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Stories and Music from the Dawn of Time
The stories and music Hawk shares, bring the wonders and wisdom of ancient cultures to life. Many of his tales rely on musical instruments crafted by Hawk, himself. An eight time recording artist, and the author of two children’s books, Hawk has offered his educational programs for over two decades. He and his wife, Ayal, currently live in Historic Charleston, South Carolina. They own and operate, Merhaven Bed no Breakfast, and it is there that Hawk creates his Native American-style flutes and drums.
Hawk also offers artist-in-residency programs, in-school field trips, and adult classes in storytelling, Native American-style flute and drum making, as well as, a variety of gourd-inspired projects. As an approved Stories for Life instructor, Hawk leads unique storytelling residencies, using a SC State Education Standards approved curriculum. You can learn more about his hands-on educational offerings, by visiting the School Programs page and the Adult Classes page.
Hawk’s educational background includes a Masters of Science degree in Environmental Education from Lesley College and the Audubon Expedition Institute, as well as undergraduate degrees in Psychology and in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma. He has served as the past President of the South Carolina Storytelling Network and has been a featured teller at numerous festivals across the country and abroad. He has co-directed both the Stories for Life (storytelling) Festival and the Piccolo Spoleto Children’s Festival, held annually in Charleston, SC. He is a long-standing member of the North Carolina Storytelling Guild, and is on the active artist roster of the South Carolina Arts Commission.
Hawk has long worked in the field of Environmental Education. He continues to lead nature hikes, as well as teaching ancient living skills at outdoor centers such as the Green River Preserve, Blue Star Camps, and Earth Skill Rendezvous. He and his wife, Ayal, were the co-founders and former directors of a unique, non-profit summer camp and outdoor education center, known as Silver Water Retreat. The summer camp programs, known as Earth Camp, have been ongoing for nearly two decades and are now held at Buffalo Cove Hollow. The activities focus on Native American & early Appalachian living skills and teach organic gardening, outdoor education, and nature awareness.
Hawk is the owner of Hawk Hurst Flutes, offering cultural arts education, storytelling, Native American-style flute making and drum making. He is a storyteller, author, and folk musician, performing throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and the United States. He offers a variety of Native American storytelling and nature-oriented performances at summer camps, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, festivals, and retreats.
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Quotes from Educators and Parents
“What you brought to our ‘Primitive Technology Week’... those sounds, songs, and stories were powerful. You have a marvelous way of connecting with all of the students.” - Tom Manke, Head Naturalist, Hammond Middle School
“Thank you for bringing the wonderful gift that you have for Native American flute making. The audience was absolutely fascinated by your skill with the river cane and your beautiful, flute playing.” - Rebecca, Sewee Center
“Hawk’s gentle approach to teaching and storytelling has touched the lives of hundreds of students at our school. I never grow tired of watching my student’s faces as they help each other create unique musical instruments. Hawk has a way of allowing each child to be treated with kindness and respect.” - Yvonne, Elementary School Teacher
“You are remarkably intuitive and kind in such a way that the students respond enthusiastically to your stories, music, and instruction. You are a gifted model for teachers and parents in encouraging positive relationships and rapport with young people.” - Joy, Middle School Music Teacher & Parent
“After Hawk’s performance last year all of our fourth graders wanted to know if they would get to make their own flutes next year. The flutes he makes with the students make such nice instruments and keepsakes. He’s fabulous! We absolutely love having Hawk come to our school.” - Barbara, Art Teacher, Middle School
“Hawk - you do an excellent job of teaching, as well as modeling, respect for others and for nature.” - Cindy, Teacher & Parent
“I have especially enjoyed Hawk’s unique way of combining all the spheres of health in his teaching and performances: physical, through movement; social, through group interaction; mental, illustrating deep and rich concepts; spiritual/intuitive, through all of the above and his own powerful spirit!” - Pete C. Reichle, Professor, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC