Regional Organizations

Explore The Network

Across the country, folklorists in state and regional arts and humanities agencies, museums, colleges, and nonprofit cultural organizations document traditional culture and culture bearers, developing resources that make local learning visible and preserving a wide-ranging array of folk artistry. Please send additions and corrections to

National Resources

American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress provides abundant digitized music, audio recordings, photographs, and document collections. Read A Commonwealth of Cultures to learn more about the discipline of folklore. Use the Teacher’s Guide to Folklife Resources to find free education resources. AFC’s Veterans History Project site allows users to hear and view veterans’ stories and provides kits for collecting local stories.

American Folklore Society was founded in 1888 and publishes the Journal of American Folklore and hosts an annual conference. The Education Section publishes an annual newsletter and awards the Dorothy Howard Folklore and Education Prize to work that encourages the study and use of folklore in school environments. Members do not have to join AFS to join the section, dues are $10 per year.

American Routes is public radio program hosted by folklorist Nick Spitzer, providing weekly forays into the rich traditional roots of American popular music. Archives include interviews with major musicians of many genres.

Americans for the Arts serves as an information and advocacy group for the arts and arts education and is the membership organization for local arts agencies.

ArtsEdge supports the placement of the arts at the center of the curriculum and advocates creative use of technology to enhance K-12 education. A program of the John F. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the site provides comprehensive lessons, articles, and resources for arts learning in all grade levels.

Arts Education Partnership is a coalition of education, arts, business, philanthropic, and government organizations promoting the essential role of arts education for enabling all students to succeed in school, life, and work. Find advocacy tools such as research reports, web resources, and information on past and future forums. Subscribe to the Arts Ed Digest, published electronically every two weeks.

Community Works is a network promoting deep community connections in education. Resources include summer institutes, workshops, and an online journal. Contact: Joe Brooks

Davenport Films creates acclaimed American adaptations of Grimms’ Brothers fairytales for public television. Link to family folklore and other classroom resources from Willa: An American Snow White.

Folkstreams is a national preserve of folklore documentaries that stream for free online. The Educators Portal and Generations Portal are designed for classrooms as well as public programs.

Honky Tonks, Hymns, and the Blues provides educational background on many southern musical traditions. The site allows students to listen to radio shows and use study guides on technology and music, guitars, women and country music, gospel, and music of the U.S.-Mexican border.

Library of Congress has extensive resources for educators and students, including summer institutes, lesson plans, blogs, and more.

Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) is a link-tank connecting communities, scholars, practitioners, and government workers into collaboratories for bottom-up research and policy engagement. LiKEN nurtures collaborative research and planning to integrate culture, ecology, entrepreneurship, health, and other topics that matter to communities.

Masters of Traditional Arts is an online guide that links users to multimedia resources for 26 NEA National Heritage Fellows. Units of study such as Sense of Place, Sense of Wonder, Sense of Discovery and classroom activities model how educators can develop lessons and incorporate regional folk artists into their teaching.

Music National Service is a nonprofit movement supporting music for the public good. This “musical Peace Corps” operates in several cities.

National Art Education Association supports visual art education through research, advocacy, and resources.

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) is the membership organization of the nation’s state and jurisdictional arts agencies. Identify your state arts council and find advocacy materials.

National Council for the Traditional Arts produces traditional music tours and nationwide folk arts festivals, including the National Folk Festival, which rotates to a new city every three years.

National Endowment for the Arts Folk and Traditional Arts Program supports folklorists around the nation, often through state arts agencies. They fund Local Learning and other folk arts in education initiatives nationwide. Find National Heritage Fellows from your region using the web site.

National Endowment for the Humanities spotlights exemplary education sites in the Edsitement portal and funds many teacher institutes. Each state has its own local humanities council.

National Museum of African American History and Culture‘s 12 inaugural exhibitions focus on broad themes of history, culture and community. These exhibitions have been conceived to help transform visitors’ understanding of American history and culture and to help visitors adapt to and participate in changing definitions of American citizenship, liberty and equality. There are also educational resources online.

National Park Service ParkNet is among NPS teaching resources related to culture and place, including Links to the Past and Teaching With Historic Places.

Oral History Association offers online resources, annual meeting schedules, and useful links.

Promise of Place is a network of educators promoting place-based education. Online resources include curriculum and planning tools.

Public Broadcasting System resources include high-quality online lessons for a vast range of cultural documentaries.

Quilt Alliance recognizes quilts as historical works of art, capturing stories that should be documented and preserved. Online resources include quilt exhibits, interviews with quilters, preservation and documentation in Save our Stories, the journal Boxes Under the Bed, exhibits, and the comprehensive Quilt Index with detailed information on hundreds of American quilts.

Sing Out! preserves and supports traditional and contemporary folk music to encourage making folk music part of daily life.

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage features online teaching guides such as Masters of the Building Arts, the Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Guide, and Discovering Our Delta student and teacher guides. Online exhibits for students include Water Ways, Borders/Fronteras and The Silk Road. The Masters of Tradition: A Cultural Journey Across America interactive story map can help students discover and explore the great diversity of cultures, communities, and artistic traditions that enrich the United States, and inspire them to want to learn more about their own cultural heritage and the traditions of others. Developed by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in collaboration with National Endowment for the Arts and Esri, it’s currently online, along with other educational content, on the Center’s website at:

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings offers hundreds of recordings from around the world, an online magazine, and in Tools for Teaching find lesson plans and interactive features.

Teaching Tolerance of the Southern Poverty Law Center home of the Civil Rights Memorial, creates resources dedicated to reducing prejudice and advocating respect. They publish a magazine and provide other free materials for educators and students, many available online.

Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) promotes the research, study, and performance of music in all historical periods and cultural contexts. The web site offers abstracts, discographies, and bibliographies from the journal Ethnomusicology.

What Kids Can Do is a national nonprofit networking school reform, youth development, community development, service learning, and school-to-work programs. Find model projects and community-based student work.


New England

Regional Folklife Resources from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.


Institute for Community Research in Hartford fosters community-based research, from youth action research to teacher research, through collaborative partnerships to promote justice and equity in a diverse, multiethnic, multicultural world.

Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford is home to the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program, which supports folk artist workshops and residencies and provides resources and training for educational ethnographic fieldwork.


Jo Radner of Lovell is a folklorist, storyteller, and oral historian committed to strengthening communities by helping them find, shape, and present their stories. She performs New England stories, conducts oral history projects, and presents workshops on the art of interviewing and on storytelling for elementary and secondary schools, universities, historical societies, libraries, and intergenerational and multicultural groups. Contact:

Maine Arts Commission Folk and Traditional Arts Program in Augusta encourages and fosters public interest and participation in the cultural heritage of Maine. Contact: Argy Nestor,

Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance supports basketry traditions in native communities. Find artists, programs, and markets on the website.

Maine Folklife Center in Orono conducts folklife and oral history research, education, and public events focused primarily on Maine, but also on the Northeast and Maritime Canada. Find exhibits and education guides, such as the Maine Song and Story Sampler, on their website. Contact:

Maine Historical Society in Portland produces exciting resources and opportunities for teachers and students, including school partnerships in the Maine Memory Network and guidelines for student research.

Margaret “Peggy” Yocom of Farmington and Rangeley is a folklorist, writer, poet, and storyteller who serves as a consultant to individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations. She offers programs and workshops on stories and storytelling, family folklore, traditional arts of western Maine (especially those connected with logging families), creative writing and folklore, poetry writing, and more. She offers editing services to local writers, and she is available for readings of her new book of poetry. Contact:

Oral History and Folklife Research provides technical assistance, training, and research for projects in oral history and folklife. Contact: Keith Ludden,

University of Maine Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department in Orono is home to the Northeast Archive of Folklore and Oral History, a leading collection of oral histories, traditional music, and photographs of the Northeast, formerly housed in the Maine Folklife Center. Contact:

Western Maine Storytelling is a group of storytellers and story-lovers who present programs and support the art of storytelling in western Maine for audiences of all ages. Members, including Folklore Studies professors, can provide performances of and programs about stories for school and community audiences, as well as oral history services and training sessions. Contact: Rob Lively,


Massachusetts Cultural Council Folk Arts and Heritage Program in Boston offers online resources on many traditional art forms such as Keepers of Tradition. The aim of the Mass Cultural Council’s Folk Arts & Heritage Program is to identify craftspeople, performers, and cultural specialists, help sustain the practice of tradition where they live, and increase appreciation of their artistry within the community and beyond. Since 1999, Mass Cultural Council has been committed to maintaining a vital traditional arts program. They conduct documentary fieldwork; provide direct support to individual artists through Artist Fellowships and Traditional Arts Apprenticeships; and create visibility for traditional artists through print and social media, exhibitions, and public programming. Contact: Maggie Holtzberg,

New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center preserves and presents the story of the commercial fishing industry past, present, and future through archives, exhibits, and programs. The Center provides a variety of educational opportunities for students of all ages. Programs can be tailored to the particular interests and ages of students. For more information, email Additionally, the Center has been working with local teachers to develop a variety of curriculum materials that fulfill grade-appropriate standards.  The activities are designed to use the fishing industry as a topic for exploration while strengthening skills in math, ELA, history, science and the arts.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire State Council on the Arts Heritage & Traditional Arts Program in Concord hosts an online artist guide and the education website New Hampshire Folklife featuring resources and activities for all ages. Contact: Kayla Schweitzer,

Rhode Island

Rhode Island State Council on the Arts in Providence offers grants for Folk Arts apprenticeships and fellowships.


Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury develops exhibits, award-winning radio shows, and educational resources, including picture books based on recordings of family stories in the region. The Discovering Community Project supports training and curriculum development in digital media, folklife, and place-based learning. Contact: Kathleen Haughey,


Regional Folklife Resources from Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons hosts exhibits and workshops that explore marine culture and history around the local fishing industry.

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels preserves and documents local heritage and organizes exhibits, events, and school programs.

Havre de Grace Decoy Museum houses a large collection of working decoys from around the Chesapeake Bay. Summer classes are available and traditional carvers are on site every weekend.

Maryland Traditions is the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council. Contact: Chad Buterbaugh,

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation sponsors touring programs, exhibits, and provides grants to artists.

Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury includes decorative as well as antique working decoys, with many regional styles represented. The museum offers school tour programs and the standards-based online guide Pass It On: Cultural Traditions of the Lower Eastern Shore.

New Jersey

Down Jersey Folklife Program at WheatonArts and Cultural Center in Millville presents programming to diverse audiences at WheatonArts, in area schools, and at other sites. Public programs include exhibitions, demonstrations by artists/tradition bearers, performances, festivals, classes, training for educators and interns, lectures and seminars.

Jersey Shore Folklife Center at Tuckerton Seaport documents, supports, and presents the diverse communities and traditions of the Jersey Shore and the Pinelands.  The center offers classes, tours, school programs, artist demonstrations, and changing exhibits.

The Statewide Folklife Infrastructure Brochure: New Jersey Communities, Traditions, Cultures describes each folklife partner in New Jersey.

New York

The Arts Mid-Hudson Folk Arts Program based in Poughkeepsie works with Mid-Hudson Valley-based folk artists and tradition bearers to preserve and present the rich heritage and diversity of area residents. Contact: Elinor Levy,

Brooklyn Arts Council supports folk arts fieldwork, provides grants to artists, and runs public, school and summer programs. Contact: Christopher Mulé,

Brooklyn Children’s Museum resources include permanent and rotating exhibits as well as educational kits for teachers. World Brooklyn focuses on local and global community.

The Folk Arts Program at the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University documents and presents the diverse cultural heritage of the greater Buffalo-Niagara region through exhibits and educational programming. Contact: Edward Millar,

Center for Traditional Music and Dance hosts concerts and events featuring ethnic music, dance, and related arts. Find audio clips, photos, and concert schedules on their website. Contact:

City Lore is a nonprofit organization that serves New York City and houses the Center for Folk Arts in Education, which provides school residencies and professional development for teachers and artists. Contact: Amanda Dargan,

Hallockville Museum Farm and Folklife Center in Riverhead preserves and presents the historic and contemporary folklife of the area through exhibits, festivals, and school programs.

Long Island Traditions sponsors events, tours, and educational projects featuring a range of occupational and ethnic lore and vernacular architecture in the area. Education resources include publications such as Long Island Traditional Architecture 1600-1870: A Teacher Resource Guide that may be ordered online. They also offer videos of their Arts in Education program and information on teaching artists in the program. Contact: Nancy Solomon,

New York Folklore Society offers programs and services to nurture traditional arts and culture in communities, furthering cultural equity and cross-cultural understanding. Resources include publications, links to folklife archives, and an annual conference. Contact: Ellen McHale,

New York State Council on the Arts Folk Arts Program supports the arts and arts education, including folk arts, around the state.

Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton hosts folk arts exhibits.

Streetplay chronicles urban games in New York City and around the world. The website includes game histories, rules, and stories of urban games like skully, stoopball, and ringoleavio, as well as an intergenerational section for parents and children.

Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY) in Canton supports understanding and appreciation of North Country folk traditions and local culture. Their education website is North Country Folklore Online.

World Music Institute documents and presents traditional and contemporary music and dance from throughout the world through a NYC concert series, musical tours, recordings, public radio series, and an extensive catalog of music from around the world. Contact:


The Pennsylvania Center for Folklore at the Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg provides programs, resources, and support for the study of Pennsylvania’s cultural heritage. The Center maintains research collections such as the Pennsylvania Folklife Archives, Archives of Pennsylvania Folklore and Ethnography, Mac Barrick Folklore Collection, and John Yetter Collection of Steelton Photographs; organizes educational programs; offers technical support; and supports publications consistent with its mission. Contact: Anthony Buccitelli,

Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia provides education workshops as well as online lessons and resources such as Exploring Diversity in Pennsylvania History. Contact: Joan Saverino,

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts includes folk artists on the state roster and has a master-apprenticeship program. Contact: Dana Payne,

Philadelphia Folklore Project (PFP) documents, supports, and presents folk arts and culture through fieldwork, archives, exhibits, performances, and media resources. The Folk Arts and Multicultural Education (FAME) program places artists in school and community residencies. PFP and Asian Americans United established a public charter school, Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS), which was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact:

Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area in Homestead coordinates and facilitates cultural and industrial heritage projects in southwestern Pennsylvania and provides school and community education programs.


Blue Ridge Institute in Ferrum houses a museum and produces a fall folklife festival as well as other events throughout the year. Their online exhibits present ballads and banjos.

Junior Appalachian Musicians based in Independence helps communities provide opportunities for children to participate in the old-time and bluegrass music and dance traditions of the Southern Appalachians. Find online resources, including student videos.

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Folklife Program supports a wide array of documentation projects and a master-apprenticeship program. Contact: Jon Lohman,

West Virginia

Appalachian Studies Association offers regional education resources.

Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins offers many programs, including summer workshops in folk arts, music, and dance. The center sponsors ongoing fieldwork and documentation of Appalachian folk artists and traditional culture.

