California alliance for California Traditional Arts

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List of Folk arts & folklore related organizations

U.S. Organizations – by State

  • Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Fresno and San Francisco, California (

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts promotes and supports ways for cultural traditions to thrive now and into the future by providing advocacy, resources, and connections for folk and traditional artists. From Ohlone basketry and African-American quilt-making to cowboy poetry and Vietnamese opera, California is home to hundreds of diverse traditions.

ACTA connects artists, communities, and funders to each other, information, and resources through grants and contracts, convenings, research, and technical assistance. ACTA also provides advocacy through local and national field-building. Recognized for its culturally competent leadership, intellectual capital, and excellence in program administration, ACTA is the California Arts Council's official partner in serving the state's folk and traditional arts field.

    • Sample report: Weaving Traditional Arts into the Fabric of Community Health:

  • Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center, Richmond, California ( )

Los Cenzontles is a band, a nonprofit organization, a music academy, a community space for youth and families, and a hub for Latino artists – all working in tandem to amplify our Mexican roots here in the Bay Area and beyond.

We produce original music, videos, and educational tools. We teach classes to hundreds of local youth in traditional Mexican music, dance, and arts and crafts. We host many popular community events throughout the year.


  • The Hannibal Square Heritage Center - - represents a first-of-a-kind experience in Central Florida where the history of a community is told by members of the community itself through The Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park, The Hannibal Square Timeline, which chronicles significant local and national events in civil rights and African-American history, and public art installations and educational programs that explore the African-American experience, southern folklore and cultural preservation. The center also features a Visiting Exhibition Series. The exhibitions and programs held at the center weave the stories of this unique and proud neighborhood together with African-American history and experience in general.


  • Chicago Cultural Alliance, Chicago, Illinois ( )

The Chicago Cultural Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and consortium of Chicago's ethnic museums, cultural centers, and historical societies whose mission is to effect social change and public understanding of cultural diversity through first voice perspectives. The Alliance connects our member museums and centers to flagship arts and cultural institutions, universities, schools, businesses and government agencies.

  • Global Voices Performing Arts Program, University of Chicago - The Global Voices Program provides a showcase for all performing arts at the University of Chicago's International House. The International House Global Voices Performing Arts Program has established a vibrant exchange with a wide range of Chicago-area cultural institutions, arts organizations, dance companies, ethnic and folk arts groups, and music and theater groups. Programs showcase individual artists as well as performing arts groups and support educational programs, art exhibitions and cultural celebrations throughout the year.

  • The Chinese Fine Arts Society - Founded in 1984, the Chinese Fine Arts Society is dedicated to promoting the appreciation of Chinese culture, enhancing cultural exchange and pursuing excellence in Chinese music, dance and visual arts.


  • Keepers of Tradition – Traditional Arts and Folk Heritage Blog ( by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (


  • State Arts Board - Folk and Traditional Arts -

Folk and Traditional Arts is a pilot program designed to support the artistic traditions and customs practiced within community and/or cultural groups by identifying, documenting, preserving, presenting, and honoring Minnesota’s folk arts and traditions. The practice of folk or traditional art generally stems from birthright, community membership, or direct participation in the life of a community.

  • Minnesota Potters: Sharing the Fire” The vision of “Minnesota Potters: Sharing the Fire” is to document how ceramic art is passed on from artist to artist to keep this vibrant tradition and community flourishing. The project will document the work of representative Minnesota ceramic artists, their methods of working with clay, and the way they pass on their skills. The project’s goal is to develop an understanding of the Minnesota ceramics community to share with the public, cultivating broader participation in and enjoyment of the ceramic arts. Meet the Artists…….

    • Related websites:

    • Northern Clay Center:

  • North House Folk School -

  • Minnesota Discovery Center's Folk Arts program



  • The Folklife Program of the Nevada Arts Council (

The Folklife Program of the Nevada Arts Council seeks to discover, understand, document, and support significant cultural traditions wherever they arise. Some of our grant programs encourage individual folk and traditional artists and practitioners to preserve and perpetuate their art forms and lifeways. Other grants support community engagement with traditional festivals and celebrations, foodways, and performance. Our education initiatives promote collaboration between traditional artists and schools or community groups in support of hands-on learning opportunities for all ages.


Folklife staff will come to your community and help you design and implement community Folklife research and documentation projects. Contact the Program Coordinator for more information.

    • Artist Roster:


  • Museum of International Folk Art - - The mission of the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) is to enrich the human spirit by connecting people with the arts, traditions, and cultures of the world. Since the opening in September 1953, MOIFA has gained national and international recognition as an accredited Museum that is home to the world’s largest collection of folk art. MOIFA explores the dynamics of artistic expression in the context of cultural change. Through its collections, exhibitions, publications, and educational programs, the museum expands perceptions of folk art and encourages dialogue about traditions, cultural identity, community and aesthetics.

  • The Fund for Folk Culture -

    • Report: “Brave New World: Nurturing the Arts in New Immigrant and Refugee Communities” Bye, Carolyn.


  • City Lore, New York City, New York ( )

Founded in 1986, City Lore’s mission is to foster New York City – and America’s – living cultural heritage through education and public programs. We document, present, and advocate for New York City’s grassroots cultures to ensure their living legacy in stories and histories, places and traditions. We work in four cultural domains: urban folklore and history; preservation; arts education; and grassroots poetry traditions. In each of these realms, we see ourselves as furthering cultural equity and modeling a better world with projects as dynamic and diverse as New York City itself.

  • Place Matters, New York City, New York ( )

Places connect us to the past, host community and cultural traditions, and keep local environments distinctive. The Place Matters mission is to foster the conservation of New York City's historically and culturally significant places. These are places that hold memories and anchor traditions for individuals and communities, and that help tell the history of the city as a whole. We are convinced that such places promote the well being of New York's many communities in ways that too often go unrecognized.

Our process begins with surveying New Yorkers to learn about the places they care about. We follow up with educational programs and advocacy to promote and protect these places and others like them.

  • Brooklyn Arts Council (

Brooklyn Arts Council is proud to help nurture Brooklyn’s traditional artists and preserve our borough’s diverse heritage though our folk arts program.

  • Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY) (

    • TAUNY sponsors demonstrations and workshops led by outstanding traditional musicians or craftspersons, producing or teaching such arts as fiddling, social dancing, wood carving, rug braiding, basket weaving, Iroquois pottery, balsam wreath making, and fly tying. (


  • American Folklore Society ( The American Folklore Society website connects the Society to its members, and also connects folklorists to each other and to the world at large…

    • The American Folklore Society's Folklore in Education Section gives two awards to recognize excellent work to incorporate folklore into K-12 classrooms and curricula: the Dorothy Howard Prize, which recognizes projects that encourage K-12 educators or students to use or study folklore and folkloristic approaches in all educational environments; and the Robinson-Roeder-Ward Fellowship, which supports K-12 educators with a demonstrated commitment to folklore to attend K-12 folklore workshops at the AFS annual meeting. Recipients:


  • The Oregon Folklife Network (OFN) - OFN is the State of Oregon’s official Folk & Traditional Arts Program. Headquartered at the University of Oregon, the OFN is housed at the Knight Library and lives administratively in Academic Extension.

The Oregon Folklife Network makes a meaningful difference in Oregon communities and Tribes by documenting, supporting, and celebrating our diverse cultural traditions and by empowering our tradition-bearers. The OFN conducts folklife fieldwork and sponsors statewide activities to increase public awareness of the significance of living cultural heritage and the role of the OFN in fostering such art forms.

  • Asian Americans United, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ( )

  • Folk Arts–Cultural Treasures Charter School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ( )

  • Philadelphia Folklore Project, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ( )

    • “Cultivating Folk Arts and Social Change:” Debora Kodish, AFS 2012 Plenary, Part One…This past October Debora Kodish gave the plenary address at the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society. Entitled “Cultivating Folk Arts and Social Change,” Kodish explored the history of Philadelphia Folklore Project of which she is the founder. A passionate discussion gleaned from decades worth of deep community engagement, this short paper is quickly becoming essential reading for anyone engaged in cultural work and community action.

  • Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, ( -PMG, a nonprofit organization, inspires creativity and community engagement by educating the public about folk, mosaic, and visionary art.


  • The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) - RISCA embraces diversity as a proactive approach essential to our role as a state agency and as a promoter and supporter of the arts in Rhode Island. In building and serving diverse audiences, RISCA affirms and supports the diversity of persons and ideas both within the organization and throughout the state.


  • Texas Folklife (

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For 25 years, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities and explored their importance in contemporary society…Texas Folklife produces programs throughout the state that bring Texas traditions to life for new generations, including: Performances, Community Residencies, Exhibitions, Education programs & Curriculum Materials, Apprenticeships, Radio and television projects

  • Vermont Folklife Center (

    • Discovering Community Educational Program ( - offers educators the opportunity to explore the power of field research as a means to facilitate student engagement with their home communities. Over the course of an intensive, week-long program participants will work with cultural researchers, documentary media specialists, artists, and fellow educators in a learning environment that models an ethnographic approach to community enquiry. The Institute brings together place as the context, sustainability as the goal, and service-learning as the strategy.


  • Folk Art Society of America - - The Folk Art Society of America, founded in 1987, is a nonprofit organization that advocates the documentation, preservation and exhibition of folk art, folk artists and folk art environments, with an emphasis on the contemporary. We publish The Folk Art Messenger free to members, and produce an annual Conference with symposia, special exhibitions and an auction. Our online Calendar lists current, upcoming and ongoing folk-art-related events and exhibitions.


  • National Museum of the American Indian, ARTIST LEADERSHIP PROGRAM RECIPIENTS, Washington, DC (

The Artist Leadership Program for Individual Artists enables indigenous artists to research, document, and network in Washington, D.C., and then return to their home communities empowered with new artistic insights, skills, and techniques to share with their communities and the general public the value of Native knowledge through art. This program aims to rebuild cultural self-confidence and to enable artists to think more broadly about themselves and their art while perpetuating Indigenous cultures and reflecting artistic diversity. Artists may apply to the Artist Leadership Program for Individual Artists in one of two areas:

  1. Youth Public Art

  2. Artist’s Community Workshop

  • The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage - is dedicated to the collaborative research, presentation, conservation, and continuity of traditional knowledge and artistry with diverse contemporary cultural communities in the United States and around the world.

The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage is a research and educational unit of the Smithsonian Institution promoting the understanding and continuity of diverse, contemporary grassroots cultures in the United States and around the world. The Center produces the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, exhibitions, documentary films and videos, symposia, publications, and educational materials.

  • Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle, Washington (

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is dedicated to immersing people in uniquely-American stories of survival, success, struggle, conflict, compassion and hope. The Museum is in the heart of Seattle’s vibrant Chinatown-International District, and includes the very hotel where countless immigrants first found a home, a meal and refuge. As our nation’s only museum devoted to the Asian Pacific American experience, it’s one of the few places that can truly give you a new perspective on what it means to be American. The Wing is a Smithsonian Affiliate, a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.

  • Immigration Sites of Conscience Network ( )

We are a worldwide network of historic sites, museums, and initiatives dedicated to remembering past struggles and addressing their contemporary legacies.

Levine Museum of the New South is an interactive history museum that provides the nation with the most comprehensive interpretation of post-Civil War southern society featuring men, women and children, black and white, rich and poor, long-time residents and newcomers who have shaped the South since the Civil War.

Our mission is to engage a broad-based audience in the exploration and appreciation of the diverse history of the South since the Civil War, with a focus on Charlotte and the surrounding Carolina Piedmont. Through the Museum we collect, preserve, and interpret the materials, sights, sounds, and ideas that illumine and enliven this history. The Museum presents opportunities for life-long learning about this history for the benefit, enjoyment and education of children and adults, and provides historical context for contemporary issues and a community forum for thoughtful discussion.


  • Folklore Village - Folklore Village is a nationally recognized folk arts and culture center dedicated to enriching lives through time-honored traditions. Since 1968, thousands of people of all ages have come to Folklore Village to gather with friends, meet new people, to eat, dance, sing and play.


  • Simon Fraser University - CENTRE FOR DIALOGUE

  • Culture & Tradition Journal - - Culture & Tradition is published by graduate students in the Department of Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland. It is Canada's longest running, bilingual folklore journal. The journal was founded in 1976 by graduate students in the Department of Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland and in Arts et Traditions Populaires at Université Laval, Quebec, with the aim of increasing communication among students of folklore in Canada. The journal is published annually. The title was chosen because, when the ampersand is used to join the words ‘Culture’ and ‘Tradition’, it is perfectly bilingual.

  • Folklore Studies Association of Canada - - The Folklore Studies Association of Canada (FSAC) is an educational, non-profit association founded in June 1976 for the purpose of increasing education and research in the field of folklore studies in all its aspects. Multidisciplinary, scientific, and educational, the Folklore Studies Association of Canada is composed of over 200 members including folklorists, researchers, students, educators, retired adults, and people interested in folklore. The Association is bilingual; English and French are its official languages.


  • Folk Culture (Cultre Populaire) – A quarterly specialized journal – “The message of folklore from Bahrian to the World”


  • Cyprus Food & Nutrition Museum - - Our mission is to record, study, preservation and presentation of the culinary heritage of our country, Cyprus, as well as the dissemination of scientific, educational and recreational purposes. We work on history and culture of: food, nutrition, diet, utensils, tools and places for food production and preservation. Food is approached via various perspectives: folklore, history, museology, food science and nutrition. The ultimate aim is recording, preservation, promotion and dissemination of cultural heritage of traditional foods.


  • Laterna Magica - - The organization was established to create demanding and unique cultural and educational projects in Hungary and abroad as well. Besides the attendance of our collection (Hungarian Slide-film Collection), we give a helping hand to cultural and educational institutions to achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently. We give a full service that includes the writing of the application, the organization, the implementation, the PR and the distribution and the dissemination of the results. We gladly join any initiation that is eager to spread the common cultural heritage in a fresh and creative way.

