Buckaroo Exhibit Pairs with Blake Little’s Gay Rodeo Exhibit at MNCH

We are happy to announce the return of and updates to our Buckaroo Traditions of Oregon exhibit! This exhibit celebrates the continuity of occupational traditions in rural Oregon and encourages audience understanding and appreciation of art forms arising from ranching practices.

Cowboys have made an enduring mark on the American popular imagination but not every cowboy is a buckaroo. What sets them apart? In addition to their sense of style and self-sufficiency, buckaroos work almost exclusively from horseback in the manner of their vaquero predecessors. In the Great Basin, knowledge of many vaquero and buckaroo traditions have been passed along through families and become integrated into the lives of working ranchers and horsemen. Buckaroos are unique in their use of extensive horse training techniques and custom handcrafted gear, including traditional saddles featuring intricate leather- and silverwork as well as mecates (ropes) made from horse mane hair and braided rawhide reatas (lassos).

Some of the most vibrant examples of buckaroo artistic traditions are thriving in rural eastern and southern Oregon, despite their decline elsewhere. Buckaroo Traditions of Oregon features a mecates by Helen Dougal Corbari, and the tooled leatherwork of saddle maker Steve McKay. These pieces represent a unique blend of hard work and artistry.

The exhibit was made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the fieldwork of folklorists Douglas Manger and LuAnne Kozma. Featuring folk artists Merlin Rupp, Helen Dougal Corbari, Bill and Teresa BlackLen Babb III, and Steve McKay from Malheur, Harney, and Lake counties, the exhibit traces the development from vaquero to buckaroo. It features the artistry of some of Oregon’s finest gear-makers. Folklorist Adrienne Decker served as the exhibit curator, while folklorist and exhibit designer/fabricator Lyle Murphy designed and built the exhibit.

OFN’s Buckaroo exhibit augments the Museum of Natural and Cultural History’s Blake Little: Photographs From The Gay Rodeo exhibit, which has been extended to February 20, 2020. The gay rodeo movement began in the 1970s, combining gay and cowboy culture to combat stereotypes and create a community for marginalized individuals among the rodeo scene. The movement grew to be the second-largest rodeo circuit, creating the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) in 1985. Despite its successful trajectory, it met opposition and remained relatively underground to protect its members from scrutiny and discrimination. Today it is internationally renowned and open to all – while still highly encouraging LBGTQ+ participation. Little’s photographs chronicle the period between 1988 – 1992. Folklorist Craig Miller of Utah wrote a piece about the movement: “Gay Rodeo; a Celebration of Western Urban Heritage and Urban Gay Culture” and delivered a talk at the MNCH in October 2019; Miller, an experienced ballroom and western swing dance instructor, also led a rousing rodeo dance party, which included dance lessons for all attendees. Little and Miller were among the first few to document gay rodeos; their work illustrates how gay rodeo challenged and embraced the image of the cowboy while simultaneously shaping their own identity and agency in the West.

Buckaroo Exhibit at the OFN

Both exhibits are located on the University of Oregon campus: Buckaroo Traditions of Oregon in the OFN exhibit cases on the second floor of UO Knight Library, Room 242; and the Blake Little: Photographs From The Gay Rodeo at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

Museum of Natural and Cultural History Announces Open Nominations for the 2020 Oregon Stewardship Award

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History is now accepting nominations for its third annual Oregon Stewardship Award.

Spearheaded by the museum’s advisory council, the award recognizes an individual or organization that has involved the community in an environmental or cultural project that aligns with the museum’s mission to inspire stewardship of Oregon’s collective past, present and future.

“Oregonians are change makers,” said Ann Craig, director of public programs at the museum.

“Every day, people and organizations across the state are endeavoring to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable Oregon. This award is designed to recognize and celebrate their work.”

The recipient of the award will receive $1,000 and be recognized at an April 3 award reception, in museum publications and on an “Oregon Heroes” display panel in the museum’s Explore Oregon exhibit.

Online nominations for the 2020 award must be submitted by Friday, Jan. 31, and the recipient will be announced March 8. Nomination forms are available on the museum’s website.

Oregon individuals, community groups, nonprofit organizations, K-12 schools and higher education institutions are all eligible nominees, as are national and regional organizations with offices or affiliates in Oregon. Eligible projects are Oregon-based and relate directly to Oregon’s environment or cultural heritage.

To be considered for the 2020 award, projects must have meaningful community impact and be ongoing or completed during the 2019 calendar year.

Past awards have recognized Coos Bay’s Marshfield High School for its stewardship of the historic Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery, and Ontario’s Four Rivers Cultural Center for its Tradition Keepers Folklife Festival, a daylong public celebration of traditional arts and artists in eastern Oregon.

