Each year the Oregon Folklife Network applies for National Endowment for the Arts funding to continue its ongoing statewide Folklife Survey. As Oregon’s Folk & Traditional Arts Program, the OFN conducts this research in order to identify outstanding folk artists, to engage with communities, organizations, and Tribes, and to increase public awareness about Oregon’s living cultural heritage. Each year, OFN fieldworkers survey a different region to document the diverse cultures and individuals who make up Oregon.
During the survey, fieldworkers identify artists and tradition keepers to add to our Culture Keepers Roster, an online curated resource for local festivals, parks, schools, and library programs seeking performers, demonstrators, and speakers. Fieldworkers refer master artists of excellent skill to the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, where they may earn funds to become mentors and pass on their knowledge. The research also results in public programs in these local communities, with the option for Regional Collaboration Partnerships designed to fund local artist opportunities. OFN preserves all survey research and shares what is releasable to the public through the University of Oregon Archives.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States. Funding these new projects like the one from Oregon Folklife Network represents an investment in both local communities and our nation’s creative vitality.”
This work is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Folk and Traditional Arts Program with further support from OFN's Operational Partners.
2014 Fieldworkers Douglas Manger and LuAnne Kozma travelled to Eastern Oregon to document folklife in Klamath, Malheur, Lake, and Harney Counties, including the Burns Paiute and Klamath Tribes. Many of the artists they documented are listed on the Roster or have served as TAAP master artists.
2015 Fieldworkers Nancy Nusz and Deborah Fant travelled to the Columbia Gorge to document folklife in Morrow, Umatilla, Hood River, Wasco, Jefferson, Sherman, and Gilliam Counties, including the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and Confederated Tribes of Umatilla.
2016 Fieldworkers Douglas Manger and Joseph O’Connell travelled to Eastern Oregon to document folklife in Union, Wallowa, Baker, Grant, Wheeler, Crook, and Deschutes Counties.
2017 Fieldworkers Nancy Nusz, Douglas Manger, and Makaela Kroin traveled to the Portland Metro Area to document folklife in Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, and Yamhill Counties.
2018 Southern Willamette Valley counties of Polk, Marion, Linn, Benton, and Lane.
2019 Northern Coast Counties of Clatsop, Tillamook, and Lincoln including Confederated Tribes of Siletz, and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.
2020 Southwest Coast and Rogue Valley counties of Coos, Curry, Josephine, Jackson and Douglas, including Coquille Tribe, Confederated Tribes of Coos, Siuslaw and Lower Umpqua, and Cow Creek band of Umpqua Tribe.
Through its grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity.