folklore

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

The annual Florida Folk Festival kicks off in North Florida at 6 p.m. this Friday. The three-day cultural celebration is bringing together hip-hop and graffiti artists with traditional Chinese musicians and many other performers this year.

The state-sponsored festival is a celebration of the culture and traditions unique to Florida. All weekend, people will be able to take in traditional musical performances at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center in White Springs, near the intersection of I-10 and I-75.

Folk art is usually passed down from teacher to apprentice outside the walls of any formal institution. Florida is seeking folk art masters and apprentices to participate in a program aimed at keeping their traditions alive for generations to come.   

This year’s Florida FolkLife Apprenticeship teams are working on Hungarian embroidery, Puerto Rican lace making and a Chinese musical instrument called a zheng. The program gives stipends for travel and supplies. A team is one master artist or craftsperson and one or more apprentices.