Florida Folklife Program
Who We Are & What We Do
Florida Folklife is...
...traditional expressive culture shared within the various groups in Florida: familial, ethnic, occupational, religious, and regional. Expressive culture includes a wide range of creative and symbolic forms such as custom, belief, technical skill, language, literature, art, architecture, music, play, dance, drama, ritual, pageantry, and handicraft, which forms are generally learned orally, by imitation, or in performance, and are maintained or perpetuated without formal instruction or institutional direction." —Section 267.021 (6), Florida Statutes
The Florida Folklife Program, a component of the Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources, documents and presents the folklife, folklore, and folk arts of the state. The Florida Folklife Program (FFP) coordinates a wide range of activities and projects designed to increase the awareness of Floridians and visitors alike about our traditional culture.
Florida Folklife Council
The Florida Folklife Program is advised and assisted by the Florida Folklife Council. The Florida Folklife Council consits of seven members appointed by the Secretary of State to provide geographical, cultural and professional representation.
Folk Heritage Awards
The Secretary of State, with the recommendations of the Florida Folklife Council, confers Florida Folk Heritage Awards annually. The awards are given to outstanding folk artists and folk culture advocates who have made long-standing contributions to the folk cultural resources of the state. Established in 1985, the program parallels the National Heritage Fellowships.
Folklife Apprenticeship Program
Established in 1983, the Folklife Apprenticeship Program provides an opportunity for master folk artists to share technical skills and cultural knowledge with apprentices in order to maintain their art as a vital part of our heritage. The Folklife Apprenticeship Program highlights Florida's traditional arts within artists' communities and throughout the state, ensures the preservation of many vanishing traditions, and increases communities' pride in their heritage.
Statewide Outreach Initiative
The Statewide Outreach Initiative broadens the impact of folklife programs by reaching diverse audiences around the state through a variety of formats.
Folklife programs are grounded in knowledge about Florida's traditional culture. In order to maintain and expand our information base, the Florida Folklife Program undertakes annual surveys on selected topics to identify and document folklife.
The State Archives of Florida organizes and manages manuscripts, photographs and recordings pertaining to traditional culture. The Folklife Collection contains research, project files, and audio and video recordings dating from the 1930s through 1995.
The Museum of Florida History collects, curates, and exhibits artifacts that reflect Florida's traditional culture. The Folklife Collection currently numbers approximately 250 objects, and the Museum continuously adds artifacts with folk cultural significance. Each year a selection of recently acquired folklife artifacts is featured on the library's online site: www.floridamemory.com/collections/folklife, a rich collection documenting the cultural diversity of Florida communities.