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.
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
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.
Nebraska Folk and Traditional Artists: A Sampling showcases the work of 10 folk and traditional artists who create in diverse methods and media and live throughout Omaha, Lincoln, and greater Nebraska. Folk and traditional artists learn techniques and imagery that have been passed down through communal or familial means. At times an artist has been self-taught in their craft, drawn to revive a lost or seldom-practiced art form or develop something so singular it is without precedent. The individuals included in this exhibition are a mere sampling of artists that can be found across the state. Independent curator Teliza Rodriguez brings together the work of folk and traditional artists who represent a broad spectrum of artistic techniques, materials, cultures and communities for Nebraska Folk and Traditional Artists: A Sampling. Despite their diversity, the artists have a common interest in community, in sharing these traditions with other people and encouraging others to explore their creativity. Artists with work included in the exhibition are:
The Nebraska Arts Council’s Folk & Traditional Arts Program 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, and through its existing grant programs, provides support to communities and organizations that want to celebrate their heritage. Nebraska Folk and Traditional Artists: A Sampling brings together artists from across the state in celebration of these traditions and artforms and to introduce Nebraska residents to our rich and diverse heritage.
Nebraska Folk and Traditional Artists: A Sampling will be in the Fred Simon Gallery from September 29th – November 29th, 2023.
Form to sign up to receive the FTA Newsletter