Each year, the Vermont Folklife Center, which is dedicated to preserving and presenting the cultural traditions of Vermont and the surrounding region, recognizes exemplary Vermonters whose work as artists or educators perpetuates Vermont’s cultural heritage.
Each year the Folklife Center honors one place-based educator and one traditional artist.
Place-based education is the process of using the local community and environment as a starting point to teach concepts in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum. Place-based education increases academic achievement, helps students develop stronger ties to their community, enhances students’ appreciation for the natural world and creates a heightened commitment to serving as active, contributing citizens. For this award, the Folklife Center focuses on educators working in language arts, social studies, history, and English who emphasize hands-on, community-based learning experiences. The 2012 awardee is Patrick Ham. Click here to read about him.
Traditional arts are expressions of shared identity within a family, community, regional, tribal, ethnic, occupational or religious group. These arts reflect the values and aesthetics of the group that practices them. They are passed from generation to generation in an informal face-to-face setting rather than through formal classes. The traditional arts include performing arts such as music and dance, craft arts such as basketmaking or quilting, occupational trades such as stone carving and blacksmithing, and ceremonial arts related to religion, the seasons, or life cycles. The 2012 awardee is Mediha Jusufagic. Click here to read about her.
To learn more about the awards and the nominating process, click here.