It’s been a busy time here at the Michigan Traditional Arts Program and regretfully we weren’t able to keep our Great Folks readers up to date with so many ongoings. But today on #FolkloreThursday, I’d love to fill you in on some exciting things that MTAP staff have undertaken and interesting news flashes from around Michigan.
In mid-September, MTAP Coordinator and MSU Museum Folk Arts Curator Dr. Marsha MacDowell was a key organizer for a Folk and Traditional Arts Preconference at the National State Arts Agencies Assembly that happened in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This was a gathering of folk arts program coordinators from across the US that focused on significant and emerging issues these programs are facing: racism and xenophobia, and arts and aging.
In late September, a meet-up for advocates of Michigan fiddle music took place at the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (MSU). This was organized by MTAP in collaboration with the Michigan Folklore Society. It was a successful preliminary meeting that gathered musicians, community organizers, and scholars to discuss what issues are pertinent to the vitality of fiddling in Michigan. We hope to continue these meetings and build networks of communication amongst advocates.
|Notes from the September Meet-Up|
The MTAP team is working on a new website! It will be more user-friendly and have a host of great resources about traditional arts and everyday culture in Michigan. Keep your eyes out for the debut of our new website in the coming months.
**We are soliciting applications to the Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program and nominations for the Michigan Heritage Awards. The deadline to apply to both programs is December 1st. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. We look forward to reading your application or nomination!**
MTAP is excited to announce that we have some new fieldworkers on board for 2017. Our research will focus on vernacular dance forms, hammered dulcimer playing and building, fiddle music, instrument building, and some aspects of material culture related to water. Glimpses of fieldwork will be featured on this blog, the MSU Museum Instagram, the MTAP Facebook, and MTAP Youtube.
From around the MSU Museum:
- Dr. Laurie Sommers won the 2016 Dorothy Howard Prize for lesson plans on Michigan’s Folksong Legacy she created for the Association for Culture Equity. The Dorothy Howard Prize is awarded by the American Folklore Society Folklore and Education Section and recognizes work that effectively encourages K-12 educators or students to use or study folklore and folkloristic approaches in all educational environments. Congrats to Laurie!
- A new exhibition of quilts, “The Unbuntutu Legacy of Love and Action,” was debuted this month in South Africa. For more info on key MSU Museum organizers and partners check out this press release.
From around Michigan:
- Sally Potter of Lansing, MI was awarded the 2016 Folk Tradition in the Midwest Lifetime Award from Folk Alliance Region Midwest. Every year Sally organizes the Community Sing at the Great Lakes Folk Festival.
- MSU Professor Elizabeth LaPensée designed an iPad game, Honour Water, that is an Anishnaabe singing game for healing water.
- November is Native American Heritage Month. Check out this flyer for events happening all month in the Lansing area.
Keep your eyes out for new blog posts updated on Thursdays for #FolkloreThursday. Here's a neat clip about bones player Percy Danforth who was from Ann Arbor, Michigan to take us out on: