Watch TAAP Master Artist Jayanthi Raman (2015) and her apprentice Bakul Godbole demonstrate Bharatha Natyam Indian Dance.
OFN is pleased to announce that Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (2013) master artist Esther Stutzman received a prestigious 2017 Lifetime Achievement Governor’s Art Award for her work in Oregon as a traditional Kalapuya/Coos storyteller. OFN nominated her for the 2017 Governor’s Art Awards, Oregon’s highest honor for exemplary service to the arts, which Gov. Brown revitalized after a 10-year hiatus. Ms. Stutzman was recognized during a ceremony that preceded the 2017 Oregon Arts Summit on Oct. 6, in Portland.
In addition to being a 2012 Oregon Folklife Network TAAP awardee, Esther Stutzman (Kalapuya/Coos) is the primary storyteller for Mother Earth’s Children, an American Indian theatre group that has performed for school assemblies and a variety of events and conferences for the past 42 years. Stutzman also works with Title VII Indian Education programs and Arts in Education Programs throughout the state of Oregon as a cultural resource specialist with children as well as with teacher in-service programs. She has been a long-time presenter for the Oregon Chautauqua History Series and is a recipient of several folklife awards formerly administered by the Oregon Historical Society. She recently shared her Tribes’ Mother Wolf and Coyote stories at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History in Eugene for their Wolf Talks celebration.
On Monday November 13th, state officials recognized Oregon’s 2016-2018 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program master artists at the State Library in Salem, Oregon.
The ceremony opened with words of welcome from MaryKay Dahlgreen (State Librarian), Riki Saltzman (Executive Director, Oregon Folklife Network), Brian Rogers (Executive Director, Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust), and Beth Dehn, newly appointed Manager, Oregon Heritage Commission. Brian Rogers and state legislators, Representative Margaret Doherty (District 35), Representative Cliff Bentz (District 60), Representative Andrea Salinas (District 38), and Greg Mintz, Legislative Director for Senator Ken Helm (District 34), presented commemorative certificates to master artists (pictured R-L) Tonya Rosebrook, Hossein Salehi, Azar Salehi, Marjan Anvari, Jack Armstrong, Sara Siestreem, Anita Menon, and Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim. Apprentice Miguel Ruiz and his son Miguel Jr. accepted the award on behalf of his mentor, Antonio Huerta. Representative Cliff Bentz and Brian Rogers presented a certificate to Roberta Kirk in absentia. The ceremony, which recognized the artistic excellence of these exemplary culture keepers, featured virtuosic performances by Azar Salehi (Persian storytelling) and Hossein Salehi (Persian santoor, a trapezoidal-shaped stringed instrument similar to the hammered dulcimer).
During a reception in their honor, TAAP master artists had the opportunity to interact with each other as well as elected officials, state government representatives, OFN staff, and members of the Oregon Arts Commission and Cultural Trust boards. Many brought examples of their works to share, demonstrate, and display their artistry. Charrería apprentice, Miguel Ruiz, treated everyone to an impromptu display of the roping skills required for Mexican rodeo.
Congratulations again to all of the 2016-18 TAAP master artists. We also extend our appreciation to all who were able to attend and honor those artists and their contributions to Oregon’s living cultural heritage.
Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim is master Palestinian embroiderer. Born in the city of Safad in northern Palestine, her family fled to Syria and Jordan in 1948. After attending boarding school in Ramalla West Bank, Abbasi-Ghnaim returned to Syria to attend Damascus University, where she majored in art history. In 1980, her family immigrated to the United States. Abbasi-Ghnaim has dedicated herself to practicing and teaching her traditional craft. She has lectured and taught about Palestinian traditions at the University of Massachusetts, the Oral History Center of Cambridge, Portland State University, and Lewis and Clark College. She has collaborated with the World Affairs Council of Oregon and the Middle East Studies Center to participate in the “Teach the Middle East” forum, a set of workshop designed to train youth and K-12 educators about Middle East culture and arts. Since 2000, Abbasi-Ghnaim has taught workshops and classes in public schools in Beaverton, Milwaukie, Gresham, and Portland.
Palestinian embroidery features minute cross-stitching, most easily compared to counted cross-stitch. But the craft involves much more than a decorative art; stitches and design combine to tell stories with colors, symbols, and patterns. Abbasi-Ghnaim continues a centuries-old tradition that Palestinian women have employed to record their cultural observations. As Abbasi-Ghnaim explains, “Embroidery is the unwritten language transferring stories from woman to woman in silence. Needle and thread are the tools for documenting the history of their lives … The stories behind the patterns, the colors of the thread, and the fashion of traditional Palestinian dress are just as important as learning the cross-stitch and is something that can only be preserved through teaching and mentoring the younger generations.”
Abbasi-Ghnaim earned Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program awards with Oregon Folklife Network in 2012, 2014, and 2018 and worked extensively with the OFN’s predecessor folk and traditional arts programs in prior years.
To learn more about Feryal, check out her daughter’s book, Tatreez and Tea: https://tatreezandtea.com/
Obo Addy (January 15, 1936-September 13, 2012), Ghanaian Drumming, Portland (Multnomah), 2012
Obo Addy was a dynamic musician, generous teacher, and gifted composer. The son of a Ga wonche (medicine man), Addy was designated a master drummer at the age of six in Accra, Ghana. His life’s work was to share his culture through music, dance, and drum.
