“Keepers of Tradition: Art and Folk Heritage in Massachusetts” now offers an Acoustiguide audio tour for visitors. The tour features the voices, sounds and music of 18 keepers of tradition who have been documented by Massachusetts Cultural Council folklorists in years past. The audio tour, available to visitors for FREE, highlights artists such as accordion player Joe Derrane, sheet metal workers from Boston Local 17, ship’s wheel builder Bob Fuller, duck caller and hunter Jonathan Detwiler, tap dancer Jimmy Slyde and his apprentice, Rocky Mendes, as well as master icon writer Ksenia Pokrovsky and her student, Sister Faith Riccio, along with others. Exhibition curator and Massachusetts State Folklorist Maggie Holzberg is also featured.
“Keepers of Tradition” draws on eight years of fieldwork by folklorists at the Massachusetts Cultural Council. This investigation took researchers into homes, dance halls, boat yards, places of worship, and festival sites--places where folk art is produced and valued. These folklorists talked with, and recorded people practicing folk art traditions, with the goal of understanding these practices from an insider’s point of view. Now this first person viewpoint is available to museum visitors. The audio tour offers visitors a personal and lively take on what motivates and interests some of the commonwealth’s own keepers of tradition.
“Keepers of Tradition" is on view through June 7, 2009. Find out more at www.massfolkarts.org or at the Museum's web site. Funding for the exhibition is provided by Bank of America, an anonymous local foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the National Heritage Museum, and the National Endowment for the Arts.