Sights & Sounds

Scott Freeman, Linda Lay and Kitty Amaral

Watch The early song-collecting journeys of folklorists informed the rest of America about the remarkable breadth of fiddle tunes in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, many of which closely resembled …

Sights & Sounds

Kay Justice and Helen White

There is perhaps nowhere in America with a deeper or more widely recognized ballad tradition than Southern Appalachia. The region has been a draw for ballad scholars (sometimes referred to …

Sights & Sounds

David and Mason Via

While many songs in folk music are credited as “traditional” or “public domain,” there is simply no song without a songwriter. Virginia has had more than its share of prolific …

Sights & Sounds

Joey Mirabile Sr. and Logan Caine

Joey’s Hot Dogs, in Richmond’s West End, is for many the pinnacle of what is one of America’s iconic foods. Joey Mirabile has hot dogs in his blood. His father, …

Sights & Sounds

Mary “Mama-Girl” Onley and David Rogers

Pastor Mary Onley, known as Mama-Girl, is a self-taught artist who was born and raised in Painter, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where she still lives. Her lyrical sculptures are similar …

Sights & Sounds

Richard Pippin and Melissa Jones and Zoe Bearinger

By one estimate, humans took more than 900 billion photographs in 2015 and shared more than 200,000 images per minute on Facebook. This flood of digital images is unprecedented, but …

Sights & Sounds

Humayun Khan and Ved Sheth

Indian classical music has evolved over the centuries, and its many diverse forms reflect the great diversity of the subcontinent of India. Hindustani classical music is traditionally practice-oriented, and learned …

Sights & Sounds

Sochietah Ung and Matthew Regan and Lena Ouk

In the years between 1975 and 1979, the Maoist-inspired radical group, the Khmer Rouge, committed horrific acts of genocide in Cambodia, attempting to collectivize Khmer socioeconomic operations, destroy the traditional …

Sights & Sounds

Herschel Sizemore and Mike Walker

Legendary Roanoke mandolin player and composer Herschel Sizemore returns as a 2016 master artist. When he was eight years old, Herschel’s parents took him to see Bill Monroe perform at …

Sights & Sounds

Apprenticeship Spotlight: Sherman Holmes and Whitney Nelson

By Jon Lohman, Virginia State Folklorist One of my fondest memories of the 2014 Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase was the sight of members of participating master artists the Holmes Brothers sitting …

Sights & Sounds

Hot Pickers Workshop: Richmond Folk Festival

The Virginia Folklife Program has spent the last 25 years documenting Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. We even have our own YouTube channel featuring hundreds of performances by traditional artists. Did …

Sights & Sounds

Richmond Folk Festival Bolivian Parade: A Feast for the Senses

The 2015 Richmond Folk Festival was nothing short of glorious: great weather, enthusiastic crowds, and excellent music, food, and crafts. A highlight of the festival was the parade of Bolivian …

Sights & Sounds

Rev. Frank Newsome at home

On a recent field recording trip to southwest Virginia we stopped by and checked on Rev. Frank Newsome at his Haysi home. If you’ve never heard the Reverend’s voice, some …

Sights & Sounds

Remembering Norman Amos: Master Carver

The Virginia Folklife Program was saddened to hear of the passing of Norman Amos, of Callands, Virginia, just shy of his ninetieth birthday. We first got acquainted with Norman through …

Apply for an Apprenticeship

Virginia Folklife Apprenticeships will begin on May 1, 2020 and run through May 1, 2021. The application deadline for this cycle is January 31, 2020.