    • Our services:

      • - Project management

      • - Arranging cultural events

      • - Organizing non-profit PR campaigns

      • - Educational management

      • - Writing applications

      • - Video production

      • - Organizing exhibitions

      • - Cultural and educational website making

      • - Slide-film digitalization

      • - Pedagogical advisory

    • Project: Tradition in the Contemporary Design and Art (

Summary: The main intention of the project is to show the actual existence of the tradition and the effects of folk art on the contemporary art and design in the partner countries. Accordingly we do not intend to organize traditionalist folklore events, but such travelling contemporary art program series that are based on the cultural traditions of the partner countries and at the same time reflect the everyday reality of our world today. First of all we want young artists to participate in the project, because we are interested to know what cultural identity and tradition mean to them, or rather how it appears in their art and their artistic products. We would like to offer a large scope for young artists and inspire the birth of new artistic products. The planned activities during the program series in each partner countries are travelling exhibitions of the best student works; international workshops and seminars: informal conversation with artists, the cognition and the experience of cultural diversity, direct contact with the diversity of cultural traditions in the contemporary design and art; the presence of international artistic committee and juries; concerts, fashion-shows etc.

  • Carlingford Community Development Carligford Community Development (CCD) is a not for profit community company which seeks to explore Europes' diverse traditional music, song, dance, folk art cultures through festivals, seminars conferences, workshops, CD,DVD & website creation.

    • Project: European Traditional Arts Link


  • The European Education and Culture Centre “ARTEMIS” - ; The European Education and Culture Centre “ARTEMIS” is a non-governmental organization whose members have expertise in educational and cultural areas. The members of the organization are professional actors, drama teachers, dance and choreography teachers,etc, that were and still are involved in projects like Cultura 2000, Leonardo da Vinci,Youth, etc. Artemis is an organisation that undergoes projects with objectives like: • Performing arts(theatre, music, street arts and dance) • Social and cultural integration and the betterment of the cultural education of minorities, the disabled, young people with special neads • Promotes and encourages youth organizations • Promotes the study of foreign languages • Cultural exchanges for young people • Fighting against human traffic and the recovery of the victims, their reintegration in society through artistic, cultural activities (theatre, dance, music, etc) • The promotion of non-violence through artistic means of education and culture • The intercultural education with stress on fighting racism and drug use • The encouragement of the use of new informational technologies as a means of learning • The promotion of some info centers that have a role in educational campaigns • Fights for the preservation of folkloric traditions in art Our staff participated in European projects, that have expertise (both in Romania and abroad) in several areas: theatre, dance, choreography, music, dumb show, etc. They participated to numerous international festivals where they were awarded important prizes. They also worked for projects concerning the therapy through theatre, the reinstatement of the disabled, orfans, minorities, etc.


  • Dybos SW ; We are teaching turkish musical instrument baglama online on our site We want to develope this site more and add some other countries with their own instruments. We will also build a musical notes/lyrics archive.

[INTERNATIONAL organizations]

  • International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts - (an NGO of UNESCO) Since 1970, CIOFF works for the safeguarding, promotion and diffusion of traditional culture. Through its activities, CIOFF aims for the following main objectives:

    • Promote the intangible heritage, through forms of expression such as dance, music, games, rituals, customs and other arts.

    • Serve the objectives of UNESCO

    • Support the activities of its members and those of non-governmental organizations working in the areas of folklore and cultural heritage

    • Serve the cause of peace and non-violence through the implementation of the above objectives

At present, CIOFF worldwide membership covers 96 countries of the World, with 69 National Sections, 3 Associate Members and 24 Corresponding Members.

It is estimated that over 1 million people, including over 30'000 folklore dance and music groups and folk arts organisations are associated with CIOFF through their CIOFF National Sections Worldwide.

CIOFF Annual Activities

    • Over 300 International Folklore Festivals, including 24 International Children’s Festivals

    • 1500 Traditional Arts & Crafts Exhibitions

    • 5000 Traditional Dance, Music, Songs & Crafts Workshops

    • Seminars

    • Conferences

    • CIOFF World Folkloriada (every 4 years)

[Document about folk arts and social change]:

A Working Guide to the Landscape of Arts for Change

A collection of writings depicting the wide range of ways the arts make community, civic, and social change.

Folk and Traditional Arts and Social Change

By Betsy Peterson

Folk arts include a constellation of artistic activities and cultural expressions in community life that are informal, often popular in orientation, amateur, voluntary, and occurring in myriad social contexts. As expressions of deep cultural knowledge, creative expression, activism, cultural durability, and community values, folk and traditional arts can be tools for community empowerment and social change…

Compiled by the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, Brandeis University: February 2013

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