Episode 19 of the Folklife Today Podcast (or Season 2, Episode 7) is ready for listening! Find it at this page on the Library’s website, or on Stitcher, iTunes, or your usual podcatcher. As usual, I’ll use this blog post to direct you to fuller audio and video of the items we mentioned in the podcast, and to give you more background on the topic.
In this episode, John Fenn and I invite our colleagues from the AFC Research & Programs team, Theadocia Austen and Jennifer Cutting, to discuss two current initiatives of the Center. First we discuss the at-home version of the Archive Challenge, in which we ask everyone out there (even you) to get inspired by the archive, create some art, and share it on social media. This version of the challenge was first presented in the blog post at this link. The first round of results, which we also talk about in the podcast, was presented in the blog post at this link. From there you can follow the links to individual challenge items. Once again, we urge you to visit those links and have fun with the challenge yourself!
Jennifer filled us in on the history of the Archive Challenge, which began back in 2015 at the Folk Alliance International conference in Kansas City. We heard a bit of the very first Archive Challenge performance, which was Grammy-winner Dom Flemons singing a Big Bill Broonzy song; you can find that video at this link. We discussed the several years of performances at Folk Alliance International, you can see all the videos from Folk Alliance challenges over the years at this link. We also mentioned the Archive Challenge Concerts we held here at the Library. You can see the 2017 concert and related interviews here; the 2018 concert and related interviews here; and the 2019 concert here.
After that, we turned our attention to this season’s Homegrown concerts, which we’re doing online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists are recording concert videos in their homes or studios and we’re premiering them on Facebook every Wednesday at noon. You can “like” our Facebook page here to find out about the premieres. After they premiere, the concert videos are immediately available on the Library of Congress YouTube channel, as well as on the Library website. Thea told us all about the process for booking and creating this year’s series, and we picked a representative sampling to tell the audience more about. (Hint: they’re the ones whose pictures are in this post!)
But really, all of the concerts are our favorites! You can find the full list of 2020 concerts, with links to videos of all the ones we’ve already premiered, on the Folklife Concerts page at this link. Just follow the link from the 2020 list to the individual page for each concert, and you’ll find the video!
We’re excited about both these programs, and we think the podcast gives a good overview of them with a great variety of musical sounds as well. We really hope you’ll give it a listen. So, just for ease of reference, here’s the link to the podcast one more time.
As always, thanks for listening, thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time!