The Alliance for American Quilts Is Seeking an Executive Director & Administrative Assistant
The Alliance is a non-profit organization which requires administrative & fund-raising skills, as well as the capability to carry out much of the work effectively in a "virtual" environment. For job descriptions or information about either of these positions, check the Alliance's website at Quilts. Or submit a cover letter, resume & 3 references to: Alliance Search,
c/o Wolfe, Keens & Co.,
200 N. Little Falls St., Suite 303,
Falls Church, VA 22031. Resumes may be faxed to (703) 237-2902 or submitted electronically to Search.
Assistantship Available for M.A. Graduate Student in Louisiana Folklife Program
The Louisiana Regional Folklife Program seeks a graduate student assistant to work in the area of public folklore/folklife reseaarch. To receive the assistantship, te student will be concurrently enrolled in the M.A. program in Folklife/Southern Culture in the Dept. of Language & Communication at Northwestern State University. The position guarantees summer and between semester funding, in addition to support during the Fall & Spring semesters. If interested, contact: Dr. Suzanne Disheroon-Green
Director of Graduate Studies,
Northwestern State University,
Dept. of Language & Communication
318 Kyser Hall,
Natchitoches, LA 71497. Call (318) 357-6272 or email: Disheroon-Green. Program information may be obtained from the Language & Communication Dept. website. This announcement expires on June 30, 2003.
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Internships & Other Training Opportunities
The National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA)is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk & traditional arts. NCTA offers an internship with stipend to MAC literate persons who can do office work and/or project coordination & support. The project work could be associated with any of the organization's concert, national & international tours, festivals, radio & television programs, recordings, or films. Available year-round, this internship opportunity extends through December 2004. Mail, fax or email brief resume to: NCTA Intern Program
National Council for the Traditional Arts
1320 Fenwick Lane, Suite 200
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Fax: (301) 565-0472 or email: NCTA.
The American Folkife Center (AFC/LC)has volunteer internships, which may involve working with the collections of the Archive of Folk Culture and are available on a flexible basis. Applications may also be made to the Gerald E. & Corrine Parsons Fund for Ethnography for small grants supporting research that enhances the ethnographic collections of the Library of Congress. The AFC also participates in the LC Junior Fellowship Program, which offers some paid internships. For more information on any of these resources, phone Ann Hoog at(202)707-4428 or email: AFC.
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Upcoming Music Events in 2003
June 21:Wayne Henderson Music Festival & Guitar Competition,
Grayson Highlands State Park,
Mouth of Wilson, VA
July 30-August 3:Appalachian String Band Music Festival
Camp Washington-Carver State Park,
August 4-9:Old Fiddler's Convention
September 12-13:Rockbridge Mountain Music & Dance Festival
Glen Maury Park,
Buena Vista, VA
October 25:Blue Ridge Folklife Festival
For further information, see: "News from the Blue Ridge Institute".
Summer Concert Series at Blue Ridge Parkway's Music Center:
All concerts begin at 7:00 PM unless noted otherwise. For more information, call (276) 236-5309 or check the Blue Ridge Music Center website.
White Top Mountain String Band; Alternate Roots
June 14Nashville Bluegrass Band and The Whites; Gary Patton & Friends
Slate Mountain Ramblers; New River Bluegrass
The Round Peak Sound
Round Peak Ramblers; Fochabers Fiddlers'; Albert Hash Memorial String Band
Piedmont & Appalachian Blues Fest - Featuring Cephus & Wiggins; Warner Williams & Jay Summerour; Jeffrey Scott, and Etta Baker
Bluegrass Brothers; New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters
Fescue; Solomon Branch Band
Del McCoury Band; David Lay, Linda Lay. & David McLaughlin
Masters of the Banjo. Performers TBA
Appalachian Guitar Masters. Performers TBA
Marshall Brothers; High Road
August 30:Bluegrass Tradition; Cana Ramblers
September 6:Larry Sigmon & Barbara Poole; Wolfe Brothers
September 13:The Seldom Scene; Stony Point Quartet
September 30: TBA
Other Significant Dates
For more details on the following events, contact the National Council for the Traditional Arts. See address information for NCTA below.
