|MacDowell at the Great Lakes Quilt Center of the MSU Museum|
Michigan State University Museum Curator of Folk Arts Dr. Marsha MacDowell has been named a fellow of the American Folklore Society (AFS), demonstrating outstanding accomplishments and making important contributions to the field of folklore.
Established in 1960, the Fellows of the American Folklore Society are folklorists who have produced a significant number of important articles, books, and other scholarly productions or exhibitions on folklore, and have provided meritorious service to the Society and the discipline of folklore studies. In addition to her substantial record of publications and exhibitions, MacDowell has served in a number of capacities within AFS, including as elected member of the AFS executive board.
MacDowell is also a professor in MSU's Art, Art History, and Design Department as well as a core faculty member in the College of Arts and Letters Museum Studies Program, where she serves as the program's internship coordinator and teaches future museum professionals curatorial, research, field work, exhibition and civic engagement work. Her research interests include South African quilt history; traditions of patchwork covers in China; quilts and health; the history and meaning of lau hala in Hawaiian culture; and the intersection of ethnography and museums in a digital age. She is the director of the Quilt Index, an international digital repository of stories, images, and other data related to quilts and their makers.
MacDowell has curated over 50 research-based interpretive exhibitions and festival programs as Michigan State University and is founding director of the MSU Museum's Great Lakes Folk Festival, a university-community partnership. As the Coordinator of the Michigan Traditional Arts Program since 1984, she has led many projects focused on Michigan traditional and cultural heritage.