Talking Across the Lines documents local people of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds through audio recordings and photography and offers oral history workshops. Contact: Michael and Carrie Kline,

West Virginia Division of Culture and History sponsors festivals and events related to traditional West Virginia music, crafts, and food. They also host folk arts exhibits and provide educational resources.

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University is dedicated to the identification, preservation, and perpetuation of the region’s rich cultural heritage, through academic studies, educational programs, festivals and performances, and publications. Contact:

The West Virginia Folklife Program, a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council, documents, preserves, presents, and supports West Virginia’s vibrant cultural heritage and living traditions. Contact: Emily Hilliard,

South East

Regional Folklife Resources from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.


Alabama State Council on the Arts Folklife Program provides extensive support for documentation and projects statewide. Its public programs division, The Alabama Center for Traditional Culture, researches and presents programs on the state’s folk culture, including online radio programs and articles. Find publications and recordings useful in classrooms. Contact: Joey Brackner,

Alabama Folklife Association is a statewide organization that trains community scholars, including teachers, produces events and exhibits, and publishes educational resources such as the Bullfrog Jumped Learning Guide using traditional music for early childhood education. Contact: Joey Brackner,


Center for Gulf Coast Folklife in Tarpon Springs focuses on Gulf Coast folklife through exhibits, festivals, performances, workshops, and other programming founded in ethnographic research. Contact: Tina Bucuvalas,

The Florida Folklife Program documents and presents Florida’s folklife and folk arts. The program coordinates a wide range of projects to increase awareness of Floridians and visitors alike about the state’s traditional culture. Activities include an annual fieldwork survey, the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program, Florida Folk Heritage Awards, and Florida Folk Festival held every Memorial Day weekend in White Springs. The program also sponsors educational events, performances, classroom demonstrations, and online resources such as the award-winning Florida Music Train education guide. Contact: Amanda Hardeman,

Folkvine is a project of the Cultural Heritage Alliance, allowing users of all ages to explore sense of place, creativity, and folk art through a variety of multimedia presentations of folk artists.

HistoryMiami preserves and celebrates Miami’s history through exhibits, tours, research, collections, and educational outreach. It is home to the South Florida Folklife Center, which hosts artist residencies at the museum and in classrooms. Online resources include multimedia artist profiles and exhibits. Contact:


Foxfire began pioneering oral history and folklife research in K-12 education in 1966 and continues to advocate student-centered, community-based learning through core practices, publications, and teacher training.

NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt is the world’s largest work of collaborative folk art. The website includes instructions on making a quilt square and upcoming viewings.

South Arts is a regional arts service organization. Contact: Teresa Hollingsworth,

Southern Spaces is an online interdisciplinary journal based at Emory University.


Appalshop in Whitesburg is a media and cultural center that has been documenting, exhibiting, and presenting Appalachian culture since 1969. Find many resources, including training opportunities, theater performances, recordings, films, and live broadcasts.

Kentucky Folklife Program in Bowling Green documents and presents Kentucky’s cultural resources and is now housed at Western Kentucky University. Contact: Brent Bjorkman,

WKU Folk Studies Program at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green offers courses for undergraduates and an MA for those interested in academic or public sector work. Education students may also take folklore courses.


John and Alan Lomax in Louisiana, 1934 is a digital resource for the study of the 1934 trip to lower Louisiana, where the Lomaxes recorded a diverse array of songs in English and in Louisiana French. The site includes an interactive map, lyrics, and the recordings.

Louisiana Folk Roots in Lafayette honors Cajun and Creole heritage through workshops, festivals, and music camps.

Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program offers teacher and student resources, including information about Louisiana’s living traditions and the extensive award-winning online education guide Louisiana Voices. The Folklife Program archives are at Louisiana State University Library, Special Collections. Contact: Maida Owens,

Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University produces the Natchitoches/NSU Folk Festival and the Louisiana State Fiddle Championship. They have an archival collection on Louisiana folklore.

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival provides a great musical fieldtrip opportunity each spring. The Folklife Village features tradition bearers demonstrating their crafts, and the exhibits in Grand Stands also focus on Louisiana folk traditions.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers an MA or PhD in English or French with a concentration in folklore and is home to scholarship on Acadian culture. Education students may take folklore courses to fulfill content requirements.

The Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette supports research, archives, and publications through the UL Press, the Research Division, and the Programming and Special Projects Division.

Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Center is open six days a week. The historic village offers hands-on opportunities to work with traditional artisans, and the folklife center hosts numerous cultural events weekly. Educational offerings include environmental bayou tours, online lesson plans, student fieldtrips, professional development for teachers, and a partnership with Local Learning. Contact: Melanie Harrington,


Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi offers courses, events, conferences, and print resources.

Discovering Our Delta: A Learning Guide for Community Research offers online student and teacher guides that define folklore terms and provides useful fieldwork tools like interview forms downloadable from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage website.

Mississippi Arts Commission has a folk arts program and the rich Mississippi Blues Trail Curriculum. Contact: Maria Zeringue,

Mississippi Cultural Crossroads in Port Gibson connects young people with community artists and elders through quilting and other traditional arts, theater, photography, and community documentation. Contact:

Mississippi Oral History Project at the University of Southern Mississippi offers an online teaching guide, interviews, and other resources.

North Carolina

Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University is dedicated to documentary expression and its role in creating a more just society. They offer diverse ways to learn, make, and share documentary across all mediums—photography, film, video, writing, audio, experimental and new media.

Cherokee Heritage Trails project includes a Cherokee Artist Directory as well as information about sites related to Cherokee history and culture in the southeast.

Documenting the American South shares lessons and resources from the University of North Carolina Wilson Library collections.

John C. Campbell Folk School provides training for adults, as well as educators, and offers concerts and programs throughout the year.

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian website allows visitors to hear the Cherokee language and provides traditional tales and lesson plans. The museum hosts school groups and provides educational resources and summer institutes. Contact: Barbara Duncan,

North Carolina Arts Council Folklife Program provides resources for educators. Contact: Zoe van Buren

North Carolina Folklife Institute supports programs and projects that recognize, document, and present traditional culture in North Carolina.

North Carolina Folklore Society encourages the study and preservation of local folklife through its annual meeting, programs, awards, and publications.

Pauli Murray Project is a part of the Duke Human Rights Center and engages community members, students, and educators in dialogue, mapping of stories, documentation, and storytelling about Durham history and social justice. Contact: Barbara Lau,

Southern Folklife Collection is a multimedia site and archival resource dedicated to collecting, preserving, and disseminating vernacular music, art, and culture related to the American South. The collection is housed at the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

University of North Carolina Department of American Studies Folklore Program offers an undergraduate minor and an MA degree for those interested in academic and public sector work, as well as content courses for education students. Contact: Patricia Sawin,

South Carolina

Digital Traditions provides access to materials from the Folklife Resource Center at the McKissick Museum in Columbia. Teacher resources include online guides such as Jubilation: African American Celebrations in the Southeast.

Penn Center on St. Helena Island preserves and promotes Gullah culture and heritage of the Sea Islands. Exhibits, programs, workshops, an annual festival, and teacher institutes are among its resources.

South Carolina Arts Commission Folk and Traditional Arts Program supports a master and apprenticeship program, folk heritage awards, fieldwork research, and programs. Contact: Laura Marcus Green,


Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City is home of the Archives of Appalachia and offers graduate and undergraduate courses. ETSU’s School of Education offers a Storytelling Program associated with the National Storytelling Association in Jonesborough.

Center for Popular Music in Murfreesboro is an extensive archive and research center for the study of American popular music at Middle Tennessee State University. Their site offers recordings and resources.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville features education workshops, songwriting residencies, and online learning resources. Contact:

International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough hosts events and research throughout the year as well as the annual National Storytelling Festival.

Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program conducts fieldwork research and develops programs and resources, including online publications for educators. Contact: Bradley Hanson,

Mid America

Regional Folklife Resources from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin.


Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts is a statewide program of the University of Arkansas Libraries dedicated to building cross-cultural understanding by documenting, presenting, and sustaining Arkansas’ living traditional arts and cultural heritage. Contact Virginia Siegel at 479/575-7115 or email

Arkansas Arts Council supports folk arts grants and programs. Contact Robin McLea or 501/324-9348.

Arkansas State University’s Department of English and Philosophy offers courses in folklore, professional development for teachers, and sponsors the annual Delta Symposium.


Chicago History Museum offers education resources and programs. Contact: 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614, 312/642-4600.

Company of Folk serves Illinois and Indiana and offers fieldwork, education projects, collaborations, and aid in grant writing.

Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) offers support for Illinois’ folk, traditional, and ethnic artists and not-for-profit organizations through its various grants programs. Schools can apply to host a folk, traditional, or ethnic artist or group for an artist residency. Contact Susan Dickson, Program Director, 312-814-6740, or The Illinois Folk and Popular Music: A Guide to Archival Collections and the Illinois Mississippi River Valley Project Teacher’s Guide can be found on the IACA website here.

Old Town School of Folk Music holds a wide array of classes and concerts. Contact: 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625, 773/751-3323.

Susan Eleuterio is an independent folklorist, educator, and consultant to nonprofits who specializes in providing professional development for teachers in learning about the cultural communities of their schools and for folk, traditional, and fine artists on developing school curriculum and residencies. Contact, 219/902-1831,

Urban Gateways: Center for Arts Education provides in-school arts residencies, after-school, and summer programs. Contact: 200 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60606, 312/922-0440,


The Iowa Arts Council hosts Folk Arts in the Classroom, a program to connect teachers, folk and traditional artists, and Iowa’s cultural heritage organizations through continuing education and training.

There is also multimedia resources for teachers and students, including the award-winning curriculum guides Iowa Folklife: Our People, Communities, and Traditions and Iowa Folklife, Vol. 2. For more information contact Jennie Knoebel, Arts Learning Manager and Accessibility Coordinator,, 515.242.6194,

These Iowa Museums host a variety of local and educational programs. Contact them to learn more:
The Amana Heritage Society
The Czech and Slovak Museum & Library
The Vesterheim
Museum of Danish America


Heritage Education Resources, Inc., specializes in curriculum development, teacher training on integrating folklife across required curricula, and classroom presentations for grades K-12. Contact Jan Rosenberg, P.O. Box 39, Bloomington, IN 47402, 812/339-2180,

Indiana Arts Commission is a partner for “Traditional Arts Indiana.” Contact: 100 N. Senate Ave., Room N505, Indianapolis, IN 46204, 317/232-1268,

Indiana University Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology is a leading center for the study of traditional culture and expressive forms. Contact: 504 N. Fess, Bloomington, IN 47408, 812/855-1027,

Traditional Arts Indiana is a partnership of IU’s Folklore and Ethnomusicology Department and the Indiana Arts Commission to document, promote, and present Indiana’s traditional arts and artists. Services include support for K-12 educators. Contact: Jon Kay, 504 N. Fess Ave., Bloomington, IN 47408, 812/855-0418,


Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Contact: 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing, MI 48909, 517/241-4011,

Michigan Traditional Arts Program is a statewide partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs to advance cross-cultural understanding and equity in a diverse society through the documentation, preservation, and presentation of traditional arts, folklife, and everyday culture in Michigan. Browse collections online and find some of the program’s 4-H FOLKPATTERNS guides for activities in the website of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Also find the extensive Folk Arts in Education collection of folklife education curricula from across the country at

See how a Michigan school used Alan Lomax recordings from Michigan housed at the Library of Congress to create an immersive school project in the Journal of Folklore and Education article Questing with Alan Lomax: Michigan’s Historic Field Recordings Inspire a New Generation by Laurie Kay Sommers and Samuel Seth Bernard.

Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Culture supports education projects and the “Teachers of Local Culture” network. See “How We Did It” in the Hmong Cultural Tour to find free downloads of Teacher’s Guide to Local Culture and Kids’ Field Guide to Local Culture. They also supported a website for ethnic music in Northern Wisconsin and Michigan.


Missouri Arts Council is a partner for the Missouri Folk Arts Program. Contact: 815 Olive St., Suite 16, St. Louis, MO 63101, 314/ 340-6845,

Missouri Folk Arts Program, is a program of the Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Missouri and the Missouri Arts Council, offering funding, residencies, and the curriculum guide Show-Me Traditions, winner of the 2011 AFS Folklore and Education Section Dorothy Howard Prize. Contact: Lisa Higgins, 115 Business Loop 70W, Room 2022, Mizzou North, Columbia MO 65211-8310, 573/882-6296,


The Hmong Museum offers educational curriculum for documenting Hmong voices and has educational programming around folk arts including textile and oral storytelling. Contact:

The Minnesota State Arts Board offers a folk and traditional arts grant program that can support many kinds of traditional arts projects. Contact Rina Rossi,, 651-215-1612.

The Minnesota State Fiddlers Association is an organization which promotes traditional (North American) fiddle music through workshops, organized jam sessions and fiddle contests. Contact e-mail is:


The Center for Folklore Studies is housed at Ohio State University and includes a folklife archive. Contact: Cassie Patterson, 218 Ohio Stadium, 1961 Tuttle Park Place, Columbus, OH 43210, 614-292-1639 Office,

Center for Food and Culture located in Bowling Green, OH, produces educational materials on food and culture. Contact: Lucy Long, Founder/Director

Ohio Traditions is produced by Cityfolk and the Ohio Arts Council to profile traditional artists, report on folk arts activities statewide, and publicize funding opportunities for folk artists and young people who want to develop skills in the folk arts.


The Nebraska Folklife Network (NFN), in partnership with Humanities Nebraska, creates multi-media cultural education trunks based on ethnic groups that live in Nebraska. Materials in the trunks include a teachers manual with lesson plans that address state educational standards and provides helpful background and engaging activities for students, music CDs, DVDs with excerpts from interviews with artists and other tradition bearers, books, maps, flags, recipe books, and other types of cultural artifacts. The NFN also has an online curriculum, Nebraska by Heart. This multidisciplinary resource features videos, music, photos, and other interactive content. Contact Gwen Meister, 920 O St., Suite 102, Lincoln, NE 68508, 402/420-5442,

North Dakota

North Dakota Council on the Arts Folk Arts Program provides education resources and outreach. Contact: Troyd Geist, 1600 E. Century Ave., Bismarck, ND 58503, 701/328-7591, With North Dakota State University Professor Emeritus Timothy Kloberdanz, Troyd Geist has compiled and edited a beautiful new book with hundreds of entries and images. Sundogs and Sunflowers: Folklore and Folk Art of the Northern Great Plains includes the work of many people over 30 years. To order, contact 701/328-7590 or and to view a video promotion click here.

NDCA documentaries produced in partnership with Prairie Public Broadcasting, the Bush Foundation, and the Spirit Room Gallery include lesson plans based on state standards and benchmarks. Schools and teachers are encouraged also to use these documentaries, lesson plans, and featured artists and the Artist-in-Residence and Teacher Incentive grant programs. Titles include A Lyrical Life: The Struggle and Hope of South Sudan, Turtle and Pretty Crane with Keith Bear, The Woman Who Turned Herself into Stone with Mary Louise Defender Wilson (see her Local Learning Artist Residency), and God Given: Cultural Treasures of Armenia.

South Dakota

The South Dakota Arts Council has a Traditional Arts Program managed by a contract folklorist. They manage a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant program, conduct fieldwork, and produce public programs. Contact folklorist Anne Hatch at, or SDAC Director Patrick Baker at, phone 605-773-5507.


Documentary Arts produces books for young people, education guides, and the NEA National Heritage Fellowships DVD-Rom, including The Masters of Traditional Arts Education Guide. The Everyday Music Education Guide is a companion to the young readers’ book, Everyday Music, Texas A&M Press. Contact: Alan Govenar, P.O. Box 140244, Dallas, TX 75214,

Texas Folklife hosts exhibits, touring programs, concerts, and school residencies such as Stories from Deep in the Heart, a radio documentary program, the Big Squeeze statewide accordion contest for youth, and the annual Accordion Kings and Queens concert. Contact: 724 Eberhart Ln #500, Austin, TX 78745, 512/441-9255,


Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Culture supports education projects and the “Teachers of Local Culture” network. They also supported a website for ethnic music in Northern Wisconsin and Michigan.

Folklore Village is a folk arts and culture organization located in the Driftless region of southwestern Wisconsin that offers a range of educational experiences in traditional and ethnic folk practices, including workshops in music, dance, craft and foodways

Wisconsin Arts Board has a strong folk arts in education program. The Folk Arts in Education page includes free downloads, like the Hmong Cultural Tour to find free downloads of Teacher’s Guide to Local Culture and Kids’ Field Guide to Local Culture. Contact: Kaitlyn Berle, 201 W. Washington Ave., 2nd Floor, Madison, WI 53703, (608) 266-8106,

Wisconsin Folks is produced by the Wisconsin Arts Board to highlight over 70 folk artists around the state. Engaging components include student activities tied to state standards and multimedia artists’ profiles plus classroom residency information.

Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture is a statewide network of educators dedicated to infusing local culture into the school curriculum. Online you will find examples of local culture projects as well as links to folklife education resources.

Wisconsin Weather Stories combines folklore and scientific knowledge as an online education resource.


Regional Folklife Resources from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming.


Alaska Native Curriculum and Teacher Development Project involves educators across the state to develop and publish online curriculum and resources related to Indigenous cultures.

Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage is a cultural center and museum that celebrates, perpetuates, and shares Alaska’s Native cultures. Find Alaska FAQs for students and other education resources.

Alaska Native Knowledge Network offers a wealth of resources on Alaska Native knowledge systems and ways of knowing, including the Culturally Responsive Education Standards.

Alaska State Council on the Arts has a Native Arts Program.


Arizona State Museum in Tucson offers fieldtrip opportunities for teachers and students, traveling exhibits, and online exhibits and resources, including podcasts. Contact: Lisa Falk,

Barrio Stories is a celebration of the history and heritage of Tucson’s historic Mexican-American neighborhoods. Conceived by Borderlands Theater in 2015, the project is an ongoing site-specific series intended to preserve and reflect the stories, people, and places that made these barrios so vital to the cultural fabric of the Southwest. Barrios Viejo (also known as “La Calle”) and Anita became the primary subjects of the Borderlands Theater project, each taking on a different process and presentation.

CommunityShare is an organization created by educators for educators. Every month we bring together teachers at our home base in Tucson, AZ, where we create a supportive learning community that develops a practice of community-engaged, real-world learning.

La Cadena Que No Se Corta /The Unbroken Chain: Traditional Arts of Tucson’s Mexican-American Community and Southern Arizona Folk Arts are online exhibits curated by the University of Arizona Library.

Southwest Folklife Alliance is an affiliate nonprofit organization of the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and a designated Folk Arts Partner of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Programs include workshops, the Borderlore e-journal, and Tucson Meet Yourself, an annual festival of living traditional arts of Southern Arizona that takes place the second weekend in October.


Aesop’s Fables includes text and audio renditions of over 600 fables and allows visitors to interact by asking questions and contributing parables.

Alliance for California Traditional Arts networks and coordinates statewide information about folk and traditional artists, arts administrators, and researchers.

SPACES – Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural Environments was inspired by community activists and artists who joined together in 1959 to save Sabato Rodia’s Watts Towers in Los Angeles from destruction. Today they identify, document, and advocate for the preservation of large-scale art environments both nationally and internationally.

University of California at Berkeley Folklore Program offers an MA in Folklore.

University of California at Los Angeles Department of World Art and Cultures offers an MA or PhD in this interdepartmental program.


