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 nationwide.