OUR VISION STATEMENT
The Fold exists to nurture a creative environment through workshops and retreats, giving writers & artists the opportunity to safely find their original voice.
The Fold was co-founded by Leslie Jordan and Chris DeTray. Leslie was one-half of the Grammy-nominated duo All Sons & Daughters and Chris DeTray is a Nashville-based artist manager (Dave Barnes, All Sons & Daughters, Matt Wertz, & Sandra McCracken).
In 2016, Leslie felt a stirring and sensed that the word “fold” would play a significant role in her future as she birthed a songwriting community at her church. The writers came together with a desire to listen for the voice of God and to write what they heard. Leslie functioned as a connector of sorts for these budding & experienced songwriters to write for their church family. After attending a creative writing workshop in Amherst, MA and hosting a song-writing retreat, Leslie caught a glimpse of the work that she was being called into. This calling turned into a vision for the non-profit which led to her partnership with Chris DeTray.
As a former artist and current artist manager, Chris had also felt within himself a desire to see things change for songwriters and artists in Nashville. His heart to walk alongside writers & artists and encourage them to create art that will impact culture was growing rapidly when he sat down with Leslie in December of 2016.
As they laid out their visions, Chris & Leslie began to ask if the two were one in the same. Following a season of prayer and vision-defining, Chris & Leslie decided to step out in faith to start The Fold Writers & Artists.
In February of 2017, Leslie became a certified AWA Affiliate (Amherst Writers & Artists) and has been leading creative writing workshops while Chris secured their 501-(c)3 non-profit status in the state of Tennessee. They have an amazing board of directors and three additional certified workshop leaders in the middle Tennessee area.
“The strange thing about sheep is that because of their very makeup it is almost impossible for them to be made to lie down unless four requirements are met.” -Phillip Keller
Sheep will not lie down unless they are:
1) Free from all fear – outside threats.
2) Free from friction with others of their kind – inside threats.
3) Free from parasites or pests – distractions or inner/personal threats.
4) Free from hunger – underlying basic needs.
Historically, a sheepfold was the place a shepherd built and led his sheep at night to feed them, and protect them from predators, weather, and restlessness. Sheep are inherently vulnerable animals and so it was important for their safety that they had a quiet place to sleep at night where the shepherd could keep watch.
Writers & songwriters live in an ongoing state of vulnerability in the art they create and through the way they share it. Our desire for The Fold is to become that safe place for writers & songwriters to be themselves. To rest. To find community. To find their voice. To share their voice.