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Presenting Folklife in NH

closeup of hands braiding a rug

People preserve traditions by passing them on to the next generation. As society and communities change, it becomes more important to celebrate and learn about our traditions. Attending concerts, festival, and exhibits is a wonderful way to do this!

Learn about how the NH State Council on the Arts has presented traditional arts and folklife through a variety of projects.


Festivals provide an opportunity for people to learn from each other person to person.

Learn about festivals programs, including New Hampshire at the 1999 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.


Exhibits provide an opportunity for people to learn about and enjoy the beauty of traditional arts at their own pace.

Learn about exhibits.

contra dance musicians

Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman
preserve social dances introduced from
England during Colonial times.

You Can Make a Difference!

Get involved with traditions in your community. Invite a traditional artist to give a presentation at a local school or festival. Ask traditional musicians to hold a contra dance in your town hall. Help preserve a historic building in your town, join a group that protects our open spaces, help plan your town's next Old Home Day, spend time with the older members of your family and community to talk to them about the way traditions have been a part of their lives!

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts has a variety of grants that help fund non-profit organizations to present and honor traditional arts and artists at festivals, exhibits and other public events.

Find traditional artists, community scholars, and folklorists who enjoy performing and demonstrating at community events, in schools, and for workshops. The Traditional Arts and Folklife Listing an online directory published by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.


Inclusion of Community Scholars and Folklorists in Projects:

Presenters and sponsors are encouraged to include community scholars or folklorists in developing and presenting traditional artists. These cultural specialists can be very helpful in developing educational materials, setting a cultural and historical context for presentations, and providing other information that helps educate audiences regarding the importance, beauty, and complexity of traditional arts and culture.

Photo credit: Lynn Martin Graton

New Hampshire State Council on the Arts
19 Pillsbury Street - 1st Floor, Concord, NH 03301