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Folklore & Allied Professions

Welcome to a growing reservoir of information and pathways that can lead you to more information, people, and organizations in the field of folklore and allied fields.


FOLK ARTS & CULTURE:   Folklore and Allied Professions

Folk Arts Around the Nation

Alliance for California Traditional Arts
Amy Kitchener, Executive Director
1245 Van Ness
Fresno, CA 93721
E-mail: info@actaonline.org

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) cultivates the growth and preservation of traditional arts and culture in California through traditional arts apprenticeships, advocacy, research and documentation; services to artists including mentoring, marketing and promotion, and grant acquisition; and through communication via their website.

Library of Congress
The American Folklife Center
101 Independence Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20540-4610
Folklife Reading Room:
Fax 202/707-2076
E-mail: folklife@loc.gov

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress is charged to "preserve and present American folklife." From their web site, you can access information on AFC’s many programs and services, retrieve full texts of selected publications, view digital presentations of collections, and follow links to other resources. The Center also coordinates the Veterans History Project [VHP]; useful oral history and ethnographic resources are accessible from the "Participate in the Project" section of the VHP homepage.

American Folklore Society
Timothy Lloyd, Executive Director
Mershon Center
Ohio State University
1501 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201-2602
Fax 614/292-2407
E-mail: lloyd.100@osu.edu

The American Folklore Society, founded in 1888, serves to stimulate interest and research in all aspects of the study of folklore and folklife. The Society exists to further the discipline of folklore studies, to improve the professional well-being of its members, and to increase the respect given to diverse cultures and their traditions. The AFS web site provides information on the Society, its services and programs, annual conference, prizes, internship opportunities and publications. Folklore, Equal Access and Social Action is the theme for the American Folklore Society’s 117th annual meeting scheduled for October 19-23, 2005, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Smithsonian Institution
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

750 9th Street NW,
Suite 4100
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20560-0953
Fax 202/275-1119
E-mail: folklife-info@si.edu

The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution promotes the understanding and continuity of contemporary grassroots cultures in the United States and abroad. The Center produces the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, exhibitions, documentary films and videos, symposia, and educational materials. The Center also conducts research, provides educational and research opportunities, and maintains an archival collection.

Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program
Lynne Williamson,
Program Director
The Institute for Community Research
Two Hartford Square West,
Suite 100
146 Wyllys Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5128
Fax 860/278-2141
E-mail: lynne.williamson@icrweb.org

Serving as the state-wide folk and traditional arts program, Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CHAP) conducts fieldwork research in partnership with artists and other community members, and transforms research results into activities of interest to a broad audience. CHAP documents the state’s diverse ethnic and occupational artistic traditions, and supports artists and their communities through educational and public programs that communicate these traditions to Connecticut citizens. CHAP collaborates with a regional network of artists, community scholars, advisors, agencies and organizations on projects such as documentation of community traditions, production of performances and exhibits, radio broadcasts, curriculum development, promotion and marketing of traditional artists, and education services.

Florida Folklife Program
Bureau of Historic Preservation
500 S. Bronough St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250

The Florida Folklife Program (FFP), a component of the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources, documents and presents the folklife, folklore, and folk arts of the state. Its full-time staff of professional folklorists and administrative support personnel form a base in the Bureau of Historic Preservation. FFP coordinates a wide range of activities and projects designed to increase the awareness of Floridians and visitors alike about traditional cultures. At their website, you’ll find links to their radio series on traditional music, folklife research, Folk Heritage Awards, Folklife Apprenticeship Program, Folklife Days demonstrations, Statewide Outreach Initiative, Folklife in Education program, and folklife collections.

Idaho Commission on the Arts (ICA)
Folk and Traditional Arts Program

Dan Harpole, ICA Executive Director
Maria Carmen Gambliel,
Director, Folk & Traditional Arts
2410 North Old Penitentiary Rd.
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0008
Fax 208/334-2488
E-mail: mcgambliel@arts.idaho.gov

The Idaho Commission on the Arts is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts in Idaho. The Folk & Traditional Arts Program documents and assists in the continuation and presentation of the traditional folk arts in Idaho communities. Fieldwork highlighted at their site includes a Survey of Latino Folk Life, Idaho Artistic and Culture Traditions, and Discovering Cultural Traditions (a field school for cultural documentation).

