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AFS Review: Notes

Welcome to Baltimore: 2019 AFS Meeting Program Sponsored by Local Planning Commitee

Monday, October 7, 2019   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
Our 2019 AFS Local Planning Committee is excited to welcome you to Baltimore, the hidden jewel of the East Coast, city of neighborhoods, and model of cultural activism that is truly Community Driven. We have tried to fold much of what we love about Baltimore and Maryland into your program this week, and we have sponsored events to explore what it means for the folklore world to be of, by and for the people.

Thursday evening, in particular, is all about community-driven conversations:

  • First, the Festival of Ideas: Community-Driven Conversations aims to disrupt “silos” and provide the opportunity to delve into a variety of the important issues, dilemmas, strategies, and experiences that we face every day in our professional practice. Thursday, 6:00 – 7:30 PM, Harborview.
  • Then, experience The Brownsville Project, a theatrical performance dedicated to uncovering suppressed history and its impact, uplifting historically suppressed voices, and community healing, as it explores the story of a place where race, class, gender and family pride meet. Come actively remember the community of Brownsville, Maryland, in this theatrical production co-sponsored with the Creative Writing and Storytelling Section; the Politics, Folklore, and Social Justice Section; the Women's Section; and the Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council. Thursday, 8:00 – 9:30 PM, Constellation D

We’re honored to announce that, with support from AFS, more than 100 local cultural leaders will participate in the entirety of the AFS meeting as first-time attendees. Conference sessions with some of these folklorists, artists, and community cultural leaders will explore what it means to do community-driven work. Look for these sessions:

01-05 “Community-driven Cultural Documentation: Understanding Maryland through a Local Lens”: Maryland-based photographers and community-based cultural documentarians will reflect on their role as pictorial storytellers and cultural advocates. This session aims to inspire folklorists to explore new cross-sector collaborations, empower community-based documentation, and continue to reimagine the role of community-based scholars and documentarians in the field of folklore studies. Thursday, 8:00 – 10:00 AM, Frederick, 2nd Floor. Cosponsored with Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

02-03 “Centering Our Praxis in Community Restoration: The Critical Work of Community Scholars, Activists, and Public Folklorists of Color on Cultivating, Healing, and Revitalization of Communities of Color through Folklore and Community Arts”: Within communities of color in cities such as Baltimore, many community scholars/activists and some public folklorists of color center their work in restoring and revitalizing the communities in which they work and live. Grounding their work in the rich traditional knowledges of these often ignored and maligned communities, they intentionally implement the power of traditional knowledges to mitigate and repair the impacts of histories of trauma, erasure, neglect, and oppression. Thursday, 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM, Constellation D. Cosponsored with the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee, the Association of African and African American Folklorists, the Creative Writing and Storytelling Section, and Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council.

03-03 “Black Storytelling and Cultural Preservation: The Legacy of Mama Linda Goss” delves into storytelling as a strategy for community restoration, with a focus on the impact and legacy of Master Storyteller and National Heritage Fellow Linda Goss, aka Mama Linda, an elder and visionary in the tradition of storytelling and a pioneer in Black storytelling. Thursday, 2:00 – 4:00 PM, Constellation D. Cosponsored with the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee, the Association of African and African American Folklorists, the Creative Writing and Storytelling Section, and Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council.

03-05 “Baltimore: Community Activism in the Hidden Jewel of the East Coast”: National news coverage of Baltimore has hidden and even denied the strength and power of the communities that live here. Long before the Baltimore Uprising of 2015, neighborhoods in the city have united to address social justice issues that most urban communities endure. This session will feature some of the numerous community-driven initiatives that are striving to make Baltimore a thriving, livable city. Thursday, 2:00 – 4:00, Frederick, 2nd floor. Cosponsored with the Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council.

06-04 “African American Dollmaking and Puppetry: Renegotiating Identity, Restoring Community”: African American artisans utilize ancient skills and innovative technologies to create dolls and puppets that are both whimsical and starkly serious. Their creations—incorporating clay, textiles, wood, glass, and found objects—embrace the somber reality of African American experiences and optimism for a boundless future. Working alone and in communities these artisans create dolls and puppets that articulate Black beauty, strength, style, spirituality, and truth. Their works, embodying older traditions and innovative vocabularies for storytelling, are designed to amuse, educate, and heal. Look for some of these panelists in the Maryland Traditions Showcase on Friday. Friday, 2:00 – 4:00 PM, Columbia, 2nd floor. Cosponsored with AFS Cultural Diversity Committee, the Association of African and African American Folklorists, and Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council.

