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Legends and Legacies:
An American Folklife Center Celebration of Public Folklore

September 10-11, 2009
Thomas Jefferson Building
Library of Congress
Washington, DC

About Archie Green, Joseph T. Wilson, and NCTA

Archie Green

June 29, 1917 – March 22, 2009

Archie Green
Archie Green speaks at the American Folklife Center in 1978. Photo by Carl Fleischhauer.

Beginning in the post-war years, Archie Green was a pioneer in documenting the expressive cultural traditions of working people such as miners, tinsmiths, textile workers, railroad workers, coal miners and cowboys. He influenced a generation of scholarship on occupational culture and working life. He is a noted labor historian, carpenter, union organizer, shipwright and also emeritus university professor of folklore and English. Believing that the federal government had a vital role to play in documenting, supporting, revitalizing and disseminating America's grassroots knowledge and arts, Green spent nearly ten years lobbying Congress to establish a national center that would preserve and present American folklife. His efforts prevailed, and on January 2, 1976, President Gerald R. Ford signed into law the American Folklife Preservation Act, authorizing an American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Green was further honored by the Library on August 16, 2007, when the Librarian of Congress bestowed a Living Legend Award.
For more about Archie Green, select this link to read the Center's tribute.

Joseph T. Wilson

Joe Wilson
Joe Wilson

Joe Wilson grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountain area of Tennessee, where he was profoundly influenced by the traditional music of that region. He is a folklorist, and served as the Executive Director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA)External Link from 1976 to 2004. He now serves as Chairman of NCTA, and also manages NCTA's Blue Ridge Music Center. In his career, he has produced forty-two large-scale music festivals in eleven states, twenty-one national tours by musicians and dancers, nine international tours that visited thirty-three nations, and 131 LP and CD audio recordings of various forms of folk music. With Lee Udall, he co-wrote the book Folk Festivals: A Handbook for Organization and Management. He has also been involved in the production of twelve films. In 2001, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded a National Heritage Fellowship to Joe Wilson. This is the highest honor the nation accords artists and workers in the traditional arts. As part of the Library's tribute to Wilson, the Librarian of Congress presented him with a Living Legend award on September 10, 2009 (the presentation of this award may be viewed in the webcast of the evening concert at the time code 0:24:03).

NCTA LogoThe National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA)

Founded in 1933, the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) is the nation's oldest folk arts organization. The NCTA created the first National Folk Festival (still being produced annually), and pioneered the national and international touring of grassroots artists. Out of this experience, NCTA has created an archive of original audio and moving image recordings of traditional artists, musicians and dancers dating from the 1930s. The collection contains classic recordings of now-legendary artists (such as Tommy Jarrell, Elizabeth Cotten, Wade Mainer, John Cephas, Edith Butler, and the Blind Boys of Alabama), as well as the only extant recordings of many artists. The NCTA began using professional portable recording equipment to document their festivals and concerts some thirty years before other presenters of folk arts, with the result that the NCTA collection has excellent sound quality. These historic recordings are now being digitized, and many of them are available to researchers in the Folklife Reading Room at the Library of Congress. For more about NCTA,External Link select this link to visit their website.


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