OFN has completed its 5th regional folklife survey, which has reached thousands of Oregonians, including traditional artists from a range of cultures, arts organizations, libraries, museums, and county cultural coalitions. An Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts made possible the fieldwork and the public programs that followed. During 2018, contract folklorists Alina Mansfield, Amy Howard, and Thomas Grant Richardson documented 59 culture keepers.
Celebrating Lane County’s Artists and Traditions
In the Winter and Spring of 2018, I attended many of Lane County’s regional cultural events, festivals, and fairs to scout out tradition keepers for the Willamette Valley Folklife Survey. Read More...
Folk Artists in Marion, Polk, and Lane Counties and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde
During the spring and summer of 2018, OFN hired me to conduct folklife fieldwork in Marion and Polk counties and at the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. The geographical area I covered was large and diverse. The sheer length of each county encompasses a landscape in transition—mountain to valley to coast. Each day brought new surprises: green fields and grasses in wine and sheep country; bustling city streets; pine-encompassed mountain lakes, and winding, sparkling rivers. The landscape reflects the local agricultural and industrial economies. Read more...
Benton- Linn Co. Fieldwork Essay
Thomas Grant Richardson
In the Spring of 2018 I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Benton and Linn Counties in the Willamette Valley. Folklorists focus on the everyday traditions of people in communities and at how people define creativity, tradition, and community in their own lives. It is therefore a great joy to work as a folklorist, to be invited into the creative spaces of people often quite different from myself, and to have conversations that usually include phrases like “this is the most important thing in the world to me.” Read more...