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Past Recipients of Research Awards

and Fellowships

Archie Green Fellowships


Folklorist Taylor Dooley Burden of Rockport, Indiana, received an Archie Green Fellowship to document “The Occupational Lives of Religious Workers in Kentuckiana.” Burden notes that “For most who participate in a religious tradition, their faith is personal and often private. For religious leaders, however, their faith is also their occupation.” She plans to interview religious leaders in Indiana and Kentucky and record “the vibrant and diverse occupational folklife of those serving God and their communities as their life’s vocation.” There has been little previous ethnographic research that looks at clergy from an occupational perspective. Burden’s plan to reach out to a wide range of clergy working in Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other religious institutions in the upland south will begin to fill this gap and generate an innovative and informative collection of oral histories.

“Poultry Workers of North Carolina” will be the focus of Durham, North Carolina-based labor historian Leigh Campoamor’s Archie Green Fellowship research. “Chicken is the main agricultural product of North Carolina,” and the U.S. poultry industry, concentrated in the South, has undergone major changes over the last decades, towards corporate consolidation, contract farming, and a system of factory employment that relies largely on staffing agencies. Through interviews with North Carolina poultry workers–including farmers, factory workers, and others who occupy discrete positions on the production chain–this project will document the essential workers who uphold this key national industry. These interviews will provide insight into the everyday work lives of the people whose work keeps America fed.

“Resignation, Rethinking, and Recruitment: The Occupational Culture of Executive Search Consultants” will be the focus of Washington, D.C. folklorist James Deutsch’s Archie Green Fellowship research. He will conduct in-depth interviews with executive search consultants reflecting the diversity of this white collar occupational group and the types of executive searches they conduct, types of companies they work for, and types of clients they serve. Interviewees will reflect the increasing racial, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity of their field. The project director, who is an experienced folklorist and researcher, seeks to explore and document this influential group’s shared sets of skills, traditions, specialized knowledge, and codes of behavior—while also seeking to record their expert commentary on the recent phenomenon known as the Great Resignation.

Makalé Faber Cullen and Marion Jacobson of West Orange, New Jersey received an Archie Green Fellowship for the project “Bread, Rum and Sugar: Caribbean Bakeries in New York and New Jersey.” Inspired by the rich baking traditions and retail legacies of New York and New Jersey’s Caribbean communities, folklorist Marion Jacobson and food scholar Makalé Faber Cullen will conduct an ethnography and oral history project documenting the occupational folklore and culinary traditions of bakery owners, bakers, and bakery workers in the metropolitan New York region. Follow-up community-based spin-off projects and a photo exhibit at the Newark Public Library, in partnership with the Folklife Center of Northern New Jersey, are also planned.

A “National Survey of K-12 Teachers,” led by folklorist Thomas Grant Richardson of Santa Fe, New Mexico, received an Archie Green Fellowship to conduct 56 in-depth interviews with teachers across the U.S., (i.e., one teacher from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia). The project’s online interviews will document the occupational experiences of the master teachers who are recipients of the prestigious Teacher of the Year Award presented by the Council of Chief State School Officers. Teachers are believed to be the largest occupational group in the U.S. and this project contributes a valuable national perspective to the Occupational Folklife Project collection and the AFC archive. Richardson has assembled and will coordinate an excellent team of folklorists to conduct the interviews and is collaborating with Local Learning, the nationally respected folk arts and education non-profit.


The Alaska Marine Conservation Council in Homer, Alaska, received funding for “Beyond the Breakwater: The Oral History of Gulf of Alaska Small-Boat Fishermen.” This project seeks to record in-depth oral history interviews and photographic portraits with 20 small-scale commercial fisherman based in four fishing communities across the Gulf of Alaska (Sitka, Homer, Seldovia, Kodiak). Led by project director Josh Wisniewski, who is both an anthropologist and a fisherman, the project will document occupational histories and knowledge used to harvest different fish species by the small-boat fleet –(gill netting and purse seining, trolling, long lining, and jigging)—related trades, and the changing environmental challenges faced by contemporary Alaskan fisher folk.

Aaron Paige and Elinor Levy at Arts Westchester in White Plains, New York, working in collaboration with Sun River Health (SRH), received funding to document "Community Health Workers in Downstate New York." They will interview 15-20 of the non-profit’s community health workers in rural, urban and suburban locations in the Hudson River Valley, New York City and Long Island. One of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers in the country with over 40 locations serving more than 245,000 patients, SRH’s community health workers are trained frontline healthcare workers who typically share cultural values, ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, and life experiences with the communities they serve.

Carmen Hewitt of Temple Hills, Maryland, was awarded an Archie Green Fellow to document “African American Nurses: The Chi Eta Phi Sorority.” A nurse with more than 30 years’ experience and training in history and oral history, she will conduct in-depth oral history interviews with 15 members of Chi Eta Phi Sorority Incorporated, a historically Black national nursing sorority founded in 1932, in order to document members’ experiences as African American nurses in contemporary America.

