Documenting Living Traditions
Cherokee language specialist Robert Bushyhead and colleagues record texts in the Cherokee syllabary. Bill Bamberger, photographer.
The recognition of art that springs from community experiences and values requires an acquaintance with people's stories, beliefs and ways of doing things.
A jam seesion on musician Red Wilson's front porch near Barkersville is recorded by workers for the Blue Ridge Music Trails project. Sally Council, photographer.
The appreciation of traditional art requires a grasp of the standards used by communities to evaluate the arts within their midst.
Folklife Program intern Melissa Johnson and Happy Valley farmer Hoy Moretz.
The understanding of a community's artistic traditions requires knowledge of the meanings they hold for the people who practice and use them.
Documentation forms the basis for the programs supported by the Folklife Program of the North Carolina Arts Council. Recorded by hand, audiotape or film, the conversations, interviews, demonstrations and performances that take place between artists, community members and documentarians provides the foundation for the successful recognition, presentation and preservation of North Carolina's living traditions.
The Folklife Program provides funding for folklife documentation through its Grants program. Folklife Program staff also develop documentation projects that bring public recognition and understanding to living traditions within North Carolina communities.