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Folklife Specialist

Organization: North Carolina Arts Council, DNCR
Date Posted: 12/14/2017
City: Raleigh
Location: North Carolina
Country: United States
Primary Category: Public Folklore, State Government
Type of Position: Full-Time

Description & Details

The North Carolina Arts Council is now accepting applications for the position of folklife specialist. The Council is seeking a candidate with a masters’ degree in folklife, American Studies, ethnomusicology or related field or with equivalent experience and a demonstrated competency in digital documentation. The folklife specialist will work closely with traditional artists and communities, manage a folklife education program and work with the Folklife Director on all aspects of the Folklife Program, including the NC Heritage Awards, digital communication, grants administration and economic development projects.

The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) vision is to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. DNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in North Carolina by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

For nearly 50 years, the North Carolina Arts Council has invested in artists and arts organizations to create an enviable arts infrastructure that reaches every corner of our state. The arts make North Carolina a great state to live and work. 

Description of Work:

The Folklife Program Specialist develops and manages programs and project initiatives that benefit the folklife infrastructure of the state and that support the primary Folklife Program goals of identifying and documenting indigenous, authentic and emergent forms of culture for preservation, public presentation and integration into the creative economy of the state. The employee manages the Traditional Arts Programs for Students (TAPS) and creates guidelines for the development and support of recurrent TAPS programs, and monitors each program's individual goals and strategies, as well as grant contract compliance. The employee maintains the TAPS media collection (photos, videos, recordings) and organizes and implements a TAPS marketing plan through print and social media, both for the purposes of public awareness and recruitment of new TAPS sites.

Additionally, employee supports ongoing Folklife projects such as the Folk Heritage Awards and regional cultural tourism trails. Other duties include technical assistance to the field with the goal of building the capacity of the state's traditional artists and organizations; examples of technical assistance may include documentary institutes or the development of Traditional Artist Directories.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Overseeing 20 TAPS programs across the state with a budget of $162,000. This includes consulting with the TAPS Steering Committee, recruiting additional sites, and researching possible funding sources and grant writing.
  • Managing all aspects of the TAPS grant applications, awards, reports and monitoring
  • Implementing a TAPS marketing plan that will use print and social media to educate the public about the value of TAPS.
  • Supporting cultural tourism and arts-driven economic development projects such as African American Music Trail, the Blue Ridge Music Trail, the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, and the Blue Ridge Craft Trail. This includes serving as the contract manager for agreement with local arts partner, managing community planning, documentation, and programming, managing content for websites, guidebooks and identified sites, attending meetings and maintaining communication with artists and organizations who have contributed to the trails.
  • Working closely with the Folklife Director on the full scope of the NC Heritage Awards
  • Identifying and responding to needs of constituents in the field and instigates programs that advance the goals of the Folklife Section such as documentary training programs, artist directories, and folklife internships; responds to information inquires; makes presentations at Board meetings and other public gatherings; participates in task forces, grant panels and committees.
  • Achieving proficiency in NCAC program software, telephone systems, general office software and systems utilized by NCAC; prepares Folklife reports of activity and accomplishments, as requested; recruits, supervises, and evaluates contracted staff as needed; prepares travel request and reimbursement forms as needed; maintains and organizes program files; updates Web site content as necessary; attends all required meetings, submits paperwork by deadlines, and maintains good internal communication with coworkers.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

To receive credit for your work history and credentials, you must provide the information on the application form. Any information omitted from the application form, listed as general statements, listed under the text resume section, or on an attachment will not be considered for qualifying credit.

To qualify for this position, you must meet ALL the following KSAs listed below:

  • Considerable knowledge of the fields of folklore and/or anthropology and American Studies as demonstrated by formal course work or job experience.
  • Demonstrated skills with digital documentary practices
  • Demonstrated ability to operate digital audio recording devices, cameras, and video
  • Demonstrated knowledge of using social media (such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to post about the traditional arts.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:

  • Graduation from a four-year college or university preferably with a degree in art, English, one of the performing arts, or arts administration, depending upon specific area of program assignment, and two years of experience in arts program administration or development work, one of which may be as a professional artist in a field directly related to the area of program assignment


  • An equivalent combination of education and experience.


For more information or to apply, visit the full job posting at:


Applications will be accepted through January 3, 2018.


The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) selects applicants for employment based on required education and experience and job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, political affiliation or political influence.

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