Emily Hilliard received an Archie Green Fellowship for her project "Rural Free Delivery: Mail Carriers in Central Appalachia." The project will document the expressive culture and experiences of approximately 25 rural mail carriers and clerks (formerly known as postmasters) in the upper mountain South (VA, WV, KY, OH). It will focus, in particular, on the function they serve as lifelines in their community, as well as how their place of work— rural post offices—are invaluable community hubs in remote rural areas.

Jared L. Schmidt of Rockaway Beach, Oregon, received an Archie Green Fellowship for his project “Tillamook: Cheesemakers in Costal Oregon.” Over the course of a century, costal Oregon’s Tillamook Creamery’s cheese has become a nationally prominent brand while maintaining a local farmer-owner co-op model. The result is a sense of cultural heritage and identity rooted in and expressed through dairy. Schmidt will document individuals employed in the wide range of occupations associated with the county’s cheese making process including farmers, truck drivers, factory line workers, food scientists, and marketing specialists.

Cynthia Torres will document“Custodians and Janitors in Colorado.” She worked as a custodian herself for several years before training as a documentarian at the University of Colorado. She will interview workers in this “undervalued and unnoticed” labor force to create an opportunity for custodians and janitors “to tell their stories and their relationship to their work” so that the general public will better appreciate their contributions. Ms. Torres will collaborate with Prof. Jennifer Fluri (UC/Boulder) and the Oral History Program at Boulder Public Library, and work in cooperation of the local SEIU.


Vyta Baselice, an independent scholar in Washington D.C., received funding for a documentation project on Cement Workers in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. The Lehigh Valley is a region in central Pennsylvania considered “the birthplace of the American cement industry.” The project will generate approximately 20 oral history interviews and will complement Ms. Baselice’s previous research on the history of concrete and cement in industry and architecture.

Katy Clune, a North Carolina Folklorist and artist Julia Gartell received funding for their project "Fixing, Mending, Making New: North Carolina Repair Professionals." Over the next year, they will interview and photodocument approximately twenty craftspeople and small business owners across North Carolina. They will focus on people who make their living repairing objects, challenging the contemporary dependence on single-use and throw-away items.

Alana Glaser, a medical anthropologist at St. John’s University in Queens, New York, received funding to document "Nurses’ Experiences of Caring at the Veterans Health Administration." Drawing on her substantial experience and contacts in the world of nursing, Dr. Glaser will interview nurses who currently work for the Veterans Health Administration in California, Florida, and Washington, DC. She will ask them to discuss their daily routines, experiences, and career paths, and reflect on what led them into nursing and to working for America’s largest direct-care health provider.

Samuel Kendrick, a folklorist and Ellen Kendrick, a photographer and educator, both of Richards, Missouri, received an Archie Green Fellowship for "Agricultural Pilots: Crop Dusters in the Rural Midwest." The researchers will collect oral histories from 12-15 agricultural pilots or “crop dusters,” starting with those who service their farm and other farms in their southeastern Missouri community.

Edward Y. Millar and Niagara University received an Archie Green Fellowship to document "The Ransomville Speedway: Stock Car Track Workers in Western New York." Mr. Millar, staff folklorist at the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, will document workers involved with the legendary Ransomville Speedway, a dirt track founded in 1958 in Ransomville, New York by Ed Ortiz and a group of local racers known as the Ransomville Slo-Pokes. The Speedway remains a family run enterprise, and is a major source of pride and regional identity in Niagara County and the wider Buffalo-Niagara region.

Dr. Julie Pearson-Little Thunder, an oral historian, and Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, received funding for her project on "Immigrant Women Artists in Oklahoma." She will document 12-15 professional women artists who have immigrated to Oklahoma to explore how they have reestablished themselves and continued to pursue their art as their occupation in their new environment.

Ethan Sharp of Lexington, Kentucky, received an Archie Green Fellowship for "Hope for Recovery: Peer Support Workers in Kentucky." Dr. Sharp will interview workers involved in peer support counseling in his home state of Kentucky. In response to the opioid epidemic, the state government and addiction treatment facilities in Kentucky have expanded training and employment opportunities for people in recovery from substance use disorders, allowing them to serve full time alongside clinicians in paid positions as peer support specialists.


Lisa Gabbert, a folklorist and Professor of English at Utah State University in Salt Lake City, received funding to research "Oral Histories of Physicians' Work: An Inside Perspective on Doctoring." AFC funding will enable her to interview approximately 20 physicians in various medical specialties and collect oral histories about their training, occupational traditions, and daily work environments. The AFC archive presently contains few, if any, interviews with working physicians and this project will help fill this gap.

Anna-Lisa Cox, a historian working at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, as well as Hope College in Holland, Michigan, received an Archie Green Fellowship to interview "Multigenerational and First-Generation African American Farmers of the Midwest." AFC funding will enable her to document the family histories and contemporary work experiences of approximately 25 multigenerational African American farmers whose families established farms in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin beginning in the 1790s.

