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Traditional & Folk Arts

The Traditional Arts Program of the Maine Arts Commission works with communities on strengthening and presenting their cultural traditions through apprenticeships, fellowships, program development and project support. Through direct support for artists as well as community-based projects, the program also brings recognition to those traditions that are so much a part Maine’ cultural landscape, whether it be Franco fiddling, Yankee boat building, Wabanaki ash basketry, Cambodian music or Sudanese dance.

Traditional arts hold great meaning in the everyday lives of individuals and communities. For example, in Maine’s growing immigrant and multi-lingual communities, being able to maintain cultural traditions in textile arts, music, dance and foodways can help navigate the challenges of establishing a new home. Passed down from one generation to the next, traditional arts are learned in an informal way, give and take way, usually through observation and example rather than through classes, books or formal instruction. Now celebrating its 24th year, the program acts as a kind of cultural aquifer, honoring elders as well as encouraging new artists to pass on their skills to future generations.

 

Traditional Arts Grants

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship and Traditional Arts Fellowship 

For more information please contact the Traditional Arts Specialist Kathleen Mundell.

207/287-6746 direct line, or kathleen.mundell@maine.gov