The Lowell Folk Festival
65th National Folk Festival
2003 National Heritage Fellowships Public Concert
George Washington University
A Brief Report from Dayton
A major Library of Virginia exhibition, Virginia Roots Music: Creating & Conserving Tradition, which was displayed in Richmond until March 22, 2003 just ended its recent showing at the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society Museum/Library in Dayton, VA on June 10th. VFS officers Charles Perdue & Nancy Martin-Perdue, attended the Dayton exhibit and an associated June 5th musical program which compared ballads from the Francis James Child collection with some submitted by early VFS collector Martha Davis of Rockingham County. Coincidentally, Gregg Kimball, one of the Library of Virginia's curators of the original exhibition was also at the evening performance. Gregg happened to be in the area returning items borrowed from local resident Greg Lam for use in the exhibit in Richmond. The evening of ballads organized by Mel Lee, featured, in addition to himself, Jane Cox, Phyllis Gaskins, & David Landes, was very well attended by an almost, if not, full house. The program was a delight and enjoyed by all. On request, this editor announced the upcoming 90th anniversary of the VFS and associated plans to issue a CD of VFS field recordings in conjunction with the November meeting. We also extended an invitiation to the evening's performers and audience to bring their music and join us in celebration at the November meeting.
Banjo-List New Resident at UVA
"Banjo-L is an Internet e-mail discussion group that California musician Sean Barry created eight years ago 'for devotees of all sorts and styles of banjos, banjo music, artists, accessories, history, and any other subject related to the venerable instrument.' Because Barry is changing jobs, the list, which is noncommercial, unmoderated, and by subscription only, will move from UC-Davis to the University of Virginia." Effective June 1st, Barry handed the List over to fellow banjo player & list member, Marc Perdue, a computer network administrator and web page designer with UVA's ITC. Not only will Perdue's occupational background be of benefit in maintaining the list, but UVA's new list software should provide added protection for subscribers against computer viruses. At last count the list had more than 1,400 subscribers.
The Banjo-List move to Virginia seems appropriate also given the instrument's long history of associations within the state: from Jefferson's mention in Notes on the State of Virginia of slaves at Monticello playing the "banjar" [see also: Elizabeth Langhorne's article in the Society's journal, Folklore & Folklife in Virginia, Vol. I, 1979--online at this site under "Publications"]; the contribution of an additional string to the instrument by Joel Walker Sweeny of Appommatox Co.; the many patents and improvements made in more recent times by Geoff Stelling of Stelling Banjo Works in Afton, Virginia, and the continuing series on the history of the instrument hosted by the Prism Coffeehouse in Charlottesville and sponsored most recently by the Virginia Folklife Program under Jon Lohman's direction & the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities & Public Policy. It would seem to be an auspicious move for the Banjo-List. For more information, email Marc Perdue. To subscribe, go to the Banjo-List. [Source credit: Anne Bromley]
Virginia Folklife Program News
Since Jon Lohman took the position as VFP Director in August 2001, he has been very busy, indeed, acquainting himself with the folklore & folklife of the various regions across the state. He also played an active role in the 2001 Virginia Folklore Society meeting [see 2001 program].
As his first major VFP project, however, Jon initiated a state Folklife Apprenticeship Program. The program "pairs an experienced master artist with an apprentice for a one-on-one, nine-month learning experience, in order to help ensure that a particular art form is passed on in ways that are conscious of history and faithful to tradition," while it also gives recognition to those Virginians whose artistry and skills warrant commendation as masters of their particular traditional art forms. At the inauguration of the Program in August 2002, apprenticeships were awarded to eight pairs of masters & apprentices, who represent a diversity of traditional skills and expressive cultural art forms ranging across the various regions of Virginia. Among the first recipients of these awards were the following:
- Audrey Hash Ham, a master fiddle maker from Grayson Co., learned the craft from her father the late Albert Hash, a renowned fiddler & instrument maker; her apprentice craftsman is Carl Powers.
- Kinney Rorrer from Pittsylvania Co., a scholar, performer & master of the early 20th century banjo playing style of his relative Charlie Poole, will share his knowledge with apprentice, Jeremy Stephens.
