Founded in 1984, the Vermont Folklife Center is one of the first independent non-profit folklore organizations in the United States.
Our mission is to broaden, strengthen, and deepen our understanding of Vermont and the surrounding region; to assure a repository for our collective cultural memory; and to strengthen communities by building connections among the diverse peoples of Vermont.
We fulfill our mission by conducting community-based research that captures the stories and traditions of our diverse communities; by teaching Vermonters of all ages to use digital technology to document and share their own life experience and heritage; by presenting public programs that help us to understand our ever-changing cultural landscape; and by preserving personal and family stories, photographic collections, moving images, and recordings of regional music in our multimedia state-of-the art archive.
Our programs include the Discovering Community Education Program which introduces educators and students to ethnographic field research and digital media production. We also provide direct service in K-16 classrooms; teacher training through presentations and workshops at conferences; and a workshop series through our Cultural Sustainability Institute for the general public, librarians, and community historians.
Our Vision and Voice Documentary Workspace provides a site for the planning, development and exhibition of new documentary work. The program is inclusive of ethnographers and documentary artists at every career stage, including students, and welcomes projects in all media. Many of our exhibits are supported by a web version of the exhibit, along with educational resources and supplemental materials such as pod casts of audio and public programming.
With partial assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Folklife Center Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program was initiated nineteen years ago to help support Vermont's master artists and their work with apprentices in their communities.
VFC's state-of-the-art, climate-controlled archive houses more than 5,000 taped audio and video interviews and 20,000 historic and contemporary photographs, plus transcripts, field notes, family memoirs, and musical recordings. VFC's three professional folklorists conduct over 100 interviews per year, which enriches our collection with the living traditions of Vermonters.