Maryland Traditions is Maryland’s state folklife program. Its mission is to identify, document, support, and present folklife, or community-based living cultural traditions handed down by example or word of mouth. Learn more about folklife grants, events, and other opportunities below. For more information, contact Maryland Traditions staff directly.
Folklife Network grants fund organizations serving as regional folklife centers in Maryland. Grants are administered through the Maryland Traditions state folklife program and support activities that identify, document, support, or present the living cultural traditions of Maryland’s diverse communities. Current regional folklife centers receiving Folklife Network funding are: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (Talbot County), Common Ground on the Hill (Carroll County), Creative Alliance (Baltimore City), Frostburg State University (Allegany County), Sandy Spring Museum (Montgomery County); St. Mary’s College of Maryland (St. Mary’s County); University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Baltimore County); and the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University (Wicomico County).
Offered annually, Folklife Apprenticeship grants fund the teaching of skills from a master to a learner artist in folklife, or living cultural traditions. During the study period, a master folklife artist passes down her or his knowledge to a learner in an effort to support the vitality of folklife in Maryland. Folklife Apprenticeships support living cultural traditions and are distinct from registered apprenticeships offered through the Maryland Apprenticeship Training Program (MATP), which supports workforce development. For more information on MATP, visit https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/appr/.
Heritage Awards recognize long-term achievement in folklife, or community-based living cultural traditions handed down by example or word of mouth. Awards are given through the Maryland Traditions state folklife program and annually recognize one recipient in each of three categories: Person/People, Place, and Tradition.
The Maryland Folklife Archives contain fieldwork data collected by Maryland state folklorists since 1974, along with many more folklife materials. This public archive is housed in the Special Collections of the Albin O. Kuhn Library at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where digitization work is ongoing.
Hosted in Salisbury from 2018-2021, the National Folk Festival is a free celebration of the nation’s living cultural traditions. Maryland folklife practitioners are featured at the festival’s Maryland Traditions Folklife Area. The National Folk Festival is produced by the Maryland-based National Council for the Traditional Arts. Please note that the 2020 National Folklife Festival has been rescheduled for September 2021 in Salisbury in response to COVID-19.
The National Heritage Fellowship is the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Given annually by the National Endowment for the Arts, fellowships honor artists’ excellence and contributions to folk and traditional arts in the United States. Seventeen awards have been given in Maryland since the first class of recipients were recognized in 1982.
All grantees are required to submit a Final Report communicating data required by the National Endowment for the Arts. This required data can be found here. For program specific Report information, please see the corresponding Guidelines.