About the CAFTA Survey and Planning Project

Completed in spring 2020, The Central Appalachian Folk and Traditional Arts (CAFTA) Survey and Planning Project was a project of MAAF in cooperation with the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN).

During this multi-year project, MAAF worked in collaboration with lead contractor, LiKEN, along with a dynamic and dedicated group of Field Team and Advisory Group members to assess the needs and opportunities for a folk and traditional arts program in the region of Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia designated as Appalachian. Learn more about the target area for this project.

MAAF owes substantial gratitude to the hundreds of individuals who contributed to this project by providing valuable information to the Field Team.  We deeply appreciate the traditional artists, culture bearers, community leaders and members, organizers, business owners, and arts advocates that generously offered local context and personal insights about their cultural practice and experiences. Learn more about our project partners.

What did we learn?

Capturing the vibrancy and diversity of folk and traditional arts currently practiced in the region as well as mounting concerns about resource scarcity and cultural sustainability, this project highlights the potential impact of new funding programs and partnerships. Detailed project findings are available in the materials listed below. We hope that these materials can serve as a resource to others creating, studying, and working in the region.

CAFTA Final Report
A summary of project activities and research methods and presentation of findings based on specific learning objectives.

View the Final Report as a PDF
Download an accessible word version of the Final Report

CAFTA Comprehensive Program Proposal
Program recommendations for MAAF and the field at large based on opportunities identified in the Final Report

View the Comprehensive Program Proposal as a PDF
Download an accessible word version of the Comprehensive Program Proposal

CAFTA Photo Gallery
 A collection of images taken by the CAFTA Field Team during the project

Open the CAFTA Photo Gallery

CAFTA Inventories
Listings of artists and practitioners, programs, and events documented through the program. These lists are not all-inclusive; if you feel your name, organization, or event is missing from this data, please contact Jess Porter, Program Officer at jess@midatlanticarts.org.

View Inventories

What’s Next?

MAAF will announce and host a series of Public Feedback Sessions in late 2020 to offer practitioners and cultural leaders in the region as well as our colleagues in the public folklore and art and culture sectors an opportunity to respond to the project findings and program recommendations. Sign up below to receive more info about the Public Feedback Sessions.

MAAF is currently carrying the inspiration and momentum generated from the CAFTA project forward into the program development phase. Building from the recommendations in the CAFTA Program Proposal, MAAF will reference additional guidance from the Public Feedback Sessions and our strategic plan to prioritize program concepts for development. Our goal is to launch a multi-year, multi-state program to support the understanding, recognition, and practice of folk and traditional arts in the region of Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia designated as Appalachian by the end of 2021.

Questions regarding the CAFTA Project should be directed to Jess Porter at jess@midatlanticarts.org.

CAFTA Project Target Area

This planning project and the resulting program proposal targeted the Appalachian regions of Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The specific counties that fall within the ARC’s designation are included below:

Ohio: Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton, and Washington

West Virginia: All counties: Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood, and Wyoming

Virginia: Alleghany, Bath, Bland, Botetourt, Buchanan, Carroll, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Henry, Highland, Lee, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, Rockbridge, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe. The following independent cities in Virginia are also within the Appalachian Region: Bristol, Buena Vista, Covington, Galax, Lexington, Martinsville, Norton, and Radford.

Program Partners


The Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) is a link-tank for community-based research to build economic futures based on local assets, values, and visions (www.likenknowledge.org). Founded in 1990, we provide training and digital platforms for communities to document, understand, and act on root causes of economic and cultural well-being. We provide training and resources to document local assets, frame issues and solutions, identify stakeholders, analyze root causes, and develop work plans. We help to build cross-sectoral partnerships between communities and their supportive web of scholars, practitioners, artists, and government agencies. We provide platforms for collaborative, multi-stakeholder data gathering, aggregation, and analysis that integrate digital and face-to-face participation and problem

CAFTA Field Team

To complete the required field work across a wide geographic area, LiKEN assembled a dynamic team of folklorists, community scholars, and traditional arts practitioners already actively engaged in the target counties. Below is a listing of Field Team members including their geographic field work assignments.

Sophia Enriquez
OH River Valley
Affiliation(s): Ohio State University — Musicology; Center for Folklore Studies
Home Base: Columbus, OH

Crystal Good
Western WV
Affiliation(s): MIXXED Media, Crystal Good Solutions
Home Base: Charleston, WV

Dr. Katie Hoffman
Southern Appalachian VA
Affiliation(s): Appalworks
Home Base: Johnson City, TN, Southwest VA

Jess Lamar Reece Holler
Eastern OH
Affiliation(s): Caledonia Northern Folk Studios
Home Base: Columbus & Caledonia, OH

Dr. Mary Hufford
Central and Eastern WV
Home Base: Philadelphia, PA & Franklin, WV

Lucy Long
Southwestern OH, North Central WV
Affiliation(s): Director – Center for Food and Culture | Bowling Green
Home Base: Bowling Green, OH

Jordan Lovejoy and Michael Gallimore
Southwestern WV
Affiliation(s): English, Center for Folklore Studies | Ohio State University
Home Base: Pineville, WV and Columbus, OH

Nicole Musgrave
Southeastern OH + Southwest VA
Affiliation(s): Hindman Settlement School; Appalachian Artisan Center; Kentucky Folklife Program
Home Base: Whitesburg, KY

Bethani Turley
Northern WV
Affiliation(s): Dept. of Geography | West Virginia University, Hydrofeminist Lab
Home Base: Morgantown, WV (Hometown: Charleston, WV)

CAFTA Project Advisory Group

In order to recognize and access the expertise and wisdom of the many professionals that have already contributed significantly to the understanding of cultural heritage and living traditions of Central Appalachia, MAAF assembled the CAFTA Project Advisory Group. Comprised of 14 professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, the Advisory Group provided significant feedback and guidance to MAAF and the LiKEN team throughout the duration of the project. A full listing of members is included below.

Cristina Benedetti
Folk and Traditional Arts Contractor | Ohio Arts Council
Home Base: Columbus, OH

Andrew “Drew” Carter
Co-founder / Ownee | Watch Me Grow Ohio / Diverse Culture Media
Home Base: Portsmouth, OH

Danille Elise Christensen
Assistant Professor | Virginia Tech
Home Base: Blacksburg, VA

Robert Colby
Program Officer | Ohio Humanities
Home Base: Columbus, OH

Doris Fields “Lady D”
Consultant, Organizer, Vocalist | Jazz & Blues In the Ville
Home Base: Beckley, WV

Elena Foulis
Faculty Member | The Ohio State University
Home Base: Powell, OH

Rosemary Hathaway
Associate Professor | West Virginia University
Home Base: Morgantown, WV

Ellesa Clay High
Emerita Associate Professor of English | West Virginia University
Home Base: Bruceton Mills, WV

Emily Hilliard
WV State Folklorist | West Virginia Humanities Council/West Virginia Folklife Program
Home Base: Charleston, WV

Steven D. Kruger
Folklorist/ Agroforestry | Virgina Tech
Home Base: Giles County, VA

Luke Eric Lassiter
Director & Professor of Humanities and Anthropology | Graduate Humanities Program, Marshall University
Home Base: Boone, NC

Jon Lohman
Director, Virginia Folklife Program | Virginia Humanities
Home Base: Charlottesville, VA

Cassie Patterson
University/Community Liason – Center for Folklore Studies, Co-creator of the Ohio Field Schools initiative| Ohio State University
Home Base: Columbus, OH

Travis Stimeling
Associate Professor of Musicology | West Virginia University
Home Base: Morgantown, WV