October 2018 Newsletter
My artistic life began in the folk community. When I think of folk and traditional arts, I think of the link between creativity and the earth - the actual soil through which all life is sustained.
I grew up learning stomping, turning, leaping movement that constantly gave into gravity. We sang full-throated songs that were generated from our feet being firmly planted in ancestral understandings. The music surrounding us was produced on instruments made for a specific contribution of tone or rhythm and by musicians who understood what could be heard in fields and mountains and streams. There is something genetically intriguing and captivating about folk art that reflects our collective origins.
With this kind of childhood, you can imagine how delighted I was to spend a weekend at the National Folk Festival in Salisbury (September 7-9) where the Treme Brass Band from New Orleans danced local and state leadership and thousands of attendees through the streets, Chicago Irish musicians Liz Carroll and Jake Charron played with a kinetic ferocity that pulsated through every member of the audience, while the Quebe Sisters of Texas mesmerized audiences with tight vocal harmonies sung over their fiddle and swing. The long list of performers at outdoor venues intersected with artists and craftspeople in the Maryland Traditions Folklife Area and the Festival Marketplace where traditional and local arts came to life. Congratulations to the staff of the National Council for Traditional Arts, the great folks of the City of Salisbury, and a special acknowledgement to Lora Bottinelli of the Ward Museum and MSAC's own Chad Buterbaugh for their countless contributions. Mark your calendar and book your hotel now for September 6-8, 2019!
Ken Skrzesz, Executive Director, Maryland State Arts Council