Southern Oregon Folklife Survey: LuAnne Kozma

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the Oregon Folklife Network funding to conduct folklife field surveys and documentation of traditions in the southern Oregon counties. Folklorists LuAnne Kozma and Douglas Manger will be conducting the fieldwork. Kozma will be in Lake and Klamath counties starting at the end of October/ beginning of November (back in the spring!) while Manger will be in Harney and Malheur counties in April but will be begin contacting individuals in November. Read on for more information about LuAnne Kozma.

LuAnne Kozma, a folklorist from Michigan, comes to Oregon for the Oregon Folklife Survey. Her work in Michigan spans three decades where she was a curator and folklife associate director of the Michigan Traditional Arts Program at the Michigan State University Museum, the state’s folk arts program. She also coordinated a folk arts-in-education program for Michigan 4-H Youth Development for 23 years. She has coordinated festival programs at the Festival of Michigan Folklife, National Folk Festival, and Great Lakes Folk Festival, bringing her work with artists to larger audiences in festival and educational venues.

Among her many projects in Michigan, LuAnne coordinated a statewide barn survey, the Michigan Heritage Awards program and the Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, in which master folk artists pass on their skills to an apprentice. Her research interests include occupational traditions such as the knot-tying skills of maritime workers and the customs of firefighters, and traditional culture regarding leisure time, recreational traditions such as family games and ethnic games, children’s folk culture, and ethnic customs.

Kozma is also the co-editor of Folk Arts in Education: A Resource Handbook ( She has completed four years of field surveys of Iowa folk and traditional artists for the Iowa Arts Council, interviewing a wide variety of tradition-bearers from beekeepers and saddle makers to quilters, rug makers and traditional cooks.

Kozma received her MA degree in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University, a program that is geared toward “public sector” work such as museums and arts agencies, and has a bachelor’s in parks and recreation. “I have a profound love of the land and of the way people interact with nature, the environment, and preserving and perpetuating traditional ways of life that involve respect for the environment. All of these skills are timeless, important folk traditions that are necessary for life, our cultural well-being and our survival.”

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