages and backgrounds offer over 300 classes spanning our full range of subjects. In addition to classes, we offer ceremony, entertainment, and other opportunities to connect. The evenings are filled with music, dancing, drum circles, spoken word, song circles, art and more. We also have a variety of programs for children ages 3 to 17, which are centered around nature connection and learning skills. Here folks of all ages get a taste of deep connection—living in community with a culture which values personal growth and skill sharing, mentorship and ancestral wisdom, and living healthy and peaceful lives together.
In addition to Perennial and Annual Firefly, we are also focusing on Community Connection. This program is designed to unite various communities and organizations in Western North Carolina to share resources, support each other, and create a web of commonality. The past few years have shown us that strength comes from the ground up, from the support networks we as individuals build, and from each other. We seek to identify the emerging needs of this rapidly changing time through the lens of nature and our elders and meet those needs by weaving a strong web of change that ALL can be a part of.