Folk and traditional arts encompass all traditional artists and communities, from rural cowboys, farm folk and American Indians living on reservation lands to the many cultural, occupational and ethnic groups living in Utah. Focus is centered on perpetuating artistic traditions and skills and maintaining unique cultural identities. Traditional arts include crafts, music, dance and stories passed down through families and communities or within tribal, ethnic or occupational groups. These artistic skills, which reflect the values of earlier generations, are a vital component of community culture, heritage and identity.
The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts is the only museum in the country dedicated to displaying a state-owned collection of contemporary folk art. It features objects made by living Utah artists from the state’s American Indian, rural, occupational and ethnic communities offering a snapshot of Utah’s contemporary culture and heritage. The Chase Home, built more than 150 years ago in a traditional hall-and-parlor style from adobe bricks, is a fine example of 19th century folk art.
Utah's Folk Arts Collection was established in 1976. This collection of works made by Utah artists includes not only paintings and sculpture, but also handmade rugs, woodcarving, needlework and baskets. It contains more than 350 pieces of folk art ranging from handcrafted saddles and American Indian beadwork to a variety of traditional crafts from the state’s Asian, Latino and Polynesian communities. Certain objects are also featured in both traveling and temporary exhibits.
Grants to support folk and traditional arts are available on an annual basis to support teaching in both one-on-one and group settings. Project grants assist individual artists and cultural communities in developing, perpetuating or presenting their own traditional art forms. To download guidelines and online application instructions, please click on the name of each grant. The next funding cycle for folk arts grants is anticipated in 2012. Click here for examples of recent folk arts projects.
Click on a grant below for more information:
Over the past 30 years, thousands of photographs and recordings documenting Utah’s traditional art, artists and community-based events have been accessioned into the State Folklife Archives. In an effort to share these materials with the public, we periodically produce educational publications and recordings highlighting the most interesting traditions and best Utah folk art. Revenues support production of additional booklets and CDs. For information on purchasing these products, please contact Jean Irwin at 801.533.5760.