K12 Superintendents, Principals, Teachers, Educational Technologists, Librarians,Students, Community Scholars, State Folklore Orgs, Independent Folklorists, and Citizens.


What do we learn here?
"Folklore is the traditional, unofficial, non-institutional part of culture. It encompasses all knowledge, understandings, values, attitudes, assumptions, feelings, and beliefs transmitted in traditional forms by word of mouth or by customary examples." ~ Jan Brunvand "The Study of American Folklore"

The Arts turns data into actual information - something we can comprehend - which we can now understand. Knowledge is based on information not data. We can only get information through the skills of the artist who helps us comprehend and manage knowledge. IT IS ALL ABOUT PROCESS - working together, problem solving , team building, imagination, creativity and failure, which carries into art, math, writing, science, reading, social studies, and all other parts of the curricula.

Code is Speech.
This platform using Drupal /open source code exists for the citizens who wish use the power of code.

See PPT Presentations:
Technical Overview  // Teachers & Administrators Overview  ~™ ©2017

Culture Based Education: 
Collectively we are the authentic voice of the Department of Education and have the power of a national choir.  
American Citizens just like you and me are the "FOLK".  
We are the unknown culture makers and the Community Scholars who built the net and the content on it.

Use Folklife and Technology to Meet the K12 National Core Arts Standards 
Artistic Processes are the cognitive and physical actions by which arts learning and making are realized. National Core Arts Standards are based on the artistic processes of Creating; Performing/ Producing/Presenting; Responding; and Connecting.


This Public Folklife project is an open forum and resource for educators, parents and students to share their projects that deal with civic, academic, and cultural issues.  Allow all citizens to document, investigate, present and sustain the folk, their issues and traditional arts across America. 

We want to find your project video - APPLY #HASHTAGS 


Search across the nation to find other folks and their projects that support you.
Example: search using the  #COMMONGOOD hashtag.
Of the People, By the People, and For the People.

Host it on your school server, youtube, or vimeo.  

Create amazing animated and multimedia stories and get everything you need to either add your project link to your school information here on this site. will host your map-story-video for free and give you a www. link to your story plus more.

Lady Liberty


#Folklife #Folklore #Arts #Music #NCFR #Recess #PlayGround #JumpRopeChants #JumpRopeSongs
#ClapPatternChants #Play #Orff #Health #Linguistics,#Literacy #Reading #ESL #Poetry #NurseryRhymes #Speech
#OralCulture #History #StoryTelling #LanguageArts
#CommonGood #COOP #Interdisciplinary +


#NationalSecurity #HomelandSecurity
 #Ham Radio #HamRadioOperators  #EDTech #EDchat
#TeachDemocracy #ElectionsSecurity #FakeNews #MediaLiteracy #MarchForOurLives #HateGroups #DeleteFacebook #FinancialSecurity #CyberSecurity #HighSchoolClub #FreeCodeCampForGirls
#SocialGood #ClimateChange #SchoolGarden

follow @K12PlayGround



Creativity is the least important consideration in the K12 Department of Education curriculum but the most important attribute of the United States. ~ Karen Ellis

At one time people used to dream of going to America where they imagined if they worked hard enough they could succeed. That dream spread around the world, everyone wanted to go where they imagined freedom lived.

Music, Art, Dance, and Fashion all have the power to change a nation from within, to affect the hearts and minds of people, to bring them over to us. We would never invade the entire world, but the world can imagine us to be their center, and the cost would be justified a hundred fold!

If I was to teach you a piece of music, if it was to touch your heart, and the music paper and notes written on it were burned, you might play it from memory to your audience of family members, friends and strangers. And these folks might take it on and play it for others and those new people will take it on and on and on. The songs we sing here we want to be played forever.

The Constitution is a work of art with an idea that invaded the entire world. Our stories spark the imagination of our citizens and we take our place in history with our stories.

What's Next?


  • Citizens can make their own K12 public schools work.

We help the public build the schools they want them to be - by tapping into and documenting their experiences and telling their own stories.

  • We learn best from the diverse range of views by the wider public.

The projects you build will contain the “folk wisdom” from ordinary people who will show, tell and document their own stories. Collectively there is a lot more than 10,000 hours of learning here. There is wisdom in crowds, and the bigger the crowd and more diverse the crowd, the greater that wisdom. This is the location to experience story, our story! 

  • Leaving a Legacy to the Nation.