Josephine McRobbie and Joseph O'Connell, independent folklorists based in Durham, North Carolina, received an Archie Green Fellowship to document "The Culture of Birth Work in North Carolina." The researchers will focus on the occupational folklife of midwives and doulas working in a variety of institutional settings, including academic research hospitals, local community practices in underserved communities, and private homes. They will document the experiences of approximately 20 contemporary birth workers and explore the vast body of knowledge that they have inherited, learned, and practiced in the course of their professional duties.

Delainey Bowers, an independent folklorist from Bowling Green, Kentucky, received an Archie Green Fellowship to support her project "Gimmicks, Gold, and Gushers: The Occupational Folklife of Independent Professional Wrestlers." The recipient will interview approximately 12 participants working on this popular, but largely unexplored Appalachian regional sport and entertainment circuit and document the voices of workers "who function as both athletes and storytellers."

Sarah K. Filkins, an independent scholar from Washington, DC, is receiving support for her project "Women Architects." Filkins is a senior researcher with training in both architecture and oral history. She will conduct oral history interviews with a diverse group of approximately 15 women architects working in large or medium-sized architecture firms owned by women or husband-wife teams, as well as in government offices and universities. She will document the voices of those who “have labored long and hard to create architectural solutions and advance in an industry that historically ignored their contributions and questioned their inclusion."


Charitie Hyman, an independent folklorist and mental health worker from Madison, Wisconsin, for her project "Power Place, and Prestige: The Occupational Folklore of Psychiatric Nurses in Wisconsin." Documenting work-related narratives from a diverse group of nursing professionals, this project explores issues of race, power, and prestige in workplace relationships and enhances archival holdings on the highly-skilled traditional occupation of nursing, which is presently under-documented in the AFC archive.

Meredith A.E. McGriff,  a folklorist from Bloomington, Indiana, for research on "Production Potters of the Midwestern United States." Her project documents the occupational folklore of production potters in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. She will focus on commercial production potters who are working full-time in this regional craft-based profession, with particular emphasis on those who participate in guilds or pottery tours, to explore how these workers balance individual craftsmanship and artistry with the need for developing and maintaining an occupational community.

Virginia Nickerson, an independent scholar and documentarian from Montpellier, Vermont, for "Trash Talk: Workers in Vermont's Changing Waste Management Industry." Her project documents the occupational stories and experiences of two dozen people engaged in different sectors of the waste management chain--trash collection, sorting, marketing, processing, management, and regulation – to provide a picture of the daily lives of workers in an economically and environmentally important, but often hidden industry during a time of significant change.

Candacy Taylor, an independent scholar and documentarian from Denver, Colorado, for "The Business of the Green Book: Documenting and Celebrating African American Entrepreneurs." Her project  documents people who work in more than 30 contemporary businesses that were listed in The Green Book, a travel guide published between 1937 and 1967 that listed businesses—e.g., restaurants, hotels, barbershops, taverns, drug stores, and garages--that welcomed African American customers. Only 3% of the 9,500 businesses listed in The Green Book are still in operation and Taylor's interviews with their current owners and staffs explore their histories, how they stayed in business, and the business’s current relationships to their changing communities. This project is part of a larger project on The Green Book that Taylor has undertaken with support from a number of prestigious institutions, including Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. The resulting interviews also will supplement the Civil Rights History Project that AFC recently completed in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History.


Clare Luz, a gerontologist at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, for documenting "Personal Home Care Aides in Michigan." Working with a team that includes other MSU faculty members, including folklorist Marsha MacDowell and colleagues at the MSU Museum and Michigan Traditional Arts Program, Dr. Luz will document occupational histories of 30 personal care aides (PCAs) in central Michigan, who have “historically have been marginalized and under-documented.”

Jess Lamar Reece Holler, an independent Ohio-based folklorist, for her project "Back-of-House: Kitchen Workers in Central Ohio" to document the oral histories of veteran, part-time, and upstart back-of-house food workers in Columbus’ kitchens, community markets, food trucks, and pop-up eateries, who are “at once food artisans and wage laborers” engaged in a skilled trade in which many work without the benefits, security, or collective organizing afforded other occupational groups.

Christopher Sims, a documentarian from Efland, North Carolina, to record interviews with "Cultural Role-Players of Fort Polk, Louisiana." These "role-players"– who are both recent immigrants and long-term area residents—have evolved a unique occupational culture as they simulate Iraqi and Afghan villagers on the training grounds of a large US Army base as "extras" interacting with soon-to-be-deployed troops in a simulated but serious workscape.

Kim Stryker, an independent folklorist from Falls Church, Virginia, to document the occupational narratives of "Winery Workers in Virginia Vineyards." With a team of researchers, she will conduct audio and video interviews with workers involved at various levels and in sub-specialties within Virginia’s rapidly expanding wine industry, an industry that is emblematic of the paradigm shift in small-scale agriculture and economic pressures that is forcing traditional famers to adapt by producing more value-added products and explore agritourism.


Sarah Bryan, a folklorist in Durham, North Carolina, for "Folklife of the Funeral Services Profession." For research to document the work of morticians and funeral directors in North and South Carolina.

