Folklife Center

Discover Your Community

In 2010 we began a Folklife Project at Perkins Center, 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 learn more about individuals and groups within our region, their history and culture, and to provide that information to the community.  We will also be seeking opportunities for this knowledge to inform and become an integral part of our programming at Perkins Center.

See Tom’s Posts

Follow us, as our new Folklife Center Director, Karen Abdul-Malik continues 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  preparing our interactive 2018 Exhibition, Tastefully South Jersey.

Folklife Center Blog
Tastefully South Jersey

Tastefully South Jersey Workshop Series and Exhibition is supported by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  This project is an exploration into folk art and culture through the lens of food traditions primarily in Burlington, Gloucester, and Camden Counties.  It 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 invite you to learn more about this project now and as it continues to develop.

The project is designed to present an eight-week long exhibition at Perkins Center for the Arts in the Collingswood Gallery that will blend the shared traditions of storytelling, healing arts, visual arts, song and music concerts with food folklore. The Exhibition will be followed by a series of workshops and classes in the Fall 2018 that foster dialogue around the intersection of food and family values, communal ethos,  health and sustainable communities.    The three county engagement celebrates diverse food arts and food through African American (Southern, Caribbean influence, West African influence), Eastern European (Polish, Ukrainian, Turkish) and Latin (Mexican, Peruvian, Guatemalan) communities. The program engages local partnerships from planning to implementation. The fieldwork and collaborations include farmers markets, artists and practitioners, community organizations, local businesses and community culture keepers.

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 at our Collingswood location, 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.

February 27:  Protest (resistance stories, surprised defiance, childhood rebellions)
Deadline for Submission:  February 1
Notification to Tellers:  February  10
Rehearsal:  February 20
Concert Performance:  February 27

March 27 : Green (Irish yarns, tales of money, stories of naïveté, The Eagles )
Deadline for Submission:  March 10
Notification to Tellers:  March  12
Rehearsal:  March 20
Concert Performance:  March27

April 24: OOPS!
Deadline for Submission:  April 10
Notification to Tellers: April 12
Rehearsal:  April 17
Concert Performance: April 24

May 22:  Magic and Miracles (blessings of the unknown, cultural magicians, saving grace)
Deadline for Submission:  May 10
Notification to Tellers: May 12
Rehearsal:  May 15
Concert Performance:  May 22

June 26:  Sink or Swim (beach stories, new adventures, stepping out with courage)
Deadline for Submission:  June 10
Notification to Tellers:  June 12
Rehearsal:  June 19
Concert Performance:  June 26

Be encouraged to indulge your creativity around the theme.

Submit to Tell Here

New Jersey State Council on the Arts Homebound Project

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

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