University of Oregon Announces Oregon Folklife Network
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Posted by: Lisa Gilman
We are delighted to announce that the Oregon Folklife Network, a
statewide public folklore organization, is being established at the
University of Oregon. As many of you know, the Oregon Folklife Program
(OFP) was first housed at Lewis and Clark College, and then at the
Oregon Historical Society from 1993-2009. The OHS dissolved the OFP in
June 2009, yet another victim of the financial crisis.
that the OFP would be dissolved inspired a statewide strategic planning
process that involved stakeholders from arts, heritage, and cultural
organizations and faculty from several universities and colleges across
the state. The result was that the University of Oregon was selected to
house a new vision for public folklore in Oregon based on a network
UO administrators have been
overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the OFN. The UO Libraries dean
provided us with very visible and centrally located space within the
Knight Library. The Office of Research and Graduate School provided us
with a graduate assistant for the 2010-2011 academic year, and we are
still waiting to hear about other university contributions. Partners in
the network have equally been very generous. The OFN received
significant grants from the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Oregon Arts
Commission, and we're waiting to hear about other possibilities.
are currently in the process of establishing the OFN by setting up shop
in our new office space and hiring an Interim Program Manager for the
2010-2011 year. We anticipate hiring a full-time director in Fall 2011.
OFN will officially launch this fall with the symposium "Public
Folklore in the 21st Century," which will feature Bill Ivey, leaders in
the arts and heritage world in the region, and UO students and faculty.
The symposium will explore how changes in demographics, economics,
politics, and technology impact the definitions, goals, and methods of
public folklore today. We hope that those of you nearby will join us for
this event. More details to follow soon.
look forward to lots of information sharing and collaboration as we
continue to work to make the OFN a viable and successful organization!
the academic front, I should mention that at long last, our MA has been
moved out of the graduate school and into the Folklore Program. We are
now officially a degree granting unit! And, our dean is encouraging us
to submit proposals for an undergraduate major and minor in Folklore.