Discover the many living folk traditions of Massachusetts at www.massfolkarts.org. This online exhibition — based on our Keepers of Tradition exhibition currently on show at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts — 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, used and valued. They found, talked with, photographed, and recorded people practicing folk art traditions, with the goal of understanding these practices from an insider’s point of view.
This online collection celebrates the many cultural traditions that coexist in Massachusetts — traditions that individuals and communities care enough about to sustain, to enshrine, and to pass on. These living traditions contribute to the quality of life for everyone in Massachusetts by connecting us to our past, building community, and helping us to understand each other.