National Resources

Alliance for American Quilts recognizes quilts as historical works of art, capturing stories that should be documented and preserved. Online resources include quilt exhibits, interviews with quilters, preservation and documentation in Save our Stories, the journal Boxes Under the Bed, exhibits, and the comprehensive Quilt Index with detailed information on hundreds of American quilts.

American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress provides abundant digitized music, audio recordings, photographs, and document collections. Read A Commonwealth of Cultures to learn more about the discipline of folklore. Use the Teacher’s Guide to Folklife Resources to find free education resources. AFC’s Veterans History Project site allows users to hear and view veterans’ stories and provides kits for collecting local stories.

res_nationalAntonio de la Rosa,
Tejano conjunto Accordionist,
1998 NEA National Heritage Fellow

Photo by Alan Govenar

American Folklore Society was founded in 1888 and publishes the Journal of American Folklore and hosts an annual conference. The Education Section publishes an annual newsletter and awards the Dorothy Howard Folklore and Education Prize to work that encourages the study and use of folklore in school environments. Members do not have to join AFS to join the section, dues are $10 per year. Click here for the best practices guide, Incorporating K-12 Education and Folklore.

American Routes is public radio program hosted by folklorist Nick Spitzer, providing weekly forays into the rich traditional roots of American popular music. Archives include interviews with major musicians of many genres.

Americans for the Arts serves as an information and advocacy group for the arts and arts education and is the membership organization for local arts agencies.

ArtsEdge supports the placement of the arts at the center of the curriculum and advocates creative use of technology to enhance K-12 education. A program of the John F. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the site provides comprehensive lessons, articles, and resources for arts learning in all grade levels.

Arts Education Partnership is a coalition of education, arts, business, philanthropic, and government organizations promoting the essential role of arts education for enabling all students to succeed in school, life, and work. Find advocacy tools such as research reports, web resources, and information on past and future forums. Subscribe to the Arts Ed Digest, published electronically every two weeks. Contact: Arts Education Partnership, c/o Council of Chief State School Officers, One Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001, 202/326-8693,

Community Works is a network promoting deep community connections in education. Resources include summer institutes, workshops, and an online journal. Contact: Joe Brooks,

Davenport Films creates acclaimed American adaptations of Grimms’ Brothers fairytales for public television. Link to family folklore and other classroom resources from Willa: An American Snow White.

Folkstreams is a national preserve of folklore documentaries that stream for free online. The Educators Portal and Generations Portal are designed for classrooms as well as public programs.

Honky Tonks, Hymns, and the Blues provides educational background on many southern musical traditions. The site allows students to listen to radio shows and use study guides on technology and music, guitars, women and country music, gospel, and music of the U.S.-Mexican border.

Library of Congress has extensive resources for educators and students, including summer institutes, lesson plans, blogs, and more.

Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) is a link-tank connecting communities, scholars, practitioners, and government workers into collaboratories for bottom-up research and policy engagement. LiKEN nurtures collaborative research and planning to integrate culture, ecology, entrepreneurship, health, and other topics that matter to communities.

Masters of Traditional Arts is an online guide that links users to multimedia resources for 26 NEA National Heritage Fellows. Units of study such as Sense of Place, Sense of Wonder, Sense of Discovery and classroomactivities model how educators can develop lessons and incorporate regional folk artists into their teaching.

Music Educators National Conference is a national membership organization for music educators. Find online resources and information on annual meetings and advocacy. Contact: 1806 Robert Fulton Dr., Reston, VA 22091, 703/860-4000.

Music National Service is a nonprofit movement supporting music for the public good. This “musical Peace Corps” operates in several cities.

National Art Education Association supports visual art education through research, advocacy, and resources. Contact: 901 Prince St., Alexandria, VA 22314, 800/299-8321.

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) is the membership organization of the nation’s state and jurisdictional arts agencies. Identify your state arts council and find advocacy materials.

National Council for the Traditional Arts produces traditional music tours and nationwide folk arts festivals, including the National Folk Festival, which rotates to a new city every three years.

National Endowment for the Arts Folk and Traditional Arts Program supports folklorists around the nation, often through state arts agencies. They fund Local Learning and other folk arts in education initiatives nationwide. Find National Heritage Fellows from your region using the web site.

National Endowment for the Humanities spotlights exemplary education sites in the Edsitement portal and funds many teacher institutes. Each state has its own local humanities council.

National Museum of African American History and Culture will open on the National Mall in 2015, but its virtual presence includes online exhibitions and resources for educators and students.

National Park Service ParkNet is among NPS teaching resources related to culture and place, including Links to the Past and Teaching With Historic Places.

National Service Learning Clearinghouse links to resources such as articles, video and lesson plans that integrate community service to enrich children’s learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

Oral History Association offers online resources, annual meeting schedules, and useful links.

Promise of Place is a network of educators promoting place-based education. Online resources include curriculum and planning tools.

Public Broadcasting System resources include high-quality online lessons for a vast range of cultural documentaries.

Sing Out! preserves and supports traditional and contemporary folk music to encourage making folk music part of daily life.
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage features online teaching guides such as Masters of the Building Arts, the Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Guide, and Discovering Our Delta student and teacher guides. Online exhibits for students include Water Ways, Borders/Fronteras and The Silk Road.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings offers hundreds of recordings from around the world, an online magazine, and in Tools for Teaching find lesson plans and interactive features.

Teaching Tolerance of the Southern Poverty Law Center home of the Civil Rights Memorial, creates resources dedicated to reducing prejudice and advocating respect. They publish a magazine and provide other free materials for educators and students, many available online. Write on school letterhead to: 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104.

Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) promotes the research, study, and performance of music in all historical periods and cultural contexts. The web site offers abstracts, discographies, and bibliographies from the journal Ethnomusicology.

What Kids Can Do is a national nonprofit networking school reform, youth development, community development, service learning, and school-to-work programs. Find model projects and community-based student work.