2019 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program Master Artists’ Gathering

Iris Teeuwen (photos and text) and Christal Snyder (text and editor)

Top starting from the left: Steve McKay, Marjan Anvari, Mic Crenshaw, Mark Ross, Brian Hart, Hossein Salahi, Antonio Huerta. Bottom Starting from the left: Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, Kelli Palmer, Esther Stutzman, Roberta Kirk, Marge Kalama, Azar Salehi, Maria de Jesus Gonzalez Laguna. Present at the gathering, but not photographed here: Charlotte Roderique, Wanda Johnson, Sandra Teeman

 

Oregon Folklife Network staff had the privilege of spending 2 days at Bend’s High Desert Museum at a professional development gathering with 17 of Oregon’s master traditional artists. Funding from the NEA and the Oregon Arts Commission and a generous partnership with the High Desert Museum provided support to invite our Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program’s (TAAP) master artists (2011-2019) for peer-to-peer mentoring and professional development. On April 27-28, 2019, 17 of 32 master artists came together for networking, panel discussions, performances and demonstrations. As the artists noted, “It was wonderful to have this opportunity to get to know each other.” The gathering provided a “fantastic opportunity to connect – all of it was useful.”

Folk & Traditional Art Displays: The Gathering began with introductions. Several artists shared their pieces with the group.

Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim (center) shows her traditional Palestinian embroidery to Persian tazhib artist, Marjan Anvari (right). Burns Paiute moccasin maker and tradition keeper Charlotte Roderique (left) chats to another artist.

Iranian traditional artist and conservator Marjan Anvari specializes in tazhib, a form of traditional manuscript illumination that dates back to 224 A.D. Because of its ubiquitous presence in Iran’s historical architecture, visual arts, and craftsmanship, tazhib has become a symbol of nationality and culture. Anvari has more than 15 years of experience working on manuscripts, books, and art on paper and is particularly dedicated to using her talents to educate children and adults. This particular piece, Anvari explained, is a runner that she decorated with “a combination of traditional Persian fabric (Termeh) and hand-painted Persian illumination (tazhib).” The motif is called shamseh (sun).

Cornhusk weaver Kelli Palmer (Warm Springs) uses dried cornhusk, hemp, yarn, and buckskin (brain-tanned and smoked deer hide) to make her traditional baskets. Palmer employs a double-twining technique to create traditional woven hats and sally bags or wapus (flat baskets); women wear the bags around their waists and use them to collect roots that they later dry and prepare for eating.

Marjorie Kalama (Warm Springs) makes traditional loomed beadwork. Her method of two-needled tack-down beading requires the simultaneous use of two needles with different sized threads. She adorns dresses, fans, and more with her intricately shaded designs. Kalama has won six awards for her beadwork at tribal member art shows.

H’Klumaiyat-Roberta Kirk (Wasco) is a traditional beadworker and regalia maker. Kirk uses shells and beadwork to embellishes traditional clothing that she designs and makes for ceremonies and pow-wows. Kirk also gathers traditional foods for the Simnasho Longhouse in Warm Springs and has consulted for several museums, including the Smithsonian, on Native American artifacts.

Ragalia makers Marge Kalama (Warm Springs) and Charlotte Roderique (Burns Paiute) admire Kelli Palmer’s traditional baskets.

Buckaroo and traditional saddle maker Steve McKay (right) shows Marge Kalama (left) one of his intricately braided rawhide lariats. McKay learned to tool saddles in the 1980s from fellow traditional artist Len Babb II; other Oregon buckaroos consider him the “go-to” guy for functional, well-made gear.

Antonio Huerta (Mexican charro/cowboy) examines one of Steve McKay’s braided rawhide ropes.

Antonio Huerta performs traditional charrería (cowboy rope work), an skill used to work cattle and in rodeo competitions.

 

Needs Assessment and Professional Development: OFN asked artists to let us know about areas in which they needed help as well as where they had strengths and could help others. Categories included promotions, finding gigs, business and finance, and expanding opportunities.

Tazhib (illumination and calligraphy) artist Marjan Anvari (Persian) is interested in assistance with online promotion.

Roberta Kirk and Maria de Jesus Gonzalez Laguna add their thoughts for a session on Looking Back/Looking Forward or the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program.

Antonio Huerta, who also does outreach for the UO Division of Undergraduate Studies, shares his ideas with fellow artists.

Charlotte Roderique (left), Wanda Johnson (center), and Sandra Teeman (right) are members of the Burns Paiute Tribe and skilled moccasin makers who have taught this traditional art to Burns Paiute children As members of the tribe’s Cultural Advisory Committee, these culture keepers have dedicated their time and effort to sustaining their heritage.

Charlotte Roderique takes her turn to talk with the group.

Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim (standing), a 2018 National Heritage Fellow, learned traditional Palestinian embroidery the stories behind the designs from her mother and grandmother.

