I spent a lovely morning at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, where I met several people who are involved in the documentation, preservation, dissemination and promotion of our fascinatingly diverse cultural heritage. Ostensibly I was there to pick up a handful of CDs produced by VFH, but my visit turned into much more as Jon led me to closets and basements in search of recordings. I have been to several Folklife Showcases (held in September) and get more addicted every time – not just to the fried apple pies or Brunswick stew but to the music, dance, storytelling, woodworking, and many other folkways that everyone there is committed to preserving. I listen with interest to every With Good Reason or Backstory with the American History Guys that comes my way, so it was a treat to see the studios where they are actually produced. I have told more than one person this week that the information they were seeking could be found at the Encyclopedia Virginia. So I was eager to make more connections with this important cultural institution in our midst.
So it is almost as a footnote that I can say that the dozen or so CDs generously donated to us by the VFH will be available through our library. As I look through them, I see Virginians of all stripes holding instruments or microphones and wonder how I’ll possibly have time to listen to what they contain. Look for them to appear in our catalog soon! For now, you can learn more about the recording projects and hear excerpts at the Folklife Program’s website.