A guitar player with a friendly smile, wearing a festive hat and a traditional serape shawl.
Oregon Culture Keepers Roster
About the Oregon Culture Keepers Roster

Search the online Oregon Culture Keepers Roster—an ever-expanding, juried selection of folk and traditional artists—and connect with cultural experts documented through our regional surveys and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program.

Rostered artists and culture keepers can provide educational presentations, hands-on demonstrations, or performances to a variety of audiences. We recommend a fee of at least $250 plus travel expenses unless otherwise noted, for such appearances. We do not serve as a booking agent, so please contact the artists directly.

Search the roster by county or keyword to find

  • highly skilled traditional artists for your classroom,
  • storytellers for your library event,
  • cultural experts for your humanities program,
  • performers for your festival stage, or
  • craft artists for demonstrations.

Check back often—we regularly add new folk and traditional artists!


Interested in applying to be on the roster?

First, review OFN’s definition of a Culture Keeper:

  • A Culture Keeper is a folk or traditional artist, who actively practices, passes on, and preserves the living cultural traditions of the cultural community to which they belong and is recognized by that community. Folk and traditional arts do not include folk-inspired art, which is produced by individuals and groups who are not part of the cultural community that originally produced/created/developed the art form, even if the quality of the art is excellent.

Second, fill out and send in the application form and all required work samples.

Or contact us at 541-346-3820 | ofn@uoregon.edu for assistance.

