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Texas Folklife announces "Stories from Deep in the Heart" Summer Institute 2016



Local Teachers, Administrators, and Students to Create Audio Stories in Intensive Weeklong Workshop 

Stories will be shared in a Free, Public Presentation at UT’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, Bass Lecture Hall on Friday, July 22


Austin, Texas – June 13, 2016 – Texas Folklife is pleased to announce that the “Stories from Deep in the Heart” 2016 Summer Institute—its one week audio documentary production workshop—will be held July 18-22 in Austin. High school and middle school teachers, administrators, as well as students from Austin ISD and surrounding school districts were selected earlier this month to be this year’s Institute Fellows. This year’s theme for the workshop is "The Working Arts," featuring traditional craftspeople of Austin. Workshop participants will interview bladesmiths, luthiers, cigar box guitar makers, bootmakers, and other local craftspeople and complete a short radio documentary about their folk art.


During the Summer Institute, participants will work in groups with professional media producers and folklorists to produce short public radio-style audio documentaries on community traditions. Participants will tour KUT 90.5, Austin’s local NPR affiliate, where they will also record narration for their documentaries using KUT’s state of the art production studio. Documentaries produced during the workshop will be uploaded to Texas Folklife’s Soundcloud page and Public Radio Exchange where they may be selected to broadcast by public radio stations. At the end of the workshop, teachers and administrators will discuss options to implement folklore, media production, podcasting techniques, and technology education in their classrooms. A few teachers will also be selected to collaborate with Texas Folklife to bring an audio documentary program into their school the following school year.


Folklorist and veteran BBC radio producer Rachel Hopkin is the special guest instructor again this year. After working with the BBC, creating radio documentaries about music from around the UK, she became an independent radio producer and folklorist. Among her many accomplishments, Hopkin has documented multiple oral history projects in historic communities across the American South, created a radio series for local Kentucky NPR, and was awarded the 2012 Sally Kress Tompkins fellowship from the Society of Architectural Historians and the Historical American Buildings Survey to document buildings in Nashville. From 2012 to 2014 she served as Program Coordinator for Nevada Humanities, and is now pursuing a PhD in Folklore from Ohio State University. Ms. Hopkin has helped facilitate the Stories from Deep in the Heart Summer Institute for the last 3 summers.



On the last day, workshop participants will premiere their stories for their peers and the public in a Reception and Listening Party to be held at Bass Lecture Hall, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, at The University of Texas at Austin. The free event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 22. Reception at 6 p.m., Program begins at 7 p.m. During the reception, some of the craftspeople featured in the completed audio stories will be on hand demonstrating and explaining their crafts, providing attendees with the opportunity to engage with the craftspeople and their work. 


“The Summer Institute is in many ways the cornerstone of our Stories from Deep in the Heart program,” said Texas Folklife Acting Director Charlie Lockwood. “Each year our work with educators, administrators and students during the summer opens the door to future long term collaborations in the classroom. Additionally, our focus this year on material arts and culture allows us to engage with artists and culture bearers who provide us with important insights into ways of knowing and being. We are excited about the chance to share these stories with the public while also providing teachers, students and education administrators with training in technology, audio documentary and folklore.”  

“Stories from Deep in the Heart” is supported in part through grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art; the Shield-Ayres Foundation; the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and Department of Telecommunications & Regulatory Affairs Grant for Technology Opportunities (GTOPS); and generous support from the Austin Independent School District and KUT News 90.5.


For more information:

Stories from last year’s Institute can be found at:   



About Texas Folklife

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For over 30 years, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences.