Pictured: Ponca Powwow

Folk & Traditional Arts

Folk and Traditional Arts are rooted in the everyday experience of a community. Language, occupation, family connection, and identity are reflected in artistic traditions as varied as woodcarving, drumming, storytelling, or trick roping. As the everyday experience of a community changes over time, folk & traditional art forms are continuously invigorated with younger generations and new residents, new technology, and quicker communication, while uniting the past and the present.

The Nebraska Arts Council’s Folk & Traditional Arts Program provides grant support to communities and organizations that want to celebrate their heritage, promotes artists working in traditional art forms and methods, celebrates people working in folk and traditional art forms, and educates the public on the importance of Nebraska’s folk and traditional arts.


Folk & Traditional Arts

Folk & Traditional Artists

Nebraska Arts Council’s Artist Roster provides a list of talented Nebraska artists available for hire through grants that assist with the cost of retaining artists for educational residencies or performances. Artists working with folk and traditional art forms may be listed in the Teaching Roster or the Touring Roster, but self-identify as a folk or traditional artist.

Folk & Traditional Roster Artists embody certain qualities, such as a history of artistic development through informal education, the inclusion of culturally specific elements in their work and a desire to foster their tradition in others. Additionally, Nebraska Arts Council Folk & Traditional Artists have a vision of their artform as personal, rather than historical and creatively explore their artistic drive, while maintaining tradition.

To find a Folk or Traditional Artist for your event, school, or community, visit our Find an Artist page using the link below and filter by Folk & Traditional Arts.

Hire an Artist

NAC Folk and Traditional Arts Report

From 2021 to 2022, community leader Ellen Struve met with artists in the Omaha-Metro to talk with artists working in folk and traditional arts. This report contains findings and recommendations that will help guide NAC’s Folk & Traditional Arts program in the coming year.

Click here for the full report.


Contact Stephanie Plummer for more information.