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Category: Folklorists

A black and white up-close photo of Lottie Espinosa playing her guitar

Celebrating California Gold: AFC’s New Story Map on the Northern California Folk Music from the 1930s Collection

Posted by: Michelle Stefano

The American Folklife Center announces its new Story Map, California Gold: Sidney Robertson Cowell, 1930s California Folk Music, and the American Folklife Center, which follows the folk music collector, Sidney Robertson on her late 1930s trip to document musicians, singers, and their families and communities in California.

Billy MxCrea African American performer photographed with KJohn A. Lomax for a Library recording trip, Jasper, Texas, 1940

“We have our work cut out for us”: A Conversation with Sarah Bryan, Executive Director of the Association for Cultural Equity

Posted by: Guha Shankar

This interview by AFC staff member, Guha Shankar, with Sarah Bryan, Executive Director of the cutural arts organization, the Association for Cultural Equity (ACE), highlights ACE's work in producing a range of programs and publications that raise public awareness of the richness and diversity of global expressive culture. ACE works in collaboration with the Library in several areas. particularly initiatives that center on the merican Folklife Center's seminal Alan Lomax collecton of world music, song and dance recordings.

2018 National Heritage Fellows on-stage at the Library of Congress

AFC Announces New Research Guide on the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

The American Folklife Center (AFC) is proud to announce a new research guide, which highlights AFC collections related to the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The National Heritage Fellowship is the highest honor for the traditional arts in the United States. Since 1982, the award has recognized lifetime achievement among traditional artists and advocates for the traditional arts. On Friday, September 29, 2023, the American Folklife Center will be hosting a public ceremony to honor the 2023 recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship. Awardees of the 2020, 2021, and 2022 National Heritage Fellowship will also be celebrated, as the COVID-19 pandemic inhibited their in-person recognition. Find about about the new guide and the ceremony in this blog post!

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Work in Progress: New Story Map on the AFC’s Occupational Folklife Collections

Posted by: Michelle Stefano

We are excited to announce the new Library story map, Work in Progress: The American Folklife Center’s Occupational Folklife Collections, which explores the many collections in the AFC archives dedicated to documenting “occupational folklife,” or work culture, and people’s work-related histories and experiences in places across the country. Check out the Work in Progress story …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Remembering the Life and Work of Tony Barrand: The 2003 Interview [Part 4]

Posted by: Stephen Winick

In this post, we continue presenting Jennifer Cutting’s 2003 interview with Tony Barrand, a singer, dancer, academic, writer, teacher, historian, folklorist, curator, producer, and festival organizer, who died on January 29. Barrand donated the Anthony Grant Barrand Collection of Morris, Sword, and Clog Dancing (AFC 2003/005) to AFC in 2003. This post is the fourth in a series of four posts, each of which will present a portion of the interview. In this post, Cutting and Barrand discuss the effect multiple sclerosis had on Barrand’s life and work, as well as his career from the mid 1980s until 2003 when the interview took place. It is being published on April 3, 2022, which would have been Barrand's 77th birthday.

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Remembering the Life and Work of Tony Barrand: The 2003 Interview [Part 1]

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The American Folklife Center mourns the passing of Anthony Grant "Tony" Barrand, a singer, dancer, teacher, and folklorist who donated the Anthony Grant Barrand Collection of Morris, Sword, and Clog Dancing (AFC 2003/005) to AFC in 2003. In addition to making this collection, Barrand has been a proponent of English folk traditions in America for more than 50 years. He was a longtime dancer as well as a singer and musician with the John Roberts and Tony Barrand duo, and with the quartet Nowell Sing We Clear. Barrand, who was born in Lincolnshire and continued growing up in Buckinghamshire, England, died on January 29, 2022 at age 76 in his adopted home of Marlboro, Vermont. The interview was recorded to audio and video tape and is in the AFC archive. This post is the first in a series of posts, each of which will present a portion of the interview in transcribed form.

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Caught My Ear: Dance Tunes in the National Jukebox from Collections by Cecil Sharp

Posted by: Stephanie Hall

Many divisions of the Library of Congress have fascinating collections that are closely related to folklife and that complement collections in the American Folklife Center. The Recorded Sound Section is a part of the Library that works closely with the American Folklife Center in a variety of important ways. Among their holdings are recordings related …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Chicago Blues and Jazz: A New Story Map on the Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Collection

Posted by: Michelle Stefano

In May, I wrote about a project that was keeping me busy, and providing a nice escape from the mental confines of my well-worn, Baltimore couch. While I cannot believe it is already August, I am happy to announce that the project is all set and ready to share! Chicago Blues and Jazz: Selections from …