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Texas Folklife

Texas Life and Culture

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What Is Folklife?
Folklife is the accumulated traditions practiced or appreciated by members of a group who share a common history or way of life. A group's traditions may include a wide range of skills and knowledge, from customs and belief to stories and songs, from music and dance to crafts and other decorative handmade objects. Generally, traditions are learned informally and passed on from one person in the group to the next, often orally, by imitation, or in performance.
Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For 29 years, Texas Folklife has honored the cultural traditions passed down within communities across Texas and explored their importance in contemporary society. Texas Folklife has been called “one of the state’s true cultural treasures” by the Austin American-Statesman for the accessible, joyful arts experiences we provide.
What We Do
Texas Folklife produces programs throughout the state that bring Texas traditions to life for new generations, including:
    • Performances • Community Residencies • Exhibitions • Education programs & Curriculum Materials • Apprenticeships • Radio and television projects

  • Cristina Ballí is a bilingual cultural manager with expertise in Texas-Mexican border culture and Mexican-American music history. She is coauthoring a book on sustainability of conjunto music, a Texas-Mexican syncretic traditional music based on accordion and bajo sexto, a 12-string Mexican guitar. She directed the NEA-funded radio projects “Stories from Deep in the Heart” and “Border Voices” as well as the state-wide “Big Squeeze” accordion contest. Previously Ballí was director of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito where in 2007 she oversaw the building and opening...

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  • Charlie Lockwood studied Ethnomusicology at Vanderbilt University, where he explored the music traditions of Ghana, Uganda and South Africa.  In 2006, Charlie conducted field research in Khayelitsha, a township of Cape Town, South Africa, working with youth theater for development activists and learning gumboot or isicathulo dance.  He earned an M.A. in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he played the 'ud (Arab...

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  • Sarah Rucker is an arts presenter with specialties in traditional & popular American musical genres and dance. Her expertise in Texas and American blues and rock and roll music began with her position as research & teaching assistant to Clifford Antone (founder of Antone’s Night Club, Records, and Record Shop) from 2004 to 2006. Mr. Antone lectured on these topics at the University of Texas and Texas State University. For Texas Folklife, she has directed such programs as Barbara Lynn & Friends at the Library of Congress and Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and “From the Hands...

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  • Becky Bingman coordinates Texas Folklife's Apprenticeship program and has been involved the arts and education community for 25 years. Before joining Texas Folklife, Becky worked with the Kentucky Collaborative for Teaching and Learning, where she organized artist workshops for teachers, and developed arts programming and curriculum materials for Kentucky Educational Television. She has a long-standing interest in indigenous and unschooled artists. As gallery director at Appalshop, the nationally known media arts center in Whitesburg, Ky., Becky exhibited regional artists and contributed...

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Moira Foreman Porter (Chair)  |  Austin, TX

Evy Ledesma Galán (Co-Vice Chair)  |  Austin, TX

Amancio Chapa, Jr. (Co-Vice Chair)  |  La Joya, TX

Amy Mitchell (Co-Vice Chair)  |  Austin, TX

Heyden Walker (Secretary)  |  Austin, TX

Johanna Arendt |  Austin, TX 

Ray Carrington III  |  Houston, TX

Gus Voelzel III  |  Austin, TX

Dick Holland  |  Austin, TX

Carmen Luevanos |  Austin, TX 

Susan Morehead  |  Austin, TX

Dagoberto Ramirez  |  La Joya, TX

Armando Sanchez  |  Houston, TX

Charlotte Spencer |  Austin, TX 

Lynne Storm  |  Austin, TX


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