Colorado Creative Industries Cultural Heritage Program features the online statewide Ties That Bind folk arts education guide. Find it at Colorado State Publications library:


Hawai’i Arts Alliance seeks to engage and transform communities in Hawaii by cultivating creativity through music, dance, theater, literature, visual arts, folk and traditional arts, and arts education. The rich, diverse, and vibrant cultures of Hawai’i as well as its geographic centrality between the Americas, Asia, and Oceania shape and influence public consciousness, public policy, and research. Contact: Terry Liu,

Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (HSFCA) provides limited public funding subsidies to support the preservation of living cultures in the State of Hawaiʻi through Culture Grants administered by its Folk & Traditional Arts Program. There are two types of Folk & Traditional Arts Culture Grants. Apprentice Mentoring Grants are for advanced training of cultural practitioners. The grant applicant is a team consisting of an individual cultural practitioner teacher with mastery of a cultural practice and one to three cultural practitioner apprentices. The primary purpose is to groom the next-generation teacher. Culture Learning Grants are for inter-generational learning with a focus on children and youth. An applicant is a non-profit organization. The primary purpose is to strengthen cultural knowledge, skills, and pride within underserved cultural communities. Contact: Denise Miyahana,


Basque Museum and Cultural Center in Boise offers Basque language and dance classes as well as a digital curriculum guide.

Idaho Arts Commission Folk Arts Program features online resources. The Idaho Arts Commission also has an Arts Education program. Contact: Steven Hatcher,

The National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest and Festival in Weiser is a two-week contest that also features other programs including educational residencies.

The Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Ketchum celebrates the culture of sheepherders in south-central Idaho and the greater Great Basin where sheep have ranged since the mid-1800s. The festival culminates with the sheep being trailed from their summer pastures in the mountains down Main Street on their way to winter ground. The festival includes many educational features during this week-long event filled with presentations, lectures, entertainment, food, and crafts.


Montana Arts Council offers statewide arts resources.


Nevada Arts Council Folklife Program promotes appreciation of Nevada’s folklife and traditional arts by producing special projectspublications, exhibitions, recordings, and films; documenting living traditions; maintaining an archive of documentary materials and resources; and supporting arts-related activities undertaken by individuals and organizations who have successfully competed for grants and awards. Online video series, Home Means Nevada and Nevada Stories, provide opportunities for viewers to become familiar with Nevada’s living folk cultures and folk art practitioners first-hand. Contact Rebecca Snetselaar at

Nevada Humanities Council supports folklife and local culture projects.

Western Folklife Center in Elko documents, preserves, and presents traditional culture of the West. In addition to radio programs, recordings, and exhibits, the Center produces the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering each January.

New Mexico

New Mexico Arts Folk Arts Program supports documentation, apprenticeships, and workshops related to local and folk art traditions. Contact: Lilli Tichinin,

Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe features online exhibits and teaching guides spanning from Tibetan culture to making art with recycled materials.


MediaRites in Portland promotes understanding through education between diverse communities using radio, theater, and interdisciplinary projects.

The Oregon Folklife Network (OFN) is the state of Oregon’s Folk and Traditional Arts Program, made up of a network of statewide culture and heritage partners that operate on state, regional, county, and community levels to document, support, preserve, and celebrate Oregon’s cultural traditions. Headquartered at the University of Oregon (UO), OFN is located in the Knight Library and administered by the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History (MNCH). Contact: Riki Saltzman,

University of Oregon Folklore and Public Culture Program is one of a few major centers of folkloristic research in the United States. With more than thirty core and participating faculty, the program offers a Folklore BA or BS, a Folklore minor, and two options (public and general) for a Folklore MA. Contact: Beth Magee,

Randall V. Mills Archives of Northwest Folklore is a repository of fieldwork collections and research materials on folklife in Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond. Collections include books and periodicals; student and faculty research papers and fieldwork projects; fieldwork photographs and sound recordings; and documentary videos. As part of the University of Oregon Folklore and Public Culture Program, the Archives supports students in the study of folklore and provides training opportunities in the management of cultural collections. The Archives also makes collections available to the public for study and appreciation. Guides to collections are published in Archives West. Selected items in collections are available online in the Northwest Folklife Digital Collection. Contact: Nathan Georgitis,


The Utah Division of Arts and Museums Folk Arts Program administers the Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts, which offers educational programs for students and community members. The folklorist on staff is Ian Halligan. In conjunction with UA&M’s Arts Education Program, professional development workshops focused on folk and traditional arts are available for Utah educators (K-12). Contact: Jean Tokuda Irwin at

Utah State University Folklore Program offers a BA or MA in folklore and includes the Digital Folklore Project. The Fife Folklore Archive is among the largest in the country. See the online Folklife and Folk Art Education Resource Guide.


In collaboration with communities statewide, The Center for Washington Cultural Traditions in Seattle conducts research and programming to support and advance understanding of the living cultural heritage of Washington State. The Center is a program of Humanities Washington, presented in partnership with the Washington State Arts Commission: ArtsWA. Contact: Kristin Sullivan,

Northwest Folklife produces a major annual festival in Seattle every Memorial Day weekend and offers educational resources and workshops.

Northwest Heritage Resources documents cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest.


University of Wyoming American Studies Program in Laramie has a folklife specialist. Contact: Andrea Graham,

Wyoming Arts Council Folk Arts Program in Cheyenne identifies resources for educators. Contact: Josh Chrysler,