Down Jersey Folklife Program

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About the Folklife Program

The Down Jersey Folklife Center was initiated 1995, in conjunction with a major NJSCA initiative to create a state-wide Folklife Infrastructure. The Center has presented programming to diverse audiences at WheatonArts, in area schools, and at other sites. Public programs include exhibitions, demonstrations by artists/tradition bearers, performances, festivals, classes, training for educators and interns, lectures and seminars. While many presenting artists have come from eight southern New Jersey counties, the DJFC has also welcomes presenters from out of the area in an effort to give breadth and context to the programming presented, and to engage the ethnic groups and communities with whom we partner as audiences. Research and ongoing fieldwork projects provide the basis of virtually all programming.

Activities at the Center have ranged from Pinelands basketry and Native American drum making to Japanese origami and Ukrainian pysanky; from African American doll making to Palestinian embroidery and Guatemalan weaving. Performances have included Japanese drumming/dancing, jibaro music, Estonian dancing, and an Oaxacan-style “Castillo” fireworks display accompanied by a traditional “Fire Dance.” Classes have been offered in a wide range of both visual and performing arts including Indian mehendi and rangoli, Philippine paper-cutting and eggshell mosaics; Cambodian court dances, Bulgarian, Albanian, Greek, Romanian and Turkish folk dances.

Please check back for more information on upcoming programs and events.