The Kentucky Folklife Program, part of the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology at Western Kentucky University, will host the first virtual Kentucky Folklife Network Gathering on March 5-6.
The two-day event is dedicated to creating more robust avenues of communication among folklorists, academics, community scholars and cultural documentarians across the state. The gathering will feature roundtable discussions and speakers from Kentucky and beyond engaged in community-based folklife projects on topics such as engaging seniors in folk art activities and documenting the art of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We are excited to be hosting this first Folklife Network Gathering event next month,” said Kentucky Folklife Program Director Brent Bjorkman. “As a statewide folklife organization dedicated to documentation projects ourselves, we have long been aware of the challenge of working in all 120 Kentucky counties. The role of the gathering will be to bring together individuals and organizations, both from within Kentucky and outside who are deeply engaged in projects in their home communities to share their innovative work with others.”
The gathering is intended to continue the momentum of the recently established Kentucky Folklife Network. The network was established in 2019 after four regional meetings were held around the state to gauge interest and communally create a vision for what the network should be and what it can offer. Using feedback from those meetings, KFP launched Kentucky Folklife, a digital magazine designed to act as a platform for those in the network to share their project ideas for building greater community understanding. The gathering was originally intented to act as a culminating event following those meetings and scheduled for May 2020 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now being held virtually, the free event includes five panel discussions and four featured speakers over two days.
This event is free and open to anyone engaged in or interested in learning more about community-based documentation in Kentucky. To see the full schedule, bios of speakers and to register, visit https://kentuckyfolklife.org/kentucky-folklife-gathering-2021/.