Since the Tennessee Arts Commission established the Folk Arts Program in 1984, the Folklife Program has amassed an impressive archive of fieldwork projects, recordings, and publications.


The Folklife Program has created several publications over the past three decades.


This 1989 project called on a panel of experts to compile recommendations of best available recordings of Tennessee folk music in various genres.

Program Records

An official record of the Folklife Program of the Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC) from its inception through the directorship of Dr. Robert (Roby) Cogswell.


While not a major focus of Tennessee’s Folklife Program, teaching about folklore in the schools offers rich learning opportunities for K-12 teachers and students.


The following list includes traditional music competitions and contests of all sorts, with categories including fiddle and other instruments, bands, singing, and dancing. Exact contest rules vary widely.

Portraits of Tradition

A 1994 exhibition of selected folk artists photographed by Dr. Robert Cogswell.