Folklife Center

The Folklife Center at Perkins Center for the Arts documents and presents the folklore and culture of Burlington, Gloucester and Camden counties through fieldwork, research and programming.
Becoming American

For more information, click here.

Tastefully South Jersey

Tastefully South Jersey Exhibition and Workshop Series is an exploration into folk art and culture through the lens of food traditions primarily in Burlington, Gloucester, and Camden Counties.  The three-county engagement celebrates diverse food arts and food through African American (Caribbean influence, West African influence and Soul food), Eastern European (Polish, Turkish) and Latin (Mexican and Peruvian) communities. The program engages local partnerships from planning to implementation. The fieldwork and collaborations include practitioners, artists, community organizations, local businesses and community culture keepers.

The project developed out of the recognition of our shared belief in the value of diversity in our State, which is one of our most significant and valuable characteristics.  We conducted fieldwork in 2017-2018 and hosted the  Tastefully South Jersey Exhibition at our Collingswood Gallery July 12 – August 25, 2018.

Special Events  blended shared traditions of storytelling, healing arts, visual arts, song and music concerts with food folklore. The Exhibition is followed by a series of workshops and classes in the Fall 2018 to foster dialogue around the intersection of folk arts, food and family values, communal ethos,  health and sustainable communities.

Check our education calendar for upcoming details on Tastefully South Jersey Workshops.

Tastefully South Jersey Exhibition and Workshop Series is made possible in part  by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, New Jersey Council of Humanities, the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Folklife Center Blog
The Butterfly:  A Radical Act of Community Storytelling

Join us and tell your story at The Butterfly, a community storytelling concert held the 4th Tuesday of each month January through June and September through December at our Collingswood Gallery, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Storytelling is the first art form.  From its inception on the continent of Africa, storytelling has been steeped in communal ethos.  It is an amalgamated event of teller and audience.  It taches lessons, empowers voice and maintains societal values.  It makes us laugh, cry, gasp, hold on and release — It connects.

As we radically change minds and hearts at transformative, uncensored adult storytelling concerts.

1.  Sign up to tell your story around a monthly theme.
2.  Four Tellers will be selected to tell each month
3.  Attend a coaching/rehearsal session on the 3rd Tuesday prior to the concert (7:00-8:30)
4.  Perform at the monthly concert on the 4th Tuesday.


September: Anything But That (non-negotiables, persistent fears, breaking the rules)
Deadline for Submission:  September 8
Notification to Tellers:  September 10
Rehearsal:  September 18
Concert Performance:  September 25

October:  Travels, Travails and Triumphs (traveling stories, vacations, outside the US)
Deadline for Submission:  October 8
Notification to Tellers:  October 10
Rehearsal:  October 16
Concert Performance:  October 23

November:  You’ve Got to Know This (history, relationships, values that must be shared)
Deadline for Submission:  November 8
Notification to Tellers:  November 10
Rehearsal:  November 20
Concert Performance:  November 27

December:  Holiday Faux Pas (surviving the holidays, that special aunt, uncle cousin or gift, humorous celebrations)
Deadline for Submission:  December 2
Notification to Tellers:  December 7
Rehearsal:  December 10
Concert Performance:  December 17

Be encouraged to indulge your creativity around the theme.

Submit to Tell Here

New Jersey State Council on the Arts Homebound Project

Discover Your Community

The Folklife Project at Perkins Center for the Arts began in 2010, engaging Folklorist Thomas Carroll to travel, meet, and document the many and diverse communities and ethnic groups throughout Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties.  From Mr. Carroll’s fieldwork, we’re excited to have discovered more about individuals and groups within our region, their history and culture, and to provide that information to the community.  Visit Toms’s Blog to learn about self-guided folk art installation tours and more.

See Tom’s Posts

Continue to follow us, as our current Folklife Center Director, Karen Abdul-Malik advances the exploration of the rich and treasured folklife traditions in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties.  Check back often as we continue to engage communities by conducting fieldwork, expanding our Blog, building our SJ Folklife Internet Resource Center, and  integrating folks arts more deeply into the fabric of Perkins Center for the Arts.

Resources for Folk Artists


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395 Kings Highway
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Phone: 856.235.6488
Toll Free: 800.387.5226
Fax: 856.235.6624

30 Irvin Ave
Collingswood, NJ 08108
Phone: 856.235.6488
Toll Free: 800.387.5226
Fax: 856.235.6624

Two locations to serve you