Philadelphia Folklore Project

1/3: Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change: Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Zaye Tete, and Tokay Tomah, 2013. Photo by Anna Mulé, courtesy of the Philadelphia Folklore Project.
2/3: Participants at a Philadelphia Folklore Project tatreez workshop, in conjunction with the exhibition Tatreez: Needlework of Palestinian women from Philadelphia, curated by Nehad Khader. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Folklore Project.
3/3: Palestinian needlework (tatreez) artists Wafai Dias, Maisaloon Dias, Alia Sheikh-Yousef, and Nehad Khader look at work. Tatreez patterns from women’s home villages, now occupied or destroyed, are assertions of Palestinian history. From the exhibition Tatreez: Needlework of Palestinian women from Philadelphia, curated by Nehad Khader. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Folklore Project.

Supporting, documenting and presenting Philadelphia area folk arts, the Philadelphia Folklore Project (PFP) is committed to sustaining community cultural knowledge. Since its founding 1987, PFP has worked in close collaboration with local grassroots groups, producing documentaries, exhibitions, performances, and public programs which share the work, culture, and histories of these communities with a larger audience. The Center has supported many iterations of Dance Happens Here, a series that presents dancers who share their cultural lineage through movement. Through a 2013 Center grant, PFP tested a “pop-up” performance-based approach to interpreting the individual histories of recent African immigrants to Philadelphia, which aims to engage these communities in meaningful social change. Center support is assisting PFP with its upcoming leadership transition and the development of its Folklore Congress: an annual event that serves over 300 members of the folk arts community. A 2014 Center grant will allow them to addresses urgent issues of violence against women in Philadelphia’s growing Liberian community through performances of the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change.


Collaborators & Colleagues

Sam Miller is the former president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and currently serves on the Board of Amrita in Phnom Penh. He served as a Center dance panelist and LOI panelist in 2013, Pew Fellowships evaluator in 2014, and Pew Fellowships Panel Chair in 2015.

Scribe Video Center worked with scholars and community representatives to discover stories, partners, and contributors for a project about the history of Muslim life in Philadelphia.

Frank Sherlock is named Philadelphia’s new poet laureate, William Daley receives a solo exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and poets Teresa Leo, Pattie McCarthy, and Jenn McCreary release new books.

This month, Center-funded projects from Silvana Cardell and Anna Drozdowski culminate in live performances and workshops, while FringeArts looks forward to a fall theater presentation by hosting a discussion with Obie Award-winning Belgian theater director Ivo van Hove.

Using the arts as a catalyst for community dialogue and engagement around race and class in Philadelphia’s diverse Germantown neighborhood, this multi-part project joins artists such as Benjamin Volta and poet Sonia Sanchez, and historians from across the US to create public art installations, educational programs, and community events.

The Philadelphia Flamenco Festival offers a free master class with flamenco master Pastora Galván.

Muslim Voices of Philadelphia, an oral history media project that explores the rich and diverse history of Muslim communities in the Philadelphia region, is being screened at various locations throughout Philadelphia.

Grants & Grantees

Ballet répétiteurs such as Parkinson work one-on-one with dance artists to articulate and find the essence of a character or particular portrayal that becomes distinctive to their physicality.

Grants & Grantees

Philagrafika followed up its 2010 citywide festival with an artist residency and follow-up exhibition of work by Spanish artists Patricia Gómez and María Jesús González.

Grants & Grantees

Jamaaladeen Tacuma (Pew Fellow, 2011) is considered a living legend among jazz circles. He is credited with redefining the potential of the electric bass.

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture presents a day-long public forum exploring stories of displacement.