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Folkife Research & Arts Consulting

Lynn is available for consulting in the areas of research and documentation of traditional cultures, event planning and management,  craft education, and nonprofit capacity building.  Her background in these areas is derived from over 37 years as an arts administrator and public sector folklorist, working primarily for state arts agencies and with a wide range of nonprofit organizations. She is particularly interested in projects involving both traditional and contemporary crafts education and event planning.   

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What is folklife ?

Broadly defined, folklife is the living heritage of a particular ethnic group that shares the same culture, ethnic background, geographic region or religion. These traditions can include music, dance, crafts, storytelling,  occupational skills, foodways, and agriculture.  Traditions are often under pressure from shifts in economies and social expectations to adapt to modern ways. Some even disappear. 

Research into traditions can provide the information needed to honor and assist the people who continue to pursue them.  Lynn has many years of experience carrying out field surveys, conducting interviews and photographing traditions and tradition bearers. For more information on ways Lynn might consult on your efforts to research and document traditions in your community, click on the "Contact" link.

Event planning & management

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Photo by Steve Booth, Shaping Our Heritage Conference - Fiddle Workshop, NH - 2014

Courtesy photo - Festival of Pacific Arts, Tahiit - 1985

Festivals, exhibitions, concerts, conferences and celebrations focused on heritage arts can bring  people together to share and reinforce their goals of building a stronger community. They also can be an opportunity for tradition bearers to meet one another, share their goals and learn from each other.  To be truly successful, events needs to be carefully planned and well-funded and implemented. Lynn has been fortunate to work on a wide range of events involving a many cultural groups and art forms from around the world.  She welcomes the opportunity to share insights into what goes into making an event a success.  For more information on event planning and management, click on the "Contact" link.

Craft education

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Learning a new craft or expanding your skills in a craft can bring fulfillment to a life and keep the mind active.  Planning and implementing a successful craft program has many facets that range from studio set up and maintenance,  to recruiting qualified instructors, to diversifying the offerings so that some appeal to beginners and others to more experienced and accomplished students.  Lynn has researched craft programs across the US continent and taken workshops at many of them including Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine, John C Campbell Folk School in NC, Peters Valley Folk School in NJ, North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MI, and Snow Farm in MA.  For more information on ideas on how to grow a craft program, click on the "Contact" link.

Lynn teaches workshops in a variety of fiber arts skills.  Click on the video link for a slide show of a Market Basket workshop Lynn taught in June 2022 for the Hawai`i Handweavers Hui at the Downtown Art Center in Honolulu  (length 4:41)

Arts nonprofit capacity building

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Nonprofit organizations go through a series of stages as they grow and mature.  Occasionally, Board members and staff find it helpful to examine their progress and make adjustments in order to to meet their mission and goals.

Over the years, Lynn has worked with a wide range of arts-based nonprofit organizations at various stages of growth. This experience ranges from the challenges of bringing a team together for effective strategic planning, helping board members and staff align their roles and responsibilities to support the organization, fundraising strategies to support the long term survival of the organization, and how to develop programs that stay aligned with the core mission of the organization. For more information on how Lynn might discuss these challenges with you, click on the "Contact" link.

An excellent resource for nonprofit organizations is:

"Nonprofit Lifecycles - Stage-Based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity" by Susan Kenny Stevens, PH.D.

founder of the Nonprofit Lifecycles Institute

Photographs by Lynn Martin Graton unless otherwise noted.

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