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Texas Folklife Awarded $45,000 NEA Grant



Maya Williams-Britton

(512) 441-9255,


Texas Folklife to Receive $45,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
For Statewide Community Folklore and Media Education Fellowship


Austin, TX—Texas Folklife has been selected for a $45,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support Stories from Deep in the Heart, a folklore and media education program. This project will include a fellowship to train eight diverse community-based cultural workers to document folk and traditional arts to preserve and celebrate the underrepresented traditions of the Lone Star State. Texas Folkife’s project is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding. 


“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as Texas Folklife reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”


“NEA support for this initiative shows their commitment to supporting our efforts to expand the field of public folklore, strengthen community engagement, and imagine an innovative and collaborative folk and traditional arts project by contributors across our state,” said Texas Folklife Executive Director Charlie Lockwood. “We are excited about the potential of this project to empower cultural workers and folk and traditional arts advocates to be leaders in their communities.” 


About Texas Folklife’s Community Folklore and Media Education Fellowship:
Building on momentum to serve a statewide audience, Texas Folklife’s Statewide Fellowship promotes community-led public folklore training of eight storytelling Fellows selected with sensitivity to a diversity of geography, race, gender identity, and abilities. The organization provides equipment, training, a stipend, professional assistance, and more, while Fellows generate content for public dissemination, contribute to archives, and facilitate events and workshops. The public will be engaged throughout the process by way of workshops and broadcasting/web platforms. Input from community leaders will be prioritized through strategic partnerships. This project will result in statewide reach, arts service to underserved communities, documentation and celebration of underrepresented traditions, and folklore vocational training for community-based cultural workers.


About Stories From Deep in the Heart Program: 

Originating from a 2008 project in Brownsville, TX and active in central Texas public schools since 2009, our Stories program has reached over 885 teachers, 2,260 students, 432 artists and tradition bearers, with participants creating audio pieces on the stories, folklore, arts, and cultural traditions of their families and communities through a TEKS-aligned curriculum, workshops, and targeted outreach activities. These stories have been shared with over 9,800 community members through events, and our radio broadcast and online audience amounts to over 2.5 million worldwide.


Learn more about Texas Folklife’s Stories from Deep in the Heart program:

Listen to stories produced from our Stories from Deep in the Heart Project on SoundCloud:


For more information on the projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit


About Texas Folklife

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the presentation and preservation of the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. Since 1984, Texas Folklife has honored the cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences.


1708 Houston St.

Austin, Texas 78756

T (512) 441-9255

F (512) 729-5752 


Media information: Maya Williams-Britton (512) 441-9255 /


Program information: Jeannelle Ramirez  (512) 441-9255 /