The Western Folklife Center's media productions brings you the voices, faces and places of the rural West. Through features for National Public Radio, documentary video, CDs, stories on our blog, and an upcoming podcast, we tell the stories of people and communities that are overlooked by mainstream media. We believe that America's cultural map should not be charted only by search engines, that the most powerful stories often lie tucked away in out of the way places, and that the beauty and innovation found in rural America hold lessons for the rest of us.Share this article with others

Healing the Warrior's Heart

More than two years in the making, the Western Folklife Center’s public television documentary Healing the Warrior’s Heart is complete and will premiere on KUED Channel 7, Salt Lake City—the latest news on the airdate is that it is scheduled for Monday, November 10—in conjunction with the Veterans Day holiday in November. This one-hour special examines the emotional trauma of war through the prism of Native American tradition and ceremony. The program reveals the central role that military service plays in Native life and explores the spiritual traditions that help returning American Indian soldiers reintegrate into society. These traditions hold lessons for the nation as we seek to bring comfort and healing to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

The program’s narrator is Peter Coyote, who is perhaps PBS's most recognized voice. He's done work for Ken Burns, and also appeared in feature films including Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.” Peter's typical fee is far beyond the budget for this project, but he liked the subject matter enough to offer his services at a small fraction of his rate!


Fiddlers' Pilgrimage: The Weiser Legacy

Banner for the National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest
Fiddlers' Pilgrimage: The Weiser Legacy explores the reasons that oldtime fiddling is thriving in our time, and why Weiser, Idaho, is the western mecca for this traditional art form. Western Folklife Center producers attended the 60th National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest and Festival and joined players and their devoted fans for this defining cultural event which each June transforms this tiny community of farmers and ranchers. Listen to the Fiddlers' Pilgrimage Radio Special:

Listen to the Fiddlers Pilgrimage Radio Special (59 minutes)

A Prayerful Song of Thanks

Kristina Olsen, photo courtesy of the artist Songwriter and troubadour Kristina Olsen says she was seeking perspective when she wrote her song Prayer Flags, our latest What's in a Song that aired on NPRs Weekend Edition Saturday,  December 29, 2012.

Length: 3:07 ~  Listen.