Kentucky Folklife Program receives NEA grant to further statewide outreach project

The Kentucky Folklife Program, in the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology at WKU, has been awarded $20,000 by the National Endowment for the Arts to further its Kentucky Folklife Network magazine project and continue its efforts to work with community scholars and others involved in community-based documentation to share their cultural research statewide. 

“It is an honor for the KFP to be recognized again by the NEA for our work helping to share the voices of Kentuckians from across the Commonwealth,” said Kentucky Folklife Program Director Brent Bjorkman. “Last year with funding from the NEA and the efforts of our KFP team, a Kentucky Folklife Network and digital platform were created, and so far we have produced two editions of the magazine. This grant will allow us to continue to seek and publish important research by community scholars and regional documentarians which shines a light on the diverse cultural landscape of our state.”

The Kentucky Folklife Program’s project is among 1,073 projects across America totaling nearly $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Western Kentucky University’s Kentucky Folklife Program,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Elders. “The Kentucky Folklife Program is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year.”

Founded in 1989 as an inter-agency partnership between the Kentucky Historical Society and Kentucky Arts Council, KFP moved to its current home at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in 2012. Now housed in the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology at WKU, KFP is physically located in the Pioneer Log Cabin on WKU’s campus. The Kentucky Folklife Program has remained focused on folklife and traditional arts projects as we continue to understand the evolving needs of local constituents throughout Kentucky, those who have a crucial stake in documenting the folk traditions of their regions. With our vantage point at WKU, KFP is always exploring exciting and innovative partnership opportunities with other organizations, universities, and folklife programs throughout the nation.

For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news. For more about The Kentucky Folklife Program at WKU, visit https://kentuckyfolklife.org/, or to read the first two editions of the online magazine Kentucky Folklife,  visit: https://kyfolklifemag.org/

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