We will work with Partners who want to carry on this historic piece of K12 Internet History,
and become part of the Smithsonian's National Attic.

Put the "PUBLIC" back into the DOE Institution 

The Death of the Public Square

Today’s most powerful companies are enemies of free expression.

The Department of Education operates in a "group think" bubble controlled by corporate political interests.  Technology is mature, corporations like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft own everything and the Department of Education owns the rest.

The Department of Education does not serve K12 Public School interests.

The Department of Education is a money making machine run by Betsy Devos an evangelical, vocal pro-life opponent of abortion,  school choice advocate selected by President Donald J. Trump. She is a billionaire from For Profit schools that she owns and from Bethany Christian Services whose business interests are in warehousing stolen refugee children for $700.00 a day. 
Tax filings archived by ProPublica show that between 2001 and 2015, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation (the philanthropic organization run by DeVos and her husband) gave $343,000 in grants to Bethany Christian Services. Brian DeVos  - a cousin of Betsy DeVos’s husband Dick who was the Senior Vice President for Child and Family Services at Bethany as recently as 2015, and Maria DeVos who is married to Dick DeVos’s brother Doug and has served on the board of Bethany. <Facts>

Corinthian University Student Rippoff Run by Betsy DeVos
The  judge's ruling in May 2018  banned the Education Department from using earnings data to grant partial student loan forgiveness to Corinthian students and halted collection on their federal debts. The Education Department has no right to use the data, which is supplied by the Social Security Administration, for any purpose other than to evaluate vocational programs. The attorneys also said denying full relief to Corinthian students is illegal.
"The Department of Education has now been rebuked in court not once, but twice for violating the rights of students it should be serving," said Toby Merrill, director at the Project on Predatory Student Lending. "Corinthian ripped off hundreds of thousands of students, and the Department of Education is making it worse by collecting their illegal debts, prolonging their suffering."  

Strike Debt article about the DOE -- Announces Sale of 56 Corinthian Campuses, Solidifies Its Support of Criminal For-Profit Colleges Instead of Defrauded Students

You may be eligible for a 100% discharge of your Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, or Federal Perkins Loans under either of these circumstances:

Rolling Jubilee is a Strike Debt project that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.


Crossing the "triviality barrier," will help you understand and explain why studying folklore is important, not just entertainment. Collaboration and cross pollination of ideas are the essence of artistic creation.

The "Triviality barrier" was coined by Brian Sutton-Smith in a 1970 article, "Psychology of Childlore" in _Western Folklore_.

TRANSDISCIPLINARITY means the future doesn't fit into a single discipline.

#STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
#STEAM: INTEGRATE The  Arts! using Folklife, Folklore, Folkarts, Traditions & Culture

No one has to justify studying math, history, and science.

Finland has long been renowned for the quality of its education. They are now involved with Project - or phenomenon-based learning (PBL) which equips children with the skills necessary to flourish in the 21st Century. PBL and looks for a variety of ways of integrating it into the school's curriculum. Finnish school teach in a more collaborative way; to allow students to choose a topic relevant to them and base subjects around it. This is why we promote Folklorists and Folklife to spearhead projects in schools.


"Drawing from Zora Neale Hurston’s observation that “folklore is the boiled down juice of human living,” we strive to explore the ways in which the past interacts with the present and how we can grow collective futures."

Those studies have enriched mankind for generations. 

Studying folklore involves understanding the meaning and significance of everyday commonplace things, words, etc. Studying folklore not only allows intellectual pursuit it documents society and allows for benchmarks as civilization moves from one point to the next in its own crazy path. It rescues procedures / art / lifestyle that would otherwise be lost.

What the study of folklore can bring to a child or anyone:

1. new ways of communicating
2. cultures other than our own
3. our own culture/traditions
4. expression of feelings or ideas
5. learning problem solving techniques  
EXAMPLES:  Appalachian Journey
Play has evolved to build big brains. Music Makes You Smarter - #OralCulture #PlayGroundChants
Rockin Robin


It's about what we know how to do, what we create and accomplish.

It is our common wealth!

It is what Americans own as a nation, what we choose to honor and keep in the Smithsonian our national attic.

It is the story of us.

The term "American Folklife" means the traditional expressive culture shared within the various groups in the United States: familial, ethnic, occupational, religious, regional; expressive culture includes a wide range of creative and symbolic forms such as custom, belief, technical skill, language, literature, art, architecture, music, play, dance, drama, ritual, pageantry, handicraft; these expressions are mainly learned orally, by imitation, or in performance, and are generally maintained without benefit of formal instruction or institutional direction.

  • Living traditions passed down over time and through space.
  • Since most folklore is passed down through generations, it is closely connected to community history.
  • Shared by a group of people who have something in common: ethnicity, family,region, occupation, religion, nationality, age, gender, social class, social clubs, school, etc. Everyone belongs to various groups; therefore, everyone has folklore of some sort.
  • Learned informally by word of mouth, observation, and/or imitation.
  • Made up of conservative elements (motifs) that stay the same through many transmissions, but folklore also changes in transmission (variants). In other words, folk traditions have longevity, but are dynamic and adaptable.
  • Usually anonymous in origin


Public Law 94-201 creating the American Folklife Center was passed by the 94th Congress on January 2, 1976.

Established in 1976 by a Title 20 Education Act, the American Folklife Preservation Act (P.L. 94-201) is a small and versatile organization designed to operate in cooperation with other federal state and local agencies and organizations and to initiate independent programs using its own resources. It is mandated by Congress to engage in a broad range of educational and research activities that preserve, revitalize, and present America's rich and diverse cultural heritage -- a heritage associated with ethnic, regional, and occupational cultures. 

P.L. 94-201, The American Folklife Preservation Act of 1976 (20 USC 2101) which created the American Folklife Center, states the following: that the diversity inherent in American folklife has contributed greatly to the cultural richness of the Nation and has fostered a sense of individuality and identity among the American people; . . . [and] that it is in the interest of the general welfare of the Nation to preserve, support, revitalize, and disseminate American folklife traditions and arts. . . .


Folklore and Folklife are not about the long-ago and faraway but about the power of place and time and the dynamic creativity of traditional culture.

Folklore (in a broader sense, traditional and popular culture) is a group-orientated and tradition-based creation of groups or individuals reflecting the expectations of the community as an adequate expression of its cultural and social identity; its standards and values are transmitted orally, by imitation or by other means. Its forms include, among others, language, literature, music, dance, games, mythology, rituals, customs, handicrafts, architecture and other arts. - UNESCO, 1985

K12 Education Philosophy
Folklore / Folklife is embraced as a teaching philosophy, the tip of the curricula spear, that skewers "curricula" using interdisciplinary projects that gives collected data context whereby learners can derive meaning, and that process transforms data into knowledge energized by the"need to know" moment when motivated learners - catch the giniker - the fire, the jazz, and engage with their projects.


Folk art are the names we use for our own collective, and community-based experiences, and traditions like the kinds of food we eat during holidays or how we all know and understand proverbs because they come from our shared experiences. These arts endure because they name the shared experiences of many people.

"It is a way of distinguishing arts that represent more than an individual point of view. The term is also used because, in this country, the creative expressions of ordinary people are not always seen as art, or as significant, or as part of a tradition. Because mainstream and elite notions of art generally marginalize the majority of world cultural and artistic traditions, the notion of "folk" art is a way of making equal room for all peoples' habits of expression and creativity." ~


A Culture Keeper, might be a traditional artist, who actively practices, passes on, and preserves the living cultural traditions of the cultural community to which s/he belongs and is then recognized and acknowledged as a culturekeeper by that group.Maybe this is YOU!

Public Folklore people are keepers of tradition / traditional arts and folk heritage. Folklore and folklife are not about the long-ago and faraway but about the power of place and time and the dynamic creativity of traditional culture.

Community Scholars

Betty Belanus pioneered much community scholar training through her outstanding workshops coinciding with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

"The Smithsonian Summer Institute for Community Scholars existed for two remarkable summers, 1989 and 1990, and brought community scholars from all over the country - most the them recommended by state folk arts coordinators who had been working with them for years on various projects, and relied on their knowledge of and work in their own communities. I wrote about the Institute on the occasion of its 25th anniversary here:" 



We will review, select, and publish announcements for Interdisciplinary projects engaged in multiple sectors of K12 education on the appropriate Projects page.

We will Announcement it and schools, teachers, students and citizens can choose to participate.

Every project must answer:

1. What is its significance?
2. What is its relevance?
3. What is the impact of having studied / produced it?


Send Your Training Workshop | Program to us for review.

We Announce your Training Opportunities in Folklife, Folk Arts, and Oral History for K12 Teachers, Artists, and/or Folklorists

Announce Your Project to the K12PlayGround,com


Title of Your Workshop



Application Deadline

Directors / Leaders Contact Info - email, phone

Website URL

Privacy Policy URL

Non Profit or For Profit

COST for class if there is one

Continuing Ed Credit or not

Brief Description | Mission Statement

Transcendent Purpose

Folk Arts in Education State Agencies

Folk Arts Partnership, contact the Folk & Traditional Arts staff: Clifford Murphy at or 202/682-5726, or Cheryl Schiele at or 202/682-5587.

Folk & Traditional Arts Contact Folk & Traditional Arts (including folk & traditional arts projects in any art form): William Mansfield, or 202/682-5678

Local Arts Agencies should consult with Lara Holman Garritano, or 202/682-5586 for Arts Education or Folk & Traditional arts project applications.

Folklife Magazine - Article by Betty Belanus

The idea of cultural appropriation is not valid.

Culture is appropriation. That is all that culture is.

Appropriation from your neighbor, your mother, that man in the market.

Appropriation from those who came before, the builders, the remembered.

Civilization is open source.

Every Culture Appropriates The question is less whether a dress or an idea is borrowed, than the uses to which it’s then put.  DAVID FRUM MAY 8, 2018 

Learn About The American Folklife Center

American Folklife Center
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4610

Alan Jabboor announces the permanent authorization of the American Folklife Center
H.R. 4112 signed by President Clinton 1998

Smithsonian Folklife - The Staff working for our Nation's Attic!

Cultural Research and Education at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage encompasses scholarly and collaborative  research, the development of resources for schools  and educators, professional training, and the  production of books, documentaries, recordings,  and multimedia materials.

Folkways: Free Resources for the Classroom - Find world music curricular experiences from the Smithsonian Folkway's Network of Music Educators. All lessons can be downloaded in PDF format.

The Community Scholars Program started with the “idea to bring people the how to’s of folk research. The community scholars program, has its roots in a national project started by the Smithsonian Institute in the 1990's.  Kentucky Folklife Program began its own community scholar’s program in 2001.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival  “It’s important to share culture because, as much as we know about each other, we still have a lot to learn. In my more cynical moments, I realize that it really is a matter of life and death. We’re exploring the stories of people who are moving across this world, and they have nothing. They’re leaving war. To think about it, culture is a way to sustain people in the worst times, and culture is a way to lift us up in our best times." ~ Director Sabrina Lynn Motley

American Folklore Society: Folklore & Education Section Newsletter

Heritage Studies at AFS 2012 by Gregory Hansen

Heritage Studies is a new movement in academe that blends scholarship from folklore, anthropology, history, literary/cultural studies, museum studies, and other disciplines into an interdisciplinary field. This new approach focuses less on heritage as an element of the past and more on heritage's relation to the present.
New Resources 2017 by Gregory Hansen

Folk Arts in Education: Michigan State Museum

A Resource Handbook II examines the state of folklife and folk arts in education projects around the U.S. with sample curricula from over 50 exemplary programs for youth in educational settings in K-12 schools, youth-serving organizations arts and humanities councils, museums, and cultural heritage and folk arts nonprofit organizations.  
Folklife programs in schools and after-school programs bring young people in touch with their communities, their ethnic identities, the authentic cultural expressions of their own families and others through direct participation and ethnographic methods using photography, video, radio, audio recordings, exhibitions, festival, and residencies with tradition-bearers. A web resources section links educators to folk arts programs nationwid

"Music is Language, Language is Music" ~ Karen Ellis "the orchestrator"


Interdisciplinary Social Rhythm Researchers
Edward T. Hall Hid in an abandoned car and filmed children romping in a school playground at lunch hour. Screaming, laughing, running and jumping, each seemed superficially to be doing his or her own thing. But careful analysis revealed that the group was moving to a unified rhythm. One little girl, far more active than the rest, covered the entire schoolyard in her play. Hall and his student realized that without knowing it, she was "the director" and "the orchestrator."


Definition of Giniker: means plenty of pep and fire
because the secret to learning is motivation!

The 2nd follower is a turning point:
That is the proof that the first one has done well.
Now it's not a lone nut, it's two nuts and that brings the third person and so on and so on .....
Now you have a movement!

Is your Member of Congress a "Thumbs Up" arts champion or an arts threat?

“Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages...”  ~ Robert F. Kennedy March 18, 1968 He demanded a new economic vision and died on June 6, 1968 

President Kennedy

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What You Can Do Here

Suggest Your K12 Project

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