Jaime Lopez and his colleagues at the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies (HVAC) and Local Union #3, The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in Queens, New York for "Illuminating History," an oral history project documenting contemporary electrical workers in metropolitan New York, who, "through manufacture, installation, and maintenance," make critical contributions to the fabric of daily life in New York City.

Margaret Miles of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a Social services worker, writer and documentarian, for documentation of workers in the emergency homeless services in three interrelated Midwestern urban centers:Bismarck, North Dakota, Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota, and Chicago, Illinois.

Laura Orleans, a folklorist and director of the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center in New Bedford, Massachusetts, received support for "Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront," a project to conduct a large ethnographic field project interviewing more than 60 shore-side workers involved in the local commercial fishing industry, with a particular emphasis on previously under-documented Central American and female workers.

(See more information on these recipiants in Folklife Today at this link.)


Nic Hartman, Southwest Folklife Alliance, Tucson, Arizona, for a study documenting the rich variety of people — from produce brokers to truck drivers to customs inspectors to multi-generational business owners–involved in the Nogales' century-old fresh produce industry, while also examining how social and economic changes affect (and will affect) the Arizona-Sonora borderland. 

John McKerley, Jennifer Sherer and the University of Iowa Labor Center, Iowa City, Iowa, to document the occupational culture of foreign-born workers to Iowa's meatpacking industry and explore the ways in which these men and woman have reshaped (and been reshaped by) the state's work culture and community life.

Christopher Mulé, Brooklyn Arts Council and Domestic Workers United, Brooklyn, New York. A team of folklorists will join with Domestic Workers United, an organization primarily representing Caribbean, Latina, and African nannies, housekeepers, homeworkers, and elder caregivers to document the experiences of domestic workers in the New York metropolitan area.

(See more information on these recipiants in Folklife Today at this link)


Bob Bussel, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Labor Education and the Research Center at the University of Oregon, to document the occupational culture of home-based health care workers caring throughout Oregon. Conducted with the support of the Service Employees International Union Local 503, which represents over 11,000 Oregon home care workers.

Dale Cahill and Darcy Cahill of Bakersfield, Vermont, to conduct oral history interviews with tobacco workers and tobaccos farm owners in the Connecticut River Valley.

Andy Kolovos and the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury, Vermont, to interview contemporary farmers, growers, local specialty food producers, and food marketers in the state of Vermont.

Maida Owens, director of the Louisiana Folklife Program, and the Louisiana Folklore Society to interview workers, shopkeepers, and business owners in multigenerational small businesses and trades in the greater Baton Rouge area.


Brent Björkman, Kentucky Folklife Program, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky and Jon Kay, Traditional Arts Indiana, University of Indiana, Blooming, Indiana, to conduct ethnographic/oral history field interviews documenting park rangers working in Kentucky and Indiana.

Sara Jordan, independent scholar, Logan, Utah, to conduct interviews with housekeepers, many of them refugees and immigrant entry-level workers, employed by Utah’s health care and hospitality industries.

Lucy Long, Center for Food and Culture, Bowling Green, Ohio, to document the occupational folklore of ethnic grocery store owners and workers in five Midwestern cities (Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland, and Dayton, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan) and explore how ethnic groceries serve as community focal points and provide an interface between ethnic and mainstream American culture.

Anne Pryor, Mary Hoefferle, Ruth Olson, and Mark Wagler of Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture in Madison, Wisconsin, to document the occupational folklore and traditions of teaching in different sub-groups of Wisconsin teachers: elementary art teachers, fourth/fifth grade classroom.


Deborah Fant, Northwest Folklife, Seattle, Washington, in cooperation with the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO:  to document approximately 50 Washingtonians who work in diverse occupations throughout the state.

Hannah Harvester, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY), Canton, New York: to document the lives and changing relationships of dairy farmers and farm workers in New York's North Country.

Ellen McHale, independent scholar, Esperance, New York: to document the culture and traditions of "backstretch workers" – trainers, grooms, exercise riders, boot and "silk" makers, saddlers, hot walkers, etc. –  who work largely unseen at America's racetracks and horse farmers.

Murl Riedel, Kansas Humanities Council, Topeka, Kansas, in cooperation with the Wichita-Sedgwich County History Museum: to document the voices of Boeing workers and community members about their experiences at Boeing and the aircraft manufacturer’s impact on urban Kansas.

Candacy Taylor, independent scholar, 29 Palms, California: to document hairdressers and beauty shop workers in approximately 20 salons in five U.S. regions: California, Midwest, South, Northwest, and Northeast.


Pat Jasper, director of the Houston Folklife and Traditional Arts Program at the Houston Arts Alliance: to document the diverse culture of work associated with the Houston port and ship channel.

William Westerman, Princeton University: to document the working lives of South Asian immigrant taxi drivers in New York City.

James Leary, University of Wisconsin, and labor historian Bucky Halker: in support of their study of the cultural traditions of ironworkers in America's Upper Midwest.

Tanya D. Finchum and Juliana M. Nykolaiszyn, Oklahoma Oral History Research Program: to document, through oral history interviews, the occupational culture and traditions of the American "Big Top" circus in the small town of Hugo, Oklahoma.


