TEXAS FOLKLIFE CELEBRATES “THIRTY YEARS OF FOLKLIFE IN TEXAS”
Symposium and Reception Slated for
Featuring Artwork from the Texas Folklife Archives, Panels with Cultural Workers and Former Directors, and Performances by Texas Roots Music Pioneers and Legends
Austin, Texas – June 30, 2014 – This year marks Texas Folklife’s 30th anniversary. The non-profit began in 1984 with a handful of committed, young folklorists who sought to preserve the traditional culture of the state. Since that time, Texas Folklife has preserved and presented the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State, honored the cultural traditions passed down in communities across the state, and helped to explore those traditions importance in contemporary society.
The organization has come a long way in fulfilling the early dreams and aspirations of its founders. Texas Folklife carries out its mission with a vibrant mix of performances, exhibitions, community residencies, apprenticeships, and educational programs that reaches an audience of over one million annually throughout the state. Some of the most popular performances and programs include the Big Squeeze, an annual contest for accordion players 21-and-under that encourages the preservation and celebration of the national instrument of Texas; Accordion Kings & Queens Festival, held at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston every year is a free, public concert featuring some of the biggest stars and legends in Texas roots music; “Stories from Deep in the Heart,” an award winning radio program; “A Place At the Table,” a statewide survey of regional foodways; fascinating, eclectic art and photography exhibits, and symposiums on subjects as varied as polka, conjunto, quilts, and saints.
Today, Texas Folklife and its mission are supported by prestigious arts organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, Humanities Texas, and the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division. It is supported by private foundations, including the Grammy Foundation, the Houston Endowment, and the Stillwater Foundation. And it has made powerful friends and partnerships with national and statewide organizations and venues, including the Library of Congress, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Texas Music Office, Bullock State History Museum, UT Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs, Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc., Latino Cultural Center, Austin History Center, Austin Independent School District, Texans for the Arts, Elisabet Ney Museum, Asian American Resource Center, as well as many privately owned businesses.
On one special day and night, September 27, 2014, Texas Folklife will celebrate its past, and at the same time look forward to a future that will continue their successful roster of events and programs as well as add promising new ventures. The celebration will include a symposium in the afternoon with several panels featuring past Texas Folklife staff and directors; folk and traditional artists; and cultural workers, authors, and arts administrators who will reflect on the organization’s history, accomplishments, and challenges for the future. Archival materials will be on view as well as audio and video samplings from Texas Folklife’s 30 years of programming. The symposium will be free and open to the public. The evening of , a reception will be held. The night will include dancing and performances by Texas roots music stars and legends. It will be ticketed and open to the public. All events will be held at the Moose Lodge in Austin. As times and names of confirmed participants and performers for the symposium and reception become available, another media release will be distributed and updates will be posted on Texas Folklife’s Facebook page and website:http://texasfolklife.org.
“I urge all of our friends and all lovers of traditional arts, culture, and music to join us in this moment of joyous celebration,” said Executive Director Cristina Ballí. “We are grateful to our members, sponsors, partners, participants, and visitors who have helped us meet our mission to honor and celebrate the traditional art and cultures of Texas for the past 30 years. We dedicate this anniversary to you. We do not intend to rest on our laurels, but instead it is our goal to continue developing our connections to communities across the state to further help preserve Texas’s cultural treasure and present that treasure to an ever-expanding audience all over the world.”
The “Thirty Years of Folklife in Texas” Symposium is generously funded by Humanities Texas, the board and members of Texas Folklife, and the Stillwater Foundation.