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Explore Your Community: A Poster for Teachers and Students, Part 3

This is part three of a three-part series presenting the lesson suggestions on the Explore Your Community Poster (PDF), designed for middle school and high school classrooms. Read Part One. Read Part Two. Mapping Your World All communities—whether urban, suburban, or rural—have their own cultural heritage. Did you ever explain your neighborhood to someone visiting […]

Explore Your Community: A Poster for Teachers and Students, Part 1

This is part one of a three-part series presenting the lesson suggestions on the Explore Your Community Poster (PDF), designed for middle school and high school classrooms. Read Part Two. Read Part Three. The American Folklife Center and the the Rural School and Community Trust collaborated on an educational poster designed for middle and high school […]

Share Your Photos of Halloween

The following is a post I wrote jointly with Trevor Owens of the Library’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, with input from many colleagues throughout the Library of Congress. Share your photos of Halloween, Día de los Muertos, and related holidays with AFC and the World! #FolklifeHalloween2014 Halloween, All Souls Day, All Saints Day, Día de […]

Kids Explain Their Rhymes, Games, and Songs

This post is part of a series of posts called Staff Finds During Difficult Times, in which staff members discuss collections and items that have been inspiring them while they are working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic or in other difficult circumstances. Find the whole series here! As I work from home and keep […]

Outgoing Archive Director Leaves Big Shoes to Fill

From late December 2012 through early June 2021, Nicole Saylor led a team of archivists, ethnomusicologists and folklorists that curates the nation’s largest ethnographic archives. She worked to preserve the American Folklife Center’s collecting legacy while accelerating the transformation of an already well-established archives for the digital age. She recently took a position at the Library as the Chief of the Digital Innovation Lab, a position established to lead the Library’s innovation with digital collections and to support its digital transformation. As she began her new position, we interviewed her about her time at AFC.

Summer Festivals and Celebrations

Summer solstice was traditionally a time of revelry as the end of planting and the beginning of summer were celebrated. As the summer crops ripen, the fruit of the labor of planting is celebrated in various ways, especially the harvest of staple crops. The grain and hay harvests in late July and early August is […]

“God put the good stuff where lazy people can’t have any”: Exploring West Virginia Foodways in a New AFC Film Series

The following is a guest post by West Virginia State Folklorist Emily Hilliard, who directs the West Virginia Folklife Program, based at the West Virginia Humanities Council. AFC staff have been working with Emily, as well as Mike Costello and Amy Dawson of Lost Creek Farm, to co-produce the Homegrown Foodways in West Virginia program, […]

Langston Hughes on the Folklife Today Podcast

Season 3, Episode 8 of the Folklife Today Podcast is ready for listening! Find it at the link from this post to the Library’s website, or on Stitcher, iTunes, or your usual podcatcher. In this episode  John Fenn and I, along with guests Langston Collin Wilkins and Sophie Abramowitz, look at Langston Hughes as a “Hidden Folklorist.” As usual, I’ll present links to the relevant blog posts and audio selections in this post!