Sights & Sounds

Laura Ortiz and Ariel Hobza-Ortiz

Mexicans comprise one of the fastest-growing immigrant populations in Virginia. This emerging cultural community has already contributed a plethora of traditional folkways to the diverse tapestry of Virginia Folklife, including …

Sights & Sounds

Jack and Nannie Branch and John Maeder

There is probably no other traditional food more associated with Southwest Virginia than country ham. Unlike the more commonly known wet-cured ham, which is soaked in brine or injected with …

Sights & Sounds

Olen Gardner and Ross Matthews

The Folklife Apprenticeship Program includes various styles of banjo playing, so it was a natural fit to add one in banjo making, along with the invaluable skill of vintage instrument …

Sights & Sounds

Gerald Anderson and Spencer Strickland

Southwest Virginia has always had a rich tradition of luthiers—the builders of stringed, fretted instruments, and mandolin maker Gerald Anderson is considered among today’s true masters. Gerald spent more than …

Sights & Sounds

Mary Beery and Joan Knight and Mollie Beery

The Shenandoah Valley has long been home to some of the country’s finest quilters. Among those who have contributed to the quilting tradition of the region are the Mennonites, who …

Sights & Sounds

Mike Seeger and Seth Swingle

Mike Seeger has devoted his life to singing, playing, studying, teaching, and documenting the old-time music of the southern Appalachian Mountains. Over the years, Mike has absorbed a wide range …

Sights & Sounds

Patrick and Aaron Olwell

The flute has long held a prominent place in traditional Irish music, but the practice of making flutes specifically for Irish music is relatively new. For many years, Irish musicians …

Sights & Sounds

Ofosuwa Abiola-Tamba and Monica James

While there is now a greater understanding and appreciation of the African origins of much of Virginia’s expressive culture, these roots were long ignored, misunderstood, or held in diminished regard …

Sights & Sounds

Clyde Jenkins and Sam Cave

The traditional skill of making baskets from white oaks is hundreds of years old, involving an in-depth study of the grain structure of the tree. Each white oak tree behaves …

Sights & Sounds

Norman Amos and John Buck

The art of snake cane carving is practiced throughout the world, and has a rich history in southern Appalachia. The process begins when a vine wraps itself around a tree …

Sights & Sounds

Brenda and Shannon Joyce

Flatfooting, an old-time dance style closely associated with traditional string band music, is quite distinct from its closest cousin, clogging, in that the dancer’s feet barely leave the floor. Distinct …

Sights & Sounds

Broto Roy and Sunil Chugh

Broto Roy is a master of the 5,000-year-old tradition of tabla drumming of India. The tabla is composed of two drums, one made of wood and the other of metal. …

Sights & Sounds

Spencer Moore and Ben Moore Jr.

When the late folklorist Alan Lomax set out on one of his legendary “Southern Journeys” in 1959, he stopped in Chilhowie, Virginia, to record a tobacco farmer named Spencer Moore …

Sights & Sounds

John D. Clary, Lonnie Moore, Phil Batchelor, and Chiles Cridlin

What began, according to area legend, as a communal meal prepared for a hunting expedition on the banks of the Nottoway River in 1828, the cooking of Brunswick stew has …

Apply for an Apprenticeship

Virginia Folklife Apprenticeships will begin on May 1, 2020 and run through May 1, 2021. The application deadline for this cycle is January 31, 2020.