You make our network stronger

Dec 18, 2023

As we send this final e-bulletin of the year and reflect on 2023, we took a moment to note some highlights.

Local Learning:
Connects across disciplines, with 2023 conference presentations at the American Folklore Society, National Art Education Association (NAEA), National Council for the Social Studies, Oral History Association, and other state and regional gatherings.

Centers traditional artists’ and culture bearers’ expertise. We advocate for the inclusion of traditional artists in national plenary speaker roles at conferences like National Heritage Award Fellow Verónica Castillo at NAEA in April 2023. Our Culture, Community, and the Classroom (CCC) program supported teachers and artists in planning and implementing 23 artist residencies and publishing teachers’ CCC lessons and activities that connect cultural knowledge to education standards.

Serves the field through publication of the Journal of Folklore and Education. This year’s 10th volume “Teaching with Folk Sources” featured a double issue with timely articles and a five-unit curriculum guide that leads teachers to the rich resources found in ethnographic and oral history archives at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress and in regional archives around the nation.

Plans strategically for the future resiliency of both our organization and our mission amid social and educational upheaval. Our new five-year strategic plan is bold, providing an iterative framework that is responsive to and supportive of transformative learning through folk arts in education. We also honored the visionary thinkers who gathered in 1993 to advocate for a national network at our 30th anniversary celebration in September.

All this happens through our small staff because we are actively supporting leadership and program growth around the nation. All of you who read our journal, attend our programs, and hire the artists and folklorists who participate in our professional development contribute to the strength of this network. Almost half our budget goes directly to our co-planners and facilitators, the co-designers, artists, and co-dreamers in this work. When we strengthen one classroom, one artist, or one program, the network is strengthened exponentially.

Please find our full e-bulletin here: