Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts is firmly dedicated to building cross-cultural understanding by documenting, presenting, and sustaining Arkansas’ diverse living traditional arts and cultural heritage.  At the heart of our work is valuing human dignity and the right to proudly and safely exist in this world.  Along with our fellow neighbors and colleagues across the nation, we are watching and witnessing events that remind us of the very real threats to life, justice, and human dignity operating in our communities today.

Arkansas is made real by the people who live here.  Arkansas is the people who live here.  When segments of our community feel unsafe or devalued because of their identities, our community is not healthy and whole.  This is why AFTA remains committed to centering cultural equity and justice in our work.  As the National Council for Traditional Arts affirms in their own statement, “We know that family, community, and cultural traditions connect us to each other, create value, and provide opportunities for cultural renewal.”  Finally, we want to affirm that we are listening.  Our partners and colleagues across the world will agree that listening is the folklorist’s first and best tool, and active listening is essential for resolving conflict and effecting change.  We ask our community members to do the same.


Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts