Sights & Sounds

Remembering Mama-Girl

With profound sadness, we mark the passing of one of Virginia’s most beloved folk artists, Eastern Shore painter, sculptor, and pastor Mary “Mama-Girl” Onley, at age 64.

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Eddie Bond receives 2018 National Heritage Fellowship

The Virginia Folklife Program at Virginia Humanities is proud to announce that Eddie Bond, celebrated old-time fiddler from the small southwestern Virginia town of Fries, has been honored with the …

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Frank Newsome’s Gone Away with a Friend released by Free Dirt Records

Free Dirt Records is releasing National Heritage Fellow Reverend Frank Newsome’s album Gone Away with a Friend on June 29, 2018. Virginia State Folklorist Jon Lohman and renowned country artist …

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Thank you to the Founding Friends of Folklife

For twenty-nine years, the Virginia Folklife Program at Virginia Humanities has presented, documented, and celebrated new and traditional cultures of Virginia, preserving treasured cultural traditions for future generations and reaching audiences across Virginia. From …

Sights & Sounds

Mongolian Contortion: The Art of Bending

Many of the traditions on display at the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase date back centuries in Virginia, but others are deeply established art forms that are new to this country, …

Sights & Sounds

Cora Harvey Armstrong and Samantha Willis

Faith is at the heart of Cora Harvey Armstrong’s 50-year career in gospel music. Born and raised in the tiny Newtown community of King and Queen County, Virginia, her family …

Sights & Sounds

Mandkhai Erdembat and Ella and Emma Chuluunbat

Mongolian contortion has existed since the 12th century as a dance called Uran Nugaralt, which translates to artistic bending. This kind of dance was prominent in the royal palaces of …

Sights & Sounds

Nam Phuong Nguyen and Anh Dien Ky Nguyen

The đàn bầu is a monochord (one-stringed) instrument with a central role in Vietnamese folk music. Popular legend claims the đàn bầu was first played by a blind woman in a …

Sights & Sounds

Jeff Bennett and Jeremy Bennett

Ever since the automobile went into mass production by the assembly lines of Detroit, it has been revised, altered, elaborated, and reconstructed in small garages and car shops throughout America. …

Sights & Sounds

Phyllis Gaskins and Anna Stockdale

The regular mountain dulcimer is a fretted string instrument from the zither family which first appeared in the 19th century among Scots-Irish communities. Phyllis Gaskins, of Elkton, Virginia, plays a variant called the Galax dulcimer. …

Sights & Sounds

Sondus Asad Moussa and Sanaa Abdul Jalil

Despite a population of just over 50,000, Harrisonburg is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in  Virginia. Today, the Harrisonburg–Rockingham County community includes refugees and immigrants from …

Sights & Sounds

Bert Carlson and Danny Knicely

While Virginia is seldom thought of a fertile ground for jazz, the state has produced a disproportionate number of artists who have put their indelible stamp on this uniquely American …