Robert McCarl, Boise State University: to study the environmental ethics of different occupational groups in Idaho's Silver Valley.

Nick Spitzer and Maureen Loughran, American Routes: to produce a special "Routes to Recovery" series of five 2-hour radio programs, devoted to economic and social recovery across the United States, and focusing on workers in several occupational categories, including cowboys, automobile workers, and the building trades.

Stephen Zeitlin, director of City Lore,External Link The New York Center for Urban Folk Culture: to coordinate a team of folklorists and filmmakers in producing Heartland Passage, a documentary film about workers along the route of New York State's Erie Canal, including tugboat captains and engineers, machinists, harbormasters, drydock workers, and locktenders.

The 2010 awardees presented talks on their research at the American Folklife Center's symposium Work and Transformation: Documenting Working Americans, December 6-7, 2010.


The Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies

Fellows are listed on the Kluge Center pages for the Alan Lomax Fellowship.


Blanton Owen Fund Award


Panayotis League of Tallahassee, Florida, for fieldwork anchored in community memory and cultural connections to Greek collections held at AFC, as found in the contemporary Greek American population of Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Emily Bianchi of Indiana University, for fieldwork with the community at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine.


Mariángel Villalobos of College Park, Maryland, received a Blanton Owen Fellowship to document three Salvadoran festivals in Maryland in September, 2019. She will document the Festival Guanaco, the Festival Hispano, and the Festival Salvadoreñísimo in order to provide a better understanding of the Central American diaspora in Maryland, explore the role of festivals in celebrations of Central American independence, and create ethnomusicological documentation of transnational Salvadoran music.

Byrd McDaniel of Providence, Rhode Island, received a Blanton Owen Fellowship to conduct preliminary research for a documentation project on YouTube content creators focusing on disability, visibility, and labor. The award will enable her to attend the PAXEast conference to make contacts and network with online content creators for subsequent, more comprehensive interviews.

Kathryn Alexander of the University of Arizona received support to document queer country western culture at the Zia Regional Rodeo in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her research will inform her book project documenting rural queer cultures as an often overlooked and marginalized segment of the American LGBTQ experience.


Dana David Gravot, a visiting scholar at the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, to conduct fieldwork on traditional herbal remedies and their medicinal uses with individuals in parishes surrounding Lafayette.


Andrew Flachs, Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, to support a multi-layered oral history based ethnographic study of the historical and contemporary relationship of farming communities in the Lower Illinois River Valley to their natural environment and cultural past and present.

Joseph O'Connell, Raleigh, North Carolina, to conduct archival research and oral history interviews with individuals from a unique family-run troupe of performing artists, Bertelle’s Birds,” which toured the mid-western United States from the 1940s to the 1980s. The proposed research focuses on the Quaker background of the show and the family’s vision for evangelizing through performing animals.


Eric César Morales, Bloomington, Indiana, to support fieldwork  on Pacific Island dance community in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the popularity of Polynesian performers in casinos and entertainment venues make that city the central locale in the Polynesian diaspora. 

Susan Taffe Reed, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to support fieldwork documenting communities presenting summer powwows traditions in Appalachian Pennsylvania. 


Bradley Hanson: to support the documentation and study of the cultural impact of the Tennessee Jamboree, a weekly radio barn dance program serving the communities of LaFollette  and Campbell Counties in Tennessee.


Stephen J. Taylor: to support the recording of oral history interviews with former residents of the barrier islands of Accomack and Northampton counties on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, in connection with a study of personal narratives of homecoming on Portsmouth Island, North Carolina.


Clifford Murphy: to support the documentation of the traditions and expressions of Country and Western musicians in the state of Maine.

Karen N. Brewster: to support ethnographic fieldwork exploring ecology, belief and culture as expressed in found object folk art creations of Native Americans in the Lower Yukon River Valley.


Sandra Grady: to support ethnographic fieldwork among Somali Bantu refugees being resettled in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jaman Matthews: to support documentation of life in the Mississippi Delta in photographs and fieldnotes.

Carrie Leonard: to support documentation of Inupiaq life in Noorvik, Alaska, in photographs.


Yolanda Hood: to support fieldwork among Nigerians living in Atlanta, Georgia.


Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund Award


Navajo musician and artist Jeneda Benally received a Parsons Fund Award to bring a team of Indigenous Youth Advisors to the Library to research and create content for the public radio program “Indigenous YOUth Nation.” The team will work with AFC/Library staff to access collections containing traditional knowledge, discuss the impact of archival materials on their own communities, bring their listeners some of their own cultural stories, and build bridges between generations.

Ethnomusicologist Edward Herbst of Middletown, Connecticut, received a Parson Fund Award to spend several three weeks at the Library researching Indonesian materials as part of the “1928 Restoration, Research and Repatriation Project,” a collaborative initiative undertaken in cooperation with the Indonesian institute STIKOM-Bali. Specifically, funding will enable Herbst to research the Margaret Mead Collection to catalog Balinese traditional masks and other cultural history, and to review never-before-seen Mead-Bateson-Belo film footage.


