NEA to Fund Cumberland Gap Folklife Project

From Dr. Bradley Hanson, Director of Folklife —

View from White Rocks Credit: Scott Teodorski
View from White Rocks, Credit: Scott Teodorski c/o Cumberland Gap National Historic State Park

As a joint celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment Arts (NEA) and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the two organizations have partnered to fund arts projects centered around the cultural and natural resources of the national parks. The Imagine Your Parks initiative, a special category within the NEA Art Works program, will fund 51 projects in 27 states, totaling $1,092,500. This includes a $25,000 grant award to the White Lightning Trail Festival in Cumberland Gap, TN. 

In the genre of Folk & Traditional Arts, this Imagine Your Parks grant will help support the new Cumberland Gap Folklife Project. The program will be led by the White Lightning Trail Festival, in partnership with the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, the Tennessee State Parks, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and Lincoln Memorial University. As part of the project, folklorists and documentarians will collaborate on field research focusing on the folklife traditions of the Cumberland Gap region. Traditional artists and musicians will also present programs at The Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, as well as at regional state parks and the annual White Lighting Trail Festival. The research and programming will also be shared online and presented in special radio and television documentaries.