Cultural Resources

Quick Links
Cultural and Folklife Organizations and Blogs
Museums of the West
Folklife Resources for Educators
Cowboy Poetry Festivals and Western Events
Folklife Festivals and Events

Cultural and Folklife Organizations and Blogs

Alliance for California Traditional Arts
The site of California's traditional folk arts organization, with grant applications, funding resources, events calendar, and new exhibits/programs across the state.

American Folklife Center
The US national headquarters for folklife research and programming.
Learn more about the American Folkore Society.

American Folklife Center's Links to Ethnographic Resources
An extensive and excellent list of links providing access to sites about academic programs, museums, archives, grants programs, journals, and newsletters - all relating to folklife, ethnography, and cultural documentation.

A sister folklife organization in Whitesburg, Kentucky, dedicated to the culture and people of Appalachia.

Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry
A central resouce for cowboy poetry and associated arts, the nonprofit Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry hosts, which includes thousands of classic and contemporary poems and lyrics, events lists, features, an email newsletter, and more. The  Center sponsors Cowboy Poetry Week, held the third week of April each year.

City Lore
A sister folklife organization in New York City, host to the People's Poetry Gathering.

Idaho Commission on the Arts, Folk, and Traditional Arts Program
This website is a source for Idaho folklife resources, including applications for grants and art awards, cultural surveys, and folk arts and arts education programming.

IndieFeed, a performance poetry Podcast, is now featuring cowboy poets in its regular roster of artists.

Library of Congress
Visit the Library of Congress' website for national library collections, including good folklife materials.

Montana Arts Council Folklife Program
Website includes apprenticeship information, resources for folklife education, a folklife gallery, and Montana Folklife Program special projects.

National Endowment for the Arts
The national funding agency for arts and art-related programming.

National Endowment for the Humanities
The national funding agency for humanities-based programming.

National Museum of the American Indian
The museum's outreach program works to promote knowledge and understanding of Native arts, history, languages, and contemporary life.

Nevada Folk Arts Program
A division of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs, this program "identifies, presents, and encourages" the traditional arts of all communities throughout the state of Nevada.

Northwest Folklife
An independent nonprofit organization that promotes the cultural heritage of Pacific Northwest communities through folk art and folklife programming.

Oregon Folklife Network
Includes an online exhibit gallery, lists upcoming activities, artist rosters, resources, and educational material on the traditional arts and cultures of Oregon.

An online video resource of poets reading their work at various venues throughout Southern California, bringing broader exposure to poets beyond the intimate venues where the readings were taped. The site also spotlights the venues and hosts of various Southern California reading series.

Smithsonian Institution
A good source for programming related to museums, including fellowships and internships, and online exhibit galleries.

Texas Folklife
This website is a source for Texas folklife resources, including statewide folk arts events and arts education programming.

The Art of the Rural:
A variety of perspectives on the state of rural arts and culture in American life, humbly seeking to bring a variety of arts organizations, artists and media outlets into conversation, with the goal of understanding rural America in the new century: figuring in urban-rural connections and talking about the rural diaspora.

Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY)

A nonprofit membership organization in Canton, New York, dedicated to showcasing the folk culture and living traditions of New York's North Country. Exhibitions, traditional folk arts workshop and demonstration spaces, and North Country Folkstore. Coming in the future: reading room, audio booth, classroom, meeting room, and climate-controlled archive.

Utah Folk Arts Program
A partner of the Utah Arts Council, containing Utah traditional arts and culture material in the form of recordings and publications, performance schedules, a state folk art collection, and grant applications.
This website is a source for Idaho folklife resources, including statewide folk arts events and arts education programming.
Virginia Folklife Program
The Virginia Folklife Program (VFP), a public program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, is dedicated to the documentation, presentation, and support of Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. Whether sung or told, hand-crafted or performed, Virginia’s rich Folklife refers to those “arts of everyday life” that reflect a sense of traditional knowledge and connection to community.

Washington State Arts Commission Folk Arts Program
Provides information on apprenticeship grants, fellowships, and Governor’s award recipients, as well as discussions of special folklife projects in Washington State and folk arts masters and apprentices.