Prof. David Font-Navarette of the City University of New York’s Lehman College will conduct archival research pertaining to the American Folklife Center’s Lydia Cabrera-Tarafa Collection of Afro-Cuban Music.


Joanna Zatteiro from Albuquerque, New Mexico, received a Parsons Award to expand her research on early cowboy songs, focusing particularly on the Robert Winslow Gordon Adventure Magazine Manuscripts collection at the AFC. Her research will inform the development of an index to early cowboy songs, which is being compiled as part of Ms. Zatteiro’s dissertation research.

Kristina Gaddy, a writer and researcher from Baltimore, Maryland, received a Parsons Award to conduct research on the history of the banjo related to her book Well of Souls: Searching for the Banjo’s Lost History. She is particularly interested in exploring the historical role of the banjo as a religious object, developing new narratives placing the banjo at the center of African American religious ritual, religion, and spiritual practices throughout the Americas.

Windborne, a musical ensemble based in Dartmouth, New Hampshire, received a Parsons Award to conduct research on Music of Struggle at the AFC. Research by members of the quartet will assist in the development of a new concert program highlighting the rich musical traditions of movements for social change, particularly those of the northeastern United States


Jaime Arsenault of Greenfield, Massachusetts, who serves as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer as well as the Repatriation Representative and Tribal Archives Director of the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, received a Parsons award to continue research in locating and repatriating cultural heritage materials from the White Earth Band held in AFC and Library archives. As the White Earth Band’s main point of contact for consultation with government agencies and museums, she will also be furthering her previous research that was part of the AFC and Washington State University’s Tribal Digital Stewardship Cohort and Mukurtu CMS end-user program (February 2019).

New Mexican musicians Jordan Wax of Santa Fe and Noah Martinez of Albuquerque received funding to research the Library’s Jack Loeffler and Katherine Strain and Arthur L. Campa collections in order to identify historic recordings of Hispanic musicians who are otherwise undocumented and whose repertoire has largely disappeared in New Mexico. In addition to studying Northern New Mexican archival materials, they will draw on their research to re-introduce examples of this traditional repertoire to a new generation of New Mexican musicians through performances of their group, Lone Piñon.

Eric Hung, the Executive Director of the new Music of Asian America Research Center in Burlington, New Jersey, received a Parsons award to conduct research in AFC and Library collections documenting Asian American music ensembles that were active from the 1970s to the 1990s. His research will inform a larger project that seeks to raise the visibility of Asian American communities and their musical contributions to the U.S. by creating a website where these collections and items can be promoted to wider audiences.


Folklorists Ann Ferrell (Western Kentucky University) and Diane Goldstein (Indiana University) for a one-week research trip to utilize AFC collections in support of a book-length project exploring key moments in the field of folklore from the late-1960s through the mid-1980s.

Emily Hilliard, West Virginia’s State Folklorist, for one-week research trip to research AFC’s collection of sound recordings, photographs, field notes, and ephemera related to West Virginia, focusing particularly on archival content related to African Americans and other cultural communities whose “presence and contributions are often marginalized in historical and vernacular culture narratives of the Mountain State.” Her research will inform ongoing and future work of the West Virginia Folklife Program and culminate in a series of multimedia blog posts.

Charlotte Rogers (University of Virginia), for a trip to the Library to utilize AFC collections in support of a book project called Dancing Through the Storm, which focuses on creative cultural expressions– including music, dance, literature, and photography — inspired by and in response to hurricanes and other storms in the Caribbean region.


Peter Szok,  Professor of History at Texas Christian University, for "Insurgent Beauty: Native American Art in Modern Panama." He will review the Library's collection of Panamanian newspapers and periodicals in order to produce a monograph on Panama's Native American art from 1968 to the present, with particular emphasis on in influence of Guna artwork. His research at the Library will supplement his already extensive scholarship on Guna artwork as well as extensive oral histories he has already completed with contemporary Guna artists.


Jillian Gould, professor at in the Department of Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland, to support for her project "The Early Life and WPA Fieldwork of Herbert Halpert (1911-2000)." Award enabled recipient to spend time at the American Folklife Center examining archival records documenting Halpert's early life and fieldwork with the goal of writing an intellectual biography of this important folklore scholar.

Jess Lamar Reece Holler and Jeffrey Paul Nagle, folklorists from the University of Pennsylvania, for their project "Older Than You'd Think, and More Urgent: Legacies of Public Folklore and Cultural Conservation Methodology for the New Public Environmental Humanities." The award enabled Holler and Nagle to visit the American Folklife Center to research the history, methodological design, reception, and curation of public folklife documentation and survey projects conducted on environmental cultures from 1970 to the present; explore the emerging interdisciplinary field of public environmental humanities; better understand the rich legacy of public folklore work on environmental humanities studies; and inform best practices and methodologies in designing community-collaborative cultural documentation projects that respond to environmental change.


