Traditional artists receive 15 grants through NEA program

Wasq'u beader Roberta Joy Kirk

Fifteen Oregon traditional artists will each receive $5,000 awards for the creation of new works through the Traditional Arts Recovery Program, a partnership between the Oregon Folklife Network and the Oregon Arts Commission.

A complete list of award recipients is available on the Oregon Arts Commission website.

The Traditional Arts Recovery Program, administered by the Oregon Folklife Network, supports traditional artists who use a range of art forms to represent and express Oregon’s diverse ethnic, sacred, occupational, Native American, tribal and regional cultural arts. The program was made possible by American Rescue Plan Act funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially devastating to folk and traditional arts,” said Emily West Hartlerode, Oregon Folklife Network interim director. “Artists lost essential income as craft inventories waned with supply chains and performance venues closed or limited operations. OFN is honored to link arms with our partners at Oregon Arts Commission to deliver relief funds through this unique opportunity."

One of the artists to receive the grant is Wasq'u beader Roberta Joy Kirk. Kirk will design and bead a headpiece and bag while teaching this technique to her granddaughters and others in a specialized class for the Museum at Warm Springs. 

The Oregon Folklife Network is the state of Oregon’s folk and traditional arts program. Administered by the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon, the Oregon Folklife Network is a network of partners working to document, support, preserve and celebrate the diversity of Oregon’s living cultural heritage.