Western States Arts Federation  
Resources aimed at services to artists and arts organizations in the west. The site includes numerous links: "a spectrum of online resources of interest to folk artists." This is a good place to find out about grant opportunities, tours and exhibits.  

Museums of the West

Autry National Center of of the American West, Los Angeles, California
This website has exhibit gallery vignettes, educational material, and research resources.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming
This museum website features educational and programming information, a calendar of events, an online library, a museum gallery, and up-to-date firearms information.

Cowboy Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Excellent educational site with programming information, information on Hall of Fame inductees, events calendar, and museum exhibit information.

High Desert Museum, Bend, Oregon
The High Desert Museum’s website features educational material, museum exhibit vignettes, adopt-an-endangered-animal information, and an events calendar.

Folklife Resources for Educators
Folklife encompasses the things we believe, know, say, do, and make. It includes our personal and collective beliefs, the ways we speak, our personal stories, how we celebrate our lives, the things we build or make by hand, and how we decorate our world; folklife is the creative way we express ourselves, it is artistry in everyday life. Folklife is a part of everyone’s life and can be a fun and useful way of having young people explore their own communities. For more information about identifying folklife in your community please visit: 

American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress: What is Folklife?
An impressionistic definition of folklife.

American Folklife: A Commonwealth of Cultures
An on-line article by folklorist Mary Hufford who describes what folklife is and why it is an important element in our lives.
A variety of organizations and resources exist to support education about folklife in K-12 classrooms – and beyond. The links below will serve as an entry point into the world of folklife education resources.

American Folklife Center: Educational Resources for
Learning, Teaching, and Research
This site is designed for teachers and students with interests in exploring and learning about folklife and community-based educational activities. Teachers and students will find a wide range of publications, links to online resources, and other materials to suit their project needs.

American Memory Learning Page
A chapter of the Library of Congress Web site for which teachers from across the US have created lesson plans on American history and culture using photographs, audio clips, and documents.
First created by the National Task Force on Folk Arts and Education and CityLore under the name CARTS, CityLore continues an educational site for the incorporation of folklife into K-12 curricula that contains multimedia resources in folklore, history, culture, and the arts for integration across the disciplines. 
Local Learning National Network for Folk Arts in Education
Local Learning began as the National Task Force for Folk Arts in Education during a 1993 national roundtable at the National Endowment for the Arts. Today, it is a loose network of hundreds of people interested in engaging young people with their own traditional culture and with the local culture and folklore of their families, regions, and the larger world.

Louisiana Voices: Folklife in Education Project
Louisiana Voices offers practical educational tools for classroom use. Many of the lessons and ideas are easily adapted to your own community or region.

Montana Heritage Project
A curriculum-based site for middle school to high school students on collecting local history, and on writing about sense of place. Teachers and students actively communicate ideas and projects.

National Endowment for the Humanities EDSITEment
Filled with lesson plans and curricula for humanities subjects.
A website that features radio diaries made by teenagers and The Teen Reporter Handbook for making your own.

Radio Rookies is a New York Public Radio initiative that provides teenagers with the tools and training to create radio stories about themselves, their communities, and their world. New York centered, but lots of good ideas, resources, and links.
Shout Out! A Kid’s Guide to Recording Stories
Written by Katie Davis w/ the Urban Rangers & Neighborhood Stories, this is a kid’s eye view to the world of recording and collecting stories in their communities. The guide begins: “Collecting stories is easier than you think. Find a park bench or front porch. Invite your grandmother, your friend, or coach to join you. And listen…”

Teaching Tolerance, Southern Poverty Law Center
A nonprofit educational organization that publishes material on cultural diversity and multicultural issues, and an e-magazine with lesson plans and discussion centers.

Texas Folklife Resources: Curriculum Guides
A series of curriculum guides produced by Texas Folklife Resources.

Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY)
Canton, New York

A nonprofit membership organization dedicated to showcasing the folk culture and living traditions of New York's North Country. Exhibitions, traditional folk arts workshop and demonstration spaces, and North Country Folkstore. Coming in the future: reading room, audio booth, classroom, meeting room, and climate-controlled archive.