Oregon Folklife Network RFP: Seeks Folklore Fieldworkers for Portland Metro

Oregon Folklife Network RFP: Due August 5, 2016
Folklore Fieldworkers for Portland Metro
FY2017 (November 2016)

The Oregon Folklife Network seeks to hire one or two emerging/early career folklorists (1-3 years’ experience in public folklore or with non-degree focused folklife fieldwork) to work in collaboration with veteran folklorists Nancy Nusz and Douglas Manger during the month of November 2016. Folklorists will conduct folklife field surveys and documentation of cultural, occupational, regional, and religious traditions in the Portland Metro counties of Washington, Multnomah, Yamhill, Columbia, and Clackamas (fieldwork regions will be divvied up based on the experience and backgrounds of those selected). OFN Executive Director, Riki Saltzman, will supervise this project and veteran folklorists Nancy Nusz and Douglas Manger will mentor the emerging folklorists during fieldwork. This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works.

Oregon’s leading urban center, this five-county 4,397 square-mile region comprises 47.5% of Oregon’s population in 4.6% of its land mass, which includes intensely urban areas as well as suburbs and farmland. Contract folklorists will document the folklife of farming, railroad, fishing/waterways, and construction workers. They will explore the heritage of Africans (from Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Liberia, Chad, Togo), Asian and Pacific Islander (Burmese, Chinese, Filipino, Hawai’ian, Japanese, Korean, Khmer, Lao, Hmong, Mien, Thai, Vietnamese), Latino (Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran, Nicaraguan, Columbia); European (English, German, Greek, Irish, Jewish, Norwegian, Scottish); Middle Eastern (Iraqi, Lebanese, Palestinian, Persian, Turkish), and African American residents.

A successful project will result in the documentation of at least 15-20 folk and traditional artists over 15-20 working days. Contract work will include completion of all fieldwork forms (data sheet, interview log, photo log, release form) as well as 50-word profiles and 250-word bios for each artist; 2 days of mentoring UO folklore students during fieldwork; submission to the OFN of multimedia documentation (audio and photographs, no video) of Portland Metro folk artists including bios; a short article (600 words) and photographs suitable for OFN’s quarterly newsletter/blog; fieldnotes; and interim and final descriptive reports as specified by OFN (brief description of region, quantitative summary of findings, summary of fieldwork process, what went right, what could have gone better, and suggestions for future work/relevant projects for the region, and a list of artists yet to be documented). At least 10-14 of the folk artists (per folklorist) documented should be appropriate for the Culture Keepers Roster (http://ofn.uoregon.edu/roster/oregon_folk_artist_roster.php). Documentation should include a list of potential partner organizations and programming suggestions to provide further direction for OFN’s network function. NOTE: OFN will provide examples of previous reports, profiles, and bios to whomever we hire.

In addition to fieldwork, the contract folklorist will also be responsible for working with Manger and Nusz to present 1-hour public programs detailing fieldwork results in counties where the research has occurred (separate payment for these programs plus travel funds included in the overall fees).

The fieldwork portion of this work will take place during November 2016, though work could continue into early December. Pre-fieldwork contacting of culture keepers and others may begin any time after September 15, 2016. All paperwork must be completed and turned in by March 31, 2017. Fieldwork days need not be consecutive, but fieldwork times must be coordinated with Nusz and Manger, respectively.

The successful applicant should have at least an MA in folklore or related discipline, such as cultural anthropology or ethnomusicology, and at least 1-3 years’ professional experience in public folklore and/or folklife documentation. Please note that this does NOT include work conducted as part of a degree program. Qualified applicants must have access to, experience with, and technical competence with digital equipment (camera, audio recorder, computer/laptop) and their own transportation. OFN will not cover transportation to/from Oregon.

Required RFP materials:
• a cover letter detailing qualifications and relevant experience as well as how the applicant will conduct the work for this project
• c.v.
• 3 relevant reference letters (no exceptions!)
• representative work samples (please submit only digital and/or online work samples) to include: recorded interviews (2-3 excerpts of no more than 3 minutes each). Note: interviews should be in English and on topics relevant to folk and traditional arts
o a self-recording with applicant’s personal introduction along with a summary of qualifications (no more than 3-4 minutes)
o photography (10-20 images, jpg format, with metadata: subject, date, place, purpose of original photo). Note: we are looking for ethnographic/fieldwork type photographs with contextual information as part of the photo. Do not send simple portraits, photos used for advertisements, or videos.
o fieldnotes (5 pp max!)
o 1 published professional writing sample (festival catalogue pieces are more than fine)

Applications submitted without these items will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered.

OFN will provide:
• preliminary contact information/introductions for several communities, folk artists, and organizations in Portland, Oregon;
• digital folklife fieldwork forms (audio log, photo log, general release, artist data sheet, release for internet materials); funds for disks, memory cards, batteries, etc.; funds for travel (in Oregon only) at the state rate; and
• fee for this contract of $300/day plus in-state travel expenses (total contract for approximately $8,000-10,000).

The results of this folklife field survey will expand the OFN’s Culture Keepers roster; provide 6 public programs in counties where fieldwork was conducted (including one at the Oregon Historical Society); and provide cultural information, including field reports, to local cultural and arts organizations towards the creation of future programs as well as to OFN’s operational partners, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Oregon Historical Society, Humanities Oregon, the Oregon Heritage Commission, and the Oregon State Library. As with all folklife materials, fieldwork documentation will become part of the Oregon Folklife Collection at the University of Oregon Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives.

Complete applications (including all reference letters) should be sent to:
Oregon Folklife Survey, Oregon Folklife Network, 242 Knight Library, 6204 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6204 OR as a PDF email attachment to riki@uoregon.edu (please put FOLKLIFE SURVEY in the subject line). For email applications, please send work samples via WeTransfer https://www.wetransfer.com/ ; you can send up to 2 gigabytes for free.

Complete applications must be received at the OFN by August 5, 2016.
This is NOT a postmark deadline.
For further information, please contact Riki Saltzman (before July 12 and after July 30) or Emily Ridout at 541/346-3820 or riki@uoregon.edu or eridout@uoregon.edu.

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