New Support for Folk Arts and Culture in Athens County, Ohio
Central Appalachia Living Traditions’
Ohio Anchor Community Announces
Events Focused on Folk Arts and Culture
Baltimore, May 16, 2023 – The Federal Valley Resource Center (FVRC) in Athens, Ohio, in partnership with a group of local folk arts and culture organizations and traditional artists, has announced a series of five community events focused on “living traditions” with support from Mid Atlantic Arts’ Central Appalachia Living Traditions (CALT) program.
The CALT Folk Arts and Culture Community Anchors Initiative provides targeted resources and support to select community anchors of folk arts and culture in the region with the goal of dramatically impacting the sustainability of traditional practice and cultural knowledge. Three participant communities, including Athens, OH, were identified in consultation with state folklife program partners and other constituents. The other two sites are the community of Scotts Run, WV, with the Scotts Run Museum and The Shack Neighborhood House as key partners and the community of Bristol, VA who is working with The Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Each community anchor site formed a Community Folk Art and Culture Team that is leading project planning and the implementation of a Community Folk Arts and Culture Plan that details strategies and activities to increase the sustainability of folk arts and culture in their community.
The members of the Athens Folk Arts & Culture Team include the Federal Valley Resource Center; Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society; Arts West; The Dairy Barn Arts Center; The Ohio Arts Council; Rachel Terman, Associate Professor of Sociology at Ohio University; media producer Brian Koscho; designer and craftsperson Talcon Quinn (who is serving as the coordinator of Athens County Living Traditions); and old-time musician Joe Callaway.
FVRC is seeking practitioners of living traditions in Athens County to perform, conduct workshops, or provide lectures/demonstrations on their practices the last Saturday of each month May-September. Traditions include, but are not limited to, weaving, quilting, food preservation, blacksmithing, dancing, music, and woodcraft. The event locations were chosen based on area school districts, and are tentatively scheduled as follows:
● May 27th – Albany Fairground (Alexander school district)
● June 24th – The Plains and Uptown Athens (Athens school district)
● July 29th – Glouster (Trimble school district)
● August 26th – Nelsonville (Nelsonville York school district)
● September 30th – Federal Valley Resource Center (Federal Hocking Local school district)
Interested artists, or those who know of folk and traditional artists in their communities, can email email@example.com.
You can find updates about the event series on social media @LivingTraditionsAthens.
Central Appalachia Living Traditions (CALT) is a multi-year program designed to promote the understanding and recognition of folk arts and culture in Central Appalachia through a three-part program that invests in folk arts communities while seeding new folk and traditional arts experiences and honoring underrecognized practitioners of cultural traditions across the region. This initiative was developed in response to Mid Atlantic’s Central Appalachian Folk and Traditional Arts Research and Survey Project (CAFTA) completed in 2020. CALT has three program areas: Folk and Traditional Arts Experiences, Folk Arts and Culture Community Anchors Initiative, and Recognizing Folk Arts and Culture Champions. Collectively, these programs are intended to stabilize local venues, create greater connectivity among organization and community leaders, increase the visibility of folk arts and culture, and facilitate the transmission of artistic skills and cultural knowledge.
Image: Old Savannah to Tablertown event. Credit: Courtesy Talcon Quinn.
About Mid Atlantic Arts
Mid Atlantic Arts nurtures and funds the creation and presentation of diverse artistic expression and connects people to meaningful arts experiences within our region and beyond. Created in 1979, Mid Atlantic Arts is a private non-profit organization that is closely allied with the region’s state arts councils and the National Endowment for the Arts. It combines funding from state and federal resources with private support from corporations, foundations, and individuals to address needs in the arts from a regional, national, and international perspective. To learn more about Mid Atlantic Arts, its programs and services, visit our website at www.midatlanticarts.org.
Director, External Affairs
Mid Atlantic Arts