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Traditional Arts Touring Grant Available Through South Arts

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Help build the next audience of culturally literate and informed performing arts patrons, and please remember “some traditional arts have a deep-rooted history with little change, while others are constantly evolving and adapting to their changing environment.”

What are Traditional Arts?

The South is home to an abundance of traditional art forms whether they are indigenous to the region, or reflect the traditions of recent immigrant communities. Traditional arts are reflective of shared aesthetics, practices and values of families, geographic communities, occupational groups, ethnic heritage groups, etc. Traditional arts are learned orally, or by observation and imitation, often through a master artist instructing an apprentice. They are usually maintained without formal instruction or academic training. Some traditional arts have a deep-rooted history with little change, while others are constantly evolving and adapting to their changing environment.

Examples of traditional art forms (performing and visual arts) being practiced in the South include Afro-Cuban batá drum, Catawba pottery, Zydeco music, Choctaw dance, Anglo American quilting, Peruvian retablos, African American gospel music, Chinese zheng, Cherokee storytelling and Minorcan netmaking, among others.

Program Goals

This pilot Traditional Arts Touring Program works to increase the public awareness and appreciation of the traditional arts in the South, through funding projects which bring a traditional artist/ensemble and a scholar/folklorist for multi-day residencies in Southern communities.

This funding program is open to a wide variety of organizations, including community cultural organizations, schools/colleges/universities, libraries, presenters, and more. Unincorporated organizations may apply through a fiscal agent. South Arts staff can also direct you to potential resources and networks to identify traditional artists and scholars/folklorists. Applicants are encouraged to contact Teresa Hollingsworth, Senior Program Director, thollingsworth@southarts.org or  404-874-7244 x 14 to discuss your project before you submit your application.

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