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AFS Review: Professional Opportunities

Oregon Folklife Network, Request for Proposal: Contract Folk Arts in Education Instructor

Wednesday, March 2, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon K. Larson
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Oregon Folklife Network seeks to hire a professional folklorist with extensive Folk Arts in Education experience to conduct a folklife field school (June 13-23, 2016) for rising 9th-grade Tribal youth and their teachers from Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS). The Oregon Folklife Network (OFN) requests that interested applicants submit a proposal that details an approach, provides sample ethnographic documentation materials/tools, and outlines expected outcomes. The RFP, including all support material (to be submitted electronically) is due Thursday, March 21, 2016 (details below).

Fee and work: In addition to the $4,000 fee for this position, OFN covers all travel and per diem expenses to/from Oregon and CTWS. Contracted work will include communication in advance with CTWS cultural director and OFN staff, preparation of all materials, and on-site workshop coordination and teaching of students and teachers. OFN will provide photocopying services and assist with coordination, all student and teacher registration; and coordination of logistics at UO for presentations on campus.

Dates: Work on this project should begin May 1, 2016 and must be completed by July 15, 2016 (including all paperwork). Field school days are tentatively scheduled for June 13-17, with Tribal presentations on June 20-21 and a field trip to University of Oregon for campus presentations June 22-23.

Audience: Up to ten rising 9th graders and between three and eight teachers of grades 5-8 will document Tribal traditions in their own communities for college credit and Professional Development Units respectively. This very rural reservation of just over 1,000 square-miles includes the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Northern Paiute Tribes. OFN has an active partnership with the Warm Springs Cultural Department and its director; she and school officials will select students and determine topics/traditions that students and teachers will interview elders to document. For background information, please see the Warm Springs Museum website ; the Oregon Folklife curriculum; and especially

Goals: In addition to teaching ethnographic field skills to rising 9th graders, the Field School will provide Professional Development Units (PDUs) to teachers. Teachers of grades 5-8 will learn documentation skills alongside students, while also supervising student fieldwork, overseeing final project development, and developing lesson plans that integrate local community cultural research into common core curriculum areas. Through partnerships with other Tribal agencies, teachers will collaborate and develop new skills while conducting folklife fieldwork in their community.

Objectives: The FAIE folklorist will write/compile a field school curriculum based on his/her experience and background. The Tribes, as represented by the Culture Department director, will prioritize documentation topics/traditions for the field school. Students and teachers will choose documentation topics from a range of those priorities, such as storytelling, basket weaving, beading, regalia making, root digging, Whashut ceremonies, oral histories, and language preservation. Students will explore the heritage of Warm Springs, Wasco, Northern Paiute heritage via foodways, music, crafts, storytelling, and other relevant traditional expressions. They will learn how to record, share, and archive their research for future tribal benefit.

Products: A successful field school will result in a documentation project from each student, to be conducted over the course of five on-site field school days, two outside-class presentations (one to Tribal members and one to the University of Oregon Native community), and student evaluations of the project. The required 30 instruction hours will include about 20-hours of in-class instruction in ethnographic documentation methods, presentation options (exhibits, power points, videos, posters, Instagram collages, etc.), and how to do public presentations; there will also be 10 hours of engagement per student outside of class to 1) coordinate and conduct documentation (4 hours); 2) prepare a public project presentation (4 hours); and 3) publicly present projects, and provide program evaluation (2 hours).

Data and Archives: Tribal research completed during the Field School will include all fieldwork forms (data, photo and audio logs, release forms), related data (photos, recordings), and fieldnotes. Students and teachers will submit those materials with final reports/products to the Warm Springs Cultural Department, who will opt to share these with OFN at their own discretion.

Report and Evaluation: In collaboration with the CTWS cultural director and teachers, the folk arts educator will ensure delivery of student work to the Warm Springs Cultural Department. S/he will also submit to OFN: student evaluations, a written project report and evaluation, and a needs assessment for a future field school and/or alternative folk arts in education programming at the CTWS. Such materials will provide further direction for OFN’s outreach function for the University of Oregon.

Qualifications: The successful applicant must have an MA and/or Ph.D. in folklore or related discipline, such as cultural anthropology or ethnomusicology, and at least 5 years’ professional experience in public folklore and folklife in education specifically. Please note that this does NOT include work conducted as part of a degree program. Qualified applicants must have access to, experience and technical competence with digital equipment (camera, audio recorder, computer/laptop). OFN has limited supply of documentary equipment suitable for student use, but will make these available with advanced preparation.  

How to Apply: Along with a cover letter detailing qualifications and relevant experience as well as how the applicant will conduct the work for this project, applicants should supply the following (please submit only digital and/or online work samples).

  • Professional CV
  • 3 relevant reference letters
  • Representative work samples to include
  • 2 sample field school lesson plans
  • Recorded interviews (2-3 excerpts of no more than 5 minutes each);
  • Photography (10-20 images, jpg format, with metadata: subject, date, place, purpose of original photo)
  • Student evaluations from prior trainings/workshops (5 pp max!)

Applications submitted without these items will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered.

Oregon Cultural Trust funds are funding the contractor’s stipend of $4000 for service. OFN will cover additional airfare and in-state travel expenses. Contract folklorist, who will be supervised by OFN Executive Director, Riki Saltzman, must arrange his/her own travel to Oregon and submit paperwork in a timely manner to receive reimbursement. Saltzman will provide preliminary contact information and/or introductions for Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and a roster of traditional artists to supplement internal leads provided by the Tribe. The OFN will provide folklife fieldwork forms (audio log, photo log, release form, artist data sheet, and roster application); funding for disks, memory cards, batteries, etc.

Please submit complete applications (including all reference letters) to Riki Saltzman at Make sure to include all work samples as attachments or send via WeTransfer ( Please put FAIE in the subject line.

Applications must be received at the OFN by 5 p.m. Pacific Time, Mar 21, 2016.

For further information or questions, please contact Riki Saltzman or Emily West Hartlerode at 541/346-3820 or or



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