The 80th National Folk Festival has unveiled details about the Maryland Traditions Family Folklife Area program, sharing details about the performers, craftspeople, and demonstrators who will be featured in this special area of the festival in 2021.
Additionally, festival organizers revealed the addition of a fourth stage at this year’s festival, the Maryland Traditions Family Folklife Stage. The National Folk Festival is returning to Downtown Salisbury, Sept. 10-12, the third year of the festival’s residency in Salisbury.
Supported by Maryland Traditions, the traditional arts program of the Maryland State Arts Council, the Maryland Traditions Family Folklife Area & Stage at the 80th National Folk Festival celebrates and showcases the rich, living traditions of Maryland — from its Atlantic beaches to the Appalachian Mountains.
The area shines a spotlight on the distinctive music, rituals, crafts, occupations, foodways, and other traditions at the heart of Maryland heritage, expressing both the state’s deep history and its evolving character.
Performances, demonstrations, displays, exhibits, and narrative presentations by Maryland master artisans and performers explore a wide range of cultural traditions, including those of its First Peoples, the cultural legacies of European settlers, and the expressions of the newest Maryland residents whose cultural roots come from around the globe.
"Maryland Traditions is proud to have the platform of the National Folk Festival to share a glimpse of the vibrant spectrum of living traditions practiced throughout Maryland,” said Chad Buterbaugh, state folklorist and Director of the Maryland Traditions program at the Maryland State Arts Council.
“From our Indigenous tradition bearers with the Pocomoke Indian Nation, to the Cumberland Marbles Program and the distinctive dance traditions of Puerto Rican diaspora, as well as emerging immigrant communities that are new to the Eastern Shore and dance expressions that thrive in urban centers, the Maryland Traditions Family Folklife Area & Stage reflects the richness of the state’s cultural expressions,” he said.
“We are excited to bring the Maryland Traditions Family Folklife Area & Stage to the upcoming 80th National Folk Festival,” added National Council for the Traditional Arts Executive Director Lora Bottinelli.
“The traditions brought together for the weekend, each in their own right, are held by Maryland's diverse and multigenerational lineage of tradition bearers,” she said. “Those who join us will be able to enjoy and meet their neighbors near and far during a special weekend of celebration, in this once-in-a-moment gathering of cultural heritage practitioners from across the state.”
The Maryland Traditions Family Folklife Area & Stage is produced in partnership with Maryland Traditions, the traditional arts program of the Maryland State Arts Council.
This area will be open Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12, from noon to 6 p.m.
The following demonstrators, craftspeople, and performers will be featured at the Maryland Traditions Family Folklife Area & Stage, with additional performances featuring several of these artists presented on other festival stages throughout the weekend:
More Maryland artists will be announced on the National Folk Festival’s website as they are confirmed.
The National Folk Festival debuted in Salisbury in 2018, and the city’s tenure as host city was scheduled to conclude in 2020, until the 80th National was postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus.
For more information on the Maryland Traditions Family Folklife Area & Stage program, visit NationalFolkFestival.com/maryland-folklife.