Every two years, Perkins Folklife Center produces a Folklife Exhibition that is complimented by a series of ancillary events and programs that explores and celebrates the diversity of the southern New Jersey region. The fieldwork and collaborations included practitioners, artists, community organizations, local businesses, and community culture keepers.

2020 Upon Our Authority: 100 Years of Women’s Empowerment in New Jersey through Oral Expression and Folk Tradition

100 Years of Women’s Empowerment in New Jersey through Oral Expression and Folk Tradition is a four-part project that illuminates the history of women’s movements and actively engages the next generation in exploring issues around women’s rights through the lens of history, ethnography and gender studies.

The Oral History Project engages young women from the Alice Paul Institute Leadership Academy in Burlington and the Universal Drum and Dance Ensemble in Camden to learn and take oral histories of women who have knowledge of and were involved in four eras: 1) The Suffrage Movement 2) Rosie the Riveter 3) The Second Wave & Civil Rights Movement and 4) The New Millennium.

Fieldwork and oral histories will inform the exhibition that has been rescheduled to open in October.

The Podcast Series presents sensational stories and intriguing interviews on women’s empowerment featuring guest historians, scholars, storytellers and poets.  Our intrigue investigates the lives and times by exploring oral expressions and folk traditions (celebrations, family rituals, foods, social values, religion, folk songs, stories, holidays, crafts, vernacular culture and occupational culture), with a particular focus on New Jersey and women of melanin endowed ethnicities.

 

The Folk Arts in Education Residency host virtual workshops at two schools that will foster a discussion around identity and women’s rights, as well as promote the capacity for inquiry, evolution and empathy.  Student activities will include historical storytelling, and protest poster making to market advocacy for modern-day issues.

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2018 Tastefully South Jersey

Tastefully South Jersey Exhibition and Workshop Series was an exploration into folk art and culture through the lens of food traditions primarily in Burlington, Gloucester, and Camden Counties.  The three-county engagement celebrated 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 engaged local partnerships from planning to implementation.

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.  Fieldwork conducted in 2017-2018 created the Tastefully South Jersey Exhibition at our Collingswood Gallery on 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 was followed by a series of workshops and classes in Fall 2018,  Winter and Spring 2019  to foster dialogue around the intersection of folk arts, food and family values, a communal ethos,  health, and sustainable communities.

Tastefully South Jersey Exhibition and Workshop Series are 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.