David Blake, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, to support research into Pete Seeger's performances during Seeger's 1950s music industry blacklist that began with initial accusations of his Communist ties in 1952, and continued through his House of Un-American Activities Committee testimony in 1955, his conviction of contempt of Congress in 1961, and the reversal of his sentence in 1962. The researcher examines how Seeger’s college concerts during this period influenced the development of intellectual and critical approaches to folksong as part of the folk revival of the late 1950s and 1960s.

Cristina Benedetti, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, to support research on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. She will trace connections between gatherings and how the historical "layering" of political performances in this space has contributed to its symbolic power. While many scholarly works about the Mall focus on its landscaped, sculpted, and built aspects, Benedetti  investigates the ways that everyday people engage with this space, whether in protest, or for tourist, entertainment, commemoration, or leisure activities.

Sita Reddy, research associate, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., to support research on the visual materials—including ethnographic films—of Indian yogis or fakirs. Her research focuses on colonial, postcolonial and transnational representations of yoga’s encounters with modernity, and the social practices, interactions, and ethnographic contexts around such representations.


Scott Barretta, Oxford, Mississippi, to undertake research on the legendary bluesman Mississippi Fred McDowell in preparation for a documentary film. The researcher is particularly interested in reviewing  1968 interviews conducted by Pete Welding that are now part of the Pete Welding Collection in the AFC archive.

Brian Miller, Saint Paul, Minnesota, to research traditional songs and singers from Minnesota recorded by Robert Winslow Gordon in 1924. The recordings are now part of the AFC archive.


Maurice Mengel, University of Cologne, Germany, to work with the AFC's large and previously unstudied collection of Romanian materials in the Gheorghe and Eugenie Popescu-Judetz Collection.

Alexandro Hernandez, UCLA, to study rare son jarocho recordings and films in the several divisions of the Library and explore their relationship to social justice movements in Los Angeles.
Michael Largey, Michigan State University, to explore the historical and political roots of ethnographic research done in Haiti during the 1930s.


Nancy Yunhwa Rao: to support research on the musical life of Chinese Americans, with a focus on Chinatown opera culture in the first half of the 20th century.

Danille Elise Christensen: to support research on the cultural history of home canning and food preservation.


David Greely: to support research on Cajun and Creole music.

Emily Kader: to support research concerning Irish and Appalachian "Jack tales," to encompass similar traditions in the Caribbean and in African American communities in the American South.


Cecilia Salvatore: to support a project that will identify and evaluate the Library's institution-wide assets pertaining to the culture and history of Micronesia.

Mark Noonan: to support a project that will analyze regional and chronological variations in Sacred Harp singing practices utilizing the Center's extensive archival collections of shape note hymnals and recordings.


Gregory Hansen: to support a research project on the vernacular architecture and social history of Heishmans Mill, a 19th century grist mill located in central Pennsylvania.

Marion S. Jacobsen: to support a research project focusing on the evolution and popularization of the piano accordion in America from 1920-1960, using the collections of the Library of Congress.


Jocelyn Arem: to support a research project focusing on the cultural impact of the 1960s folk revival movement, using the collections of the American Folklife Center.

Barbara Fertig: to support a research project focusing on African American residents of coastal Georgia communities, using the collections of the American Folklife Center.

Cecilia Conway: to support a research project focusing on the Beech Mountain, North Carolina collections at the American Folklife Center.


Michael McCoyer: to support his research on levee camps and Mississippi Delta life in the early 20th century using the Coahoma County materials in the Alan Lomax Collection and other Library resources.

Kathleen Ryan: to support her research on "Propaganda, Memory and Oral History in World War II Female Veterans," using Veterans History Project materials and other Library resources.


Eileen M. Condon: for research on Puerto Rican traditional music in Dutchess County, New York.

Sydney Hutchinson: to support doctoral work in ethnomusicology at New York University for a research project titled "Analysis of Musical Change in Dominican Merengue Típico".

Linda Goss: for research on African-American storytelling traditions.


David Stanley: to research collection materials related to cowboy ballad performers, including correspondence, transcriptions, and ephemera in several Library Divisions.

David Hoffman: to conduct research on symposia, public hearings, position papers and other materials related to US national policy on the topic of indigenous rights and cultural and environmental conservation.


Andrea Frierson-Toney: to research African-American traditional music from Gee's Bend, AL, in the Robert Sonkin Collection. Research on the performance tradition will be adapted into a theatrical production.


Nicole Saylor: to create a web page highlighting the ethnographic fieldwork of Sidney Robertson Cowell (1903-1995) in Wisconsin. This site will be an addition to the Mills Music Library's Helene Stratman-Thomas project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Now available: "Online Collection Showcases Wisconsin Folksongs From the Thirties and Forties."External Link


No award.


Barrett Golding: to support the creation of two public radio programs presenting music and stories from Florida using WPA-era material from the Archive's collections. This also included an interview with Stetson Kennedy, head of the WPA Florida project.

Nancy-Jean Seigel: to support her work researching, organizing, and adding to the files of the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection in the Archive of Folk Culture.

Mark Jackson: to support the creation and publication of a CD based on the music and spoken words of John Handcox, a sharecropper and member of the Arkansas-based Southern Tenant Farmer's Union who was recorded at the Library of Congress in 1937.