Emily West Hartlerode (standing), OFN Associate Director, facilitates a session about exploring resources that OFN and artists can share to support one other.

Michelle Seiler-Godfrey, Program Development Manager at the High Desert Museum, spoke to artists about marketing their arts and expanding their networks.

 

Performances: On Saturday evening everyone gathered at McMenamins Old St. Francis School to socialize and share their traditional arts.

First up to perform was old time musician Mark Ross, whose repertoire of over nearly 500 songs runs the gamut of American roots music, includes ballads, train songs, blues, and western swing.

Traditional Irish singer Brian Ó hAirt explores the Irish experience from the profane to the conventional through music. The continuing significance of Irish ballads and folk songs is evidenced by its popularity at any Irish gathering, whether at homes, in pubs or bars, and for community celebrations.

Master santoor player Hossein Salehi began his musical career at seven when he started learning this ancient traditional art form from his father, Maestro Abbas Salehi. The instrument is a trapezoid-shaped hammered dulcimer with 72 strings strung over small adjustable bridges; this makes it possible for the santoor, Iran’s national instrument, the capacity to produce a range of three octaves. This musical tradition is over 1100 years old.

Azar Salehi is an Persian storyteller who also recites traditional poetry. Salehi has partnered with Portland State University and others in her mission to connect members of the Iranian diaspora to their cultural roots.

MC Michael “Mic” Crenshaw is a poetry slam champion and a respected hip hop artist around the Northwest and in Africa. A former member of the Portland-based group Hungry Mob, Crenshaw currently acts as Political Director for the Hip Hop Congress and the Lead U.S. Organizer for the Afrikan Hip Hop Caravan. Crenshaw recently received one of four inaugural 2019-21 Fields Artist’s Fellowships from the Oregon Community Foundation in partnership with Oregon Humanities.

Traditional Coos and Kalapuya storyteller Esther Stutzman is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz and a member of the Northwest Indian Storyteller’s Association. Stutzman was the winner of the 2017 Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement.

At the conclusion to the TAAP Master Artist Gathering, Mexican Folkloríco dancer and teacher Maria de Jesus Gonzalez Laguna and Antonio Huerta collaborated on a performance that combined charrería with a traditional folklórico dance. Each of Mexico’s states has a set of traditional dances that feature specific expression, technique, dress, and accessories.

Echoing everyone’s sentiments, one of the artists commented, “the performances [and folk art displays were] all beautiful, and we will remember that for a long time.

 

Exciting Grant Opportunity!

USArtists International supports performances by U.S. dance, music, and theater ensembles and solo artists invited to perform at important cultural festivals and performing arts marketplaces anywhere in the world outside the United States and its territories. USArtists International grantees reflect the vibrant diversity of U.S. artists and creative expression in the performing arts. The next deadline is April 3, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET for engagements between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. To learn more about the program, see additional deadlines or access the online application, please visit our website.

USAI is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding and is the only program of its size and scope in the country.

OFN at 35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

This year’s 35th Annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering once again found poets, musicians, gearmakers, and folklorists in Elko, Nevada celebrating and raising awareness about cowboy culture and the rural experience. OFN Associate Director, Emily West Hartlerode, worked managing and hosting stages as contract staff of the Western Folklife Center, reuniting with colleagues from across the west. Among them are a growing number of UO and OFN alum: Bradford McMullen and Jennie Flinspach (OFN graduate employees), Debbie Fant (OFN contract fieldworker), and Amy Mills (UO Folklore graduate), to name a few. On-stage talent from Oregon included first-time participant, singer-songwriter Forrest Van Tuyl of Enterprise, and long-time participant Ross Knox who now hails from Arizona, but grew up ranching in Central Oregon. Personal highlights were stage managing for Colter Wall, Trinity Seely, and Dave Stamey (backstage photos below), and catching up with community scholar, Andy Hedges, whose interviews with cowboy poets and singer-songwriters you can enjoy on his blog.

There is a feeling of homecoming at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering among artists and staff folklorists alike. Thanks to Doug Blandy, director of UO Folklore and Public Culture Program, for sharing this blog post about the event.

Dave Stamey and Emily West Hartlerode, backstage at NCPG 2019

Colter Wall and Emily West Hartlerode, backstage at NCPG 2019

Trinity Seely and Emily West Hartlerode

 

#GivingTuesday

Dear Oregon Folklife Supporter,

Today is #GivingTuesday—a global day dedicated to giving back to your favorite nonprofits and causes. #GivingTuesdaykicks off the Oregon Folklife Network’s year-end fundraising campaign.

To participate: Make an end-of-the-year tax-deductible gift to the Oregon Folklife Network Fund.  Be a part of OFN’s ongoing story from Culture Fest to our Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. Our programs showcase exemplary culture keepers in Oregon’s communities and Tribes.

