Season’s Greetings and Winter Office Hours


The semester’s end is quickly approaching and everyone at the Kentucky Folklife Program would like to wish wish you a ‘Happy Holidays!’ We are looking forward to sharing new events, programs, and more with you in 2018.

Please note, Western Kentucky University (and so the Kentucky Folklife Program) is closed for winter break from December 14th through January 1, 2018.  We’ll resume normal business hours on January 2nd.  See you in the new year!

Higher Ground at Appalachian Studies Conference


Higher Ground representing Harlan County, KY at the Appalachian Studies Association Conference with their hilarious and moving performance Life is Like a Vapor, a community based theater production based on local oral histories. For more information about Higher Ground and all of their projects, visit their website. #kyfolklife #higherground #kentucky #harlan #harlancounty from Instagram:

Spotlight on: Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Oral History Project


“It wasn’t the burger so much as it was the sauce.” — Georgia Davis Powers talks about growing up in Louisville, KY, about serving as the first woman and first person of color in KY’s State Senate, and about owning a restaurant and coin laundry in this oral history interview led by Nieta Wigginton. Powers bought the restaurant and coin laundry to supplement her income from her job in the State Senate. The restaurant — aptly named Senator’s Restaurant — was known for its Senator Burger and for that special sauce. For more oral history interviews with important players in the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky, check out the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Oral History Project.
#kyfolklife #oralhistory #civilrights #blackhistorymonth

Remembering Alan Jabbour


It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of our dear friend, colleague, and mentor, Alan Jabbour. Jabbour was a champion in the field of folklore who made strides for the inclusion of folk and traditional arts on a national platform. Notably, Jabbour was the head of the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress before moving on to become the director of the folk arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts. Eventually, Jabbour went on to become the founding director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Jabbour is known for his work documenting the songs of old-time musicians and was an accomplished fiddler in his own right. He is also noted for his contributions to vernacular architecture through his work with Traditional Cultural Properties.
In 2013, the Kentucky Folklife Program and WKU’s Department of Folk Studies & Anthropology were lucky enough to host Jabbour, along with Ken Perlman on the banjo, for a concert in our Pioneer Log Cabin. Jabbour’s passing is certainly a great loss to our field of folklore, but his legacy will no doubt live on through his work and through those he mentored and encouraged along the way.