Virginia Folklife Program

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

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Holmes Brothers Receive NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship

Posted: 2014-06-25 | Categories: Uncategorized |

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that gospel and soul legends The Holmes Brothers of Christchurch, Virginia, have just received the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor the United States bestows upon traditional artists. For nearly 40 years, brothers Wendell and Sherman Holmes, along with friend and neighbor Popsy Dixon, have shared their stunning […]

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HoustonFest 2014: Jewel of Festival Circuit

Posted: 2014-05-21 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The city of Galax came alive in early May for the fourth annual Houstonfest. Born out of a community’s grief over the tragic passing of Houston Caldwell, a gifted banjoist and dedicated contributor to the civic life of Galax, Houstonfest has quietly become one of the true jewels of the Virginia festival circuit. Under gorgeous […]

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Amazing artists take Charlottesville from Africa to Appalachia

Posted: 2014-02-26 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Pure magic happened in Charlottesville as Master Malian Griot Cheick Hamala Diabate joined two of Virginia’s finest traditional musicians, Sammy Shelor and Danny Knicely, for three days of musical collaboration and fellowship. In town for a three day residency, these three amazing artists got together for private jam sessions, a public workshop at the Bridge […]

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From Africa to Appalachia: An Evening with Cheick Hamala Diabate, Sammy Shelor, Danny Knicely and friends

Posted: 2014-01-28 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Thursday, February 20th, 8PM Jefferson School African American Heritage Center 420 Commerce Street Charlottesville, VA The development of the 5-string banjo, among the very first truly American-born instruments, provides a revelatory lens into the development of American popular music and culture, and its immense contributions by African cultural traditions.  It is now indisputable that what […]

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WTJU Folk Marathon

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Support our good friends at WTJU  for their annual folk marathon. Great programs all week, and a most worthy cause. Support real radio!

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A Conversation With Laura Ortiz

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“The story of Virginians, other than the story of Virginia Indians, is about people coming from other places,” says Jon Lohman, director of the Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH). “You often find that when people are displaced, their traditions from home become more important to them, more pronounced, and […]

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A Family Affair: Richmond Folk Festival Recap

Posted: 2013-10-25 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Despite the less than perfect weather, roughly 100,000 people attended this year’s Richmond Folk Festival, and it was once again standing room only at the Virginia Folklife Area! This year we featured family bands and businesses with the theme “KinFolk: A Celebration of Family Folklife.” We welcomed back old musical favorites like the Whitetop Mountain […]

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Virginia KinFolk: A Celebration of Family Folklife at the Richmond Folk Festival

Posted: 2013-10-04 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Richmond Folk Festival, October 11-13, is one of Virginia’s largest events, drawing visitors from all over the country to Richmond’s historic riverfront. The free three-day event features more than 30 bands on seven stages, continuous music and dance performances, and the Virginia Folklife Area, a stage and craft demonstration area produced by the Virginia […]

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The Flory Jagoda Fund

Posted: 2013-09-19 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Virginia Folklife Program is proud to support the work of Flory Jagoda. Please consider making a donation to help keep Sephardic music and many other of Virginia’s cherished traditions alive. The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities established the Flory Jagoda Sephardic Music Fund, named in honor of the courageous woman and talented musician who […]

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Apprenticeship Showcase Rocks!

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  Stellar weather greeted record crowds at our tenth annual Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase, on September 15th in Charlottesville. Once again, the Showcase demonstrated the remarkably broad range of folk traditions in Virginia, and the diverse communities who practice them. Everything from dulcimer making to beekeeping, from Mexican mole sauce to Brunswick Stew, and from […]

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Watch the live stream from the Virginia Folklife Stage at the Richmond Folk Festival

Posted: 2013-09-12 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Can’t make it to the Richmond Folk Festival? The Virginia Folklife Stage will be live streamed from Noon until 6:00pm on Saturday and Sunday, October 12 and 13: Go to the Live Stream.

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Apprenticeship Showcase: Music, Crafts, and Food of the Commonwealth

Posted: 2013-09-11 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Please join us Sunday, September 15 from 1:00-5:00pm for the annual Apprenticeship Showcase at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 145 Ednam Drive in Charlottesville, located off 250 West in the Boar’s Head Inn complex. This free festival will feature some of the finest musicians, dancers, singers, and craftspeople in the state. We will have […]

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Apprenticeship Showcase: Sunday, September 15 at VFH

Posted: 2013-08-26 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Virginia Folklife Program presents its tenth annual Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase on Sunday, September 15th, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the VFH Conference Center. This free festival will feature the music, crafts, and traditional skills of Virginia’s “Folk Masters” and their apprentices. The Folklife Apprenticeships pair an experienced master artist with an apprentice for […]

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78th Galax Old Fiddlers Convention recap

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The Virginia Folklife Program’s photographer Pat Jarrett joined Jon Lohman at the 78th Galax Old Fiddlers Convention. Here’s a photo recap of the week. All photos by Pat Jarrett/The Virginia Folklife Program. Monday For 78 years, a virtual city of 10,000 descend upon Felts Park in Galax for the week-long Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention. Keana […]

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In Loving Memory: Audrey Hash Ham

Posted: 2013-08-03 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia have lost one of their most cherished jewels with the passing of Audrey Hash Ham. Audrey was truly a “friend of the music,” as well as to all who knew her. Perhaps the only thing that Audrey loved more than the musical traditions of the Blue Ridge were […]

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FloydFest 2013 Recap: Bring the Mud!

Posted: 2013-08-01 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Despite torrential downpours, the Virginia Folklife Workshop Porch at Floydfest 12 was the place to see and hear the finest practitioners of traditional music styles. Presented by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities with support from Virginia is for Lovers, the Virginia Folklife Workshop Porch (lovingly referred to by most simply as “the Porch”) remains […]

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The Charlie McClendon Story: Put Me Down Easy

Posted: 2013-05-30 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Charlie McClendon has been the musical director at Goodwill Baptist Church in Hampton, Virginia since 1984. But in the 1960s, he was a prominent rhythm and blues singer who, with his band the Magnificents, was one of the  cornerstones of the “Norfolk Sound.” With support from L-Rev record founder Steve Herman, the Virginia Folklife Program […]

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Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes Nominated for Independent Music Awards Gospel Album of the Year!

Posted: 2013-05-03 | Categories: Uncategorized |

We’re really excited to announce that Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes:  Live in Richmond has been Nominated for Independent Music Awards Gospel Album of the Year! Buy the CD Press Release Read all about the CD, watch a video of Maggie and the Ingramettes and more>> See the other Nominees>>

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WTJU Folk Fund Drive

Posted: 2013-01-25 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Our friends at WTJU are preparing for their annual folk fund drive, starting Monday morning, February 4, and running through Sunday night, February 10. This year’s theme is “Staying In Tune”, and each weekday morning they will focus on the many different folk styles of the guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and Dobro.  They will have […]

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Wayne Henderson and Gaye Adegbalola: Virginia Folklife Series at the Southern

Posted: 2012-11-06 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Virginia Folklife Program is proud to present Wayne Henderson and Gaye Adegbalola at The Southern Music Hall in Charlottesville at 7pm on Sunday, November 18. Doors will open at 6 — stop by, grab a refreshment, and say hi to Gaye and Wayne. Tickets can be purchased online in advance for $12 or on […]

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Scenes from the Blue Ridge Folk Festival

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For more than 30 years, Ferrum College’s Blue Ridge Institute and Museum has documented the folkways of the people living in and around the Blue Ridge Mountains. Through gallery exhibitions, the Farm Museum, the Heritage Archive, and the Blue Ridge Folk Festival, the Blue Ridge Institute has promoted a special understanding of the region’s folklore. […]

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Richmond Folk Festival: Fertile Ground and National Treasures

Posted: 2012-10-18 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Virginia Folklife Program was a proud production partner of the 2012 Richmond Folk Festival. We are grateful to all our performers, craft demonstrators, volunteers, and sponsors who helped make this event possible. Check out the slideshow below featuring the photography of Pat Jarrett and Peter Hedlund:

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Shucking Smackdown III: Settling the Score in the 804

Posted: 2012-10-09 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The incomparable oyster shucking sisters Deborah Pratt and Clementine Macon faced off this weekend at the Richmond Folk Festival in a race to see who would be the first to shuck two dozen oysters. For the second consecutive year, Deborah won the battle royal by three oysters. Their much anticipated third showdown, dubbed “Oyster Shucking […]

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Showcase Rocks

Posted: 2012-09-19 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Virginia Folklife Program celebrated its ninth annual Apprenticeship Showcase on September 16. Festival-goers were treated to the food, music, and crafts of the Commonwealth. We congratulate all graduating Virginia Folk Masters and welcome the new class of masters and apprentices. View the slideshow below to see the wonderful images captured from the afternoon: We […]

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Incredible Lineup: Music, Food, Crafts of Folklife Showcase

Posted: 2012-09-10 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase Sunday, September 16, 1:00-5:00pm Stage Schedule: 1:00pm: Loose Strings: Bluegrass from Galax featuring Ashley Nale 1:30: Introduction by Jon Lohman, Director of the Virginia Folklife Program; Presentation of certificates to the 2011-2012 masters and apprentices 1:45: Flatpick Guitar with Wayne Henderson 2:00: Autoharp with John Hollandsworth and Sam Gleaves 2:15: Chickahominy […]

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Virginia Folklife Announces New Master Artists and Apprentices

