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Record Group Number: 000158
Series/Collection Number: .S 1622
Creator: Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs. Florida Folklife Archive
Title, Dates: Southwest Florida Region Survey records, 1986-1988.
Amount: 1.35 cubic ft.
Medium Included: audiotapes
photo slides
Organization/Arrangement: Arranged by record type.
Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:     Legislation in 1979 (79-322, SB 1208) transferred the Florida Folk Arts component of the Stephen Foster Memorial to the Florida Department of State. Operating as the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs from ca. 1985 until 1995, the Bureau coordinated the annual Florida Folk Festival and directed such programs as Folk Arts Apprenticeships, Folk Arts in Education, Folk Heritage awards, annual research surveys, and numerous other projects and programs. From 1995 through June 30, 2021, the renamed and reorganized Florida Folklife Program continued the majority of these operations from within the Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Historic Preservation in Tallahassee. During the 1995 reorganization, the State Archives of Florida acquired the Florida Folklife Collection from the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs’ previously maintained Florida Folklife Archives. Legislation in 2021 (2021-71, L. O. F., HB 909) transferred the Florida Folklife Program and its operations from the Division of Historical Resources to the newly renamed Division of Arts and Culture, previously the Division of Cultural Resources, effective July 1, 2021. The program is charged to "identify, research, interpret, and present Florida folk arts, artists, performers, folklore, traditions, customs, and cultural heritage and make folk cultural resources and folklife projects available throughout the state."

    The Southwest Florida Folk Arts Project, sponsored by the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs, was conducted to present some of the folk arts found in Southwest Florida (Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier Counties) in a special folklife area at the annual Florida Folk Festival in 1988. Major funding for this project was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Cultural specialist Debbie Fant was hired to conduct a fifty-day field survey to locate, interview, record, and photograph possible participants for the festival. Her work was followed with supplemental fieldwork by the bureau staff. Using these findings, the Florida Folklife Council selected desirable folk artists to participate in the 36th Annual Florida Folk Festival, May 27-29, 1988. Debbie Fant also wrote an essay that discussed both older and newer traditions in this area for the festival program booklet. The project concluded with a final report that was submitted shortly after the festival ended.

Summary:     This series consists of field notes, interviews, maps, local newspapers, pamphlets, and directories produced by Debbie Fant for the Southwest Florida Region survey. In addition there are clippings, flyers, and programs of local festivals and other events, correspondence and reports associated with the grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and there is a draft of the essay used for the festival program booklet. A large portion of this series consists of audiotapes, slides, and photographs that are associated with the individual folk artists.

Finding Aids: Searchable index to images and sound recordings available online at
Folder listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Reproduction Note:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Associated Materials:
Language Notes: Some clippings are in Spanish.
Ownership/Custodial History:
Publication Note:
General Note:
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Ethnic folklore Florida
Folklore Performance Florida
Folk artists Florida
Folk dancing Florida
Folk festivals Florida
Folk music Florida
Handicraft Florida
Material culture
Oral tradition
Machine-readable artifacts. aat
Audio tapes. aat
Slides. aat
Photographs. aat
Florida Social life and customs
Florida Songs and music
Added Entries Fant, Deborah S.
Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs
Florida. Dept. of State.  --Division of Historical Resources.
Florida Folk Festival