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The Ohio Arts Council Projects

The Ohio Arts Council Collection is a collection in the Ohio State University Folklore Archives, containing fieldwork conducted from 1977-1982.  That era saw increases in federal and state funding for arts and culture, which allowed the Ohio Arts Council (then called the Ohio Foundation on the Arts) to support research and programming on vernacular culture in Ohio.

The collection is made up of several fieldwork projects, each on a particular topic.  Fieldworkers were hired to travel to regions, make connections, and document folklife in field notes, photographs, interviews, recorded performances, and material culture.  These primary source materials make up the bulk of the collection; however, the fieldworkers also produced reports summarizing their findings, which provide valuable context for each project.

Several of these collecting projects were translated in to public displays, events, and texts, in keeping with the public mission of the Ohio Arts Council.  The Cleveland Russians project became the exhibition Cleveland’s Russians: Expressions of Ethnicity in 1979.  That same year, The Western Ohio Folklife Festival showcased farming practices, crafts, music, and foodways from five western Ohio counties.  Other fieldworkers turned their research into newspaper articles: Alan Govenar published a story on the Second Regiment Marching Band in Columbus Musicians’ Monthly in 1978, which is also part of the collection.

Taken as a whole, the Ohio Arts Council collection offers glimpses into both a variety of Ohio folkways and different approaches to collecting and presenting folklife in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Researchers will find valuable materials in multiple formats that document the lives, work, and art of Ohioans 35 years ago.


Documentation of fiddle contest performances in Eastern Ohio.Fieldworker: David Taylor, Zanesville, Ohio


Documentation of interviews with, and performances by, Southwestern Ohio Bluegrassmusicians.Fieldworker: Katie Laur, Cincinnati, Ohio


Documentation on the work of folk craftspeople in Southeastern Ohio.Fieldworker: Christianne Vanderplas, Athens, Ohio

1977/4 [see also 1979/1]

Documentation of traditional arts, religious practices, and everyday life in Cleveland’sOrthodox Russian community.Fieldworker: Nikolai Burlakoff, Bloomington, Indiana


Documentation of performances and demonstrations at the Gladden community folkfestival on the Near West side of Columbus.Fieldworkers: Dudley Radcliff, Dennis Aig, Columbus, Ohio


Documentation of interviews with members of the Second Regiment Marching Band,Columbus.Fieldworker: Alan Govenar, Columbus, Ohio


Slide-tape presentation on the St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Church, Cleveland.Creator: Gregg Sepic, Cleveland, Ohio

1979/1 [see also 77/4]

Documentation of traditional arts, religious practices, and everyday life in Cleveland’sOrthodox Russian community.Fieldworker: Nikolai Burlakoff, Bloomington, Indiana


Interviews on foodways from the Cleveland Russians project.Fieldworker: Annette Fromm, Cleveland, Ohio


Documentation of Central Ohio traditional music.Fieldworker: David Brose, Tim Lloyd, Columbus, Ohio


Documentation of Western Ohio folklore (Mercer, Darke, Auglaize, Shelby, and MiamiCounties)Fieldworker: Sandy Rikoon, Bloomington, Indiana


Documentation of the German community of Fryburg, OhioFieldworker: Harriet Carr, Columbus, Ohio


Documentation of Eastern Ohio fiddle makersFieldworker: Jim Good, Delaware, Ohio


Documentation of Southern Ohio folklore (Pike, Ross, Jackson, and Scioto Counties)Fieldworker: Sandy Rikoon, Bloomington, Indiana


Documentation of Southern Ohio folklore.Fieldworker: Pat Mullen, Columbus, Ohio


Documentation of traditional music radio shows produced David Brose and others.

Also available to download [pdf]

[pdf] - Some links on this page are to Adobe .pdf files requiring the use of Adobe Reader. If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact cfs@osu.edu

For more information about fieldwork projects sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council, visit their Ohio Traditions website. You can also view profiles of the OAC's master traditional artists and a full list of festivals throughout the state of Ohio on their website.

Ohio Arts Council logo

The Ohio Arts Council Collection at the Folklore Archives is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.