The museum invites groups and individuals to self-nominate. Nominations also will be accepted from third parties wishing to recognize stewardship of Oregon’s environmental or cultural heritage by a group or individual.

Contact: Ann Craig, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, 541-346-3116, acraig@uoregon.edu    

About the Museum: The Museum of Natural and Cultural History enhances knowledge of Earth’s environments and cultures, inspiring stewardship of our collective past, present, and future. A center of interdisciplinary research, education, and exhibition, the museum serves the State of Oregon, the University of Oregon, Native American Tribes, the research community, K-12 students and teachers, and the wider public in Oregon and beyond. The museum annually welcomes more than 30,000 visitors and serves another 20,000 Oregonians through its statewide outreach programs. A winner of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the museum is fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, distinguishing it as one of the very best in the nation.

2019 Tradition Keepers Folklife Festival, Four Rivers Cultural Center, June 29, 2019

OFN is proud to partner once again with Four Rivers Cultural Center for the 2nd annual Tradition Keepers Folklife Festival in Ontario, Oregon, June 29, 2019, 10 am – 5 pm. Not only is Four Rivers one of OFN’s partners for Culture Fest 2019, but the organization was also the recipient of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History’s 2019 Oregon Stewardship Award for the center’s Tradition Keepers Folklife Festival, a daylong public celebration of traditional arts and artists in eastern Oregon.

                       

Culture Fest 2019!

Culture Fest partnerships support performances, demonstrations and presentations about Oregon’s living cultural heritage and feature traditional artists who are part of the Oregon Culture Keepers Roster, which provides a curated listing of over 200 folk artists for presenting organizations to work with in planning their programs.

Culture Fest 2019 brings collaborative public programs with diverse culture keepers to six local arts, culture, and heritage organizations around the state in Ontario, Portland, La Grande, Baker City and McMinnville. Completed Culture Fest partnerships include Portland’s 5th Annual New Year in the Park and the McMinnville Library’s El Día de los Niños Fiesta.

On April 27, 2019, OFN partnered with the Hmong American Community of Oregon (Portland) for the 5th Annual New Year in the Park festival. It took place at Glenhaven Park, in Northeast Portland and featured several traditional dance groups from the Thai, Lao, Hmong, and Cambodian communities.

On May 4, 2019, McMinnville Public Library presented Latino and other folk and traditional artists for El Día de los Niños Fiesta. This collaboration featured OFN’s rostered artists Grupo Condor (traditional Latin American music), Sushmita Poddar (Asian Indian henna), and Monica Moreno (Mexican piñatas, sugar skulls).

The next four event partnerships are with Crossroads Carnegie, Art Center East, Four Rivers Cultural Center, and Andisheh and take place June-August, 2019.

Crossroads Carnegie (Baker City) presents

  • June 22, 2019: “Barrel and Vessel: The Art of Aging Wine,” with traditional cooper (barrel maker) Rick DeFerrari.

Art Center East (La Grande) presents

  • June 26, 2019, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: La Grande Farmers Market morning story time and demonstration of wool spinning, and lunch-time talk with sheep rancher Carol Etchemendy.
  • July 12, 2019, 7:30-8:30 pm: a Master Class with Guinean master drummer Alseny Yansane.
  • July 13, 2019, 10:30-11:45 am: La Grande Farmers Market a public performance and workshop with Guinean master drummer Alseny Yansane.

Four Rivers Cultural Center (Ontario) presents

  • June 29, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., 2nd annual Tradition Keepers Folklife Festival, a day-long folklife festival celebrating the diverse range of traditional arts and culture in the Four Rivers area. Come experience a variety of traditional artists demonstrating or performing cowboy poetry, silversmithing, rawhide braiding, Paiute basketry, Paiute Pow Wow dancing, Japanese Taiko drumming, traditional Japanese Mochi making, and much, much more, including a visit from National Heritage Fellow Eva Castellanoz.

Andisheh Center for Iranian Cultural Heritage (Portland), presents

  • August 3, 2019, 1:00 – 6:00 pm, Portland State University, an afternoon of traditional visual art, music, and dance workshops with Iranian local artists. Leading these free workshops will be santoor player Hossein Salehi, tazhib (illumination and calligraphy) artist Marjan Anvari, and Oak Leaf with Hamid Habibi (tombak/hand drum) and Yasi Mehdian (daf/lute); there will also be a session on traditional Kurdish dance. The intention of this event is to foster community connection and pride, and to drive awareness and education about the diverse cultures and traditions in our neighborhood.

