photo provided
photo provided
Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band will be performing their one and only Central Oregon show on Wednesday, June 27, at Sisters High School, as part of the celebration of the organization’s campaign purchase of the Sisters Art Works building, where it has its headquarters.

“The capital campaign is titled Connected by Creativity and is basically a two-phase process to purchase this building that can be developed as a center for creativity in the community,” said Sisters Folk Festival Creative Director Brad Tisdel.

The event on June 27 is a ticketed show to help continue to raise funds for buying the building, as well as celebrating the first phase in the purchase. The capital campaign began two years ago when SFF got an offer to purchase the building they have been in for 11 years. The idea behind purchasing the building was to create a space for integrated arts education for the entire community.

“We want to give adults and the underserved population in the community the opportunity to be creative and have a place that is specified for that,” said SFF Development Director Steven Remington.

The staff and those working on the campaign hope to have purchased the building by July of this year and continue to have their current tenants rent and be a part of the creative space/mecca it will be.

“We really want people to celebrate with us and kick off us taking ownership of the building,” said Tisdel.

The campaign has three main pillars: “to promote lifelong learning, build a vibrant community and stimulate the local regional economy,” according to Sisters Folk Festival’s website. Connected by Creativity is a way to promote arts and music being made available to the entire community.

Singer-songwriter and storyteller Josh Ritter is the performer for the celebration event. “We booked him because it was a routed date on his tour and felt like it was an opportunity to have an artist that is doing really interesting work right now,” said Tisdel.

Ritter is touring behind his most recent album: “Fever Breaks.” The album contains a collection of songs about the world today.

“The album took a while to create, but when I look back I know the reason I made it: It was the world and the stuff we are looking at right now, the songs were looking at me square in the face,” said Ritter.

His writing process has changed over time, and with these songs he believes that the songs wrote themselves. The album has a collection of songs about the political climate, but he didn’t want the album to be an overwhelming collection of darkness.

“It was also a way to redeem the current situation through love and hope,” said Ritter. Some of the songs he had been working on for many years and some came right away.

“The amount of work a song gets can never justify if a song will stand on its own two feet, but a lot of these songs did,” he said.

Legendary musician and fellow singer-songwriter Jason Isbell was one of the main producers on Ritter’s album.

“I had the opportunity to support Jason years ago and I loved his music and his writing and wanted to work with him further,” said Ritter.

Isbell and Ritter worked on the album together from its infancy to its release.

“It really felt like a natural fit to have someone like Jason on the album; he really knows what he is doing and is a master musician,” said Ritter.

This will be Ritter’s second time in Sisters, and he is looking forward to returning to be a part of the celebration of the first phase of purchasing the Sisters Art Works building.

“It is such a beautiful place and I am looking forward to having my family there and have a whole day in that community,” said


Slater Smith, graduate of Sisters High School, Americana Project alum and member of the Portland-based band, The Weather Machine, will be opening for Ritter at the celebration. Smith explained on Facebook what it means to him to be opening for Josh Ritter, who is one of his biggest musical inspirations:

“On June 27, I’ll be hitting another one of those big, strange, beautiful landmarks of my creative life. While Josh Ritter may be one of my greatest artistic influences, I wouldn’t even be playing music at all if it wasn’t for the Sisters Folk Festival’s Americana Project. This amazing non-profit put a guitar in 16-year-old Slater’s hands back in 2007, and ever-so-subtly said ‘go for it.’ In a few weeks, on the Sisters High School stage, in the building where it all started for me, I’ll be performing my own songs with my good friend Tim Karplus. We’ll be opening for Josh Ritter to raise money for the Sisters Folk Festival.”

The Capital Campaign Celebration will be held at the Sisters High School auditorium on June 27 at 7?p.m. Tickets can be bought through the Sisters Folk Festival office or on their website. All proceeds from ticket sales go toward the festival’s campaign to further the process of purchasing the Sisters Art Works building.