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Group of experts on longevity standing in courtyard.

Now Available: Webcast of Longevity Panel Discussion and New Responses to Audience Questions

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

In February 2024, the American Folklife Center and the Health Services Division organized a panel discussion on longevity with experts in public health and the traditional arts. This post provides a webcast of the event and provides responses to audience questions that were unanswered, due to time constraints, during the event.

A green face surrounded by leaves and flowers.

The Green Man in the Modern World

Posted by: Stephen Winick

In the last entry in our series on the Green Man, we look at this figure from folklore as people encounter it in the modern world, including its appearances in art, music, performance, and spiritual practice. We especially look at enactments of the Green Man as they occur in the folk revival, renaissance faires, and faerie festivals. Following other scholars, we suggest that the Green Man in modern contexts often suggests creative resistance to environmental destruction, the modern, and the mundane. The post includes many photos of Green Man enactments and artworks.

Group of people laying long poles across lit barbecue pit in ground

Caught My Eye: Buckaroos and Barbecues

Posted by: Allina Migoni

This is a guest blog post by Drew Holley, a master's student in the Folklore Studies program at Utah State University with a particular interest in food and film. Drew completed his internship at the American Folklife Center earlier this year. Today’s blog will showcase foodways collections (traditions and practices surrounding food) found at the American Folklife Center.

Image of pages from rare book that illustrates use of mulitple typefaces.

“Yet We Desire to Rejoice…in Our Own Language”: Munsee Religious Texts in the Library of Congress

Posted by: John Fenn

The following is a guest post by Meg Nicholas, Folklife Specialist at the American Folklife Center. In this post, Nicholas details her search for materials related to the Lenape people at the Library of Congress. Nicholas is the newest member of the AFC staff. Read more about her here:

A collage of portraits of each of the six artists and groups featured in the Singing in Solidarity video compilation

Singing in Solidarity: Women’s Voices Celebrate Labor Day

Posted by: Michelle Stefano

In celebration of Labor Day, we wanted to honor the contributions of women to all forms of labor, of both the past and present, and what better way to do that than through song. So we started looking back at our Homegrown Concert videos, of which many are available online, as well as our Archive Challenge series and other documented performances, to create a special concert video. The result is this compilation of performances by Thea Hopkins, the women's ensemble Ialoni, Martha González, Rachel Sumner and Traveling Light, Piper Hayes, and the group Windborne. They all feature the voices of women, with the support of their male colleagues. Watch and read about the Singing in Solidarity video in this post!

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

Caught My Ear: The Lullaby That Came to Symbolize the Exodus of Cuba’s Children

Posted by: Stephen Winick

During her internship here at the American Folklife Center, Elisa Alfonso had the opportunity to explore many wonderful digital collections here at the Library of Congress. In particular she found many versions of a Spanish-language lullaby, “Señora Santana,” and noted fascination variations among versions, suggesting that a version collected primarily from Cuban Americans has become a vessel through which migrants talk about the sensations of trauma and loss that come with childhood forced migration. Read her observations, and hear several versions of the song, in her guest post.

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

Folklorist John Vlach 1948-2022

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The American Folklife Center is very sad to pass on news of the death of John Michael Vlach, an eminent folklorist who specialized in the study of folk art and vernacular architecture. Vlach was a longtime professor at George Washington University, where he served as director of the Folklife Program, chair of the American Studies Department, Director of Graduate Studies, and Professor of American Studies and Anthropology. At GWU he trained generations of folklore and folk art scholars, including members of the American Folklife Center staff. Other members of our staff filled in for Vlach, teaching courses at GWU while he was on leave. The American Folklife Center staff will miss John, and we send our condolences to his widow Beverly Brannan, their two daughters, his family, and his many friends and students. This blog post contains an obituary provided to AFC by Vlach's family.

Advertisement for November 10th event at 7PM - "Join the Library of Congress and Modern Warrior Live" with photos of veterans performing

Live! At the Library: Honor Veterans’ Stories with Modern Warrior Live

Posted by: Kerry Ward

The following is a guest blog post by liaison specialist Owen Rogers. On November 10, 2022, the eve of Veterans Day, join the Library of Congress Veterans History Project for a performance of Modern Warrior Live, a powerful jazz and spoken word performance chronicling the journey from combat to catharsis. The Cleveland-based organization is a …

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

Announcing the AFC’s 2022 Homegrown Foodways in Central New Jersey Film Series

Posted by: Michelle Stefano

The following is a guest post by folklorist Sally Van de Water, Folklife Programs Manager, Division of Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Arts Institute of Middlesex County, New Jersey. The post introduces AFC’s Homegrown Foodways in Central New Jersey film series, a collaboration with Van de Water and colleagues at the Division of Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Arts Institute of Middlesex County.