Citizen Folklife

Reclaim Culture in Your Neighborhood

May 1 - August 1, 2017 

Photo by Christopher Mulé, Courtesy BAC Folk Arts Archive

CITIZEN FOLKLIFE will mobilize artists, grassroots organizations, community advocates, youth, and ethnic media journalists with strong ties to folk and traditional art forms by providing training, resources, microgrant funding, and mentoring to research and share observations of folk arts practices within their own communities. 

JOIN a network of citizen folklorists and be a part of vibrant and open intercultural dialogue. Participants will receive support through: 

  1. Workshops that will both cover the technical, personal and ethical aspects of community documentation
  2. Free access to video and audio documentation tools 
  3. One on one mentoring to assist in identifying research topics and cultural issues in your community 

SHARE and exchange research and materials collected in culturally relevant and ethically-minded ways through BAC’s online archive and on stage at select cultural festivals and programs in Brooklyn. 


Workshop #1: “Reclaim Your Culture!”
Tues 5/2, 7-8:30pm 
Learn about Brooklyn Arts Council’s Citizen Folklife initiative, discuss cultural issues facing Brooklyn’s traditional arts, and learn how you can reclaim culture in your neighborhood. 

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Workshop #2: “You, Me, and a Microphone” 
Tues 5/9,7-8:30pm
Learn about folklife interview techniques using recording equipment and listen to live interviews between folklorist Christopher Mule and very special guests.  

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BAC Folk Arts believes that the next stage of folklife documentation and advocacy will be powered by media created and shared by tradition bearers and their communities. The skills needed to use those recordings responsibly and effectively are critical to harnessing the potential of Brooklyn’s diverse expressions. Our work addresses the challenges of finding, capturing, and contextualizing cultural assets that are essential to New York City. The Citizen Folklife program brings together community-driven research, expertise, and documentation in order to reposition tradition bearers as arts leaders by providing the knowledge, outreach, skills, and support necessary to revive and sustain their communities’ traditions. Citizen Folklife will enable tradition bearers to communicate effectively about its traditions while also fostering and instilling a sense of pride among community members, both in their heritage and within themselves.

Funding Credits:
Major support for Citizen Folklife is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.  Additional support is provided by T.D Bank.