Folklife institute at Arts Center

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center has been selected as the host organization for the first ever Alabama Folklife Teaching Institute, which is an introductory program for educators of all backgrounds and roles, as well as graduate students studying to earn a degree in education.

The Alabama Folklife Teaching Institute will be held July 30 – Aug. 2 at The Studio on East Walnut Street in downtown Troy.

The Teaching Institute will offer an additional opportunity for training and follow the Art Bridges Program already provided for several years by the TPCAC. However, the Teaching Institute will focus on different themes and programs.

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“The Institute will feature a variety of presentations and a hands-on training project held in conjunction with ‘Alabama in the Making: Traditional Arts of People and Place, which is a traveling exhibit that will be featured at the Johnson Center during the Teaching Institute,” said Morgan Drinkard, Johnson Center interim director.

“Artists, teachers in fourth through twelfth grades and museum and community educators are encouraged to attend.”

Drinkard said the program will present an introduction to folklife and provide an overview, resources and ideas for educational purposes.

“The program will conclude with participants using a template to complete a lesson plan on a folklife topic such as foodways, music, material culture and folklore,” Drinkard said. “This will be a very interesting and beneficial program for those who are interested in Alabama folklife. The program will be enhanced by the ‘Alabama in the Making’ exhibition, which will be across the street from The Studio at the Johnson Center for the Arts.”

The traveling exhibit is an innovative effort to present Alabama Folklife Association research collections from the Smithsonian Project and Alabama Community Scholars Institutes.

“The collections are photographs, audio interviews and videos,” Drinkard said. Visitors may use iPads to navigate through the collections and listen to Alabamians tell the stories of their experiences in folk and traditional arts.”

The Alabama Folklife Teaching Institute is a non-residential, daytime program. The registration fee is $20. Register online at For more information, contact Mary Allison Haynie at 205-956-9888.

The Alabama Folklife Teaching Institute is made possible by a grant from The Daniel Foundation of Alabama.