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Maryland Traditions Partnership

The NCTA currently produces two annual folklife events for Maryland Traditions, is developing an educational initiative, and engages in fieldwork to inform its various programs:

Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival – a daylong celebration featuring Maryland’s master traditional performing artists, craftspeople and other tradition-bearers, with 13-15 performing groups, narrative presentations, hands-on workshops, children’s activities, demonstrations of craft and occupational traditions, and local and regional food specialties.

Achievement in Living Traditions and Arts (ALTA) Awards – Each year this award is given in three categories to honor an individual, a place and a tradition for outstanding stewardship of the state’s traditions.  A tribute to Maryland’s National Heritage Fellows is often a part of this event.

Maryland Traditions in the Schools – This program is designed to bring the state’s living cultural treasures, its master traditional artists, into Maryland schools, beginning with a pilot program in Montgomery County in 2012, and a Blues in the Schools program Prince George’s County schools currently in development.

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Fieldwork – NCTA conducts ongoing fieldwork to identify master artists for potential participation in the Maryland Traditions’ Apprenticeship Award Program.

Ola Belle Reed recordings – The NCTA is working with Maryland Traditions to preserve and digitize endangered Ola Belle Reed recordings now housed in the NCTA’s climate-controlled archive for safekeeping. This great Appalachian balladeer, clawhammer banjo player and songwriter, who made her home in Cecil County, played a central role in the revival of interest in old-time and bluegrass music that began in the 1960s.