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Maryland State Arts Council selects Chad Edward Buterbaugh as Program Director of Folk and Traditional Arts

Maryland State Arts Council selects Chad Edward Buterbaugh as Program Director of Folk and Traditional Arts


Ohio native begins on February 3, 2016

February 01, 2016Press Release

The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) has selected Chad Edward Buterbaugh as its new Program Director of Folk and Traditional Arts effective February 3, 2016. Buterbaugh will manage grants in the folk and traditional arts and co-direct the agency's Maryland Traditions Program.


"We welcome Chad and his extensive experience in the folklife field and advancing traditional arts," said Theresa Colvin, Executive Director of the MSAC. "As one of the nation's longest-running state folklife programs, Chad joins us at an exciting time as we explore the establishment of a Maryland Folklife Center to further sustain and promote living traditions in Maryland."


During his academic and professional life, Buterbaugh's focus has been on folklife, ethnography, cultural studies, oral narratives and teaching. He also is an award-winning journalist. Buterbaugh has a Ph.D. from the Folklore Institute at Indiana University and an M.A. in telecommunications from Ball State University. His research specialization is Irish oral tradition, with an emphasis on professional storytelling since the mid-twentieth century. During fieldwork trips to Ireland over the last nine years, he has established a strong network of practitioners of Irish folk storytelling, arts promoters, and academic folklorists.


He is a member of the American Folklore Society and a past member of the American Conference for Irish Studies. Prior to Buterbaugh's hiring at MSAC, he served as managing editor of the internationally recognized Journal of Folklore Research, a peer-reviewed publication featuring the scholarship of folklore and ethnomusicology researchers worldwide.


Buterbaugh succeeds Cliff Murphy, who was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as Program Director of Folk and Traditional Arts in August 2015. 


"I am thrilled to be joining the Maryland State Arts Council and working with such a remarkable team. The MSAC's commitment to identifying and supporting living traditions is a crucial element in the cultural life of the state of Maryland. Its reputation precedes it among folklorists working across the country. I look forward to working with practitioners of Maryland folk and traditional arts to support and advance their work, and to share their creations and perspectives with wider audiences," said Buterbaugh.


Buterbaugh will co-direct the Maryland Traditions program and administer grants for folk and traditional arts organizations. He will also co-direct statewide partnerships and initiatives with UMBC Visiting Assistant Professor in American Studies and Co-Director of Maryland Traditions, Michelle Stefano, PhD.

Media Contact: 

Jill Zarend-Kubatko

Communications Manager