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.


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

Oregon artist awarded highest national honor in Folk and Traditional Arts

Emily West Hartlerode, OFN associate director

Palestinian embroiderer, Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim (middle), received one of only nine 2018 National Heritage Fellowship Awards. From left to right, NEA Chairman, Mary Anne Carter; Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim; NEA Folk & Traditional Arts director, Cliff Murphy.

September 26, 2018 marked an important event for OFN and for the state of Oregon, as one of our most talented culture keepers, Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, received her National Heritage Fellowshipaward at our nation’s Capital. The NEA awarded Abbasi-Ghnaim the highest award the U.S. bestows upon traditional artists for her dedication to Palestinian Embroidery. Beyond being a master of this art form, Abbasi-Ghnaim is also dedicated to teaching and mentoring younger generations, including her own daughters, passing along not only the artistic knowledge but also the stories and history behind the patterns, colors, and designs. Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, has received many Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Master artist awards from OFN and the former Oregon Folklife Program at the Oregon Historical Society.

Abbasi-Ghnaim’s nomination represents a massive OFN team effort that Hillary Tully, last year’s talented Folklore graduate intern, coordinated, and OFN’s executive director, Riki Saltzman guided. We pulled in letters of support from as far away as Paris and London, and engaged the invaluable assistance of Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim’s daughter Wafa Ghnaim; her photos and stories of her mother’s workwere critical to this effort.

Accompanied by her sister, three daughters (one from Germany), and three grandchildren, Abbasi-Ghnaim accepted her medal from NEA Chairman, Mary Anne Carter, and Folk & Traditional Arts director, Cliff Murphy. To watch her heartfelt acceptance speech, click here.

A reception and banquet followed in the ornate Great Hall of the Library of Congress where one of Governor Kate Brown’s staff was in attendance to personally congratulate Abbasi-Ghnaim. Two nights later, the nine awardees took their turns on stage. Abbasi-Ghnaim explained her tradition art, showed examples, and described how Palestinian embroidery employs traditional designs to convey cultural meaning and messages among women.

It was an honor to witness Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim share her tradition and thank the American people for valuing the diversity of cultures that make us unique as individuals and bring us together as a rich nation of people from around the world. We are proud of Oregon’s NHF awardee, grateful for the opportunity to nominate her for this recognition and overjoyed by the outpouring of support that rained down upon Abbasi-Ghnaim from so many elected government officials, friends, and family.

Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim’s family celebrating the honor with her.

Letter of congratulations from Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown.

FY19 Funding: NEA Folk & Traditional Arts Partnership Award to OFN with additional funding from the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Cultural Trust, the Oregon Community Foundation’s Fred W. Fields Fund, and the Oregon Historical Society

Riki Saltzman, OFN executive director

The Oregon Folklife Network is thrilled to announce that the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $40,000 to the Oregon Folklife Network for FY19 to support ourTraditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, Culture Fest, and partnerships with Oregon cultural organizations. Additional funding from the Oregon Arts Commission ($35,000), Oregon Cultural Trust ($20,000), and the Oregon Community Foundation’s Fred W. Fields Fund ($20,000) as well as the Oregon Historical Society ($15,000) and ongoing support from the University of Oregon make it possible for us to support 8 TAAP teams, 6 Culture Fests in regions where we’ve been conducting our statewide folklife survey, and a spring 2019 gathering of Oregon’s TAAP masters. This support also helps us to support the ever-growing Culture Keepers Roster, and an ongoing partnership with eastern Oregon’s Four Rivers Cultural Center.


We’ll be announcing our FY19 TAAP teams soon along with our call for new applications for FY20!