Bolivian Traditions to Come Alive at the Richmond Folk Festival

Virginia is home to the largest Bolivian-born population in the country. In celebration of Bolivian cultural vitality in the Commonwealth, the Virginia Folklife Program will spotlight the traditions that connect …

Sights & Sounds

Andrei Saveliev and Aaron Mott

The balalaika, a traditional Russian stringed instrument with a triangular wooden body, is often referred to as “the Russian three-string guitar.” It was considered a folk instrument in Russia, and …

Floyd Country StoreNews

Galleries Host Virginia Folklife Program Photographs

Photographs from the Virginia Folklife Program made by staff photographer Pat Jarrett are on display at two separate galleries in the Commonwealth this summer and fall. Jarrett’s photographs of Joe …


Celebrating Youth “Tradition Bearers” and the Masters Who Taught Them at 2015 Richmond Folk Festival

Fans of the Richmond Folk Festival may notice a bit of a younger vibe at the Virginia Folklife Area this year. While the Virginia Folklife Program will continue to celebrate …

Sights & Sounds

Folklife Master Artist Ganna Natsag meets the Dalai Lama

Ganna Natsag, a master artist of the Mongolian mask making tradition who lives in Arlington, traveled to India in December to visit the Dalai Lama in a quest for world …


Farewell and thanks to Barry Bergey

We at the Virginia Folklife Program would like to send our best wishes to Barry Bergey in his retirement from his post as Director of the Division of Folk and …

Sights & Sounds

Francisca Ramirez Acosta and Laura Ortiz

The word mole can refer to any of a number of richly flavored sauces traditionally used in Mexican cuisine, or to dishes based on these sauces. Varieties of mole include …

Sights & Sounds

A Conversation With Laura Ortiz

A Mexican Folk Dancer connects to her daughter and heritage through the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program By Anna Kariel “The story of Virginians, other than the story of Virginia Indians, …

Sights & Sounds

Nader Majd and Ali Reza Analouei

Dr. Nader Majd, of Arlington, Virginia, was born in Sari, Iran, and began studying and playing the santur, or Persian hammered dulcimer, and violin at the age of six. He …

Sights & Sounds

Ali Reza Analouei and Behnaz Bibizadeh

Dr. Ali Reza Analouei, born in Esfahan, Iran, has made his life’s work to apply the mystical traditions of Sufism and Irfan to the music he plays and teaches. He …

Sights & Sounds

Moges Seyoum and Bililign Mandefro

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the oldest of all Eastern Christianities. A defining characteristic of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the elaborate singing or chanting which takes place often for …

Sights & Sounds

Laura Ortiz and Ariel Hobza-Ortiz

Mexicans comprise one of the fastest-growing immigrant populations in Virginia. This emerging cultural community has already contributed a plethora of traditional folkways to the diverse tapestry of Virginia Folklife, including …

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