Who We Are

Brent Björkman, Director

Björkman’s initial connection to the world of folklore came as a student of material culture, ethnology, and traditional wood design at Västerberg Folk High school near Sandviken, Sweden. Upon returning to the U.S. in 1996 Björkman followed this practical application of material culture with a MA in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University. From 1998 through 2004 Björkman held the position of folklife specialist with the Kentucky Folklife Program. During this time he worked to facilitate much of the KFP’s ongoing programming which included fieldwork and documentation projects, a biennial state-wide folklife festival, a folklife project and folk art apprenticeship granting program, and educational outreach programs for teacher’s and community scholars. Björkman has also lent his voice as a public folklorist to many national and state organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts and National Council for the Traditional Arts, Southern Arts Federation, Northwest Folklife, the Maine Arts Commission, West Virginia Folk Art Apprenticeship Program, The Mississippi Arts Commission, the Illinois Arts Council and the Ohio Arts Council. In July of 2005 Björkman became the first Associate Director of the American Folklore Society based in Columbus, Ohio before taking the position of Executive Director of the Vermont Folklife Center in 2007. He held this position for five years before coming back to Kentucky in July of 2012 to assume the role of Director of the Kentucky Folklife Program as it begins its new life connected to the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology at Western Kentucky University.


Virginia Siegel, Folklife Specialist

2015.08.28_ virginia siegel _lewis-0001Siegel holds an MA in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University and a BFA in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design.  Her background work has included experience in museum, archive, and preservation non-profit settings and she is an AmeriCorps alumnus.  For her most recent initiative, Siegel received a research fellowship from WKU to conduct thesis work on New York City Puerto Rican casitas while completing her MA.  Her research was completed in cooperation with the American Folklore Society’s Working Group on Folklore and Historic Preservation Policy as well as Place Matters in New York City.


Ashley Edwards, Graduate Assistant


Nicole Musgrave, Graduate Assistant


General Contact Info for KFP:

Email: kyfolklife@wku.edu

Mailing Address:
237 Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center
Potter College of Arts and Letters
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #61029
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1029

Location:
Kentucky Folklife Program is located at the Pioneer Log Cabin on Western Kentucky University campus. Visit the link for directions and information on parking.

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