With deep sadness, we mourn the passing of dear friend and colleague Carol Spellman, 1951-2017. Carol was a folklorist’s folklorist. The Oregon Folklife Network, the state of Oregon, and the entire field of folklore would be the poorer without Carol’s impressive body of work for the Oregon Folklife Program.
“All who knew Carol are invited by her family to honor her memory at a Celebration of Life/Irish Wake at The Evergreen, 618 SE Alder St, Portland on March 8 from 5 to 8 p.m.”
The UO Folklore community is very grateful for the Spellman family’s very generous designation of UO’s Folklore Program to receive donations in Carol’s memory.
“The Folklore Program at U of O has established a fund in Carol’s name to assist graduate students to work in the field that she loved so much. Donations may be made to the Carol B. Spellman Public Folklore Fund, Attn: Beth Magee, Folklore Program, 1287 University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403.”
“Carol Beth Spellman passed away peacefully with her family by her side on January 26, 2017 due to complications from treatment for leukemia.
Born October 19, 1951 in Oakland, California to Edmund and Helen (Heber) Stone, Carol lived her early years in Hayward before the family moved to San Leandro. Continue reading
The Oregon Folklife Network is a proud partner of the FisherPoets Gathering. Each year we journey to Astoria at the end of February to bask in the reflected glory of these commercial fishermen (and women!) who celebrate their occupational tradition in poetry, prose, and song as well as visual art. OFN interviews several fisherpoets each year in order to volunteer at and document this special event, which bills itself as “for commercial fishermen, by commercial fishermen.” We are so pleased to share this lovely article, which features several of those we’ve come to know. Congratulations, FPG!
With great pleasure, we announce the opening of our newest exhibit, Gorgeous Sounds: Music Along the Columbia River, in the Window Gallery of our Knight Library office at the University of Oregon, Eugene Campus. Gorgeous Sounds celebrates several of the musicians that fieldworkers Nancy Nusz and Deborah Fant documented during the 2015 Folklife Survey of the Columbia Gorge region. The six featured artists represent traditions from gospel to mariachi. As diverse as the styles may be, the music they play has a similar effect of bringing people together to celebrate, worship, and share traditional knowledge. The multimedia exhibit includes a sampling of the musicians’ work. If you cannot come by to see it in the next few months, watch for the online version coming soon to our website.
From February 2-4, the 33rd annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Elko, NV) hosted over fifty poets and musicians, plus vendors and folklorists, and the works of dozens of traditional artists. The event celebrates the living heritage of working ranchers, cowboys, and cowgirls. Morning to night, songs and stories spilled out from the Elko Convention Center. Audiences browsed blankets, hats, and leather-tooled treasures at the Western Mercantile in the new Conference Center. Continue reading
The 2016 Portland Metro Folklife Survey is the fourth in a series of OFN’s regional surveys to identify and document folk and traditional artists in Oregon. We are grateful for funding from a Folk & Traditional Arts Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as for additional support from the Oregon Historical Society. Click on the links below to read reflection essays by folklorists Nancy Nusz, Douglas Manger, and Makaela Kroin.
Multnomah County Survey Reflections
Traditional Weavers in Clackamas and Yamhill County
Washington and Columbia Counties Survey Reflections
“Folkcraft embodies shared knowledge, passed from the wellspring on to succeeding generations. As experience is gained the emerging folk artist becomes ever more adept at accomplishing the intricacies of the work. What sets folk artists apart? In my experience their “gentle fervor” is the distinguishing factor. How many times have I left an interview deeply moved, newly enlightened, or utterly transformed. With the emphasis on excellence, adherence to form (with room to grow), and honoring those who came before them, a model for universal living is at hand for all to benefit. It is these noble attributes that allow folkways to sustain from one generation to the next. Perhaps it is for these reasons, as well, that OFN’s Folklife Surveys have brought such a positive public response.”
We are currently accepting applications from master artists and their apprentices for our Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP). One of the Oregon Folklife Network’s cornerstone programs, TAAP assists master artists to teach and pass on their living traditions to promising apprentices from the same cultural background. Master artists receive stipends to cover costs of focused, individualized training and a final public presentation. OFN hosts a biannual awards ceremony in Salem where legislators and government officials recognize master artists.
Download the application on our website and submit by March 1st.
Artists from a number of different traditions have participated in TAAP over the years. For a full list of participants, check out our new Oregon Culture Keepers Roster – just type “TAAP” into the keyword search to see the full list. 2016 recipients are tazhib artist Marjan Anvari, rawhide braider Jack Armstrong, charro Antonio Huerta, dentallium shell piece expert Roberta Kirk, bharathanatyam dancer Anita Menon, and santoor player Hossein Salehi.
OFN is honored to support these master artists in their efforts to keep and pass on their cultural traditions to the next generation. Keep your eye on our Vimeo and YouTube pages for upcoming interviews with these artists – and be sure to check out the interviews with some of our previous master artists while you wait!
Funding for TAAP comes from the National Endowment for the Arts Folk & Traditional Arts discipline and Oregon Arts Commission. The Oregon Community Foundation’s Fred W. Fields Fund provided further funding for our 2016-17 awardees. Additional support from the Oregon Historical Society and the University of Oregon makes this program possible.