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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."
One component of the Florida Folklife Program is a yearly Folklife Survey. Starting in 1986, and funded in part by a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts, Folk and Traditional Arts Program, the surveys originally concentrated on topical areas of study such as dance, music and storytelling. In recent years, focus shifted to a specific region of Florida and the unique traditions found within. The goal of each survey is threefold: to identify new traditional artists, to document their customs and ways of life that combine to create Florida's cultural history, and to present and demonstrate folk activities alongside artists from the survey on the Florida Folk Festival stage and in the souvenir program.
This series consists of records generated by the Southwest Florida Survey conducted to document the history and culture of the area. Among the records are sound recordings of fieldwork interviews, interview logs, interview indices, photographs, videos, field notes, and release forms. Survey work culminated in the 2017 Florida Folk Festival.
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Florida Folklife Program
Sound recordings. aat Agreements. aat Photographs. aat Field notes. aat