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Category: AFC History

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Labor Department Official Named to American Folklife Center Board

Posted by: Nicole Saylor

The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Jessica Looman, Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), to the American Folklife Center Board of Trustees. President Biden appointed Looman for a term expiring June 1, 2030. Looman had previously served as the Principal Deputy Administrator of WHD since Wednesday, January 20, 2021. WHD enforces worker protections and provides outreach and education about federal labor laws including minimum wage, overtime, child labor, and family and medical leave.

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Announcing a New Cohort of AFC Summer Interns

Posted by: Nicole Saylor

The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce the selection of three summer interns who will work on public programs, outreach activities and descriptive access work. One intern comes to us from the Utah State University folklore studies program, and two are supported by the AFC Internship Fund. Hanna Salmon is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research examines how Palestinian storytellers foster affective atmospheres through their performances. Maggie Jones has just graduated magna cum laude from First Nations University of Canada’s Indigenous Languages Program with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics. They have an interest in Algonquian languages, Indigenous oral history, language revitalization, and journalism. Melanie Kimball is earning an MA in folklore studies at Utah State University. Her research interests include supernatural legends, folk beliefs, vernacular religion, and ethnomusicology. Her thesis investigates how people use music as an apotropaic and folk remedy for fear. Since 2017, the AFC Internship Fund has supported 12 paid internships. It was started by a generous donation from the late Peter Bartis, a former staff member. As the American Folklife Center approaches its 50th anniversary in 2026, we are committed to building this fund to help train a new generation of cultural workers.