Arts commission searching for ‘tradition bearers’

  • Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The South Carolina Arts Commission’s Folklife and Traditional Arts Program, in collaboration with the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, has launched the fourth phase of the Survey of South Carolina’s Tradition Bearers. Tradition bearers practice traditional arts handed down from generation to generation through community-specific practices.

“The Folklife and Traditional Arts Program aims to support tradition bearers throughout South Carolina,” said Doug Peach, program coordinator. “This survey provides vital and up-to-date information on the breadth of living traditions in our state, many of which have never been documented. This stage of the survey will be focused on coastal areas of South Carolina – a vibrant region for music, storytelling, and foodways, just to name a few.

“By surveying artists and learning about their work, we can better understand how to assist them with our programs, such as the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards, the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative, and Traditional Arts grants for nonprofit organizations.”

One hundred artists have been identified in 20 counties since the survey launched in October 2009. Traditions practiced by these artists include chair caning, instrument making, basket weaving and quilt making.

This phase of the survey began in November 2013 and will be completed by June 2014.

Individuals or organizations who know of tradition bearers should contact Doug Peach at PeachD@mailbox.sc.edu or (803)734-8764.

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