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AFC and VHP Collections Featured in the New Exhibition, “Collecting Memories: Treasures from the Library of Congress” in the New David M. Rubenstein Treasures Gallery

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

On June 13th, a new exhibition titled, “Collecting Memories: Treasures from the Library of Congress,” opened to the public in the new David M. Rubenstein Treasures Gallery in the Thomas Jefferson Building. This post highlights items from the collections of the American Folklife Center and the Veterans History Project featured in the exhibition.

Image of janitor Rubi Andazola, custodial lead at University of Colorado Boulder. Photograph by Cynthia Torres. 2021.

Custodians and Janitors: New Occupational Folklife Project Collection Launched!

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

In this post, Nancy Groce (Senior Folklife Specialist at the American Folklife Center) highlights "Custodians and Janitors in Colorado" -- a new collection available from the American Folklife Center's Occupational Folklife Project. The collection, documented by Cynthia Torres, features interviews about the occupational culture and experiences of custodians and janitorial workers in the state of Colorado. The post gives an overview of the collection and features an interview with Torres about her field research. Torres was awarded an Archie Green Fellowship by the American Folklife Center in 2021 to undertake research for this collection.

Two interviewers with interviewee, standing in the streets of New Orleans.

COVID Recollections: “People Make the World Move”- Pandemic Stories from New Orleans-Area Service and Hospitality Workers

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

In this post, guest authors Sara T. Bernstein and Elise Chatelain, members of Dismantle Media and Culture Alliance, describe their experiences documenting the COVID-19 experiences of service and hospitality workers in New Orleans as part of the American Folklife Center's COVID-19 American History Project. This post is the first in a new Folklife Today blog series titled, "COVID Recollections." The series features stories, dispatches, and reflections from the COVID-19 American History Project, a Congressionally funded initiative to create an archive of Americans' experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic at the American Folklife Center.

Head and Shoulders portrait of a man

Botkin Folklife Lectures Plus: Barry Jean Ancelet on Theory and Practice of Folklore in Cajun and Creole Louisiana

Posted by: Stephen Winick

In this post, we'll feature a Botkin Lecture classic: Barry Jean Ancelet, Professor Emeritus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, speaking on Theory and Practice of Folklore in Cajun & Creole Louisiana. As usual, this blog features videos of both the lecture and an interview with Barry Jean Ancelet. As you'll hear John Fenn say in introducing our speaker, we have presented many eminent colleagues in the Botkin series, but few of them have made as significant an impact on the documentation, public awareness, and revitalization of their chosen areas of interest as Professor Ancelet has for Cajun and Creole culture in Louisiana. Even fewer of them have been officially knighted by the government of France for their efforts. Those are just a few of the reasons we're delighted to present his lecture in our series.

Leah Chase, owner of the renowned Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans being interviewed at her establishment.

Now Available: The Fifth Season of the America Works Podcast

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

Season 5 of America Works, a podcast from the American Folklife Center (AFC) celebrating the diversity, resilience, and creativity of American workers, is now available on loc.gov/podcasts. In this post, Nancy Groce, AFC Senior Folklife Specialist, explains what we will hear in Season 5, focused on African American workers.

Screenshot of Archive Activation wesbite

American Folklife Center Launches COVID-19 Archive Activation Page with StoryCorps

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

This post celebrates the launch of Archive Activation, a website to empower anyone with an internet connection to share their COVID-19 experiences, or interview someone else about their COVID-19 story. Submitted stories will then be deposited into archives of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, creating a diverse archive of American experience during this tumultuous time in our national history. Archive Activation is a collaboration between the American Folklife Center and StoryCorps.

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!

Head and shoulders portrait of a man

Homegrown Plus: Shaker Spirituals in Maine with Brother Arnold Hadd, Kevin Siegfried, and Radiance

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Welcome back to Homegrown Plus! We're continuing with a program of Shaker Spirituals in Maine with singer Brother Arnold Hadd, composer Kevin Siegfried, and the choral group Radiance. Like other blogs in the Homegrown Plus series, this one includes a concert video, a video interview with one of the singers, and connections to Library of Congress collections.  However, this interview was extensive, and therefore we're presenting it in two separate videos!  We hope that together the videos will give you a deeper understanding of the tradition of Shaker Spirituals.

Head and shoulders portrait of a woman

Homegrown Plus: Neli Andreeva’s Traditional Songs from Bulgaria

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Since it's Women's History Month, we thought we'd get back into the Homegrown Plus series with Neli Andreeva! Like other blogs in the Homegrown Plus series, this one includes a concert video and a video interview with the featured performer, plus links and connections to Library of Congress collections. Master traditional Bulgarian singer Neli Andreeva grew up in the resort of Narechen in the majestic Rhodope Mountains. She is a soloist as well as choirmaster of the Philip Koutev Folklore Ensemble, and has also been artistic director of the Nusha vocal ensemble. In this concert, Neli performs as a soloist, with choirs, and with instrumental accompaniment, for a varied program of traditional song.