Mid Atlantic Region Folk Arts Centers


Delaware Division of the Arts
Dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. In addition to providing funding for arts programming, the Division supports the integration of the arts into community life and serves as a resource for arts information statewide.

District of Columbia

D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) provides grants, professional opportunities, education enrichment, other programs and services to individuals and nonprofit organizations in all communities within the District of Columbia.

The Folklore Society of Greater Washington
Furthering the understanding, appreciation, and performance of traditional folk music and folklore.


Maryland Traditions / Maryland State Arts Council
Maryland Traditions, the state’s traditional arts program, identifies, documents, supports, and presents traditional arts. Activities include grants to organizations and individuals, festivals and other events, direct outreach to artists, and archival activities to support community-based living cultural traditions handed down by example or word of mouth.

New Jersey

New Jersey State Council on the Arts
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts works to improve the quality of life in New Jersey by helping the arts to flourish.

Down Jersey Folklife Center at Wheaton Village
Research, document, interpret, and present the traditional cultures of the “Down Jersey” region of the state, which includes Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem counties and parts of Ocean and Gloucester counties. The Center seeks to create a higher awareness of community diversity, to increase public knowledge of, and to foster appreciation and respect for the folk arts and folklife. Our method is to support communication through the languages of the traditional arts, and to invite a wide variety of artists and audiences to participate in an ongoing exploration of the creative process.

Folklife Center of Northern NJ
The Folklife Center supports local folklife events creates a platform for the community, stakeholders and folk artists that encourages interaction and dialogue about cultural traditions. Sharing these traditions with like-minded communities, as well as with a public that may have limited knowledge of their neighbors’ customs, helps to ensure the existence, growth and longevity of the area’s folklife.

Jersey Shore Folklife Center at Tuckerton Seaport
Document, support, and present the varied traditions of the communities along the Jersey coastline between Monmouth County and Salem County, as well as those in the Pinelands region, which has been integral to coastal culture. The JSFP carries out field research among old and new groups, documents their traditional life on tape and film, and creates programs that include workshops and demonstrations, storytelling sessions, school programs, and exhibits.

New York

New York State Council on the Arts
Founded in 1985, the program is devoted to perpetuating New York State’s living cultural heritage of folk arts and maintaining the extraordinary cultural and stylistic diversity of New York’s traditional arts. It provides funding for over 70 nonprofit organizations each year. Its primary mission is to support traditions practiced within communities. The Program also supports programming that enables general audiences to experience traditional arts from New York State as well as from cultures elsewhere in the world.

Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University
Founded in 1990, the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University collaborates with local communities and artists to raise awareness of cultural heritage in the Buffalo-Niagara Region of Western New York. Through fieldwork, exhibitions, programs, and shortform documentaries, the museum is dedicated to preserving and supporting the cultural knowledge and artistic expressions of local community members.

Center for Traditional Music and Dance
The Center works to celebrate and strengthen the practice of traditional performing arts. Since its founding in 1966, the Center has produced over 800 major presentations. Programs include concerts, festivals, audio and video productions, concert tours, technical assistance, collaborative projects and consultations with artists, cultural activists and with educational and cultural institutions.

City Lore
Founded in 1986, City Lore produces programs and publications that convey the richness of New York City’s cultural heritage. The staff includes folklorists, historians, anthropologists, and ethnomusicologists, all of whom specialize in the creation of programs and materials for public education and enjoyment. In addition to staff projects, affiliated individuals and organizations work through City Lore to produce independent films, exhibits, and other media projects.

Long Island Traditions
Dedicated to documenting and preserving the living cultural traditions of Long Island’s ethnic, occupational and architectural heritage.

Traditional Arts of Upstate New York
TAUNY is dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting the folk arts and folklore of New York’s North Country from the St. Lawrence River to the Adirondack Mountains.


Philadelphia Folklore Project
Focus is on the experiences and traditions of “ordinary” people. The organization works to sustain the diverse folk arts of the greater Philadelphia region.

The Rivers of Steel Industry Heritage Corporation
Conserve, interpret, promote and manage the historic, cultural, natural and recreational resources of steel and related industries in southwestern Pennsylvania and develop uses for these resources so they may contribute to the economic revitalization of the region.

Erie Art Museum
Museum’s goal is to expand awareness and participation of the folk and traditional arts within the Northwestern Pennsylvania. A primary goal is to identify traditional artists in the greater Erie community and link them with existing local arts programming and grant opportunities.

Northern Tier Cultural Alliance
Educate the public about cultural traditions, history and art of Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier and assist tradition bearers and traditional artists in the preservation of their work.

Puerto Rico

Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña
The Institute for Puerto Rican Culture supports a variety of folk and traditional arts programs across its 18 divisions.

Virgin Islands

Virgin Island Council on the Arts
The council’s mission is “To enrich the cultural life of the Virgin Islands through leadership that preserves, supports, strengthens, and makes accessible, excellence in the arts to all Virgin Islanders”.


Arlington County Cultural Affairs Division, Office of Heritage Arts
Serves as the County’s resource point for folk and traditional artists, folklife researchers and community members. It divides its efforts into three overlapping spheres: festivals, concerts & community events; fieldwork & documentation; artist and community services.

Virginia Folklife Program, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
Documents the diverse folk traditions of Virginia while advancing the understanding and appreciation of traditional culture through the development of public programs; reinforces folk traditions by honoring and providing support services for traditional artists and performers; and helps communities develop plans and projects to strengthen their own cultural traditions. Only folklife program in the nation based with a state humanities council.

Blue Ridge Institute and Museum
Ferrum College’s Blue Ridge Institute and Museum documents, interprets and presents the traditional culture of the Blue Ridge and its people. Designated the State Center for Blue Ridge Folklore by the Virginia General Assembly 1986, the institute promotes an understanding of regional folklore past and present for all ages.

West Virginia

Augusta Heritage Center
Encourage wider understanding and practice of artistic expression found in local, regional, and ethnic traditional folk cultures. Document, promote, encourage, and nurture West Virginia’s folklife and folkways through workshops, apprenticeships, publications and public presentations.

West Virginia Division of Culture and History
Support the documentation and presentation of West Virginia’s folk and traditional arts. West Virginia folk arts are described as those creative expressions that are learned and passed down within families, ethnic or tribal groups, occupational groups, religions, local and regional communities, or age or gender groups. They include such forms as music, dance, songs, stories, jokes, games, crafts, beliefs, occupational skills, celebrations and rituals.

West Virginia Folklife Center, Fairmont State College
Dedicated to the identification, preservation, and perpetuation of the region’s rich cultural heritage through academic studies, educational programs, festivals and performances, and publications.


American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Created in 1976 by the U.S. Congress to “preserve and present” American folklife through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, publication, and training.

American Folklore Society
Professional association for folklorists founded in 1888.

Center for Folklore Studies at The Ohio State University
The Center supports the learning, teaching, research, and service endeavors of folklorists and students of folklore.

National Council for the Traditional Arts
Founded in 1933, dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk and traditional arts in the United States. It is the nation’s oldest producing and presenting organization with such a focus.

National Endowment for the Arts, National Heritage Fellowships
The NEA National Heritage Fellowships is the nation’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts. Each year since 1982, the program recognizes recipients’ artistic excellence, lifetime achievement, and contributions to our nation’s traditional arts heritage. 

Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
The Center 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.