We at CSUMC are excited to report on two new grants that are being administered through our center for the next three years: one is a $1.5 million dollar Folk Arts and Cultures grant to continue our successful “Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Arts in the Upper Midwest” initiative and the other is a $340,000 grant through the National Science Foundation entitled “Comparative Database of Algonquian Derivational Morphology,” which is creating an Algonquian language database to aid in Algonquian language revitalization.
The Nisinoon project [https://nisinoon.net], overseen by CSUMC Director Monica Macaulay, enlists both undergraduate and graduate students in identifying and compiling word components from Algonquian languages into a centralized resource. Macaulay writes, “Components have been described to varying extents for many of the languages, but the data is scattered throughout the literature and there is no centralized resource. The database will enable and enhance the creation of new words in language revitalization programs, as well as create a significant resource for analyses of Algonquian word structure in both modern-day and historical contexts.” Projects like Macaulay’s NSF-funded Algonquian database carry forward CSUMC’s commitment to supporting the diverse languages and cultures of the region in the service of the Wisconsin Idea, which holds that the resources and undertakings of the University should benefit all peoples and communities in the state.
The Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Arts team, consisting of Anna Rue (CSUMC), B. Marcus Cederström (GNS+), Nathan Gibson (Mills Music Library), and Tom DuBois (GNS+) will be continuing to conduct fieldwork and outreach in the Upper Midwest, teach courses, host events, and produce public programming focused on Nordic American folk arts and the immigrant experience in the region.
Over the past three years we have worked with artists, musicians, and scholars from five Nordic countries and eight different states. We’ve collaborated with community organizations, state agencies, and cultural institutions to bring folk arts to a new generation of students and community members through public events, field schools, and university classes. In addition, we’ve hosted symposia, worked with graduate student folklorists to conduct field surveys, and created a variety of public productions, from online and traveling exhibitions to CDs to books to short films.
We’re excited for the next phase of this grant as we build on the events and connections we have forged, but with several new activities, which will include post-doctoral fellowships and an artist- and musician-in-residence program.
There will, of course, be more to come, including annual symposia to amplify the work of artists, musicians, and cultural institutions. Please visit our website [folklife.wisc.edu] for more details about the artists we’ve partnered with, upcoming events, and ongoing public programming, including upcoming online exhibits.