The SMCM Southern Maryland Folklife Center received another important grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), funding activity and growth of the center in Fiscal Year 2021-22. The Southern Maryland Folklife Center is co-directed by three faculty members at SMCM: Assistant Professor of English, Jerry Gabriel; Director of the Boyden Gallery, Erin Peters; and Associate Librarian, Kent Randell. The $38,540 award will be used primarily for the 2022 version of the center’s signature event: an annual set of folklife summer workshops to be held June 3-5, 2022 on the SMCM campus.
The SMCM Southern Maryland Folklife Center was established in 2021 as part of the statewide Folklife Network. These organizations, in the words of MSAC’s Maryland Traditions Program, “support folklife, or community-based living cultural traditions handed down by example or word of mouth.” In summer 2021, the Southern Maryland Folklife Center offered a set of workshops over three days, including making stuffed ham, running a small farm, painting the Southern Maryland landscape, and making wampum pendants. The Southern Maryland Folklife Center is partnering with the arts associations of St. Mary’s, Calvert, and Charles counties, Historic St. Mary’s City, Trinity Episcopal Church, Southern Maryland Traditional Music and Dance, and the Southern Maryland Heritage Area to host the 2022 summer workshops. Serving as a hub for the region, the SMCM-based team is excited to continue to expand partnerships.