Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts (AFTA) is a statewide program of the University of Arkansas Libraries dedicated to building cross-cultural understanding by documenting, presenting, and sustaining Arkansas’ living traditional arts and cultural heritage.


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Folk and Traditional Arts are:

rooted in communities

Traditional arts exist in communities, which can include families, geographic regions, religious groups, clubs, schools, and more.

learned in communities

Traditional arts are passed down and learned between members of communities, though new generations may add their own unique twist.

new and emerging

Traditions evolve and change. Communities create new traditions all the time – new foods, events, festivals, sayings, rituals, and more.

diverse yet universal

Diverse communities thrive across the State of Arkansas yet all have their own traditional arts that are a part of Arkansas heritage.

Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts seeks to:


Fieldwork, oral history, and the documentation of Arkansas’ diverse traditions.


Public programs, workshops, and curriculum for Arkansans of all ages and backgrounds.


Services and support for the continuation of Arkansan tradition-bearers.