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The Arts and Geotourism

The relatively new concept of geotourism is attracting increasing interest around the world. Although the term has been in use informally since 1997, the 2002 Geotourism Study, sponsored by National Geographic Traveler magazine and conducted by the Travel Industry Association of America, constituted its public debut.


"From the Heart and Hand"

A close-up on Montana traditional artists by Alexandra Swaney.


Indivisible: Stories of American Community

Indivisible is a project created to document stories of real American lives, focusing on people in the process of struggle and change in nine communities across the country.


Montana Circle of American Masters

Life here can test the human spirit, but Montanans have found many ways to express the relationship with the land. Something in Montana's landscape nudges, pushes, and even shoves the creative spirit.

Born deep in that landscape, folk/traditional arts spring from the needs of a community. While having a use, the work of the quilter, the saddlemaker, the ironworker, the parfleche maker, and the potter also are visible evidence of who we are. Because these artists are just around the corner or down the road, they often are over-looked, even "hidden in plain view."

To celebrate Montana's heritage and showcase the folk arts, the Montana Arts Council announces Montana's Circle of American Masters in the Folk and Traditional Arts.This program recognizes Montana folk artists for artistic excellence in their work, along with their help in preserving the state's cultural heritage.


National Museums | Institutions | Programs


American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress

The collective memory of our country; the repository of oral history and folk music for the United States, with access to online musical archives.


American Folklore Society

Site of the membership organization for professional folklorists in the United States including a directory, a listing of graduate programs, membership directory, and other resources.


City Lore

City Lore's mission is to foster New York's - and American's living cultural heritage - through programs and publications.


Fife Folklore Archives at Utah State University

Housed in Logan, Utah, the Fife Archives are one of the largest repositories of American folklore in our country. There is also an excellent folklore program at Utah State University.


Folk Alliance

With over 2,000 members worldwide and an annual conference that is one of the five largest music conferences in North America, Folk Alliance provides support services to its members.


National Council for the Traditional Arts

This website lists information on current events, including the National Folk Festival.


National Endowment for the Arts Folk and Traditional Arts Program

The official site for the NEA Folk Arts Program offers information on folk arts grants available to organizations nationally, as well as links to service organizations, state programs, publications lists and festivals nationwide.


National Trust for Historic Preservation

This organization helps people protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them, and this site provides links to information and technical assistance.


Place Matters

A sister organization of City Lore, this non-profit promotes and protects places that connect us to the past and contribute to vital communities.


Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Site for the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife and the home of Folkway Records where you can view and order hundreds of recordings from traditional cultures worldwide.


Smithsonian National Musem of the American Indian

"Identity by Design: Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses" presents a fascinating array of Native women's clothing from the Plains, Plateau and Great Basin regions of the United States and Canada, dating from the 1800s to the present. Be sure to check out the Resource link for a lesson plan dealing with traditional dress making on the Fort Peck reservation.


Veterans' History Project

By Congressional mandate, the American Folklife Center is collecting and preserving oral and videoed histories, photographs, home movies and other documentation of America's nineteen million veterans.


Western Folklife Center

Home of the national Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, the center webcasts cowboy poetry live during the annual Gathering in January and presents programs such as "Voices of Youth," in which young people document their ranch communities through photography and interviews.


Folklife Education


A Teacher's Guide to Folklife Resources for K-12 Classrooms

A Teacher's Guide to Folklife Resources is a list of materials recently prepared for the classroom by folklorists and other cultural studies specialists in closely related fields.


Folk Arts in Education

A Resource Handbook II examines the state of folklife and folk arts in education projects around the U.S. with sample curricula from over 50 exemplary programs for youth.


Joseph Campbell Folk School

John C. Campbell Folk School offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.


Learning Page

Teachers' "front door" to use of the incredible collection of the Library of Congress - lesson ideas for working with the 100 collections comprising seven million historical documents, photographs, audio recordings, maps and films.


Southern Poverty Law Center Teaching Tolerance

Teaching Tolerance supports the efforts of K-12 teachers and other educators to promote respect for differences and appreciation of diversity, and serves as a clearing house of information about anti-bias programs and activities being implemented in schools across the country.


Montana Resources


Montana Memory Project

The Montana Memory Project provides access to digital collections and items relating to Montana's cultural heritage and government.


Montana Museums

This directory site provides information and links to the state's museums and their programs.

Selected State Folklife Education Programs


Iowa Folklife Program

Provides a learning guide for teachers, students and senior citizens about Iowa's people, communities and traditions.


Kentucky Folklife Program

The mission of the Kentucky Folklife Program is to identify, document and conserve the state's diverse cultural traditions.


Louisiana Voices

This is one of the most extensive state folklife sites in the country, and offers access to the very rich folk cultures of Louisiana.


Michigan Traditional Arts Program

Working together, Michigan State University Museum and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs documents, preserves and presents folk arts and folklife in Michigan.


Mississippi Arts Commission Crossroads of the Heart

Documents the folk traditions of Mississippi.


Southern Highlands Craft Guild

The Southern Highland Craft Guild represents the historical crafts of southern Appalachia. It includes educational resources, along with electronic access to selected archival materials.


Texas Folklife

This site offers an overview of Texas folklife and some good curriculum guides for several art forms, including Texas style fiddle and Western swing.






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The Montana Arts Council is funded by the State of Montana and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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