A blog sponsored by the Michigan State University Museum's Michigan Traditional Arts Program, a partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Sharing news and information about the Great Lakes Folk Festival, Quilt Index, the MSU Museum's traditional arts activities, Great Lakes traditional artists and arts resources, and much more. Development of content for this blog supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

National News


In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation to establish the land-grant university system and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Today, the land-grant mission of "knowledge with public purpose," is evident in research, learning and community engagement projects that make the world safer, healthier and more sustainable. The 2012 Folklife Festival program "Campus and Community: Public and Land-grant Universities and the USDA at 150" celebrates 150 years of partnership between universities, the USDA and communities.

The Festival takes place Wednesday, June 27, through Sunday, July 1, and Wednesday, July 4, through Sunday, July 8, outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. All events are free, and the Festival is co-sponsored by the National Park Service.

"Campus and Community" will focus on four themes that reflect the current work of public and land-grant universities and the USDA: reinventing agriculture, sustainable solutions, transforming communities and building on tradition. Each theme area of the program will allow visitors to interact with university and USDA staff, professors, students and community members highlighting exciting research and engagement projects. From master gardeners to Hawaiian traditional healing, from managing invasive species to helping communities recover from natural disasters, the program will cover an array of ways universities and the USDA put research to action every day.

The program will also feature Smithsonian U., where visitors can listen to short informative talks by master teachers; the Test Kitchen, which will include cooking demonstrations using ingredients raised or researched at agricultural experiment stations; The Commons, an area promoting dialogue about important issues affecting universities, the USDA and communities; The Justin S. Morrill Performing Arts Center, a large stage where student groups and other regional groups will showcase world class music and dance, from mariachi to Hawaiian hula; the Learning Laboratory Family Activities Center, where families can experience hands-on art and science activities; and Alumni Hall, an area for graduates of public and land-grant universities and USDA programs to reconnect with each other and share memories.

More than 25 land-grant and public universities will participate in this year's Festival, including consortia of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges in the land-grant system, and Hispanic Serving Institutions.

C. Kurt Dewhurst, director of arts and cultural initiatives for UO&E and curator of folklife and cultural heritage at the MSU Museum, is co-curating the "Campus and Community" program. The Smithsonian program will be recreated on a smaller scale as a featured part of the MSU Museum's 2012 Great Lakes Folk Festival, Aug. 10-12 in downtown East Lansing. The MSU Museum is Michigan's first Smithsonian affiliate.

Learn more: http://www.festival.si.edu/2012/campus_and_community/