Create! Eugene

Create! Eugene: August 1-31
Workshop Opportunity

Create! Eugene is a month-long creative arts festival of workshops taking place in August that showcases the creative workshops available in Eugene and the surrounding communities.

Anyone is welcome to give a workshop on a specific skill or creative activity. To set up a workshop, contact the artist or organization hosting the space directly using the email link provided within each listing or call by phone.

Some free spaces are available at the Lane Community College in downtown Eugene. Contact Jenette Kane ( to reserve one of these spaces (Free spaces may have limited availability).

Click HERE to list your workshop with Create! Eugene.
Registration is free, but in lieu of a monetary fee, it is asked that you link the website on your website, blog, social network or other form of web media (if applicable). Contact Brent Hanifl at and send the URL address for confirmation.

Create! Eugene’s partner hotels will offer special discounted rates to participating visitors. To take advantage of these deals, contact the property directly by phone or from their website. More information available at:

Contact Brent Hanifl at or (608) 792-5746 for more information.

Traditional Artist Spotlight: Esther Stutzman

by Sanna Parikka, OFN Intern

American Indian Kalapuya and Coos storyteller, Esther Stutzman captivated those lucky enough to be present at the OFN Open House event in April. An enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz, founding member of the Northwest Indian Storyteller’s association, Stutzman is the primary storyteller for the Mother Earth’s Children theatre. Her family members are also involved with drumming and singing at important occasions around the state.

Stutzman learned the tradition of storytelling from her family members and community elders, and has been practicing all her life. Kalapuya and Coos stories often include animal characters to convey cultural values. Some stories are appropriate for any occasion relevant to their theme, while others are meant for particular times of the year. Kalapuya and Coos peoples regard traditional stories and songs as sacred and particular to those who tell them. Stutzman has only thirteen stories that she shares with the public; the rest are exclusively for family and tribal members.

According to Stutzman, the way you tell a story has a crucial role in bringing the story alive. For example, she uses pauses and varies her tone as well as paces her performance to maintain the suspense of a particular story line.

A cultural educator above all, Esther Stutzman is the Founding Director of the American Indian Youth Camp – now in its 37th year of sharing cultural knowledge and Native traditions to school-age youth.

OFN Artist Panel Discussion Report

by: Adrian Engstrom von Alten, OFN Undergraduate Intern

In conjunction with its Open House, the Oregon Folklife Network hosted an Artist Panel Discussion on April 18, 2013. OFN invited three Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP) awardees to discuss their traditional work with the public. The TAAP program funds master traditional artists and their apprentices in order to carry on Oregon’s cultural traditions. Esther Stutzman, a Native storyteller, Daniela Mahoney, a Slovak/Ukrainian egg decorator, and Mark Ross, an American folk musician discussed their unique cultural traditions and backgrounds. The OFN is proud to support artists who could entertain and educate the public about their art, while helping to preserve and perpetuate Oregon’s traditions bearers’ valuable knowledge.

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OFN at Association of Western States Folklorists Annual Meeting

by Lyle Murphy, OFN Intern

The Oregon Folklife Network attended the Association of Western States Folklorists (AWSF) annual meeting in Laramie, WY at the Vee Bar Guest Ranch from April 25-27. The conference included discussion topics such as the navigation of crowd sourced funding, the organizational future of AWSF, and a regional collaboration focusing on riverways. There was a particular emphasis on developing a larger presence of graduate students and younger professionals than in previous years; this would ensure their perspectives and ideas were heard, especially in the future development of AWSF.

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‘Arts in Parks’ Program Launches in June!

This June, in partnership with the Oregon State Parks and the Oregon Arts Commission, the OFN will launch a new series of free public demonstrations, performances, and workshops featuring five celebrated folk and traditional artists in five different state parks across Oregon.

Master folk and traditional artists Mark Ross, Sherry Steele, Pat Courtney Gold, Wilverna Reece, and Esther Stutzman will present a variety of cultural traditions from old time music and fly tying to Wasco sally bag and Warm Springs basket weaving as well as Kalapuya and Coos storytelling. In addition to diversifying park audiences and providng professional development opportunities for Oregon’s tradition bearers, the Arts in Parks program will also strengthen and grow Oregon’s cultural infrastructure and create models for future Arts in Parks collaborations like residencies and summer camps. OFN graduate intern, Karen Agocs, is coordinating the program for its pilot year; she has been assisted by Adrian Engstrom von Alten, OFN undergraduate intern.

Oregon Folklife Network is hiring!

2 Contract Fieldworker Positions Starting July, 2013

The Oregon Folklife Network seeks to hire two professional folklorists to conduct folklife field surveys and documentation of traditions in the southern Oregon counties of Malheur, Harney, Lake, and Klamath (fieldwork regions will be divided up based on the experience and backgrounds of the folklorists selected). Work for this project may begin any time after July 15, 2013 but must be completed by June 30, 2014 (including all paperwork). Fieldwork days need not be consecutive, and, in fact, two field trips would be ideal.

