In collaboration with the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board, graduate students training in ethnographic practices have been documenting Nordic-American folk artists in the Upper Midwest. Each summer, two graduate students head into the field to identify a diverse group of folk artists and amplify the work of these artists by creating high quality documentation that establishes an ethnographic-historical record and also provides materials for a variety of productions.

These students work closely with state folklorists, faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, as well as organizations and individuals in communities throughout the states. Working together, they conduct documentary field research with Scandinavian American folk artists; expand and update state folk artist rosters; document Scandinavian American community festivals and events; assist state folklorists in assessing the needs of Scandinavian American folk artists, communities, and presenting organizations; and contribute to conceptualizing regional joint ventures with particular organizations and corresponding consortia of folk artists.

We’re proud to highlight just a bit of the amazing work they’ve done.