National and Regional Resources

Please explore our resources below, which provide a wealth of links for state, regional, and national curricula, lesson plans, and arts agencies, many of which were produced by the Oregon Historical Society’s Oregon Folklife Program staff.

Folklife in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest

  • Oregon Is Indian Country: A Student Magazine is a companion piece to a traveling exhibit produced by the Oregon Historical Society in partnership with Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes. The activities in the magazine were created and reviewed by folklorists and educators and they are geared toward students in grades 6-12.
  • Miracle Theatre Group/Teatro Milagro gives a prominent voice to issues affecting the local and national Hispanic community. The group produces a broad array of programming that includes public performances as well as specialized touring and education projects that currently encompass all of the Western states. Study guides relating to Miracle Theatre Group’s plays are also available to educators.
  • Northwest Folklife works to enhance the understanding and importance of our shared cultural heritage as traditional arts express cultural identity and provide a tool to help understand community diversity. Its programs include Northwest Folklife Recordings, Rhythm & Moves and the Northwest Folklife Festival, held over Memorial Day weekend, which is one of the largest, most varied and most vibrant free folklife celebrations in North America.
  • Northwest Heritage Resources is a non-profit organization first established in Washington state in 1995. Its’ mission is to conserve cultural heritage and to present, promote, preserve and document the diverse cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Northwest Oral History Association is a regional organization of oral historians, users of oral histories, and others interested in the collection and preservation of historically significant memories through recorded interviews.


 Select Public Folklore Resources

  •  Indiana: Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) is a partnership established in 1998 between Indiana University Bloomington and the Indiana Arts Commission. Traditional Arts Indiana is dedicated to expanding public awareness of Indiana’s traditional practices and nurturing a sense of pride among Indiana’s traditional artists.
  • Iowa Folklife Program – The Iowa Arts Council’s Folklife Program assists in documenting, preserving, presenting, and promoting the living traditional culture of all Iowans. In addition to the resources listed below, Iowa Arts Council staff is ready and willing to consult with you or your organization about folk & traditional arts ideas, plans, and opportunities.
  • The Louisiana Folklife Program, within the Division of the Arts, is designed to identify, document, conserve, and present the folk cultural resources of Louisiana. Folklife includes living traditions learned informally over time within ethnic, regional, occupational, and family groups.
  • The Missouri Folk Arts Program was established in 1984 and builds cross-cultural understanding by documenting, conserving and presenting our state’s living folk arts and folklife in collaboration with Missouri’s citizens.
  • North Dakota Folk Arts Program encourages the preservation and continuation of traditional culture and traditional/folk art throughout North Dakota.
  • Texas Folklife Resources is a private, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to celebrating and perpetuating the traditional arts and culture of the Lone Star State. It works directly with folk artists and communities to document living traditions and present them to the public through exhibitions, concerts, media projects and educational residencies.
  • The Western Folklife Center is dedicated to exploring, presenting and preserving the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage of the American West. We celebrate the wisdom, artistry and ingenuity of western folkways through exhibitions, educational programs, national radio and television programs, research and preservation projects, our website, and our premier event, The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. We nurture connections among rural and ranching cultures globally, exploring universal themes in working traditions and artistic expression, which we believe are vital links to the past, present and future of the American West.
  • The Vermont Folklife Center, founded in 1984, is dedicated to preserving and presenting the cultural traditions of Vermont and the surrounding region. Through ongoing field research, a multimedia archive and an apprenticeship program, we document and conserve cultural heritage which could easily be lost; through exhibits, media, publication and educational projects, we bring recognition to the skills, talents and traditions of Vermonters, past and present.


National Folklife Resources

  • American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress offers many digital collections containing myths, legends, fairy-tales, superstitions, weather-lore, and ghost stories.
  • Folkstreams is a video-streaming national preserve of folk culture documentaries and offers users extensive background materials for each, including films by Sharon Sherman of the University of Oregon. See the Educators Portal for student worksheets and lesson plans for middle and high school and higher education.
  • National Council for the Traditional Arts is a private, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk and traditional arts in the United States. Founded in 1933, it is the oldest folk arts organization in the nation.


Folk Arts in Education

State Folklife Curricula