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About Wisconsin Folks

Artists - Funders - Producer - CreditsAwards -
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The Site: Wisconsin Folks is a website for students, educators, and the general public. On Wisconsin Folks, you can:

  • meet over 70 traditional and ethnic dancers, musicians, cooks, craftspeople, and regional specialists;
  • learn details of how they make their art;
  • understand how their art is connected to cultural life in Wisconsin;
  • connect this information with Wisconsin Model Academic Standards and Benchmarks;
  • find out how to hire these artists for public presentations;
  • discover links with cultural arts in your own community.

The Artists: Artists in Wisconsin Folks are invited to be included in the website based on the following criteria:

  • the artist is a member of an identifiable traditional community in Wisconsin or along its borders
  • the artist’s work is representative of that community’s aesthetic cultural values
  • the artist’s work exemplifies that community’s aesthetic traditions
  • the artist’s work is of high quality
  • the artist is experienced in presenting his/her cultural traditions to others
  • the artist would be comfortable and able to work with children as well as adults

We rely on documentation provided by folklorists and other cultural arts specialists to determine an artist's eligibility. No other types of background checks are conducted. 

Funders: This site was created with funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Producer: Wisconsin Folks is produced by the Wisconsin Arts Board, the state arts agency responsible for the support and development of the arts throughout Wisconsin. WAB has a strong history of including the traditional arts in its work, for the purpose of preserving the heritage and multiplicity of artistic standards of the state’s cultural groups. 

In 1998, Wisconsin celebrated its sesquicentennial. The Wisconsin Arts Board was centrally involved in that celebration by co-producing the Wisconsin program of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and re-staging an expanded version of that program in Madison. WAB’s partners in that endeavor were the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial Commission. WAB is committed to transforming the slides, photos, videos tapes, audio tapes, and field reports from the festivals into useful curriculum materials for Wisconsin educators, and to producing a resource that can be easily accessed by all of its citizens.

Project Director
: Anne Pryor 
Site Designer & Webmaster: Renée Tertin 
: Jamie Yuenger, Louie Holwerk, Richard March & Anne Pryor
Images: Andy Kraushaar, Lewis Koch & Bob Rashid were the photographers at the Wisconsin Folklife Festival. We identify these and additional photographers at their photos. For photos on the home page of Wisconsin Folks, click on “Photo Credits.” Unless otherwise noted, all maps in Wisconsin Folks are used with permission from the University of Texas at Austin Library Online, Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.
Fieldwork: Conducted prior to and since the inception of Wisconsin Folks by Nasser Abufarha, Stephanie Alemán, Tigani Eltahir, Jeanie Geurink, Janet Gilmore, Louie Holwerk, Carrie Kline, Michael Kline, Michael Knoll, James P. Leary, Richard March, Ruth Olson, Chandler Poole, Anne Pryor, Chad Reichart, Nicole Saylor & Jamie Yuenger. See individual artists’ “Resources/Credits” page for specific information. 
Interns: Angela Horn, Margaret McEntire
Web Consultants: Gail Matthews-DeNatale and Meg Hamel
Education Consultants: Michael J. Derrick, Art and Technology Teacher, Oregon High School, Oregon, WI; Kristin Larsen, Talented and Gifted Coordinator, Rhinelander School District; Scott Tyink, 6th-8th teacher at School of Technology and the Arts, La Crosse, WI; Mark Wagler, 4th/5th teacher at Randall Elementary School, Madison, WI 
Advisors: Aileen Nettleton, Title 1 Specialist, Madison Metropolitan School District; Nancy Lanyon, 4th grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary School, Madison, WI; Madeline Uraneck, Department of Public Instruction-International Education; Kelly Kolo, Pre-service teacher at Edgewood College.

Partners: Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Institution allowed use of photographs from the 1998 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures provided technical assistance. The Folklore Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison assisted with staffing. The Cooperative Children’s Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison provided advice on resource books for students. The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological and Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison provided assistance with interactivity. Portal Wisconsin provided assistance with promotion of Wisconsin Folks, technical assistance, and development of interactivity and multimedia. The elementary and middle Schools of Technology and the Arts in La Crosse, Wisconsin allowed us to field-test an early version of Wisconsin Folks at their site. Randall Elementary in Madison, Wisconsin, allowed us to field-test a later version.

Awards: Wisconsin Folks was awarded the 2003 International Educator Award for Excellence in Cultural Programming by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. 

In 2003, Wisconsin Folks was awarded honorable mention for the Dorothy Howard Prize in Folklife Education by the Folklife and Education Section of the American Folklore Society.

Settings and Downloads: To best use and view Wisconsin Folks:

  • Use Internet Explorer.
  • Set your desktop display set at 1024 x 768 pixels and millions of colors.
  • Use RealPlayer to listen to sound samples and to view video clips. RealPlayer allows playback of audio in real-time over Internet connections of 14.4 Kbps and faster. To download the free RealPlayer, go to the RealNetworks website.

This site works best with Javascript enabled browsers like Internet Explorer 4 or later. Click the icons to get your free copy of either browser.

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