One of the reasons I had for moving AWSF to a blog format is so our members can more easily keep track of each other’s happenings and, through the magic of Google, other news concerning public folklore and folk arts on the Web. From this point forward, I will attempt to create a post like this every week. For now, here’s a list of tidbits for the month of May:

  • La Labor: The Paintings of Roel Flores opens at the Brownsville (TX) Heritage Complex June 26 and is organized by Texas Folklife Resources. Story in the Brownsville Herald.
  • Things are settling down in Seattle following the shooting at the 37th Northwest Folklife Festival last weekend. Three festival-goers were injured, but aside from that I hear that the festival was delightful. This article (and this one) gave me a good feel for what I missed while I was back in Kentucky last weekend. Oh – and Amy Mills broke her ankle practicing with a dance group on Wednesday evening prior to the festival. She’ll be on crutches for a while, but she is in good spirits overall. Here’s to a fast recovery, Amy!
  • The Texture and Weave of Traditional Art opened last Wednesday at the Nevada Arts Council offices in Carson City. Pat Wells explains in the Nevada Appeal.
  • The 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival beings June 25 in DC. This year they’re celebrating Bhutan, Texas, and NASA.
  • The Kitchen Sisters had a story on NPR this week featuring Basque heritage from their occasional Hidden Kitchens series.
  • The infamous Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street in DC has purchased the building next door and will be opening a bar. Here’s Mike Licht’s coverage.
  • We had the good fortune of hosting photographer & filmmaker Bill Daniel at the Western Folklife Center two years ago for a screening of his documentary Who Is Bozo Texino?. This is one of my absolute favorite films about traditional art. Bill’s giving a similar screening and discussion at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth this Wednesday….. and he has apparently been awarded a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship for his documentary work. Good job, Bill!
  • Now I’ve seen it all: Alan Lomax mentioned in Popular Mechanics. Actually, this is a somewhat interesting article on cultural tourism down the blues highway.
  • Amy Skillman and Laura Marcus have published their study “The Art of Community: Creativity at the Crossroads of Immigrant Cultures and Social Services,” and were interviewed for a feature on the Americans for the Arts Blog!
  • Georgia Wier introduced storyteller Opalanga Puch at the Music of America series at the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center.
  • Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has taken on the role of Keynote Speaker for the 25th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering next January! Here’s coverage from the Elko Daily Free Press.
  • “The UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is to sponsor
    two Maasais and an expert from the National Museums of Kenya to go the
    United States for intensive training in documentary techniques and
    archival skills at the American Folklife Center and the Center for
    Documentary Studies.” Read more on the Maasai effort here and on the WIPO initiative here.
  • Jack Loeffler has published a new book, Survival Along the Continental Divide: An Anthology of Interviews. Read an interview with Jack here.
  • Fascinating foodways! “”Beef State,” a co-production of NET Television and the Nebraska State
    Historical Society (NSHS), is a new hour long documentary on the history
    of the beef industry in Nebraska airing statewide at 6 p.m. on June 1
    and repeating at 8 p.m. June 2 on NET1 and in high-definition on
    NET-HD.” Read more here.
  • Alabama state folklorist Anne Kimzey interviews photographer Mark Gooch on documenting Alabama folk artists on the Alabama Arts Radio podcast.
  • NEA National Heritage Fellowship recipients for 2008 have been named here.
  • Mike Christensen has launched an exhibit at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City. Masses to Masses: Art of the Yan’an Cave Artist Group which focuses on art during China’s Cultural Revolution. The exhibit is up through the end of June; read the SLC Tribune’s coverage.
  • (We’re getting into old news now, but…) Matachines danced at the Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque earlier this month. Read the Las Cruces Sun-News article featuring Claude Stephenson here.

There you have it. Enjoy.
– Ross