NEA Funding for OFN—Willamette Valley Folklife Survey, Spring 2018!

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the Oregon Folklife Network funding to conduct folklife field surveys and documentation of traditions in the Willamette Valley. We are pleased to announce that folklorists Amy Howard, Alina Mansfield, and Thomas Richardson will be conducting this fieldwork with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and in the counties of Polk and Benton as well as the portions of Marion, Linn, and Lane counties in the Willamette Valley.

OFN, Oregon’s Folk & Traditional Arts Program, is in search of excellent folk artists and culture keepers. We’ll include the best of those documented in our Culture Keepers Roster, an online curated resource for local festivals, parks, school, and library programs looking to hire performers, demonstrators, and speakers. We are also looking for master artists to serve as mentors for the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program.

OFN will be working with a range of cultural partners such as Lane Arts Council, Lane County Historical Museum, Salem Arts Association, Corvallis Arts Center, County Cultural Coalitions, Independence Heritage Museum, da Vinci Days, Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, CAPACES Leadership Institute (Latino workers), and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and our operational partners (Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Cultural Trust). We’ll be partnering with some of those organizations to create public programs with traditional artists in the region.

Please put us in touch with the traditional musicians, dancers, quilters, embroiderers, storytellers, fly-tiers, cooks, artisans, and others in your part of the Willamette Valley. We very much want to hear from the range of the region’s communities— regional, ethnic, and occupational folklore, including but not limited to Asian and Pacific Islanders (Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Hawai’ian, Japanese, Korean, Lao, Vietnamese), Latino (Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican), Native American (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde), and European (Dutch, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Scotch-Irish, Scottish, Swedish) as well as logging, hunting, railroad, sheep and dairy farming, orchards, viticulture, brewing, hops growing, fishing and fishing guides, boat building and other waterways traditions along with foodways, music, storytelling, and other relevant traditional expressions.

Contact information for Project folklorists:

OFN preserves this documentation at the University of Oregon, Special Collections and University Archives.

To provide OFN with contact information for tradition keepers, contact Riki Saltzman, riki@uoregon.edu; Alina Mansfield, alinam@uoregon.edu; or phone 541-346-3820.

OFN is a University of Oregon administered program with operational support from the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Historical Society, and Oregon Cultural Trust.

More Than $82 Million Awarded for Arts Projects Nationwide – Includes $80,000 awarded to the Oregon Folklife Network

[Eugene]—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $80,000 to the Oregon Folklife Network to support Oregon’s folk and traditional arts programming and research. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as the Oregon Folklife Network in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”

“We are thrilled to have the NEA’s funding and endorsement of our efforts to engage with communities, organizations, and Tribes to document, preserve, and celebrate Oregon’s living cultural heritage,” commented Riki Saltzman, OFN’s executive director. “We are also pleased to have additional funding from the Oregon Arts Commission for this important cultural work.”

NEA and OAC funding supports OFN’s  Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, our statewide multi-year folklife survey, and our Regional Collaborative Partnerships. Since 2012, OFN has supported over 30 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship teams to teach and make public presentations. Master artists mentor apprentices from the same cultural community or Tribe in a chosen traditional art form such as rawhide braiding, Coos basket weaving, and Persian storytelling.

Our next and 5th region of our statewide folklife survey will be the Willamette Valley; during 2018 we’ll be out and about to interview river guides, musicians, storytellers, quilters, and more. Previous surveys have identified and documented hundreds of traditional artists in communities and Tribes in southern and eastern Oregon, the Gorge, and the Portland Metro.

Following each region’s folklife survey, OFN staff provides support to create or supplement projects that focus on and documented artists from that region. For 2017-18, we’ll be partnering with cultural organizations and Tribes in eastern Oregon for our next round of Regional Collaborative Partnerships.

Check out our ever-growing Culture Keepers Roster to discover and hire Oregon folk artists.  Many of those culture keepers have performed in Oregon parks, taken part in festivals, conducted public workshops, and been featured in exhibits.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring17, #Oregonfolk, and #thisisculture. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov.

Follow OFN on Twitter @OregonFolklife and follow us on Facebook at Oregon Folklife Network.