During childhood, he recalled, “I was constantly surrounded by … drumming, dancing, and singing …. My siblings and I listened, observed, and helped as needed when my father performed various spiritual ceremonies and rites. From these proceedings I learned about the power of music, drumming, and rhythms. In rituals, I first learned to play bell. Later, I was allowed to play drums. In between these events and lessons with my father, I played on my own and with other musicians at social gatherings in town. As a small boy, I knew that I wanted to be musician.”
In 1969, the Arts Council of Ghana employed Addy as a Ga master of the national music. He and his brothers performed at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and toured internationally until Addy moved to Portland, Oregon. Addy was one of the first native African musicians to bring worldbeat (a fusion of traditional folk music and Western pop music) to the west. In 1978, he and his wife, Susan Addy, created Homowo African Arts and Cultures to promote Ghanaian music. Addy, who taught at Lewis and Clark College, created programs and curriculum to demonstrate the connections between African and African American music and dance, which he taught and performed around the United States.
In 1996, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Obo Addy a National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor a traditional artist can receive in the United States. His numerous recordings include Wonche Bi (2002) and Afieye Okropong (2003), released on the Alula label. In 2011, Homowo became the Obo Addy Legacy Project to further honor his contributions.
To learn more about the Obo Addy Legacy Project, check out their website: http://oboaddylegacyproject.org/
We are pleased to announce the release of Oregon Folklife Network’s latest publication: Oregon Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Master Artists: 2012-2016, featuring highly skilled traditional artists in Oregon. This publication and the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program in Oregon was made possible through grant funds, and so is not for sale. Instead, we share it for free with cultural organizations, libraries, funding partners, and elected officials. Doing so achieves key parts of our mission: investing in traditional artists, creating new outlets to show Oregon’s traditional arts, and providing public access to information about traditional ways being practiced in Oregon today.
This book highlights the cultural traditions of those master artists who received TAAP awards from 2012-2016. Each awardee mentored at least one apprentice in an art form significant to their shared community, and all allowed us to document their processes. The book provides a glimpse into just a few of Oregon’s cultural traditions, ranging from Umatilla dentalium piecework and Palestinian embroidery to Czech and Slovak egg decoration and Plateau shell dress making. Included are western occupational art forms such as silversmithing, saddle making, and rawhide braiding, which speak to Oregon’s ranching heritage. Among the featured multicultural performance forms are Chinese rod puppetry, hip hop and rap, old time banjo, Guinean drumming, Indian Bharatha Natyam dance, and Mexican ballet folklórico. Throughout the pages, you will read the artists and culture keepers’ own words about their commitment to preserving and passing on their heritage.
We share this book to honor Oregon’s diverse cultural heritage while raising public appreciation for traditional arts and artists. The Oregon Folklife Network, in association with our funding partners, is proud to present the master artists who keep Oregon’s traditional arts a vital and living expression of Oregon’s cultural heritage. Contact us for copies.
Portland-based Hip-Hop artist Mic Crenshaw and his apprentice Baqi Coles, recipients of a 2015-2016 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program award.
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.
By Brad McMullen
The Oregon Folklife Network is proud to announce six new 2016 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP) awardees! These extraordinary master traditional artists and culture keepers exhibit excellence in their abilities, and a passion to pass on their knowledge, skills, and expertise. TAAP provides a stipend to these master artists to teach a promising apprentice from their own community, Tribe, or cultural, religious, or occupational group.
This year’s TAAP teams will be working a range of traditional skills, from traditional rawhide braiding to dentalium shell piecework to Tazhib.
Marjan Anvari (Lake Oswego, OR) is a master of traditional Tazhib (gilding), Persian illumination patterns. She will be teaching her apprentice the finer points of this ancient cultural art, which involves adorning the margins of books with beautiful patterns of plants or geometrical shapes with gold as well as colors like azure, blue, green, vermilion, and turquoise.
Jack Armstrong (Lakeview, OR) is a cowboy and master rawhide braider. Armstrong will be working with his apprentice to create tightly and evenly braided gear and a variety of decorative “buttons.”
Jose Antonio Huerta (Springfield, OR) is a master of Mexican cowboy (charro) horseback rope work. This is his second TAAP award for which he will once again be teaching charrería (rope work and riding).
Roberta Kirk (Warm Springs, OR) is a master shell dress maker of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation. For this second TAAP award, Kirk will be teaching her apprentice the specifics of dentalium (shell) piecework.
Hossein Salehi (Beaverton, OR), founder of the ArtMax Academy, is a master musician who plays the Santoor (trapezoid-shaped hammered dulcimer-like string musical instrument). Salehi will will be helping his apprentice to refine his musical skills.
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 training and a final public presentation. Our biannual awards ceremony invites legislators and government officials to recognize master artists.
Download the application on our website and submit by April 1st. Send us your draft application early for preview and helpful feedback before final submission!
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. 2015 recipients are: rap and hip hop emcee, Mic Crenshaw; bharatha natyam Indian dancer, Dr. Jayanthi Raman; traditional Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw storyteller, Patricia Whereat Phillips; traditional saddle maker, Len Babb III; master silversmith, Pat Horlacher; and elders from the Burns Paiute Tribe (Alma Kennedy, Betty Hawley, Phyllis Miller, Wanda Johnson, Myra Peck) who are teaching moccasin making. 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 our 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, Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Community Foundation’s Fred W. Fields Fund. Additional support from the Oregon Historical Society and the University of Oregon makes this program possible.