On Thursday, October 23 at 7pm, the Brooklyn Arts Council will celebrate the 4th annual Brooklyn Folk Arts Day. This year, BAC’s Folk Arts program will present a gathering of traditional arts leaders for “Bring it on Home: Folk Arts in the Digital Domain” at the Actors Fund Arts Center. Through a discussion led by scholars, archivists, and traditional cultural specialists, “Bring it on Home” will host an important cultural conversation about the importance of giving communities access to and use of their own cultural heritage materials—such as audio, video, and photographic records of music, dance, and other cultural traditions—for the benefit of future generations. This gathering of folk and traditional arts communities will explore the importance of sharing digital materials that document traditions of diverse communities with members of the same communities, and when culturally relevant, with the general public.
The program will feature a screening of archival footage collected during BAC’s spring 2014 The Sweetest Song festival, followed by a panel discussion. Panelists will include Robert Baron, PhD, Folk Arts Program Director at the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), who will discuss the increased importance of digital materials in grant opportunities and an upcoming initiative to create a statewide digital repository of folk and traditional arts materials. Additional panelists will include Anna L. Wood, PhD, Director of the Association for Cultural Equity (ACE), which was established by her father, the legendary musicologist Alan Lomax, to explore and preserve the world’s expressive traditions. Together with Don Fleming, Executive Director of ACE, Mrs. Wood will discuss the process of collaborating with local partners and arranging for families of artists to take part in a formal “repatriation” ceremony and be given copies of “their” media. They will also introduce the Global Jukebox Song Tree, an innovative, free online resource that will allow people to listen and explore the traditional music and culture of the world in ways never before possible. In addition,Panelist Obrimpong Twum Barima (aka Nana Dr. Rokoto), Chief of Aprade, Ghana will discuss his efforts to use traditional knowledge to stimulate intergenerational communication and the bridges and barriers that Internet technology creates.