Museum of International Folk Art
Joyce Ice, Director
P.O. Box 2087
Santa Fe, NM 87504-2087
Fax 505/476-1300
E-mail: jice@moifa.org

The Museum of International Folk Art exists to preserve the world’s folk arts and to promote their understanding by collecting, interpreting, and presenting folk culture from all parts of the globe. The Museum stresses a multi-disciplinary approach, endeavoring to promote knowledge across national boundaries through folk art and its related fields. The Museum is committed to public education and to programs that serve diverse audiences. In cooperation with community educators and scholars, the Museum strives to encourage active learning through hands-on activities. The Museum features permanent, changing, traveling, and interactive exhibitions, produces publications based on collections and exhibitions, and develops curriculum resources for teachers.

Middle Atlantic Folklife Association (MAFA)
Iveta Pirgova-Todorova, President
Send correspondence to:
c/o Douglas Manger
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
201 N. Charles Street, Suite 401
Baltimore, MD 21201

The Middle Atlantic Folklife Association (MAFA) is a professional organization of folklorists, educators, artists, and community leaders interested in folklife research and presentation, serving Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Members of MAFA interpret, present, fund, teach, encourage, and advocate for traditional cultural expressions in the region. MAFA supports this diversity of approaches through services to its members and constituents. Publications and meetings of MAFA offer a forum for the exchange of information on research, programs, issues, and opportunities in the field of folklore.

Missouri Folklore Society
P.O. Box 1757
Columbia, MO 65205-1757

Prof. Adam Brooke Davis, Webmaster
Division of Language and Literature
Truman State University
Kirksville, MO 63501
Fax 660-785-7486
E-mail: adavis@truman.edu

The Missouri Folklore Society was first organized in 1906 "to encourage the collection, preservation and study of folklore in the widest sense, including customs, institutions, beliefs, signs, legends, language, literature, musical arts, and folk arts and crafts of all ethnic groups throughout the State of Missouri." Reactivated in 1977, it now has membership of approximately 350. The Missouri Folklore Society holds annual meetings, publishes an annual journal and quarterly newsletters, and awards prizes for student papers related to Missouri folklore. The Society also publishes articles and books on folklore and folkways on-line.

National Council for Traditional Arts
Joe Wilson, Chairman of NCTA
Julia Olin, Executive Director
1320 Fenwick Lane, Suite 200
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Fax 301/565-0472
E-mail: info@ncta.net

The National Council for Traditional Arts (NCTA) is a private, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the presenting and documenting traditional arts. Founded in 1933, it is the nation’s oldest producing and presenting organization that deals with folk, ethnic and tribal arts. Its programs celebrate and honor arts that are deeply rooted cultural expressions—music, crafts, stories and dance—passed down through time by families, communities, tribal, ethnic, and occupational groups. The NCTA stresses quality and authenticity in presenting traditional arts to the public in festivals, national and international tours, concerts, radio and television programs, films, and other avenues. NCTA tours have traveled to 49 states and performed in hundreds of community centers, high school auditoriums, and major concert halls. Tours organized by the NCTA have taken American performers to 31 other countries. Additionally, the NCTA has served the Arts America Program of the United States Information Agency and other organizations as consultants and presenters.

The North Carolina Folklife Institute
Beverly Patterson, Executive Director
2726 Croasdaile Drive, Suite 203 B
Durham, NC 27705-2590
E-mail: staff@ncfolk.org

The North Carolina Folklife Institute was incorporated in 1974 with a mission to promote the preservation and understanding of folklife in North Carolina. With the creation of the North Carolina Office of Folklife Programs, the Institute worked behind the scenes to support programs initiated by the new folklife office. That support continued when the folklife office became part of the North Carolina Arts Council (NCAC) in the early 1980s. Recent projects include development of interpretive Cherokee Heritage Trails’ exhibits, production of a CD featuring archival recordings of western North Carolina musician Marcus Martin, and production of a series of traditional-artist-and-community profiles for broadcast on National Public Radio. New projects include development of heritage tourism trails in rural areas across North Carolina, development of a traditional artist directory for the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, and development of the Institute’s website as a resource for information about the state’s most authentic folk and traditional arts and artists and their communities.

Oregon Historical Society Folklife Program
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205
Fax 503/221-2035
E-mail: folklife@ohs.org

The Oregon Folklife Program, staffed by folklorists and other cultural specialists trained in ethnography, is a department of the Oregon Historical Society. Its mission is to document, present, and encourage the preservation of traditional arts and cultures throughout Oregon. Their web site details their programs and projects, has materials for educators and resources for folklife archives, audio-visual materials, and other folklore on the web.