- Grayson Chesser from Accomack Co. has been acclaimed as one of the "greatest living legends" among carvers of hunting decoys; he will pass his art form on to Robie Marsh, Jr., also from Virginia's Eastern Shore.
- The Paschall Brothers of Chesapeake in Tidewater Virginia are an a capello singing Gospel Quartet formed in 1981 by Rev. Frank Paschall, St. with his five sons. The sons have carried on the quartet singing style since their father's death in 1999, and will pass it on to a number of apprentices in the the group's church, including the founder's grandson, Terence Paschall Jr.
- Flory Jagoda of Fairfax Co., a Ladino Singer who learned Judeo-Spanish language ballads as a child from her grandmother in Sarajevo prior to WWII. Jagoda also won a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award in 2002 for keeping "the flame" of a once rich & ancient tradition; her apprentice and already accomplished protégé is Susan Gaeta.
- William Rogers of Montgomery Co. uses traditional blacksmithing tools & techniques he learned from his grandfather while growing up on a farm. He has since turned these skills into an art form he has demonstrated as part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts series; Amin Ghaderi will be his apprentice.
- John Rinehart of Franklin Co., whose craft as a hot rod car builder & customizer extends earlier local traditions of "souping-up" cars so bootleggers could outrun revenuers into a form of "car art". In this case, the well-recognized master Rinehart shares his secrets with a successor in the chain of hot rod car aficionados, Don Fitzgerald.
- C. Marshall Cofer, who demonstrates his skills as a draft horse handler at the Blue Ridge Institute in Ferrum, learned how to handle horses as part of the domestic & agricultural cycle growing up on a farm in his native Bedford Co.; he will train apprentice, Rebecca Austin, as an assistant to help him continue teaching these skills.
VFP Apprenticeships are awarded for nine months, with most beginning in September and ending in May. Qualified master artists will receive an honorarium of $1,800; selected apprentices may receive a small honorarium to cover supplies or travel expenses. A copy of the Apprentices Program application for 2003-2004 may be downloaded from the Apprenticeship Program. The postmarked deadline will likely be the end of July for a given year. For more information, contact Jon Lohman at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
We also look forward to hearing more about Jon Lohman's current VFP projects & to possible future collaborations between the Virginia Folklore Society and the VFP.
News from the Blue Ridge Institute
The Blue Ridge Institute and Museum includes gallery exhibits and a living history farm museum. The Farm Museum, first opened in 1979, uses costumed staff, historic buildings & animal breeds, to interpret the regional agriculture and lifestyle in 1800 of German-American farmsteaders in the Blue Ridge. The Farm Museum is open for walk-in visitors on Saturdays 10 a.m to 5 p.m.& Sundays 1 to 5 p.m., mid-May through mid-August. Group tours are available by reservation any day April through October. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for children and senior citizens. For more information on farm tours or gallery exhibits, call 540-365-4416 or visit the
The BRI also sponsors the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival held annually as a one-day celebration of living regional traditions. Among the festival's many features are three stages of musical performances ranging from balladry, blues, gospel singing & string band music; folk artisans & craftsman demonstrating and selling their wares; and displays of restored automobiles & farm machinery, all vying with horse pulls, coon dog competitions, and regional foods for visitors' attention. The Festival takes place on the campus of Ferrum College (10 miles west of Rocky Mount, Virginia on Route 40). This year's festival will be held on October 25, 2003 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. An admission is charged.
News Briefs from Around the State & BEYOND
The Archive of Folk Culture, Library of Congress, Celebrates 75th Year
The Archive of Folk Culture (originally the Archive of American Folk-Song), established in 1928 as part of the Music Division in the Library of Congress, celebrates both its 75th anniversary and the appointment of a new director this year. Dr. Michael Taft, who was recently appointed as the ninth in a line of LC-Archive heads, gave a presentation at the 2001 VFS meeting on the "Save Our Sounds" audio preservation program, for which he serves as project director. A New York native, with a Ph.D. in folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an M.A. in library & information science from University of Alberta, and with an extensive background as archivist/librarian for a number of other important collections in the U.S. and Canada, Michael is imminently qualified for the position. The Archive of Folk Culture, whose holdings now include more than 3 million items, will be in good hands with him as its director.
