Created in 1991, the Washington State Arts Commission’s Folk Arts program helps to preserve, present, and protect the traditional arts of Washington’s many diverse cultures. Program goals are to document, identify, honor, and perpetuate these traditions by encouraging public awareness and appreciation of folk arts.
Tours and Archives
Folk Arts Tours. The ArtsWA Folk Arts Program, in partnership with Northwest Heritage Resources, has published ten heritage audio tour guides for Washington State http://www.washingtonfolkarts.com. The guide books contains tour maps, photographs, recordings, and interpretive texts featuring music, stories, and information about the cultural treasures that occur along selected, well-traveled routes through the state. The guided audio portions correspond with driving time during the trips, pointing out cultural heritage along the way. The tours are available online at www.washingtonfolkarts.com.
Folk Arts Archives. A $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts supported digitizing our collection of folk and traditional images through a partnership with State Archives. Over the past 4 years, we have digitized more than 8,000 images, which will be stored at State Archives.
Folk & Traditional Arts in the Parks
The Folk & Traditional Arts in the Parks Program is a partnership between ArtsWA the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Washington State Arts Commission.
One such program is Hip Nic, held each summer in Saint Edwards State Park, in Kenmore. The event, which has become increasingly popular over the years, features postive hip hop. Positive hip hop emphasizes positve values and the empowerment of urban young people, but genuinely reflects their experiences and concerns in a style relevant to their culture. The Hip-Nic is part of a wider effort by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission to attract more ethnic and racial diversity to state parks and to outdoor recreation in general, and to interest young people of color in outdoor recreation and recreation-related careers. Increasing diversity and providing enjoyment, health, and learning programs are part of our state park agency’s 2013 Centennial goals.
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