2011 Lowell Folk Festival

2011 Lowell Folk Festival will take place July 29-31 in downtown Lowell.

Lowell, Mass. — This year’s folk craft area at the Lowell Folk Festival focuses on the role apprenticeships have played in helping to sustain traditional art in New England. You will meet nine master artists and their apprentices, all of whom have benefited from publically funded apprenticeships – an opportunity which continues today. The unique relationship, based on more than lessons, that forms between master artist and apprentice safeguards many traditional arts and ensures that they continue from one generation to the next.

A dry fieldstone wall can last hundreds of years, but the knowledge of how to build one is easily lost. Wonderful bodies of lore, song, dance, and craft can be fade away unless they are passed on. To truly master a traditional art form, it is best to be immersed in the tradition.

An apprenticeship is a time-honored method of acquiring learns skills, techniques, and artistry is under the guidance of a recognized master. Learning takes place directly by observing and imitating someone steeped in the tradition. Over time, the apprentice absorbs the aesthetics, cultural history, rules, and behaviors that go into a craft. This includes what the appropriate materials are and where to find them. Successful apprentices learn how to improvise within the art form’s rules, making the craft their own.

18 master artists and their apprentices will be demonstrating in the following craft traditions:

  • Puerto Rican dollmaking
  • Puerto Rican musical instrument making
  • Metal type and letterpress printing
  • Bladesmithing
  • Cambodian ceramics
  • Native American pottery
  • Abenaki basketmaking
  • Fly tying
  • Duck decoy carving

More to come on the crafters, foodways demonstrators and musicians. All free!

The Lowell Folk Festival is presented by Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell Festival Foundation, the National Council for the Traditional Arts, the City of Lowell, and the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The 2011 Lowell Folk Festival will take place July 29-31, 2011 in Lowell, Massachusetts. For more information, contact Phil Lupsiewicz at 978-275-1705 or phil_lupsiewicz@nps.gov. On Twitter @ Lowellfolkfest and Facebook @ Lowell Folk Festival