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16th Annual FisherPoets Gathering, Astoria, Oregon

Riki Saltzman, OFN Director

The annual FisherPoets Gathering happens in the dead of winter—the last weekend in February. While this may seem an odd time for most of us to go traipsing off to the wet and windy northwest coast, it’s downtime for salmon fishermen. As poet, fisherman, and teacher Jon Broderick has noted, however, crabbers and longliners are still hard at it. Regardless, this event warms and renews all who take part. Oddly, it’s about everything but the food, which is, admittedly, the end product of what these folks do. As this event makes clear, fish do not become food until fishermen catch them, canneries process them, grocers sell them, and we lucky consumers get to buy and eat them.

Back in the late 1990s, a few commercial fishermen (preferred term by men and women) decided to create a gathering to share their songs, stories, and poetry. FisherPoets was based in part on the highly successful Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Elko, Nevada), which celebrates, presents, and preserves the various cultural traditions around raising range animals. While FisherPoets involves similar kinds of public presentations, it is a way for commercial fishers to renew their ties, catch up on news, and connect with each other. As marine historian Hobe Kytr told me early on, “This is a celebration of commercial fisheries by and for by commercial fishers.”

At the FisherPoets Gathering, working fishermen come together to celebrate who they are, mourn their losses, laugh at their mistakes, tease each other, talk about politics, regulations, and the economy, and then write movingly in poetry and prose about who they are, what they do, and—oh yeah—the fish they catch. Besides the fact that those men and women who produce and perform excellent and moving art have amazingly dangerous and hard jobs, what surprised and delighted me was how many women were and are involved—as deckhands, fishermen, and such—and as excellent writers and performers.

To hear some of the performers, check out “In the Tote” on the FisherPoets Gathering website.

Warm Springs Audio Preservation Project

Emily West Afanador, OFN Program Manager

Warm Spring tribal members have been preserving their heritage through audio recordings of songs, legends, oral histories, and Tribal Council meetings dating back to the 1950s. With the help of a grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Folklife Network staff Emily West Afanador and Sanna Parikka accompanied University of Oregon Librarian Nathan Georgitis on a trip to Warm Springs Culture Department to work together on making these recordings stable and accessible for future generations. Georgitis installed new digitization equipment and trained Warm Springs staff and volunteers, Valerie Switzler, Dallas Winishut, and Greg Arquette in best practices for sound preservation. Meanwhile, Afanador and Parikka documented the process with photos, video, and interviews. The OFN website will soon feature an online audio digitization training module to make this preservation process available to all Oregonians.

It is a privilege to work with the Warm Springs Culture Department, where projects like this are just one of the many efforts to revitalize cultural knowledge and practices that were forbidden during the boarding school assimilation era just a generation or two ago. Arquette is eager for the knowledge he will gain by listening to tapes of elders; Winishut will build curriculum with the native language recordings for use in Warm Springs language immersion classrooms; and Switzler is confident that the voices of tradition-keepers on those recordings will serve as important cultural role models for today’s tribal youth.

Traditional Artist Spotlight: Kelli Palmer

Sanna Parikka, OFN Intern

Kelli Palmer and her apprentice, Joy Ramirez, create American Indian cornhusk baskets and bags by combining the traditional materials, cornhusk and buckskin hide, with colorful rayon raffia ribbon. Traditionally, cornhusk baskets were used for food storage and during wedding trades. Since then, the craft has developed to include purses, side bags, and horse regalia for show.

Cornhusk weaving is a labor-intensive art form. The husk needs to be handled wet, and an experienced weaver can take up to an hour to complete just one row of a basket. Nevertheless, Palmer strives to use real cornhusk as much as possible; she adds colored rayon raffia because its colors last much longer than the hues of colored cornhusk. For her designs, Palmer sometimes pre-draws the pattern, but she also enjoys creating the images as she weaves without a predetermined design in mind. This inspires her to create novel designs, and that that’s how the patterns were traditionally being created, too.

According to Palmer, cornhusk weaving is currently gaining in popularity, and her classes fill up very quickly. She is happy to be able to teach the intricacies of the skill to Ramirez, so that eventually they can start teaching weaving classes together, preserving and passing on this skill for yet another generation.

OFN Open House and Artist Panel Discussion: Thursday April 18

The OFN staff invites you to a panel discussion with OFN traditional arts masters and an Open House on Thursday, April 18 to celebrate Oregon’s cultural heritage and our new office space!

OFN Artist Panel Discussion:
Collaboration Center
Room 121 Knight Library
2:30pm – 3:30pm

OFN Open House:
Oregon Folklife Network
Room 242 Knight Library
4:00pm – 6:00pm

Come snack, socialize, and enjoy performances by three of Oregon’s Traditional Arts masters:

Esther Stutzman (Kalapuya/Coos): Blessing and Kalapuya traditional story;
Daniela Mahoney: Slovak/Ukrainian egg decorating demonstration and talk; and
Mark Ross: Traditional old time/folk music string performance.

Preceding the Open House, we offer an Artist Panel Discussion with our master artists as an added treat for folk arts enthusiasts. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to engage with three of Oregon’s celebrated tradition bearers.