What are Traditional Arts

Traditional arts are learned person to person, passed from generation to the next, and influenced by culture, family, ethnicity, and era.

Examples of traditional music are folk music, olde time, bluegrass, Cajun, French Canadian, Great Lakes, Celtic, Tribal, swing, Tejano, and western music. Dance might include clogging, Cajun, Celtic, step dance, folkdance, squares, contras and the schottische. Puppetry and storytelling are examples of traditional performance art. Crafts cover a wide range — from stone building to pottery, basket making, quilling, bead work, wood carving and more.

Traditional arts often represent a place or a group of people. It can also express the thoughts and feelings of a point in history.

Sharing traditions strengthen the ties of a community while connecting folks to the past and future. It is grandma reciting a story told to her by her mother, a fiddler sharing a tune, or a craftsman carving a lure.

Traditional arts are the “do it yourself arts” originally practiced to serve a useful purpose — like quilts and labor songs — and now practiced for the pure joy of it.