The Association of Western States Folklorists (AWSF) is a loosely organized group of public folklorists in the Western states.
We have been meeting annually since 1981, first in Logan, Utah, in conjunction with the academic Fife Conference sponsored by Utah State University, and since 1993 in other locations around the region.
At our meetings, we develop an agenda based on the interests of the group, with discussion topics presented by those who suggest them and then opened for informal dialog. We also organize a professional development workshop in conjunction with the meeting, on such topics as field photography, video recording, radio production, writing, web site development and other professionally relevant subjects.
Our gatherings usually include a day-long field trip called The Graze, which involves visits to local folk artists and organizations, cultural sites, and various and multiple eateries (hence the name).
The meetings are organized by a rotating volunteer committee which makes local arrangements, organizes the agenda, contracts with the workshop presenter, and plans the Graze. We normally meet in the same location for two years, and recently have convened in Las Vegas, Boise, Butte MT, Rapid City SD, Port Townsend WA, Virginia City NV, and Cheyenne WY. The 2013 meeting will be held at the Vee Bar Guest Ranch near Laramie, Wyoming, on April 25-28.
Since we are, at the moment, an informally organized association, anyone is welcome to join in and attend our meetings.