Oregon Folklife Network

The Oregon Historical Society (OHS) is proud to be an Operational Partner of the Oregon Folklife Network (OFN), whose mission - to make a meaningful difference in Oregon communities and Tribes by documenting, supporting, and celebrating our diverse cultural traditions and by empowering our tradition-bearers - strongly aligns with our own goals.

Until budget restrictions forced its closure in 2009, OHS was proud to house the former Oregon Folklife Program, which was widely praised for its work with a variety of culture groups, communities, and tradition-bearers to document Oregon's cultural traditions and offer high quality state-wide programs and services. As an Operational Partner, OHS collaborates with OFN to foster new and ongoing projects that reach diverse communities across the state. Our unrestricted financial support to OFN allows us to do this important work without overspending our resources. We are grateful to be able to continue our long tradition of leadership in statewide folklore projects and look forward to serving Oregonians through this new partnership.

About the Oregon Folklife Network

Folklife encompasses the everyday knowledge, art, and lore passed within communities through imitation, conversation, and practice.

Such arts, knowledge, and skills are rooted in the cultural life of a community whose members share a common language, ethnic heritage, religion, occupation, or geographic region.

The OFN, Oregon's official Folk and Traditional Arts Program, represents a network of statewide culture and heritage partners that operate on state, regional, county, and community levels to document, support, preserve, and celebrate Oregon's traditional art forms and cultural practices. The OFN conducts folklife fieldwork and collaborates with communities and organizations to sponsor activities that increase public awareness of the significance of Oregon's living cultural heritage.

For information about OFN programs and resources for traditional artists and communities, please visit their website.

Oregon Culture Keepers Roster

Oregon Culture Keepers RosterThe Oregon Culture Keepers Roster is an online juried selection of excellent folk and traditional artists and cultural experts. Those included preserve and present Oregon's diverse heritage for a variety of audiences. As OFN completes more fieldwork around Oregon, they will be expanding the Roster. At present, it lists nearly 75 culture keepers from the following counties and Tribes as well as TAAP (Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program) master artists from a few more: Klamath, Lake, Harney, Malheur, Hood River, Wasco, Jefferson, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, and Umatilla as well as with the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and the Burns Paiute Tribe.

On the Oregon History Project

Oregon Folklife: Our Living Traditions explores community-based arts and culture in the context of local history. In each region of the state, ethnic, religious, occupational, and recreational communities tell stories, create material arts, and participate in rituals and celebrations. Joanne Mulcahy, who directed the Oregon Folk Arts Program from 1988 to 1991, has conducted fieldwork throughout the state. She is the author of Birth and Rebirth on an Alaskan Island, which chronicles the life of an Alaska Native healer, and Remedios: The Healing Life of Eva Castellanoz. She teaches writing at the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis and Clark College.