PROJECTS

Since 1979, the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program has documented the traditional cultures of the state. Some were conducted in collaboration with other agencies and organizations. Below is a list of past and current projects .

  • Baton Rouge Folklife Survey- a project to document the traditions and art forms of Louisiana's capitol city.
  • Delta Folklife Project started with a survey and field school and included festival presentation and resulted in Delta Pieces: Northeast Louisiana Folklife.
  • New Populations: Immigrant and Refugee Communities in Louisiana - a project to document the traditions and art forms of Louisiana's newest communities who include foreign-born community members. The Open Doors Mentoring Program grew out of the New Populations research and provided training to nine immigrant organizations.
  • Louisiana Quilt Documentation Project - a project to identify and document quilt makers and their quilts made in Louisiana from the days of earliest settlement of the state to the present. It was directed by Susan Roach from 2001 until 2009 when she served as the Regional Folklorist at Louisiana Tech University.
  • Louisiana Folklife Survey, an ongoing project to document traditional artists and communities with special focus on regions not previously documented, such as the Florida parishes or the northeast Louisiana Delta parishes. A survey form is available for anyone who would like to document an individual or conduct a project.
  • The Creole State Exhibit, an exhibit with more than 200 artifacts that was located in the Louisiana State Capitol from June 1985 until June 2002. The artifacts are now on loan to the Louisiana State Museum. Some are on exhibit at the new State Museum in Baton Rouge and others are in storage. All are included in the virtual exhibit.
  • In the Wake of the Hurricanes Research Coalition, A coalition of scholars and the public interested in documenting the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita began a landmark cooperative effort to provide a framework for comparing data collected from independently funded projects.
  • Award Winning Louisiana Folk Artists, a list of folk artists that have won awards from the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Louisiana Regional Folklife Program - Provided professional folklorists from December 1998 until June 2009 in three of five regions to document folk traditions and artists and assist community groups present their folk traditions to the public. This program is no longer funded.
  • Louisiana Voices Folklife in Education Project - Provides lesson plans to use in K-12 classrooms. In the past, professional development for K-12 educators was offered through workshops, institutes, and classroom support.
  • Louisiana Folklife Photo Gallery - Provides photos of Louisiana traditions. Many include photo essays about the tradition.
  • Louisiana Folklife Articles and Essays - Provides dissemination of documentation about Louisiana cultural groups and traditions from many sources. Many are from the Louisiana Folkore Miscellany, a publication of the Louisiana Folklore Society.
  • Louisiana Folk Regions - Maps showing the major subregions and ethnic groups in Louisiana. The data was compiled by Maida Owens based on Spitzer, Kniffen, Knipmeyer, Newton, Gregory, and Roach. Cartography by Greg Wirth.
  • Louisiana Folklife Recording Series (LFRS) documents traditional musicians and storytellers otherwise unlikely to be recorded by commercial labels such as African-American work songs, old time Cajun and country music.
  • The Louisiana Storytelling Project started with recording tales at festivals and resulted in a book, video,and website, all entitled Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana.
  • Keeping It Alive: Cultural Conservation Through Apprenticeship, A Review of the Louisiana Folklife Apprenticeship Program , a publication now online.
  • Louisiana Folklife: A Guide to the State. Published in 1985 and now out of print, this publication remains an important resource for anyone researching Louisiana folklife. Some articles are now online. It is also available in most Louisiana public libraries.

At times, the Folklife Program collaborates with other organizations to produce projects. When the Folklife Program initiates projects in partnership with another organization, the program is considered the co-producer or co-publisher and shares copyright as appropriate. These have included:

  • Louisiana Folklife Database. The Folklife Program collaborated with the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University to make information collected about Louisiana folk artists and traditions available. The database is now housed with the Folklife Program and provides a means for organizations doing public folklife programming to use the findings of the Louisiana Folklife Survey. The Louisiana Folklife Center has produced the website, Louisiana Folk Artist Biographies with the information gathered with the database. The Louisiana Folklife Center also produces the Natchitoches/NSU Folk Festival.
  • Louisiana Folklife Festival. Since 1984, the Louisiana Folklife Festival worked closely with the Folklife Program to present Louisiana's folk traditions and artists. After being held in New Orleans (1984), Baton Rouge (1985-87), Eunice (1988-9, 1991) and Kenner (1990), the festival was hosted by the City of Monroe until 2005.
  • Florida Parishes Folklife Project, 1983-1989. This collaboration with the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies at Southeastern Louisiana University consisted of a conference, survey, festival, exhibit at the Hammond Cultural Foundation, and finally the publication, Folklife in the Florida Parishes.