Texas Folklife wishes a very fond farewell to long-time publicist Sheree Scarborough, who is moving on from public relations to focus on her successful career in oral history and writing. For a decade Scarborough oversaw several public relations, press, and marketing projects for Texas Folklife’s flagship programming, aiding in their growth and success as well as for the organization overall.
Scarborough joined Texas Folklife in the fall of 2008, overseeing press and marketing materials for the Big Squeeze accordion contest. Over ten years Sheree worked with three executive directors of the organization on marketing and PR for a variety of Texas Folklife flagship programs including the Big Squeeze, Accordion Kings & Queens, Apprenticeships in the Folk & Traditional Arts, Stories from Deep in the Heart, Texas Folklife gallery exhibits, house concerts, and many more, even after moving to Virginia in 2010. Before serving as Texas Folklife’s chief public relations manager, Scarborough also worked with Texas Folklife in 2003-4, producing several newsletters and running PR for two popular Texas Folkmasters tribute concerts to Cindy Walker and Freddy Fender.
In large part thanks to Sheree’s work, Texas Folklife’s Big Squeeze program has seen immense growth and attracted much media attention over the years. 2018 saw the largest and most diverse pool of contestants, and the media coverage has become more extensive, deep, and widespread. The Big Squeeze and Texas Folklife’s Accordion Kings & Queens has attracted such national press as The New York Times and NPR; consistently has attracted important statewide magazines such as Texas Monthly, Texas Highways, and Texas Music Magazine; and is a favorite of local outlets such as Houston Press, the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, the Austin Chronicle, The Monitor, the Valley Morning Star, and many others. The list goes on to include local NPR-outlets, television stations, musical genre publications and outlets.
Now Sheree is moving on in order to continue her outstanding work in writing and oral history, where she has over 30 years of experience in deep listening, helping craft personal stories, as well as creating and directing larger scale biographical or subject-oriented oral history projects. Some of her current projects include work with The Phillips Collection in DC, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, DC - an institute of the NIH (National Institutes of Health), an oral history project of a Rosenwald School through the Heritage Foundation of Franklin, Tennessee. Scarborough is also working on her second book based on an oral history she conducted with Nannie B. Hairston (southwestern Virginia civil rights leader) in 2015-16, who died in 2017. Her first book, African American Railroad Workers of Roanoke: Oral Histories of the Norfolk & Western (2014 The History Press) is widely available.
Texas Folklife would like to sincerely thank Sheree for her 10 years of dedication and great work. We send her and her family our very best, and wish her success on all her current and future endeavors!
Learn more about Sheree Scarborough’s work here:
Texas Folklife is partnering with High Kick Public Relations, based in Austin, TX, for 2019 programming marketing and PR.