Texas Folklifeis a statewide Non-Profit Organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. Since 1984, our team has worked across the state with a variety of community partners to cultivate, present, and embolden the state’s rich cultural legacy through a vibrant mix of public programs and initiatives. Our free and low-cost programming can be sorted into three categories: Music & Cultural Heritage, Education and Exploration, and Folk Arts and Health.
With 38 years of program history across the state, Texas Folklife has a storied connection to the North Texas Region. Since 2007, over 20 young accordionists from the North Texas Region have competed in our Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Competition, with 6 North Texas Winners in the traditional music genres of Polka, Conjunto, and Zydeco.
Since relaunching our Apprenticeships in the Folk and Traditional Arts Program in 2016, we have supported over 23 North Texas artists with $3,000 grants to support the continuance of art, cultural, or heritage practices. From visual art forms such as Cowboy metal and Mexican Cartonería, to musical expressions such as Chinese Erhu Performance and Ghanaian traditional Drumming, the Apprenticeship Program has spotlighted the wide cultural and geographic diversity of the North Texas Region.
In Spring 2021, we partnered with ethnomusicology students at two Texas Universities, including the University of North Texas, to conduct ethnographic research on Texas Music traditions through the perspectives of contemporary Texas musicians. The project that resulted from this is the Texas Folklife Music Map, featuring profiles on 31 Texas Musicians and organizations representing the vast cultural and musical diversity of artists across the state.
In its inaugural program year, the Community Folklife Fellowship has offered intensive training to fellows from across the state in order for them to learn essential skills to document community traditions in their own cities and towns. This year, we are proud to support two fellows from the North Texas Region! Yvette Blair (Dallas) is chronicling stories from Indigenous, Latinx, and Black women on their foodway systems, and Kelsey Lee (Dallas) is working with Ukrainian Vaselka Singers in the Dallas area.
We can’t lie, North Texas…it’s been a minute! The last time we were in your neck of the woods for in-person programming was in 2020, when we hosted a Big Squeeze Audition and Showcase at Dallas’ Top Ten Records. We know a lot has changed in the past few years, and we want to reconnect with the North Texas creative community and its supporters and learn how we can help to foster, support, and sustain the diverse cultural expressions of the North Texas Region.
The first stage of our outreach efforts in North Texas will be our “Talk-O Tuesday” North Texas Community Event Series. We invite artists, musicians, community members, businesses, educators, frontline workers, and other supporters interested in getting involved with our work to meet our team, learn more about our mission, talk about what support the folk & traditional arts communities of North Texas are in need of, and where Texas Folklife can fit in! Our first event is planned to take place on October 25th from 5-7 PM at the Deep Ellum Taproom and will focus on Music & Cultural Heritage initiatives. Learn more here!
Your financial support during North Texas Giving Day will directly support this event series. We thank you in advance for helping to plant the seeds for long-term investments in cultural and heritage arts communities across the North Texas region!
Texas Folklife promotes, presents and documents the state's rich cultural legacy through a vibrant mix of exhibitions, performances, community residencies, apprenticeships, and educational programs around the state. Texas Folklife is committed to preserving the diverse living heritage of Texans, while exploring the vital role of tradition in contemporary society.
All giving received through North Texas Giving Day will directly support our outreach and expansion efforts in the North Texas Region. This Fall, Texas Folklife plans to hold a series of events to re-engage supporters and artists in the North Texas Region we have had the opportunity to work with over the past 30+ years and connect with new folk & traditional arts community members. We expect each event to cost approximately $3,000 to produce (including venue rental, a paid artist/presenter, supplies, food and drink costs, team travel costs, etc.), and we are asking for the help of the community to help support some of these expenses.
If you would like to get involved with our North Texas Community Outreach and Engagement Committee to help our organization strategize and plan programming and project initiatives in DFW and beyond, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!