Ozark Folk Center
Bill Young, General Manager
Dr. W. K. McNeil, Folklife Director
P.O. Box 500
Mountain View, AR 72560
Fax 870/269-2909
E-mail: ozarkfolkcenter@arkansas.com

The Ozark Folk Center is situated on 600 acres, of which 80 have been developed, one mile outside Mt. View, Arkansas. It is devoted to the study and preservation of the traditional 19th and early 20th century culture of the Ozark Mountain region, a vast area consisting of portions of five states (Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma). OFC has a heritage craft demonstration area, beautiful Heritage Herb Gardens and a 1,000 seat music theater which presents traditional Southern mountain music shows mid-April-October. Days of operation vary throughout the season. Call the park before traveling or visit their website at www.ozarkfolkcenter.com. It also has a newly renovated 60 room lodge, a full service restaurant, a gift shop, and a library containing approximately 16,000 items, including books; videos; cassettes; 78, 33-1/3, 45 and CD recordings; photos; and various forms of ephemera.

Philadelphia Folklore Project
Debora Kodish
735 S. 50th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Fax 215/726-6520
E-mail: pfp@folkloreproject.org

The Philadelphia Folklore Project works to sustain local folk arts and culture in the Philadelphia area. A 18-year old independent public interest folklife agency, the Project develops exhibitions and public programs, and offers technical assistance to artists and communities. The agency conducts local field research and is involved in folk arts advocacy. PFP publishes books, documentary videos, and a magazine.

Renewing the Countryside
2105 First Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
E-mail: info@rtcinfo.org

At the Renewing the Countryside (RTC) website, you will find stories (organized by topic or region) of everyday people making a difference in their rural communities. The stories here are of farmers, artists, business owners, community leaders, non-profit organizers, youth and others. By sharing stories of rural renewal, building pubic awareness and support for sustainable endeavors, connecting people interested in rural development, providing practical assistance and networking opportunities for those working to improve rural America, and fostering connections between urban and rural people, RTC provides inspiration, ideas, and assistance to individuals and communities seeking to strengthen their rural communities and reduce poverty.

The Southwest Center
Joseph Wilder, Director
Maribel Alvarez, Public Folklorist
1052 North Highland Avenue
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721
Fax: 520/621-9922
E-mail: jwilder@email.arizona.edu

The Southwest Center brings together faculty and research associates from many disciplines to research, interpret, and present the region’s natural and human cultures. Insights are drawn from social and intellectual history, anthropology, geography, folklore, literature, photography, architecture, politics, ecology, ethno-botany, and the natural sciences to study the special character of the Southwest. The Center sponsors and facilitates research on the Greater Southwest, publishes exemplary work growing from that research, and acts in service to citizens of the region through programs of teaching and outreach.

Vermont Folklife Center
Brent Björkman, Executive Director
Gregory L. Sharrow, Director of Education/Folklorist
88 Main Street
Middlebury, VT 05753
Fax 802/388-1844
E-mail: info@vermontfolklifecenter.org

The Vermont Folklife Center, founded in 1984, is dedicated to preserving and presenting the folk arts and cultural traditions of Vermont and the surrounding region. Through ongoing field research, a sound archive of over 3000 taped interviews, and an apprenticeship program, the Center documents and conserves cultural heritage. With exhibits and media, publication and educational projects, the Center presents the skills, talents and traditions of Vermonters.

Western Folklife Center
Charlie Seemann, Executive Director
501 Railroad Street
Elko, Nevada 89801
Fax: 775/738-2900 E-mail: wfc@westernfolklife.org

The Western Folklife Centeris a regional nonprofit organization that works to expand understanding by celebrating the everyday traditions of people who live and work in the American West. Though it is best known for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Folklife Center provides exhibitions, performances, and a full array of educational programs at its cultural center in Elko and in communities across the West. The Folklife Center also regularly produces national programming for public radio and television, and creates CDs and DVDs based on original fieldwork.


Other Allied Organizations

Is your organization missing from our resources page? E-mail us with your organization name, applicable program or center name, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address, director’s name and title, an organizational description of 75 words or less, the URL of your web site. We will consider all submissions but reserve the right to select and edit those we feel are most appropriate for this site.

Changes? Is your organization here, but you’ve moved, changed your email or your leadership, or introduced new programs you would like to highlight, then please help us keep this page updated. Email nyfs@nyfolklore.org with any updates.

NEW YORK FOLKLORE SOCIETY ♦ 129 Jay Street ♦ Schenectady, NY 12305 ♦ 518.346.7008 ♦ Fax 518.346.6617 ♦ nyfs@nyfolklore.org