The Oregon Folklife Network is a proud partner of the FisherPoets Gathering. Each year we journey to Astoria at the end of February to bask in the reflected glory of these commercial fishermen (and women!) who celebrate their occupational tradition in poetry, prose, and song as well as visual art. OFN interviews several fisherpoets each year in order to volunteer at and document this special event, which bills itself as “for commercial fishermen, by commercial fishermen.” We are so pleased to share this lovely article, which features several of those we’ve come to know. Congratulations, FPG!
With great pleasure, we announce the opening of our newest exhibit, Gorgeous Sounds: Music Along the Columbia River, in the Window Gallery of our Knight Library office at the University of Oregon, Eugene Campus. Gorgeous Sounds celebrates several of the musicians that fieldworkers Nancy Nusz and Deborah Fant documented during the 2015 Folklife Survey of the Columbia Gorge region. The six featured artists represent traditions from gospel to mariachi. As diverse as the styles may be, the music they play has a similar effect of bringing people together to celebrate, worship, and share traditional knowledge. The multimedia exhibit includes a sampling of the musicians’ work. If you cannot come by to see it in the next few months, watch for the online version coming soon to our website.
From February 2-4, the 33rd annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Elko, NV) hosted over fifty poets and musicians, plus vendors and folklorists, and the works of dozens of traditional artists. The event celebrates the living heritage of working ranchers, cowboys, and cowgirls. Morning to night, songs and stories spilled out from the Elko Convention Center. Audiences browsed blankets, hats, and leather-tooled treasures at the Western Mercantile in the new Conference Center. Continue reading
The 2016 Portland Metro Folklife Survey is the fourth in a series of OFN’s regional surveys to identify and document folk and traditional artists in Oregon. We are grateful for funding from a Folk & Traditional Arts Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as for additional support from the Oregon Historical Society. Click on the links below to read reflection essays by folklorists Nancy Nusz, Douglas Manger, and Makaela Kroin.
“Folkcraft embodies shared knowledge, passed from the wellspring on to succeeding generations. As experience is gained the emerging folk artist becomes ever more adept at accomplishing the intricacies of the work. What sets folk artists apart? In my experience their “gentle fervor” is the distinguishing factor. How many times have I left an interview deeply moved, newly enlightened, or utterly transformed. With the emphasis on excellence, adherence to form (with room to grow), and honoring those who came before them, a model for universal living is at hand for all to benefit. It is these noble attributes that allow folkways to sustain from one generation to the next. Perhaps it is for these reasons, as well, that OFN’s Folklife Surveys have brought such a positive public response.”
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 spent the summer with social media followers sharing our summer traditions – holiday celebrations, special places for ritual return, festival must-dos, and much more. You can see any of these great posts by searching #summerlore! We’re planning for more fun social media campaigns in the future, so be sure to follow us today and be on the lookout!
Join us in Eugene on the evening of November 16 and for the day on November 17 for the Oregon Migrations symposium, organized by the Oregon Historical Society, one of OFN’s operational partners, with Dr. Bob Bussel and Dr. Dan Tichenor of the University of Oregon. The program includes a wide range of scholars offering specific presentations in response to the broad theme of how inhabitants and newcomers have shaped Oregon and each other. It is completely free and open to the public! For a detailed schedule and location information, visit <http://ohs.org/events/oregon-migrations-day-2.cfm>.
By Anne Pryor
The Oregon Folklife Network partnered with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs’ Culture and Heritage Department and the Warm Springs K-8 Academy to run a pilot Folklife Field School for rising 8th graders in Warm Springs, Oregon. Anne Pryor was lead instructor with assistants Makaela Kroin and Emily Ridout of OFN, and collaborator Dana Smith of the CTWS Culture and Heritage Archives. During the first week, 11 students documented their family traditions and presented their findings to the Warm Springs community. The following week students visited the University of Oregon in Eugene, presented again to a campus community, and toured the university. Each student earned a UO Folklore undergraduate credit, starting them on their pathway to higher education. Their fieldwork and presentations will be deposited in the CTWS archives.
Funding for this project has come from the Oregon Cultural Trust and the UO Division of Equity and Inclusion along with generous in-kind donations from the CTWS K-8 Academy, UO Duck Store, Kah-Nee-Ta Resort, and the UO Many Nations Longhouse.