What is the Oregon Folklife Network?

Dentalium hair ornaments2_TAAP project work_Minthorn

Umatilla Dentallium Hair Ornaments
Modesta Minthorn, 2012 TAAP Apprentice

The Oregon Folklife Network (OFN) serves as a hub for statewide folklife activities in partnership with our operational partners and community partners, including Oregon Tribes, community-based cultural organizations, museums, regional cultural alliances, local arts agencies, K12 schools, universities and colleges, and public libraries.

The OFN, Oregon’s Folk and Traditional Arts Program, represents a network of statewide culture and heritage partners that operate on state, regional, county, and community levels to document, support, preserve, and celebrate Oregon’s cultural traditions.

The OFN conducts folklife fieldwork and collaborates with communities, organizations, and Tribes to sponsor activities that increase public awareness of the significance of Oregon’s living cultural heritage.

OFN creates public programming and exhibits, enhances public collections, and connects resources across the state. This Network facilitates interactions among all partners, from culture keepers, Tribes, and communities to statewide supporters such as the University of Oregon to the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Heritage Commission, State Library, and Oregon Humanities.

The OFN…

  • …invests in traditional artists and empowers culture keepers to maintain, develop, and pass on their living heritage.
  • …creates new opportunities for folk artists to present their works to the public.
  • …provides a wide variety of accessible folklife programs for Oregonians.
  • …delivers technical assistance and professional development to organizations and communities interested in preserving, presenting, or promoting their cultural traditions.
  • …prepares the next generation of public folklorists through experiential learning and career opportunities.

Headquartered at the University of Oregon, the OFN is located in the Knight Library and administered by UO Academic Extension. The University also provides financial and collaborative support from the Folklore Program, Knight Library Special Collections & University Archives, Arts and Administration Program, the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School, Knight Library, Academic Affairs, and Academic Extension.

What Is Folklife?

Folklife encompasses the everyday knowledge, art, and lore passed within communities through imitation, conversation, and practice. Such arts, knowledge, and skills are rooted in the cultural life of a community whose members share a common language, ethnic heritage, religion, occupation, or geographic region.

Assistance and Consultations

In addition to the resources on this site, Oregon Folklife Network staff is ready and willing to consult with you or your organization about folk and traditional arts ideas, plans, and opportunities.

Assistance can range from a simple e-mail or phone conversation, to more in-depth consulting. Reimbursement for travel (at state rates) or staff time (at $25/hour) may be requested for consultations that require substantial time; however we make every effort to keep such costs to a minimum.

For assistance with folk & traditional arts, contact:

Riki Saltzman, Executive Director

Emily Afanador, Program Manager