VFS Officers Attend Library of Congress Premiere
After consulting on the HBO documentary film, "Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives," VFS Archivist, Charles Perdue & Editor, Nancy Martin-Perdue, along with GWU folklorist John Vlach, were invited to the film's premiere and reception afterward at the LC on January 10, 2003--the night Washington, DC had seven inches of fresh snowfall! Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, actress Alfre Woodard, one of the readers in the film & Professors Ira Berlin and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. who gave the keynote address were also in attendance.
Narrated by Whoopie Goldberg, the film included excerpts from WPA Federal Writers' Project ex-slave interviews as read by Angela Bassett, Michael Boatman, Don Cheadle, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Robert Guillaume, Samuel L. Jackson, C.C.H. Pounder, Courtney B. Vance, Vanessa I. Williams, & Oprah Winfrey, in addition to Ms. Woodard. The film was repeatedly shown on HBO during the month of January, and will no doubt, be aired there again in the future. A thoughtful, well-balanced review by Steven Mintz appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education soon after the film's showing. While the evening overall was interesting and enjoyable despite the snowy drive home, we have to agree with Mintz's assessment in his review's title, "[The HBO] Slave-Narrative Documentary Is Limited, but Compelling." The last word on the subject of slavery in antebellum America is yet to be heard, according to Mintz.
Some of you will recall the fine performances of several Society members at a VFS-sponsored evening concert after the daytime meeting several years ago. One of those musicians, Douglas Day, IV was formerly associated with the Delmarva Folklife Project and did free-lance public sector folklore under the heading of his own non-profit organization, the Southern Council for Folk Culture. We are happy to report that his "non-profit status" may have changed somewhat since he returned to his old "stomping grounds" to become Director of the Albemarle County Historical Society in Charlottesville. This is "old news" to many local members, but congratulations are still in order. As they say, Doug, "Better late than never!"
The second member referred to above, a talented instrumentalist & singer, David Nealon, produced his first CD last December. He reports that "It's kind of eclectic, but pretty much all acoustic music" with mostly songs he wrote. The record title is "Cleaning Up My Act" and you can hear a sampling of it on: Dave's CD. It can be ordered from him at 10574 Indian Trail Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22802 for $12.00/copy. Or contact Dave Nealon directly by email or by phone at: (540) 433-5461. David also has a new job as Director of Education Programs for Shellbook Publishing Systems in Harrisonburg, VA. We wish both Doug & Dave well in their new workplaces.
Loudoun County Oral History Now Available
Previously we noted here that the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum was conducting oral histories with local residents who worked as farmers during the 20th century in "the second fastest growing county" in the U.S. The 146 page book, It's Just a Way of Life: Reminiscing about the family farm, is now available, costs $15.00, and can be ordered by contacting Allison Weiss or calling (703) 421-5322.
Delmarva Project Folklorist Publishes Work
Kelly Feltault, who spoke about her work on this project at a VFS meeting several years ago, has published the collaborative results of her three years of research. The book, "It's How You Pick the Crab": An Oral Portrait of Eastern Shore Crab Picking is available for $9.95 plus shipping from the store at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. To order a copy, call (410) 745-2916.
Stan Woodward Films Revisited
If you remember Stan Woodward's film on Brunswick Stew shown at the Virginia Folklore Society several years ago, it may be of interest that he is now offering it and several other foodways films for purchase at $30.00 each, plus $4 shipping & handling. These include: Sheep Stew: A Gastronomical Delight; It's Grits; Brunswick Stew: A Virginia Treasure; Lord Have Mercy: Olger's Store; & Carolina Hash: A Taste of South Carolina. They may be ordered from: The Woodward Studio, P.O. Box 5163, Greenville, SC 29606.
Please send any information regarding the activities, publications, or other items of interest for inclusion under the news briefs heading to:
Editor, The Virginia Folklore Society
c/o Department of English
219 Bryan Hall, P.O. Box 400121,
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4121
Or email: VFS Editor
August 18-24, 2003: Society of American Archivists.
