Folklifesharing Nevada's culture and heritage
The NAC Folklife Program supports the work of folk artists and organizations representing cultural communities that are resident in the state of Nevada. The Folklife program:
- Helps folk artists and cultural organizations to successfully navigate the NAC grant application process
- FY2024 Folklife Artist Grant – Deadline to apply is April 1, 2023; applications will open online January 1, 2023. Apply for up to $3,000 for an apprenticeship or mentoring project. Review the guidelines and call the Folklife Program before you start an application.
- FY2023 Folklife Community Grant – New grant cycle opened July 1, 2022 for projects that take place between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. Review the guidelines and contact the Folklife Program (phone or email) before you start an application.
- Documents living traditions and maintains the Nevada’s Folklife Archives
- Produces publications – click the link to view the online directory of digital publications
- Develops exhibitions – click the link to view the online version of the Find Your Folklife exhibit.
- View Home Means Nevada and Nevada Stories videos on YouTube.
Where to find folklife in Nevada…on our Events calendar!
Festivals, concerts, performances, and community events are great places to find folklife. The Nevada Arts Council’s folklorists keep track of these events so that we can arrange our schedules to attend, discover, and document the incredible variety of folklife that is resident in our state. Check back often for updates.
Follow the Folklorists
“A folklorist has to travel in order to learn the land, observe the human environment, and talk to people about what makes their lives meaningful. A folklorist has many interests, from music to crafts, from vernacular architecture to the traditions of working people such as cowboys and miners, and to the ways a community celebrates itself and its roots. These are things people take for granted because they are such a part of their everyday lives, but they are also the very things that make those lives worthwhile, beautiful, and creative, giving people a connection to their place and their heritage.” —from Different Hairs on the Same Dog: The Work of a Public Folklorist.”
Photo exhibit showcasing Nevadans, cultural identity opens at state museum in Las Vegas
Grants for Folklife Apprenticeships
The Folklife Artist Grant can support apprenticeships in the folk arts. A “master artist” agrees to teach a less experienced person who belongs to the same cultural community. In the grant application they explain and describe the folk art tradition that will be taught and specify what skills, techniques, and knowledge will be shared during the grant period.
A list of apprenticeship projects supported by the Nevada Arts Council between 1988 and 2013 was included in the “One is Silver, the Other is Gold” gallery notes, along with photos of folk art objects produced by apprenticeship projects.
Folklife Fellowship Award 2020: Doug Groves, Rawhide Braiding
This grant was offered for the first time in 2019. Panelists chose Doug Groves, a “rawhider” from Elko County, as our first fellow in the Folk Arts category. Doug is a familiar face at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko where he teaches his craft to enthusiastic apprentices attending his hands-on workshops. This video, produced a few years back by the NAC Folklife Program, is one of the Nevada Stories videos showcasing folklife and folk arts in the Silver State.
The Folk Arts Fellowship Grant is not open for applications at this time. Check back for updates.
Rivers and Headwaters: Exploring Moapa Valley’s Muddy River
Rivers & Headwaters was a regional folklife fieldwork project to identify and document tradition bearers and traditional activities related to rivers, headwaters, and watersheds in the western United States. Our focus was the Muddy River, which empties into Lake Mead and the Colorado River. In addition to Southern Paiute and historic Mormon settlement, we discovered occupational groups whose work lives revolve around, or are related to, the headwaters and Muddy River watershed. These two films are focused on occupations and traditions that are enabled by the presence of the Muddy River.
Staff & Technical Assistance
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