Posted: 2012-08-29 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Virginia Folklife Program announces the tenth class of Master Artists and Apprentices in the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program. Please join us in welcoming the 2012-2013 class at the Apprenticeship Showcase on Sunday, September 16 from 1 to 5pm at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Master Guitar Maker Wayne Henderson of Grayson County and […]

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Floydfest 2012 Recap: the Porch Rocks Again

Posted: 2012-08-02 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Virginia Folklife Workshop Porch at Floydfest 11 was the place to see and hear the finest practitioners of  traditional music styles. Presented by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities in partnership with Blue Cow Arts, the Virginia Folklife Workshop Porch (lovingly referred to by most simply as “the Porch”) remains one of the true […]

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Remembering Earl Blake: Carnival Costume Master

Posted: 2012-06-25 | Categories: Uncategorized |

We are shocked and sad to report the passing of Virginia Folklife Master Artist Earl Blake, who died unexpectedly at his home on Saturday, June 16. A dear friend of the Folklife Program, Earl was a master builder of stunningly elaborate Caribbean Carnival costumes, a tradition he brought to the US from his native Trinidad […]

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Paschall Brothers Win National Heritage Fellowship

Posted: 2012-06-19 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Paschall Brothers, a stunning Tidewater Gospel Quartet from Chesapeake, Virginia have received the National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor that the United States government bestows on traditional artists. They will be celebrated in the Library of Congress this fall. The Virginia Folklife Program nominated the Paschalls for this award several years ago. There are […]

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A Man and a Half: Remembering Nat Reese

Posted: 2012-06-09 | Categories: Uncategorized |

It is with heavy hearts that we relay the news of the passing of blues man Nathanial “Nat” Reese of Princeton, West Virginia. He was 88. Our sadness is only tempered by our deep gratitude to Nat for his lifetime of wonderful music, his passion for life, his dear kindness, and the lessons and wisdom […]

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Keeping Traditions Alive – A Special Offer

Posted: 2012-05-07 | Categories: Uncategorized |

In honor of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program, In Good Keeping is available for purchase through the University of Virginia Bookstore at a special discount. Told in the voice of the master artists from the first five years of the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship program, In Good Keeping pairs Morgan Miller’s […]

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New Apprenticeship Cycle Approaches

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For the past ten years, eight experienced masters have been awarded Virginia Folklife Apprenticeships and paired with eager apprentices for a one-on-one, nine-month learning experience that helps ensure that a particular art form is passed on in ways that are conscious of history and faithful to tradition. Spanning regions and disciplines, these recipients embody Virginia […]

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Full House at The Haven

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The Folklife Program and the Virginia Festival of the Book hosted a special evening of tribute to the late Mike Seeger in March by hosting author Bill C. Malone and musicians Elizabeth LaPrelle, James Leva, Danny Knicely, Aimee Curl, and Alexia Smith at The Haven in downtown Charlottesville. Folklife Director Jon Lohman joined Malone and […]

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Tune In and Support WTJU Folk Marathon

Posted: 2012-04-25 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Please support our good friends at WTJU (91.1 FM, Charlottesville) as they embark on their annual Folk Marathon fundraiser, with special programming throughout the week of April 30th – May 6th. Some of the wonderful programs include: * A tribute to Smithsonian Folkways, “Seeking Out the Cuckoo’s Nest” (featuring variations of traditional ballads from England, […]

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A March Tribute to Mike Seeger

Posted: 2012-02-17 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Our late friend Mike Seeger liked to describe the kind of music rural Southern families played at home with each other as “music from true vine” – songs and sounds which blended hundreds of years of British traditions with equally ancient African traditions to create a music heritage uniquely American. Author Bill C. Malone has […]

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We Support In Your Ear on WCVE

Posted: 2011-10-20 | Categories: Uncategorized |

In Your Ear is a new series presented by JAMinc and hosted by Tim Timberlake on WCVE Public Radio. For 10 years, the Richmond non-profit JAMinc has brought musical artists to Richmond concert halls and schools. Most of the performances have been within the intimate and acoustically pristine confines of In Your Ear Music and Recording in Shockoe Bottom, where they […]

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Richmond Folk Festival Recap

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What an incredible weekend on the Virginia Folklife Stage at the Richmond Folk Festival! Record crowds watched from the edge of their seats as some of Virginia’s most talented musicians and artists competed in a wide range of folk traditions. This year’s Virginia Folklife Area at the Richmond Folk Festival, curated by the Virginia Foundation […]

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Apprenticeship Showcase Recap

Posted: 2011-09-12 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Virginia Folklife Program celebrated its eighth annual Apprenticeship Showcase on September 11. Festival-goers were treated to the food, music, and crafts of the Commonwealth. We congratulate all graduating Virginia Folk Masters and welcome the new class of masters and apprentices. View the slideshow below to see the wonderful images captured from the afternoon. Video: […]

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Virginia Folklife Program Celebrates Contest Traditions at Richmond Folk Festival October 15 and 16

Posted: 2011-09-11 | Categories: Uncategorized |

When asked how he became a world famous guitarist, Wayne Henderson answered simply, “I wanted to win blue ribbons.” Fiddlers, banjo players, and guitarists are just a few of the musicians who regularly attend competitions – such as the annual Old Time Fiddlers’ Conventions in Galax, Virginia – for ribbons, cash prizes and the bragging […]

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Folklife Showcase Presenter Sammy Shelor Named Steve Martin Prize Winner

Posted: 2011-09-08 | Categories: Uncategorized |

  Patrick County banjo player Sammy Shelor, a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Master artist, learned this week he has been chosen as this year’s winner of The Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. As a result, Sammy and the Lonesome River Band will perform with the comedian and actor on the […]

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Announcing New Virginia Folk Masters and Apprentices

Posted: 2011-08-24 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Virginia Folklife Program is pleased to announce the ninth class of Master Artists and Apprentices in the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program. Please join us in welcoming the 2011-2012 class at the Apprenticeship Showcase on Sunday, September 11 from Noon to 5pm at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Master Banjo player Sammy Shelor of […]

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Floydfest 2011 Recap

Posted: 2011-08-05 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Virginia state folklorist Jon Lohman hosted the Virginia Folklife Workshop Porch at Floydfest the last weekend of July. The Porch, as it’s affectionately known, featured workshops conducted by Jon with Sam Bush, Jorma Kaukonen and Larry Keel, Del McCoury, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Peter Rowen, Dirk Powell, and performances by some of Virginia’s finest musicians […]

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8th Annual Apprenticeship Showcase: Sunday, September 11

Posted: 2011-08-04 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Join the Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities on Sunday, September 11th, from Noon to 5:00 p.m. for the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase. We’ll celebrate the eighth graduating class of folklife apprentices and introduce the incoming Virginia Folk Masters, with musical performances, crafts, and great food. This year’s showcase will feature masters of […]

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Remembering Frank Paschall Jr.

Posted: 2011-07-25 | Categories: Uncategorized |

With heavy hearts we share the news of the passing of Frank Paschall Jr., a dear friend of the Virginia Folklife Program and the eldest brother of the beloved Tidewater gospel quartet, the Paschall Brothers. Frank was the namesake of his father, the late Reverend Frank Paschall Sr., a great gospel singer and contemporary of […]

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Elder Frank Newsome Wins National Heritage Fellowship

Posted: 2011-07-16 | Categories: Uncategorized |

We announce with great pleasure that The Reverend Frank Newsome, a dear friend of the Virginia Folklife Program, is the recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor that the United States government bestows on a traditional artist.  Past recipients include the likes of Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, and B.B. King. Elder Newsome, of […]

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Join us for these great musical events!

Posted: 2011-07-15 | Categories: Uncategorized |

VFP concerts, talks, and workshops for summer and fall 2011 will cover a wide array of Virginia musical traditions and regional styles, including Blue Ridge bluegrass and old time, gospel, Piedmont and Coalfields blues and more. FloydFest July 28-31, Floyd, VA Drop in at the Virginia Workshop Porch to hear artists including the Carolina Chocolate […]

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Remembering Spencer Moore

Posted: 2011-06-15 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Virginia Folklife Program lost a dear friend this June in Spencer Moore, the “singing tobacco farmer” from Chilhowie, Virginia. He was 92.

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Flory Jagoda and Susan Gaeta fill the house in Charlottesville!

Posted: 2010-12-02 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Sephardic balladeers Flory Jagoda and Susan Gaeta performed for a full house at Congregation Beth Israel in Charlottesville on Saturday evening, January 22. Flory Jagoda, a 2002-2003 Master Artist in the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program, was a 2002 recipient of the National Heritage Award, the highest honor given to a traditional artist in the United […]

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Still Abuzz From the Richmond Folk Festival

Posted: 2010-10-15 | Categories: Uncategorized |

We’re still abuzz from the wonderful weekend at the 3rd Annual Richmond Folk Festival.  The Festival, which attracted more than 200,000 visitors over the weekend, featured the finest in traditional music from a wide range of American folk communities — from Cajun to Salsa to Go Go. The Virginia Folklife Program once again curated the […]

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Join Us at the Richmond Folk Festival

Posted: 2010-09-21 | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Virginia Folklife Program presents:  “Maritime to Mountain Time: From Virginia’s Coast to Coalfields” at the Richmond Folk Festival. When: Friday, October 8 through Sunday, October 10, 2010 The Virginia Folklife Area will highlight the culture of the two geographic ends of the state, the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the rocky peaks of […]

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