Larry Polansky: to support research for the publication of work on folksong transcription and notation by the ethnographer Ruth Crawford Seeger.

Anne Laskey & Gail Needleman: to undertake research for educational music textbooks using folksong based on the Kodály method.


Susan Lutz: to support for research on a documentary film entitled Sunday Dinner: Food, Land, and Free Time.

Yücel Demirer: to locate representations of Kurdish national identity in the Woodrow Wilson Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.


Carl Lindahl: to fund research on British and Irish American folk tales. Publication information: American Folktales: From the Collections of the Library of Congress.External Link

Jason Baird Jackson & Victoria Lindsay Levine: to support a project focusing on Yuchi Dance Music.


William T. Dargan: to fund for research project on African-American lining-out hymn performance.

Lucy Long: to support research on the Appalachian plucked dulcimer.


Julia Bishop: to support research on The James Madison Carpenter Collection.


Henry Reed Fund Award


E. Anthony (Tony) Collins, a filmmaker and teacher from Los Angeles, California, received a Henry Reed Fund award to support his project “Missouri Fiddlin’: A Digital Archive of Old-Time Fiddlers in Missouri.” Reed funds will support the revitalization of Collins’ 1970s-1980s documentation project that recorded numerous prominent regional fiddlers; the online dissemination of the project’s materials; and follow-up contemporary interviews with Gordon McCann and Howard Marshall, longstanding musicians in the Missouri Old-time community. In addition, Reed funds will facilitate the acquisition of the Missouri Fiddlin’ Collection and resulting documentation by the LOC and others, using SEO and other tools.


Bean String Ballad Sing. William Ritter of North Carolina received a Reed Fund Award to organize, produce, and document an event that will be both a ballad sing and a working bee for preparing beans by methods traditional in the North Carolina mountains. The event will be documented on audio and video, and the American Folklife Center archive will be offered copies of the documentation.

Emma Hayes Dusenbury Project. Nora Rodes, researcher, singer, and high school student from Pittsburgh, received a Reed Award for a project to increase awareness and accessibility of the Library’s holdings related to the noted ballad singer Emma Hayes Dusenbury of Mena, Arkansas, whose prodigious song repertoire and other folkways were documented by John A. Lomax, Sidney Robertson Cowell, Vance Randolph, and others. The project includes the preparation of a scholarly paper and the creation of a performance piece centered on Dusenbury’s songs for scholars, traditional vocalists and musicians, and the general public.


Jamie Fox, of Hays, Montana, for her project "Preserving Métis fiddling on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, Montana." A respected Métis fiddler herself, Fox will present workshops in fiddle and dance traditions for the Fort Belknap community of Hays, Montana, as well as to digitize her family’s personal collection of Métis fiddlers from Hays.


Emily Hilliard/West Virginia Humanities Council of Charleston, West Virginia: to support "West Virginia Folklife Presents Ballad Singer Phyllis Marks," a free public concert and oral history interview with the respected 88-year-old West Virginia traditional ballad singer.

Mélisande Gélinas-Fauteux of Montreal, Canada: to support travel to the Library of Congress to research field recordings of North American French-language folk songs in the American Folklife Center archive to identify material for her upcoming CD "In the Footsteps of French Folksong."


North American Guqin Association of Fremont, California: to present a concert, master class, and roundtable discussion; perform archival research and fieldwork; and publish a documentary CD revolving around the work of the late Chinese guqin (7-string zither ) artist Zha Fuxi.

Friends of the Cumberland Trail (Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail/Sandrock Recordings) of Caryville, Tennessee: to support a year-long series of public CD release concerts in eleven counties along the Cumberland Trail for a recording documenting the grassroots music of the Cumberland Plateau and Cumberland Mountain region of Tennessee.


Arts in McNairy of McNairy County, Tennessee: to develop several projects based on an archive of folk music recordings amassed by community scholar Stanton Littlejohn, who recorded square dance callers and old-time and rockabilly musicians who came to his home between 1947 and 1957.

Otobaji Stewart and Van Nguyen-Stone of Oakland and San Francisco, California: to create a documentary film on the making of ritual drums in the African-based spiritual tradition of Lucumi.


Jamie Weems of Ridgeland, Mississippi: in support of an innovative project to reunite local contra dance and old-time string band traditions unique to an under-documented area of Mississippi.


Don Roy of Portland, Maine: in support of his project to create and print a book of fiddle tunes from his Maine Acadian family music heritage.


Jeri Vaughn of Seattle, Washington: to support reunion concert appearances for old-time fiddle and guitar duo Robert and Lee Stripling in their home town of Kennedy, Alabama and to subsidize Vaughn's 30-minute documentary film of the brothers' reunion tour.


Elizabeth LaPrelle of Rural Retreat, Virginia: to fund travel allowing this Appalachian ballad singer (then age 16) to perform and compete at music gatherings during the summer of 2004, and to surround herself with older singers from whom she could learn traditional songs, styles, and aesthetics.


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   February 2, 2023
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