From our largest urban centers to our most outlying rural communities, countless weekly, seasonal, and annual events structure traditional cultural life in Tennessee. This expanse of community gatherings—including county fairs and festivals, homecomings and reunions, park programs and religious ceremonies, contests and concerts, jam sessions and stage shows, barn dances and street parties—manifests a richness of arts and expressive practices. Many traditions in Tennessee persist and evolve in these public settings, often in front of audiences that include both community members who share the culture and visitors curious about and entertained by folklife performances. Through our various grant programs, the Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program invests in a wide array of traditional cultural events. Our mandate to document and preserve folklife practices connects us to even more. Each year, we conduct sites visits at many well-established and emerging public folklife events, where we document, observe, and engage with the organizers, performers, and audience members.
In this space we will share photographs and provide additional resources related to our fieldwork at Tennessee festivals and events. For a calendar of yearly folklife events, visit here.