To Achieve Our Goal We:
What are folk & traditional arts?
Folk arts and traditions surround us. We must look carefully for them because they may be labeled common, ordinary or trivial. But, once identified, we can then see the ‘extraordinary nature of ordinary life’ and how these skills and activities enrich the lives of Wyoming citizens and illuminate our shared values, histories and heritages.
Everyone practices folk and traditional skills that are passed from one person to another and shaped out of common experiences. We sing hymns at church, cook a special meal for a birthday, give a bride ‘something blue,’ carve a pumpkin at Halloween, fiddle a waltz at a dance, recite a poem at the grange hall, or share a joke at the local cafe. No matter where we are, if we look closely, we find folk arts happening.
Folk arts and traditions happen when you:
Wyoming Folklife Coalition
This loosely organized group is dedicated to preserving, perpetuating and presenting the traditional arts, contemporary culture, public history and regional heritage of Wyoming, and shares resources, professional skills and enthusiasm to promote Wyoming’s Folklife. Join the Listerv to receive Coalition information and learn about folklife activities in Wyoming at http://www.openvistas.net/sign_up.html.
Wyoming Folklife Collection
The Wyoming Folklife Collection consists of fieldwork documentation and administrative files from the Folklife Program of the University of Wyoming American Studies Program and the Folk & Traditional Arts Program of the Wyoming Arts Council. Both programs began in the 1980s and then were dormant from the mid-1990s until being revived in mid-2000s. The ultimate home for materials from both programs is the American Heritage Center at UW, and materials from the early years of both programs is already at the AHC; the collection description can be seen at http://rmoa.unm.edu/docviewer.php?docId=wyu-ah545018.xml
Current field materials from both programs are all born digital and are in the process of being identified, cataloged, and organized into a common database. They have not yet been sent to the AHC, but a schedule of regular transfers will be established in the near future.
Contact: Anne Hatch