August 21, 2002 American Folklife Center Board to Meet in Omaha
Press Contact: Craig D’Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: (202) 707-5510
The American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress will hold its fall meeting in Omaha, Neb. on Sept. 26-27. Members of the board include private citizens from around the country appointed by the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, and the Librarian of Congress, as well as representatives from federal agencies appointed by the president of the United States. In addition, ex officio members of the board include the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the chairs of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Librarian of Congress, the director of the American Folklife Center, and the presidents of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the American Folklore Society.
The American Folklife Center was created by Congress in 1976 and placed at the Library of Congress to “preserve and present American folklife” through programs of research, documentation, archival presentation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs, and training. The center includes the Archive of Folk Culture, which was established in the Library in 1928 and is now the largest collection of ethnographic material from the United States and around the world. The center is under the direction of its board, which brings together cultural specialists from private life and federal agencies to discuss and share information on the cultural programs and policies of the center and of other cultural agencies and organizations.
The board meeting is being coordinated by Charles Trimble, president of the Red Willow Institute of Omaha, Neb., and former member of the American Folklife Center’s board. The hosts for the meeting include the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Humanities Council, the Nebraska State Historical Society, the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, the Red Willow Institute and the John G. Neihardt Foundation.
On Sept. 25, at Joslyn Castle, the board will attend a reception hosted by the Nebraska Arts Council, for leaders of the various host organizations; local and regional library, arts, humanities, and folklife interests; community leaders; members of the Library of Congress’ James Madison Council; and political leaders. After a morning meeting at the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center on Sept. 26, the board will visit the El Museo Latino facility, the VA Medical Center, the Joslyn Art Museum and the Western Heritage Museum.
One topic to be discussed at the meeting is the American Folklife Center’s Veterans History Project, which was established by Congress in Oct. 2000, instructing the Library of Congress to collect and preserve the oral histories of America’s living war veterans. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R), of Nebraska, was the principal U.S. Senate sponsor legislation establishing the Veterans History Project. Project director Ellen Lovell and board member Maureen Cragin, assistant secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, will meet with representatives of tribal veterans organizations and reservation community colleges regarding participation in the project.
The official meeting of the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center will be held Friday, Sept. 27, at 9:00 a.m., at the Courtyard Marriott. The meeting is open to the public, and persons interested in cultural heritage and folklife are cordially invited to attend.