Found 285 profiles.
 Alex Llumiquinga Perez stands in front of a microphone and displays a charango. He is wearing a brown, black, and white patterned poncho.
Andean Music and Musical Instrument Making
Alex Llumiquinga Perez (Otter Rock/Salem) is a traditional Andean musician and instrument maker. Perez, whose father gave him his first charango (10-stringed lute), has been passionate about music and instrument making his whole life.
Portrait of Acosia Red Elk in Pendleton, Oregon. She wears a black tank top on top of an orange tank top.
Jingle Dancing
Acosia Red Elk (Pendleton) is a jingle dancer of Umatilla, Cayuse and Walla Walla, Nez Perce and Colville heritage on her father’s side. Red Elk has been the World’s jingle dance champion seven times.
Alene Rucker sits at a dining room table and holds an example of her decorative wheat weaving. She is wearing a green t-shirt.
Wheat Weaving, Quilting
Alene Rucker (Arlington) is a wheat weaver and quilter. Rucker, who married a wheat farmer, learned to weave wheat in the 1970s from Sandra Greenfield. While now semi-retired, Rucker continues to teach wheat weaving in her local community.
Ali Esteghlalian stands outside in front of trees. He wears a black jacket on top of a white shirt.
Iranian/Persian Storyteller, Foodways
Ali Esteghlalian (Beaverton) is a Persian storyteller and traditional cooking instructor. He has spent years listening to his Persian/Iranian elders, recording their stories, and connecting his family traditions with those accounts. He is a master of Persian cuisine whose practice is informed by his family’s culinary traditions and his own international lifestyle and expertise. He has made it his mission to preserve, revive and showcase his family recipes.
Alice Smith sits on a beige armchair in her home in Vernonia, Oregon. She wears a white fleece collared sweatshirt.
Hand Quilting and Embroidery
Alice Smith (Vernonia) is a hand quilter, sewer, and embroiderer. An active member of Vernonia’s quilting community, Smith is a fourth-generation seamstress who has made over 200 quilts by hand.
Alice Trindle leads a white horse in an indoor arena. She is wearing a white hat, a brown vest, blue jeans, and cowboy boots.
Alice Trindle (Haines) is a horsemanship instructor who has been riding for as long as she can remember. Encouraged by her mentor to begin teaching at her ranch, she feels that passing on traditional horsemanship is her life’s calling.
Alseny Yansane stands against a white background with a logo. He wears a yellow headband and multicolored, patterned clothes.
Guinean Drumming and Dance
Alseny Yansane (Eugene) is a master dancer, drummer and culture bearer from Guinea, West Africa. Yansane, an Oregon Folklife Network Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program Master Artist in 2014, 2018, and 2020 acquired his skills training with a myriad of talented master artists and performing in many different groups in Conakry, Guinea's vibrant capitol. Yansane trained and performed with the world-renowned National Ballet of Guinea, Les Ballets Africains, for fourteen years and dazzled audiences all over the US, Canada, Bermuda, and Morocco while traveling with their elite touring company.
Portrait of Amara Sim in front of her Cambodian wedding clothing at Fina Salon in Beaverton, Oregon. She wears a black buttoned shirt.
Khmer Foodways
Amara Sim (Beaverton) is a traditional Khmer (Cambodian) chef. After learning to cook as a child in the Khao-I-Dang refugee camp in Thailand, Sim opened her own restaurant in the United States. She now focuses on catering traditional Cambodian dishes for the Cambodian community in the Portland Metro area.
Seamstress, Dressmaker, Needleworker (Crochet, Embroidery (el bordado))
Amelia Gonzalez (Medford) is a traditional seamstress and is known for her beautiful quinceañera, wedding, and folklorico ballet dresses. She also crochets and embroiders, skills she learned as a girl from her grandmother in Jalisco, Mexico. Gonzalez makes the dance costumes for Medford’s Ballet Folklorico Ritmo Allegre, which she's been doing since the late 1990s.
Amy Seymour stands in front of local history books and a wall of historical photographs of the Nestucca Bay Creamery. She wears a blue plaid collared t-shirt.
Dairy Farmer
Amy Seymour (Cloverdale) dairy farms and crafts custom cheeses. Seymour is a fourth-generation farmer; her great-grandfather came to homestead in the area in 1876. Her family is one of only 212 multi-generational dairy farm families in Oregon.
Andrea Luchese wearing a yellow dress and leaf leis. She is standing outside on the rocks with the ocean behind her.
Hawaiian Hula Dancing
Andrea Luchese (Ashland) is the Kumu Hula [master teacher] for Hālau Hula Ka Pi’o O Ke Ānuenue ("the arch of the rainbow"), a Hawaiian cultural dance school she formed in 2007. She has taught hula in her community since 2003, and in 2014 became an ‘uniki ("graduated") kumu hula, under Kumu Hula Raylene Haʻaleleʻa Kawaiaeʻa and Kumu Hula Keala Ching, both native Hawaiians, and the hula traditions of Halau ʻO Haʻaleleʻa and Na Wai ʻIwi Ola, respectively. This formal and rigorous training in the protocols and practices of hula granted her the kuleana ("responsibility") to steward and perpetuate these lineally-connected traditions. As a kumu hula, Andrea shares the spirit and tradition of hula through classes, workshops, retreats, and other educational programs for all ages and levels, as well as through performance events, both regionally and in Hawai’i. Her intention is to inspire, empower, and elevate through perpetuating the sacredness of Hawaiian hula and chant.
Andrew "Drew" Viles sits between strands of an unmade basket. He wears a red collared t-shirt.
Siletz Basket Weaver, Gay-yu (baby basket) Weaver, Storyteller
Andrew "Drew" Viles, PhD (Eugene) is a traditional basket weaver and storyteller who focuses specifically on gay-yu, Siletz cradle baskets; weaving cedar bark hats; and telling the traditional stories of the Siletz people. Viles, who is an instructor of Language, Literature, and Communication at Lane Community College, learned from elders to weave traditional baskets and carve canoe paddles as well as how to gather and process the natural materials to do so.
Andy Wong stands in his Portland restaurant and poses with an orange fruit dish with sauce. He wears a white chef's uniform.
Chinese Foodways
Andy Wong (Portland) is an internationally-recognized master Chinese chef. As a child, Wong developed a love for cooking standing at his mother’s side in the kitchen. He and his son now cook together in his Portland restaurant where he has trophy cases full of awards attesting to his culinary genius.
Ang Diki Sherpa stands in a kitchen and presents a paper tray of Nepalese momo dumplings covered with a yellow sauce. She wears a pink sweater, gray leggings, and a gray scarf with black cats on it.
Nepalese Foodways
Ang Diki Sherpa (Portland) is a Nepalese traditional cook and restaurateur. She makes traditional momos, a dumpling that many consider to be Nepal’s national food. Sherpa was born in Nepal and grew up cooking with her mother and grandmother.
Anita Menon stands and poses in front of a white wall. She wears a green, gold, and red sari.
Nattuvangam, Bharatha Natyam Dance
Anita Menon (Portland) is an accomplished Bharatha Natyam dancer, choreographer and Nattuvanar (cymbal player). She founded the Anjali School of Dance to provide training in the ancient Indian Classical Dance form of Bharatha Natyam.
Anne-Marie Urukundo stands and poses against a white wall. She wears a blue floral collared shirt.
Rwandan Embroidery
Anne-Marie Urukundo (Portland) practices traditional Rwandan embroidery, a craft she learned as a child from the grandmother who raised her, Asinati Mukarwera. Although finding time for embroidery can be a challenge in her busy life as a working mother, Urukundo relishes the time for the craft that she does have.
Anuradha Ganesh stands and poses in an expressive dance gesture against a tan wall. She wears a purple and green checkered sari.
Classical Indian Dance
Anuradha Ganesh (Beaverton) is a Kuchipudi dancer and teacher. Kuchipudi is one of the eight major Indian classical dances. Ganesh teaches more than 50 students from the ages of five to forty-five in her studio, Nartana School of Kuchipudi.
Arturo dressed in mariachi regalia, holding a trumpet.
Mariachi Musician
Arturo Zavala (Eugene), trumpet player, is a third-generation mariachi musician. Zavala’s father, a professional mariachi himself, taught his children to play. At an early age, Zavala and his brothers played professionally as a mariachi. Now an academic advisor at UO, Zavala continues to carry on his family legacy and celebrate his culture by playing locally with Mariachi Monumental. Zavala is a mariachi educator, very active in mentoring aspiring mariachi musicians in Oregon.
Awilda Medina Vazquez stands in Boriken restaurant in Beaverton, Oregon holding a handmade dita. She wears a dark purple tank top.
Puerto Rican Foodways
Awilda Medina Vazquez (Beaverton) is a traditional Puerto Rican chef. Born in Utuado, Puerto Rico, she and her husband now own and operates Boriken, a Puerto Rican restaurant in Beaverton. The restaurant serves traditional Puerto Rican dishes and occasionally features live Puerto Rican music.
Azar Salehi sits in a room with chairs and a table in the background with her hands clasped. She wears a black dress, black tights, and a yellow pendant.
Persian Storytelling & Poetry Recitation
Azar Salehi (Beaverton) is an Iranian-born Persian storyteller and reciter of poetry. She learned her craft from her aunt’s school of arts and has partnered with Portland State University and others to use the oral tradition to connect members of the Iranian diaspora to their roots.