The Great Falls Tribune recently featured an article focusing on American Indian representation in the upcoming 2008 National Folk Festival. Not only is it wonderful to have the festival in the West again after 42 years “back east,” but Julia Olin of the NCTA stated that the indigenous presence this year will be the “strongest in the event’s history.” Read that article here.

The article got me excited for the festival (I’m especially stoked because my good friend & audio engineer Nate Lannan helps out with live sound for the NCTA festivals each summer), although I’m still unsure at this point whether or not I’ll be able to make it to Butte this year . But if it doesn’t happen for me this July, there’s always 2009 & 2010 – and hopefully more after that, if the festival takes after the success of Lowell!

For some background on the early years of the National Folk Festival, for those who are interested…. in 2006 Dr. Michael Ann Williams, head of the Department of Folk Studies & Anthropology at Western Kentucky University published Staging Tradition, a look at the production attempts of Sarah Gertrude Knott (creator of the National) and John Lair (of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance) of folk traditions. It’s a very smooth read, and offers some real insight into these precursors of public folklore as we know it today. Staging Tradition cover, Michael Ann Williams

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