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 Mid Atlantic Arts in cooperation with the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN).

During this multi-year project, Mid Atlantic worked in collaboration with LiKEN and 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.

Mid Atlantic Arts 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?

For a quick overview of the CAFTA Project and findings, please check out the CAFTA Executive Summary. 

View the Executive Summary as a PDF

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 Mid Atlantic Arts 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?

In Spring 2021, Mid Atlantic Arts will launch a multi-year, multi-state program to promote the practice, understanding, and recognition of folk arts and culture in Central Appalachia. The three-part program will invest in folk arts community anchors while seeding new folk and traditional arts experiences and honoring underrecognized practitioners of Central Appalachian traditions across the region. 

This program will be launched in staggered phases beginning in May 2021 and will run through April 2024.  

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. Visit the organization’s website to learn more: (www.likenknowledge.org).

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.

Sophia Enriquez
Crystal Good
Dr. Katie Hoffman
Jess Lamar Reece Holler
Dr. Mary Hufford
Lucy Long
Jordan Lovejoy and Michael Gallimore
Nicole Musgrave
Bethani Turley

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, Mid Atlantic Arts assembled the CAFTA Project Advisory Group. Comprised of 14 professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, the Advisory Group provided significant feedback and guidance to Mid Atlantic Arts and the LiKEN team throughout the duration of the project. A full listing of members is included below.

Cristina Benedetti
Andrew “Drew” Carter
Danille Elise Christensen
Robert Colby
Doris Fields “Lady D”
Elena Foulis
Rosemary Hathaway
Ellesa Clay High
Emily Hilliard
Steven D. Kruger
Luke Eric Lassiter
Jon Lohman
Cassie Patterson
Travis Stimeling