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Folk + Traditional Arts

Arts Midwest supports, informs, and celebrates the folk and traditional arts field in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, the Native Nations that share this geography, and beyond.

A hand holds the start of a woven willow basket. There is a base structure made of criss-crossing sticks and woven on it with thinner branches is a concentric pattern.
Bob Modersohn

Folk and Traditional Arts Resources

We’ve curated a list of valuable tools and information to help support Midwestern folk and traditional arts practitioners.

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A woman of medium skin tone shows off a colorful assortment of Native pottery.
Photo Credit: Cliff Hollis

Recent Folk + Traditional Arts Stories

Podcast: Music & Mental Health In Northern Minnesota

On this episode, we talk with Sam Miltich, a professional jazz guitarist from rural Minnesota who lives with schizophrenia. Sam shares how he’s found solace in nature and how he’s been able to balance his music career and mental health.

Music & Mental Health in Northern Minnesota

An illustration of a person from behind carrying a guitar over their back, surrounded by plants and birds, standing in front of an outline of a human head
Photo Credit: Mayumi Park

Podcast: Art & The Land

On this episode, hear from two Ojibwe artists whose creative practices are deeply connected to the land. Birchbark and quill artist Pat Kruse and water walker Sharon Day share their perspectives on the importance of having a reciprocal relationship with the natural environment and caring for community.

Art & The Land

An illustration of a pair of hands holding a river and a grove of birch trees.
Photo Credit: Mayumi Park

Podcast: Digging Into The Indian Arts And Crafts Act

On this episode, embark on a thought-provoking exploration as Native artist advocates Christina Woods and Graci Horne dig into the intricacies of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. This landmark truth-in-advertising law prohibits misrepresentation in the marketing of Indian arts and crafts, but many say that the legislation doesn’t go far enough to protect Native artists.

Digging Into The Indian Arts And Crafts Act

A colorful illustration of three feathers rooting into the ground