Q: What are folk and traditional arts?

A: Folk and traditional arts are learned as part of the cultural life of a group of people who often share a common ethnic heritage, language, religion, occupation, or region. These art forms are deeply rooted in and reflective of a community’s shared standards of beauty, values, and culture. These artistic expressions take many forms including performing arts such as traditional music and dance practices, and include material artistic expressions such as textiles, decorative, and occupational arts. Folk and traditional arts are usually passed on from one generation to the next and have often existed outside of formal institutional settings.

Q: Can artists and groups apply for a Montgomery Traditions grant?

A: Currently there is no “Montgomery Traditions” grant. However individual artists and small ensembles are encouraged to apply for our small groups and individual artists grants.

Q:  Do I have to be a Montgomery County resident for my folk and/or traditional art to be featured on the website?

A: Yes. Even though much of the folk and traditional arts are traced back to other countries, all “Montgomery Traditions” artists and groups must have had its primary location and/or mailing address in Montgomery County for the last 12 consecutive months.

Q: How do I get involved?

A: There are various ways that you can get involve. If you’re a funder or would like to give a donation, log onto this page. To attend events or learn more about traditional arts, go to our “Do & Go” calendar section for local listings.

Q: Where can I find folk and traditional arts in Montgomery County?

A: Montgomery Traditions keeps a registry of artists and groups that are associated with this project.  You can also visit creativmoco.com’s “Do & Go” section for a calendar of events.

Q: How can I get myself or my group featured on Montgomery Traditions’ website?

A: Fill out a Montgomery Traditions application then email it us at tradtionalarts@creativemoco.com.

Q: How was Montgomery Traditions funded?

A: The National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County provided grant support.

Q: How were the artists chosen?

A: A team of four cultural artists specialists conducted field research throughout Montgomery County. The focus of the research was to identify and document a significant number of artists, venues and organizations engaged in practicing and supporting folk and traditional arts in Montgomery County. The team identified four criteria:

  • Shared artistic expressions of living culture grounded in a common ethnic heritage, language, religion or occupation
  • Passed on from generation to generation within families and communities through observation, conversation, and practice.
  • Learned through example and by oral transmission, from master to apprentice, from parent to child
  • Valued in County communities, homes, workplaces and neighborhoods
  • Art forms that may be unique to the County, geographic region, or homeland of an ethnic group or community

Q: How many immigrants reside in Montgomery County?

A: Montgomery County has a growing proportion of ethnic residents, many of whom are foreign-born. In fact, nearly 30% of County residents were born outside of the United States. The County has a strong and growing representation of Asian Americans, Continental Africans, Latin Americans, and African Americans. Forty-six percent of the State’s Asian population and 44% of the State’s Latino population resides in Montgomery County. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) reports a student body that includes children from over 164 countries speaking 134 languages.