Mid America


 Arkansas Arts Council supports folk arts grants and programs. Contact Robin McLea robinm@arkansasheritage.org or 501/324-9348.

Arkansas Folklife Program works in partnership with Arkansas State University and the    Arkansas Arts Council to provide research, consultation, programing, and technical assistance. Contact Mike Luster via mikeluster@gmail.com or 417/270-2321.

Arkansas State University’s Department of English and Philosophy offers courses in folklore, professional development for teachers, and sponsors the annual Delta Symposium.


CAPE, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education connects teachers and schools with artists and artistic resources, including folk arts and artists. Contact: 954 W. Washington, 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60607, 312/870-6140, cape@capeweb.org.

Chicago History Museum offers education resources and programs. Contact: 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614, 312/642-4600.

Company of Folk serves Illinois and Indiana and offers fieldwork, education projects, collaborations, and aid in grant writing.

Great Chicago Fire: The Web of Memory provides compelling stories and models for student fieldwork.

Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) offers support for Illinois’ folk, traditional, and ethnic artists and not-for-profit organizations through its various grants programs. Schools can apply to host a folk, traditional, or ethnic artist or group for an artist residency. Contact Susan Dickson, Program Director, 312-814-6740, or susan.dickson@illinois.gov. The Illinois Folk and Popular Music: A Guide to Archival Collections and the Illinois Mississippi River Valley Project Teacher’s Guide can be found on the IACA website here.

Old Town School of Folk Music holds a wide array of classes and concerts. Contact: 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625, 773/751-3323.

Susan Eleuterio is an independent folklorist, educator, and consultant to nonprofits who specializes in providing professional development for teachers in learning about the cultural communities of their schools and for folk, traditional, and fine artists on developing school curriculum and residencies. Contact Sueeleu@gmail.com, 219/902-1831, www.linkedin.com/in/susaneleuterio.

Urban Gateways: Center for Arts Education provides in-school arts residencies, after-school, and summer programs. Contact: 200 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60606, 312/922-0440,info@urbangateways.org.


The Iowa Arts Council no longer offers a Folklife Program, though resources for the program (1982-2012) can be found HERE and include multimedia resources for teachers and students, including the award-winning curriculum guides Iowa Folklife: Our People, Communities, and Traditions and Iowa Folklife, Vol. 2, plus audio portraits in Iowa Roots and Iowa Place-Based Foods. Contact: Matt Harris at matthew.harris@iowa.gov.

These Iowa Museums host a variety of local and educational programs. Contact them to learn more:
The Amana Heritage Society www.amanaheritage.org
The Czech and Slovak Museum & Library www.ncsml.org
The Vesterheim http://vesterheim.org
Museum of Danish America  www.danishmuseum.org


Crafting Sound: Indiana Instrument Makers is the web site for an exhibit profiling several instrument builders through the lenses of aesthetics, community, tradition, and creativity.

Heritage Education Resources, Inc., specializes in curriculum development, teacher training on integrating folklife across required curricula, and classroom presentations for grades K-12. Contact Jan Rosenberg, P.O. Box 39, Bloomington, IN 47402, 812/339-2180, janrosenberg@att.net.

Indiana Arts Commission is a partner for “Traditional Arts Indiana.” Contact: 100 N. Senate Ave., Room N505, Indianapolis, IN 46204, 317/232-1268, IndianaArtsCommission@iac.in.gov.

Indiana University Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology is a leading center for the study of traditional culture and expressive forms. Contact: 504 N. Fess, Bloomington, IN 47408, 812/855-1027, folkethn@indiana.edu.

Traditional Arts Indiana is a partnership of IU’s Folklore and Ethnomusicology Department and the Indiana Arts Commission to document, promote, and present Indiana’s traditional arts and artists. Services include support for K-12 educators. Contact: Jon Kay, 504 N. Fess Ave., Bloomington, IN 47408, 812/855-0418, tradarts@indiana.edu.


Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Contact: 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing, MI 48909, 517/241-4011, artsinfo@michigan.gov.

Michigan State University Museum’s Michigan Traditional Arts Program produces education materials for schools and community programs. Go to their online store to order educational publications, including the 4-H FOLKPATTERNS guides and Folk Arts in Education: A Resource Handbook, Vol. II. Contact: MSU Museum, East Lansing, MI 48824, 517/355-2370.

See how a Michigan school used Alan Lomax recordings from Michigan housed at the Library of Congress to create an immersive school project in the Journal of Folklore and Education article Questing with Alan Lomax: Michigan’s Historic Field Recordings Inspire a New Generation by Laurie Kay Sommers and Samuel Seth Bernard.


Missouri Arts Council is a partner for the Missouri Folk Arts Program. Contact: 815 Olive St., Suite 16, St. Louis, MO 63101, 314/ 340-6845, moarts@ded.mo.gov.

Missouri Folk Arts Program, is a program of the Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Missouri and the Missouri Arts Council, offering funding, residencies, and the curriculum guide Show-Me Traditions, winner of the 2011 AFS Folklore and Education Section Dorothy Howard Prize. Contact: Lisa Higgins, 115 Business Loop 70W, Room 2022, Mizzou North, Columbia MO 65211-8310, 573/882-6296, HigginsLL@missouri.edu.