Spotlight on Archives: Showcasing the Diversity of the Archival Enterpriseis the theme of this year's annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The meeting will be held at the Century Plaza Hotel & Tower in Los Angeles, CA. The program theme having to do with "Preservation of film, audio, and digital materials" is of particular interest to folklorists and oral historians; as is also Session #27: "A Model for Digital Audio Preservation & Distribution: The Arhoolie Foundation Strachitz Frontera Collection." For other information on the program and for registration materials, contact: SAA
October 8-12, 2003: Oral History Association.
The theme of this year's OHA meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Maryland is Creating Communities: Cultures, Neighborhoods, Institutions. For more information, contact Roger Horowitz, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE, at (302) 658-2400, ext. 244 or by email: 2003 OHA Program Chair.
There are some scholarships, not to exceed $500/per request, available to students, independent researchers, community historians, or members of under-represented groups, who wish to attend or to make a presentation at this year's OHA meeting. These funds may be used only to cover costs of workshops, conference meals, and travel-related expenses; recipients of scholarships will also receive complimentary registration. The deadline for applying for one of these scholarships is July 31, 2003. Information & application form may be found under Annual Meetings/Conference Registration/Bethesda on the OHA website.
October 8-12, 2003: American Folklore Society
Folk Culture and the Public Domain is the theme for this year's AFS meeting, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Details & registration forms for all annual meeting tours and special events will be posted in August on the American Folklore Society website.
October 12-19, 2003: Pioneer America Society
The theme for this 35th anniversary meeting to be held in Bridgetowwn, Barbados is:The Caribbean-North American Connection. For more details, contact Frank Ainsley at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, by phone: (910) 962-3493 or by email at Ainsley, ERS Dept.
November 15, 2003: The Virginia Folklore Society
The Virginia Folklore Society meeting was held on Saturday, December 1, 2001 at Kenwood in Charlottesville, VA. The conference theme, "A Meeting of Minds & Institutions," conveyed the Society's wish to reach out to other groups & agencies involved in researching, documenting, preserving, or interpreting the traditional material & expressive culture or history of people and localities, both in and outside the state of Virginia.
The program began at:
9:00 AM - Registration with coffee, tea and donuts.
9:30 AM - Morning Session:
12:30 PM - Buffet Lunch at Kenwood.
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM. Afternoon session:
- "Coming before Winter: Monticello Oral History Project," Lucia S. Stanton, Director & Dianne Swann-Wright, Historian
"Getting Word" Oral History Project, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Charlottesville, VA
- "Rebuilding the Past: Recovering the Lost Landscape of Slavery at Monticello," Martha Hill
Mulberry Row Fellow, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Charlottesville, VA
- "Recording the Folk: Researching an Exhibition on Virginia Music in the 1920s and 30s," Gregg Kimball
Assistant Director, Publications & Educational Services Division, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA
- "Preserving 20th century field recordings: the Save Our Sounds Project at the Library of Congress,"Michael Taft,
Folklife Specialist, American Folklife Center, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC
- "A Folklorist Infiltrates Public Health: The NC Commercial Fishing Safety Study" Mary Anne McDonald, MA, Dr. P.H.,
Research Associate, Division of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC.
- "Virginia Folklife Program Roundtable," Jonathan M. Lohman with invited guests & audience
Director, Virginia Folklife Program, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities & Public Policy, Charlottesville, VA
- "Archiving Panel Session", Margaret Yocom & others TBA Associate Professor of English (Folklore), George Mason University, Fairfax, VA Explores issues affecting specific archival cases.
- "Folklore Societies & Future Directions?", Nancy Martin-Perdue, Scholar-in-Residence, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
- Business Meeting.
Cost of registration for the day's meeting was $6.00 for non-members; $3.00 for non-member students; and free for members.
November 19-23, 2003: American Anthropological Association
The theme of this 102nd annual AAA meeting is"Mapping an Engaged Anthropology". For more program & meeting information, contact the AAA Meetings Dept.
2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 600,
Arlington, VA 22201-3357
(703) 528-1902 ext. 3025.
Or email: J. Meier