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Tennessee is home to many outstanding folk artists who have mastered, preserved, and passed on their traditional skills. The Tennessee Arts Commission’s Folklife Program is dedicated to identifying, documenting, preserving, and honoring the work of our state’s tradition bearers. This section of the website includes two online exhibitions of selected folk artists photographed by Dr. Robert Cogswell, the Folklife Program Director for Tennessee from 1984 through 2014: “Portraits of Tradition” and “30 Years of the Folklife Program.” In addition, this section provides biographical information on exceptional, recognized Tennessee folk artists who have received the National Heritage Fellowship and/or the Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award.

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