Oregon’s folklife education and programming enters new era at UO

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Oct. 27, 2010) - A new direction for the state's folklife programs and services is underway at the University of Oregon with the founding of the Oregon Folklife Network.

Envisioned as a hub of museums, tribal organizations, libraries, state agencies, academic programs and artists, the Oregon Folklife Network (OFN) goes beyond a research-based archive as it plans for public events, apprenticeship programs, documentation, scholarship and teaching. Shayla Frank at the Museum at Warm Springs. Photo by Evaline Patt.

Two academic programs at the UO, the Folklore Program and the Arts and Administration Program, along with the UO Libraries Special Collections division are the key university partners. An initial investment by the Oregon Cultural Trust of $50,000 is making the transition and establishment of the OFN at the UO possible.

"By having the hub of the Oregon Folklife Network at the University of Oregon, students will be integral to the extensive network of arts and cultural organizations in Oregon that are committed to sustaining Oregon's cultural heritage," says Doug Blandy, UO professor of arts and administration and cofounder of the OFN. Lisa Gilman, associate professor and director of the UO folklore program is serving as cofounder and director of the Oregon Folklore Network.

In the Oregon Arts Commission's 2009 report, "Plan for the Oregon Folklife Network," prepared by community arts consultant Bill Flood, helping people understand and celebrate their own cultures and the cultures of others is one of the benefits of a healthy statewide program. Bill Ivey, guest speaker, Nov. 18

The first major event of the Oregon Folklife Network is a keynote lecture and symposium on public sector folklore in the 21st century, Nov. 18 and 19 at UO in Eugene. Bill Ivey, former director of the National Endowment for the Arts and current director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, will give a public lecture at 7 p.m. Nov. 18, at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, 1430 Johnson Lane. His lecture is based on his recent book, "Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights."

A symposium from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 19, at the Many Nations Longhouse, 1630 Columbia St., will include leaders in arts, culture and heritage programming and members of the community. According to Gilman, participants will discuss approaches and strategies that can ensure that the Oregon Folklife Network can be vibrant, relevant and sustainable given the cultural, political and economic realities of the 21st century.

OFN is supported with funding from the Oregon Arts Commission and the UO's Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Education, as well as the UO College of Arts and Sciences, the UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts, and the UO Libraries.

Contact: Karen Johnson, A&AA external relations and communications, 541-346-3603, karenjj@uoregon.edu

Sources: Lisa Gilman, director, Folklore Program, 541-346-3911, lmgilman@uoregon.edu; Doug Blandy, professor, arts administration, dblandy@uoregon.edu, 541-346-3631; Emily Afanador, manager, Oregon Folklife Network, ofn@uoregon.edu

Link: http://aaablogs.uoregon.edu/ofn/