Your donations enable OFN to

When you give to OFN, remember to make a matching donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust, which will credit its portion back to you as an Oregon state tax credit.  “Donate+Match = Get the Whole Match Back!”

When you donate today you’ll be joining thousands of other Oregonians in a statewide celebration of #GivingTuesday as part of the NonProfit Association of Oregon’s #CareLikeAnOregonian campaign.

 

OFN connects!  From culture keepers in Tribes and communities, to local and statewide programs and agencies, we make Oregon’s traditional arts thrive. To continue this work, we need your help. We hope you’ll be a part of our efforts to nurture Oregon’s diverse cultural heritage.

Thanks so much for your support!

Riki Saltzman, Executive Director
Oregon Folklife Network
http://ofn.uoregon.edu

Treaty of 1855 Conference, Museum at Warm Springs, Oct 25-27, 2018

Returning to work after attending the Middle Oregon Treaty of 1855 Conference, I am newly aware that I am returning to America after visiting the Warm Springs Nation. This sovereign nation that pre-existed the establishment of the United States, holds inherent rights to their lands – including access to millions of acres ceded to the US through the Treaty for usual and customary practices like hunting and gathering. These rights are not only acknowledged, but protected by the Treaty, a nation-to-nation agreement with the same legally and ethically binding strength and significance as other international treaties.

 

The original document resides in a climate-controlled vault in the National Archives in Washington DC, however it was temporarily on display at the Museum at Warm Springs through Nov 3, 2018. This unique access to the Treaty paralleled the Museum’s celebration of its 25th Anniversary, and spurred tribal leadership to coordinate the Treaty Conference. Many Native and non-native allies came together to better understand the historical context that established the Treaty; to reflect on the growth and development of tribal governance despite the overwhelming loss of language, cultural practices, lands and people; and to imagine and plan for a future beyond surviving, but one of thriving.

 

Warm Springs Tribal Council member, Valerie Switzler, invited Oregon Folklife Network to interview participants and document their reflections and reactions. Of high importance to her was engaging tribal youth in the process. OFN was honored by the invitation and donated our time in sponsorship of the event. With the help of superintendent Ken Parshall, we reached out to Fieldschool alumni, and Warm Springs sophomores Dylan Heath, Taya Holiday, and Kathryce Danzuka attended on Friday and took leadership roles in running the video camera, asking thoughtful questions, and ensuring that release forms were properly filled and returned. They showed great respect and professionalism, though I was delighted to see them relax into some light-hearted teenager fun after their work was through.

 

Interviews spanned a variety of perspectives, from Native American Rights Fund lawyer (and former UO Duck) Charles Wilkinson, to elder and language teacher Arlita Rhoan. Incoming Executive Director of the Museum at Warm Springs (and former Poet Laureate) Elizabeth Woody, who expertly coordinated this important event, also provided her reflections for this record, all of which is going back to the Tribal Archives. Their thoughts co-mingle with my own reflections as the days between me and the event grow. I yearn for more time to steep in my feelings and better understand and act on my sense of urgency to respond. But I am back in America now. The prayer songs fade in my ears, but for the people of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and the 500+ sovereign nations who permit US activities on the land that has been theirs since time immemorial, those songs resound often and strong.

Update from Four Rivers Cultural Center

Josh Chrysler, Four Rivers Cultural Center Staff Folklorist

from left: Emily West Hartlerode, Bradford McMullen, Josh Chrysler, Riki Saltzman, and Steven Hatcher festival hosting, 4Rivers Cultural Center, June 23, 2018.

 

I had a busy winter and spring as the contract staff folklorist for the Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario, Oregon. Through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, I have been able to continue my work to develop programs celebrating and supporting folklife and traditional culture in eastern Oregon.  This past year, I developed both an exhibit on regional folklife and a day-long folklife festival.

The exhibit, Buckaroo and Ranching Folklife of the Four Rivers Region, features traditional arts and skills associated with buckaroos and the ranching world. Crafts such as silversmithing, rawhide braiding, and saddle making each have qualities specific to this corner of the world. This exhibit was based on my own fieldwork, previous OFN fieldwork, and a smaller Buckaroo exhibit that Adrienne Decker developed during her Summer Folklife Fellowship at OFN. At this writing, the exhibit is on view at the Four Rivers Cultural Center. In the future, Four Rivers plans to travel the exhibit to other local and regional museums, libraries, and schools.

Following the theme of regional culture, I also developed a day-long Tradition Keeper’s Folklife Festival, held Saturday, June 23rdat the Four Rivers Cultural Center. This extremely rural region nourishes an incredible diversity of folklife, which we worked to represent in our programming. The festival brought in many of the buckaroo artists featured in the exhibit to demonstrate their various traditions, which ranged from Western saddle making and Paiute basketry to foodways from Japanese mochi and to Basque paella. Meanwhile, multiple performance areas featured traditional artists and their verbal or musical traditions including cowboy poetry, Mexican dance, Japanese Taiko drumming, and Paiute storytelling. Thanks to these culture keepers, the Four Rivers staff, OFN staff, and folklorist Steven Hatcher of the Idaho Commission on the Arts—

all of whom helped facilitate the event—400-500 visitors interacted with and learned from community members and neighbors who practice traditional arts and skills.

Fortunately, we have secured funding from the NEA to continue this project, and planning for a Tradition Keepers Folklife Festival (Saturday, June 29, 2019) is underway. I am heading back to eastern Oregon to continue fieldwork and to identify additional traditional artists to feature at next year’s Festival. Stay tuned for more information as this project continues to develop!

OFN at the 2018 FisherPoets Gathering

Cloudy weather couldn’t dim our enjoyment of the FisherPoets Gathering

Every year, the FisherPoets Gathering brings together fishermen from around the world to Astoria, OR during the last weekend in February to share their poetry, prose, and song and to celebrate the commercial fishing industry. This year’s FisherPoets Gathering featured over 100 performers at 8 different venues, workshops, a poetry slam, and the ever-popular Saturday night poetry contest. For the 5th year running, Oregon Folklife Network staff, students, and volunteers were all there to help document the weekend.

OFN Executive Director Riki Saltzman, Graduate Assistant Brad McMullen, OFN Program Manager Alina Mansfield, students Brandie Roberts and Kayleigh Graham, and volunteer folklorist Tiffany Purn spent the weekend experiencing the events and interviewing fisherpoets, documenting their poetry and their commercial fishing heritage. We got to see a number of fantastic performances from fisherpoets like Harlan Bailey, Rich Bard, Moe Bowstern, Meezie Hermansen, Tom Hilton, Cary Jones, Rob Seitz, and Cowboy Poet-in-Residence Ron McDaniel.

One event that stood out for first-timer Kayleigh Graham was the Strength of the Tides workshop, which focused on empowering women fishermen (their gender-preferred term) and other women who work in maritime industries. Strength of the Tides was well supported outside of its workshop too, with the movement getting shout-outs at performances throughout the weekend and lots of sightings of the new t-shirt.

For graduate student Brandie Roberts, another first-timer who described it as a weekend of “heartfelt expression,” what really stood out was her interview with fisherpoet Harlan Bailey. She writes, “For [Harlan], as with many others, gathering as the collective Fisherpoets means creating a space that staves off alienation and allows transformation – from the quotidian to the symbolic, and the mundane to the meaningful. Harlan Bailey will be back next year, and I’ll be in the audience to cheer him on.

(From L to R) Brandie Roberts, Brad McMullen, ED Riki Saltzman, Kayleigh Graham, & Tiffany Purn

As always, the FisherPoets Gathering is a great chance for fishermen to celebrate their industry and the art that they create in isolation and share as a community. The OFN is proud to attend every year and help document the stories of the men and women of the commercial fishing fleet, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s gathering!

Former OFN Staff Member Makaela Kroin Gets Job with Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission

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.

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.

OFN at 2018 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Every year, folklorists from across the western states reunite at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada.  OFN Associate Director, Emily Hartlerode, joined colleagues to staff the festival as stage manager and host to cowboy musicians and poets Feb 1-3. This year’s 34th annual festival theme, “Basques & Buckaroos: Herding Cultures of Basin, Range and Beyond,” made the beret, or Basque txapela, as common as the ten-gallon hat. A rich assortment of Basque music, dance, language, and rhymes came gathering from near as Elko and far as Spain’s Basque Country. Oregonians performing at the Gathering included photographer Mary Williams Hyde (Klamath Falls), poet Annie Mackenzie (Jordan Valley), and musicians Caleb Klauder Country Band (Portland) who played the famous Saturday Night Dance.

Mary Williams Hyde, whose family has been ranching in Klamath Falls since 1911, shared an hour of her photo slides in a collection called “Images of the Buckaroo: On the Ranch and in the Arena.” Her documentation of this culture specializes in the rare million+ acre ranch of the Great Basin, like Oregon’s ZX Ranch in Paisley.

Annie Mackenzie was a fresh new voice in Elko, attending her first Gathering as a recipient of the Rod McQueary & Sue Wallis Scholarship. This fund, established by an anonymous donor in memory of two of the Gathering’s earliest poets, brings emerging poets, writers and reciters to the Gathering. OFN looks forward to adding to our artist roster Ms. Mackenzie, who writes thoughtful and humorist poetry of her experiences on her family’s fourth-generation ranch in southeast Oregon.

Interested in performing or exhibiting at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering?  Get in touch with OFN, or watch the NCPG website where applications for 2019 will be posted soon!