We are also proud to announce that, with a generous grant from the Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council, we have more than 50 Maryland-based artists presenting, demonstrating, participating, and performing throughout the gathering, including: the ceremonial opening song from Nepali singer Prem Raja Mahat; a keynote conversation with artist and MacArthur Fellow Joyce J. Scott; a musical performance by Amadou Kouyate, the 150th generation of the Kouyate family of Manding Diali (oral historians/musicians of West Africa) and the first generation born of his father’s lineage in America; and a Post-Plenary Reception featuring the lively Irish accordion tunes of National Heritage Fellow Billy McComiskey and his band of stellar musicians. Ongoing artists’ demonstrations in the Maryland Traditions Showcase give you an opportunity to talk with our artists in more depth and perhaps take home a piece of their work.

This meeting goes further, giving attendees an opportunity to show off some creative expression of their own: Junious Brickhouse, founder of Urban Artistry Inc., an internationally known organization dedicated to the “performance and preservation of art forms inspired by the urban experience,” has organized two opportunities to dance, complete with DJs, MCs and local dancers to teach you the moves. The first is on Wednesday evening as part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee. On Saturday, The Preservatory Project: Baltimore Music and The Movement, will close out our conference.

Finally, the Local Planning Committee brings you the Baltimore Guide, thanks to the local insights of Michelle Stefano. The guide is your resource for restaurants, walking tours, and fun activities to deepen your engagement with our city.

Find out more about all the sessions and events organized by the Local Planning Committee in the online program or the program book pdf.

Here are the specifics of Local Committee-sponsored events for those who wish to focus their experience on what Baltimore has to offer. All, except the tours and workshop, are free and open to all attendees:

  • Tour: A Walk through “the Reservation”—The Historic Lumbee Indian Community of East Baltimore. Organized by Ashley Minner. Wednesday, 9:30 am-1:30 pm (registration closed)
  • Tour: Rowhouse Arts of Baltimore—Rowhouses, Murals and Painted Screens . Organized by Elaine Eff. Wednesday, 9:30 am-4:00 pm. (registration closed)
  • Workshop: Baltimore’s Crankies—Make the World’s Greatest Stories Unroll before Your Eyes!. Organized by and featuring the beautiful work of Baltimore’s crankie maven, Katherine Fahey. Wednesday, 1:00–4:00 pm, The Carroll Mansion (registration closed)
  • Opening Ceremony. Featuring a welcome song by Prem Raja Mahat. Co-sponsored by the American Folklore Society and the Maryland State Arts Council Maryland Traditions Program. Wednesday, 5:00–6:00 pm, Constellation A/B
  • Opening Plenary: A Conversation with Baltimore original and MacArthur Fellow Joyce J. Scott. Co-sponsored by the AFS Local Planning Committee and the Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council. Wednesday, 6:00 – 6:30, Constellation A/B
  • Welcome Reception and Recognition of 25 Years of Cultural Diversity Efforts. Featuring music by Prem Raja Mahat. Co-sponsored with the American Folklore Society, the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee, and the Maryland State Arts Council Maryland Traditions Program. Cash bar. Wednesday, 6:30 – 8:30 PM, Atrium, 2nd floor
  • Celebration: Dance Party with Junious Brickhouse and Friends. Music and dancing provided by Urban Artistry Inc. Cash bar. Wednesday, 9:00 pm–11:00 pm. Co-sponsored by the American Folklore Society, the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee, and the Maryland State Arts Council Maryland Traditions Program.
  • Maryland Traditions Showcases: Artists demonstrations, displays, and sales. Artists change every day. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM, Atrium, 2nd Floor. Co-sponsored with Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council.
  • Festival of Ideas Reception, with music by Amadou Kouyate. Thursday, 6:00 – 7:30 PM, Atrium, 2nd floor. Co-sponsored with Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council, the MA in Cultural Sustainability at Goucher College, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Public Programs Section, and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
  • Post-Plenary Reception with Irish traditional dance music by National Heritage Fellow Billy McComiskey and friends. Co-sponsored with the Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council and Middle Atlantic Folklife Association. Cash bar and appetizers. Saturday, 7:00 – 8:00 PM, Atrium, 2nd floor
  • The Preservatory Project: Baltimore Music and The Movement. Dance party brought to you by Urban Artistry Inc. Co-sponsored with the Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council. Cash bar. Saturday, 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM, Constellation E/F.

Comments...

Balakrishnan Koyyal says...
Posted Monday, October 14, 2019
I am excited to be part of the event. Have travelled from India and reached the US. Wishing to participate in all possible sessions. Balakrishnan Koyyal from Kannur, Kerala, India. email >koyyalkb@gmail.com<


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