ABOUT FOLK AND TRADITIONAL ARTS
Folk and traditional arts are creative practices shared by specific ethnic, linguistic, occupational, religious, and regional groups. These arts are shaped within families, neighborhoods, and communities and passed down from one generation to the next. They are learned through participation in community-based activities, through observation and practice, or through apprenticeships with elders and masters.
Folk and traditional arts are part of a larger system known as folklife. Folklife is the term used to describe all the customs and practices that a group shares, which have been passed down or have risen up through demonstration, observation and word of mouth. Customs like what to eat, how to celebrate, what stories to tell, or what will heal an ailment. The word ‘folklife’ was coined by a celebrated folklorist from right here in Schuylkill County, Dr. Don Yoder.
Founded in 2016, The Folk Art Alliance at the Walk in Art Center in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania is an alliance of artists and community stakeholders who work together to document, celebrate, and pass on the folk arts of Schuylkill, Berks, and Lancaster Counties.
Our work supports all sectors of the population, we strive for equitable representation of all folklife communities. We host public events for all ages throughout the year including exhibits, workshops, presentations, and an annual Community Makers Market in October. Admission is to the Community Makers Market is FREE. We sponsor educational opportunities for K-12 and post-secondary classrooms, connecting young learners with master artists throughout the region. We offer professional development services to artists including opportunities to exhibit and sell, teach and present, apply for grants and studio space, and network with other artists and arts advocates.