Funding for Culture Fest comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Historical Society. Their support helps OFN partner with local organizations to support folk and traditional artists to share their artistry and knowledge with others.

Culture Fest partnerships support performances, demonstrations and presentations about Oregon’s living cultural heritage and feature traditional artists who are part of the Oregon Culture Keepers Roster, which provides a curated listing of over 200 folk artists for presenting organizations to work with in planning their programs.

OREGON TRADITIONAL ARTS APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM (TAAP) – APPLICATIONS DUE APRIL 1st, 2019

The Oregon Folklife Network (OFN) is now accepting applications for the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP) for 2019-20. This cornerstone program offers traditional/folk master artists and culture keepers a $4,000 stipend to teach their art form to apprentices from their own communities—cultural, religious, or occupational groups, or tribes. The stipend supports master artists to pass on their knowledge, skills, and expertise to an apprentice of great promise, who is empowered through these lessons to continue carrying on and strengthening Oregon’s diverse cultural traditions.

We are thrilled to announce the 2018-19 TAAP awardees: traditional Irish singer, Brian Hart of Portland; hip-hop emcee, Michael “Mic” Crenshaw of Portland; traditional saddle-maker, Steve McKay of Burns; West African drummer and dancer, Alseny Yansane of Eugene; Zapotec Weaver, Francisco Bautista-Lopez of Sandy; Classical Bharatha Natyam Indian dancer, Jayanthi Raman of Portland; Indian Carnatic musician, Sreevidhya Chandramouli of Portland; and Cayuse/Nez Perce applique beadworker, Marjorie Kalama of Warm Springs.

Other examples of Oregon’s many traditional/folk arts include McKenzie River Drift Boat building, Southeast Asian dance, Norwegian cooking and baking, Northwest logger poetry, Native American basket weaving, Middle Eastern embroidery, Irish or old time fiddling, African-American gospel singing, rawhide braiding, Iranian storytelling, Andean instrument building, and more.

OFN encourages applications from Oregonians engaged in living cultural traditions emerging from their heritage or tribes. This program does not fund historic re-enactments, DIY revival crafts, or those who practice traditions that are not part of their own cultural heritage or community.   CONTACT US: Please contact us if you interested in applying or know someone that you want to recommend. Visit our website, ofn.uoregon.edu, or contact Latham Wood (ofn@uoregon.edu, 541-346-3820) for more information about your eligibility in the program. APPLICATIONS: TAAP guidelines and the TAAP application can be downloaded at the OFN website. Staff members are available to advise applicants about the application process. If you send us your draft application 2 weeks before the deadline, we can provide helpful feedback before your final submission.

DEADLINE: Applications are due at the OFN office by 5 pm, APRIL 1, 2019. Send your complete application package to Oregon Folklife Network, 242 Knight Library, 6204 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6204.

This program is funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Oregon Arts Commission.  OFN is administered by the Museum of Natural and Cultural History (MNCH) and is supported in part by grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Historical Society, the Oregon Cultural Trust, and the NEA. The Oregon Folklife Network works to increase public investment in cultural traditions and those who practice them.

About Oregon Folklife Network

Oregon Folklife Network (OFN) is administered by the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon and is the state’s designated Folk and Traditional Arts Program. OFN is supported in part by grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Cultural Trust, and National Endowment for the Arts. OFN works to increase public investment in cultural traditions and those who practice them.

About the Museum of Natural and Cultural History

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History enhances knowledge of Earth’s environments and cultures, inspiring stewardship of our collective past, present, and future. With collections representing millions of years and all of Earth’s continents, the museum is a center for international research on topics in natural history and anthropology. Museum exhibitions are open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for youths and seniors, and $10 for families (two adults and up to four youths). Reduced admission is available for visitors presenting Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Admission is free to members and UO ID card holders. For general information call 541-346-3024.

Media Contact:

Kristin Strommer, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, kstromme@uoregon.edu, 541-346-5083

Links:

Oregon Folklife Network: https://ofn.uoregon.edu/

TAAP Program: https://ofn.uoregon.edu/programs/traditional_arts_apprenticeship_program.php

Museum of Natural and Cultural History: http://natural-history.uoregon.edu

Museum on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/oregonnaturalhistory

OFN is now part of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History!

The Oregon Folklife Network is delighted to announce that we are now officially part of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon. For more than eighty years, the museum has been a center of scholarship, interpretation, and stewardship of Oregon’s cultural life, making it the ideal new home for OFN. We are delighted to become the museum’s newest division and look forward to collaborating with its faculty and staff.

 

Our physical office remains in the Knight Library at the University of Oregon.