The Hmong Museum offers educational curriculum for documenting Hmong voices and has educational programming around folk arts including textile and oral storytelling. Contact: hmongmuseum@gmail.com

The Minnesota State Arts Board offers a folk and traditional arts grant program that can support many kinds of traditional arts projects. Contact Rina Rossi, rina.rossi@arts.state.mn.us, 651-215-1612.

The Minnesota State Fiddlers Association is an organization which promotes traditional (North American) fiddle music through workshops, organized jam sessions and fiddle contests. Contact e-mail is: msfafiddlers@gmail.com


The Center for Folklore Studies is housed at Ohio State University and includes a folklife archive. Contact: Cassie Patterson, 218 Ohio Stadium, 1961 Tuttle Park Place, Columbus, OH 43210, 614-292-1639 Office, patterson.493@osu.edu

Center for Food and Culture located in Bowling Green, OH, produces educational materials on food and culture. Contact: Lucy Long, Founder/Director

Cityfolk runs a jazz education initiative and concerts year round. Contact: 126 N. Main St., Suite 220, Dayton, OH 45402, 937/223-3655, cityfolk@dayton.net.

Ohio Traditions is produced by Cityfolk and the Ohio Arts Council to profile traditional artists, report on folk arts activities statewide, and publicize funding opportunities for folk artists and young people who want to develop skills in the folk arts.


The Nebraska Folklife Network (NFN), in partnership with Humanities Nebraska, creates multi-media cultural education trunks based on ethnic groups that live in Nebraska. Materials in the trunks include a teachers manual with lesson plans that address state educational standards and provides helpful background and engaging activities for students, music CDs, DVDs with excerpts from interviews with artists and other tradition bearers, books, maps, flags, recipe books, and other types of cultural artifacts. The NFN also has an online curriculum, Nebraska by Heart. This multidisciplinary resource features videos, music, photos, and other interactive content. Contact Gwen Meister, 920 O St., Suite 102, Lincoln, NE 68508, 402/420-5442, info@nebraskafolklife.org.

North Dakota

North Dakota Council on the Arts Folk Arts Program provides education resources and outreach. Contact: Troyd Geist, 1600 E. Century Ave., Bismarck, ND 58503, 701/328-7591, tgeist@nd.gov. With North Dakota State University Professor Emeritus Timothy Kloberdanz, Troyd Geist has compiled and edited a beautiful new book with hundreds of entries and images. Sundogs and Sunflowers: Folklore and Folk Art of the Northern Great Plains includes the work of many people over 30 years. To order, contact 701/328-7590 or comserv@nd.gov and to view a video promotion click here. NDCA documentaries produced in partnership with Prairie Public Broadcasting, the Bush Foundation, and the Spirit Room Gallery include lesson plans based on state standards and benchmarks. Schools and teachers are encouraged also to use these documentaries, lesson plans, and featured artists and the Artist-in-Residence and Teacher Incentive grant programs. Titles include A Lyrical Life: The Struggle and Hope of South Sudan, Turtle and Pretty Crane with Keith Bear, The Woman Who Turned Herself into Stone with Mary Louise Defender Wilson (see her Local Learning Artist Residency), and God Given: Cultural Treasures of Armenia.

South Dakota

The South Dakota Arts Council (www.artscouncil.sd.gov) has a Traditional Arts Program managed by a contract folklorist. They manage a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant program, conduct fieldwork, and produce public programs. Contact folklorist Andrea Graham at graham.andrea.m@gmail.com, or SDAC Director Patrick Baker at patrick.baker@state.sd.us, phone 605-773-5507.


Documentary Arts produces books for young people, education guides, and the NEA National Heritage Fellowships DVD-Rom, including The Masters of Traditional Arts Education Guide. TheEverday Music Education Guide is a companion to the young readers’ book, Everyday Music, Texas A&M Press. Contact: Alan Govenar, P.O. Box 140244, Dallas, TX 75214, alan@docarts.com.

Texas Folklife hosts exhibits, touring programs, concerts, and school residencies such as Stories from Deep in the Heart, a radio documentary program, the Big Squeeze statewide accordion contest for youth, and the annual Accordion Kings and Queens concert. Contact: 1708 Houston St., Austin, TX 78756, 512/441-9255, info@texasfolklife.org.


Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Culture supports education projects and the “Teachers of Local Culture” network. See “How We Did It” in the Hmong Cultural Tour to find free downloads of Teacher’s Guide to Local Culture and Kids’ Field Guide to Local Culture.

Wisconsin Arts Board has a strong folk arts in education program. Contact: Kaitlyn Berle, 201 W. Washington Ave., 2nd Floor, Madison, WI 53703, (608) 266-8106, kberle@travelwisconsin.com

Wisconsin Folks is produced by the Wisconsin Arts Board to highlight over 70 folk artists around the state. Engaging components include student activities tied to state standards and multimedia artists’ profiles plus classroom residency information.

Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture is a statewide network of educators dedicated to infusing local culture into the school curriculum. Online you will find examples of local culture projects as well as links to folklife education resources.

Wisconsin Weather Stories combines folklore and scientific knowledge as an online education resource.