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ADVANCING THE ARTS ACROSS MARYLAND

MSAC AND UMBC FORM EXPLORATORY PARTNERSHIP IN MARYLAND TRADITIONS PROGRAM

MSAC AND UMBC FORM EXPLORATORY PARTNERSHIP IN MARYLAND TRADITIONS PROGRAM

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Folklife Program Collaboration begins in Academic Year 2010/2011

November 10, 2010Press Release

MARYLAND STATE ARTS COUNCIL AND
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, BALTIMORE COUNTY
FORM EXPLORATORY PARTNERSHIP IN MARYLAND TRADITIONS PROGRAM

Folklife Program Collaboration begins in Academic Year 2010/2011

The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) announces an exploratory foundational partnership in the Maryland Traditions folklife program with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of MSAC is celebrating its tenth year of developing statewide infrastructure for folk arts and folklife with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The program identifies and documents individuals and communities that comprise the state’s folk and traditional arts and folklife. It supports the dissemination of information to wider audiences through publication, presentation and other educational and grant funded activities. The program is co-directed by Dr. Elaine Eff and Dr. Cliff Murphy.

The goal of this initial foundational partnership is to explore the possibilities of a long-term partnership between MSAC and UMBC in which both agencies would share responsibilities for the support and direction of the Maryland Traditions program. Highlights of the 2010/2011 partnership agreement include the creation of an adjunct faculty appointment for Maryland Traditions Co-Director Dr. Elaine Eff in the Department of American Studies and the opportunity for Maryland Traditions to work with the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences in community-based academic initiatives. Dr. Eff’s Maryland Traditions co-director position at UMBC will also be affiliated this year with the James T. and Virginia M. Dresher Center for the Humanities, which will host a Maryland Traditions-themed Humanities Forum in spring 2011.

“We anticipate that this exploratory partnership will provide opportunities to develop a variety of important connections among UMBC faculty and students, MSAC and Maryland Traditions, and to
explore possibilities and strategies for continuation of the partnership on an ongoing basis,” said Dr. John W. Jeffries, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at UMBC. “Maryland Traditions has the potential to enhance UMBC’s excellence in the arts, humanities and social sciences.”

“This agreement brings unlimited possibilities to both of our institutions,” said Theresa Colvin, executive director of MSAC. “We hope that this initial phase will blossom into a mutually beneficial long-term partnership, elevating awareness of Maryland folklife, fostering understanding of traditional communities, generating high-quality scholarship on Maryland-based topics and enhancing the experience of UMBC students in the arts, humanities and social sciences through quality internships with Maryland Traditions’ partners statewide.”

The Maryland State Arts Council, an agency of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, is dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. The mission of the council is to encourage and invest in the advancement of the arts for the people of Maryland. For information about Maryland Traditions contact Cliff Murphy, 410-767-6450 or cmurphy@msac.org or Elaine Eff, 410-767-6570 or ee@umbc.edu. For more information about the Maryland State Arts Council visit the MSAC website at www.msac.org, email msac@msac.org or call (410) 767-6555 or TTY 1-800-735-2258.

UMBC balances a deep commitment to undergraduate education with its rapid development as a distinguished public research university. For the second year in a row, U.S. News & World Report recognized UMBC as the top university in the nation on a list of “Up-and-Coming” schools to watch. The Princeton Review and Kiplingers recently ranked UMBC among the “best values” among public universities in the nation, recognizing educational excellence with affordability. UMBC offers undergraduates an honors university experience with special learning opportunities traditionally found at small liberal arts colleges and is building one of the most inclusive graduate education communities in the nation. For more information, visit www.umbc.edu or contact Chelsea Haddaway, 410-455-6380 or chaddaway@umbc.edu.

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Background on Maryland Folklife Program/Maryland Traditions
The state of Maryland holds the distinction of hosting the longest-running state folklife program in the nation. Founded in 1974 as a program of the Maryland State Arts Council, the Maryland Folklife program has worked to elevate the profile of traditional artists and communities through documentation, public programs, publications and grant programs. The Maryland Folklife program has celebrated the work of
traditional musicians such as gospel, blues and bluegrass musicians, occupational arts such as blacksmithing, arabbing and boatbuilding, and craftspeople such as quilters and taxidermists. It is one of the chief outreach efforts of MSAC into Maryland’s vibrant working-class and immigrant communities. This program annually ranks as one of the most well-respected and distinguished folklife programs in the nation.