It is with great excitement that we announce that Makaela Kroin, a graduate of the University of Oregon’s Folklore Program and the former program manager at the Oregon Folklife Network, has accepted a position as a public folklorist with the Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission.
Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission hired Kroin as the manager of the Folk & Traditional Arts Program. Founded in 2004 by public folklorist, Dr. Jens Lund, the Folk & Traditional Arts Program planted deep roots in state parks across Washington. Kroin, who started in January 2018, Makaela replaces Deborah Fant (one of OFN’s former contract folklorists), who retired in September 2017. Ryan Karlson, Parks’ Director of Interpretive Services, says “We are quite excited to have Makaela Kroin coming to Washington State Parks to lead our Folk & Traditional Arts Program. We look forward to building new partnerships and the reach of Folk & Traditional Arts programming within our diverse state park system.”
Kroin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies from Smith College, a Master’s Degree in Information and Communication Science from Ball State University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Folklore from the University of Oregon. During her time as Oregon Folklife Network’s Summer Folklore Fellow (2016) and Program Manager, Kroin conducted fieldwork, produced exhibits, coordinated public programs, wrote grants, and did extensive community outreach.
Kroin credits her mentors at the University of Oregon and the OFN for her success, “I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with world class scholars in the Folklore Program at the University of Oregon as well as the dedicated staff and interns at the OFN. It was the practical experience that I gained through internships and fellowships at the OFN that gave me the professional skills, the extensive network, and the confidence to flourish in the field of Public Folklore.”
At Washington State Parks, Kroin is responsible for coordinating the statewide Folk and Traditional Arts program and related community partnership development efforts. In 2018, she will oversee a packed schedule including annual events and festivals such as the Salish Sea Native American Cultural Celebration, Cambodian Cultural Celebration, and the American Roots Concert Series, as well as a collaboration with New Old Time Chautauqua to tour Washington State Parks and small towns in the North Central and North regions of Washington as well as the Confederated Tribes of Colville Reservation.