Skip to content
Secondary Content

Folk & Traditional Arts

Folk and traditional arts encompass all traditional artists and communities, from rural cowboys, farm folk and American Indians living in urban/rural areas and on reservation lands to the many cultural, occupational and ethnic groups living in Utah. Focus is centered on perpetuating artistic traditions and skills and maintaining unique cultural identities. Traditional arts include crafts, music, dance and stories passed down through families and communities or within tribal, ethnic or occupational groups. These artistic skills, which reflect the values of earlier generations, are a vital component of community culture, heritage and identity.

Chase Home Museum

Chase HomeThe Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts is the only museum in the country dedicated to displaying a state-owned collection of contemporary folk art. It features objects made by living Utah artists from the state’s American Indian, rural, occupational and ethnic communities offering a snapshot of Utah’s contemporary culture and heritage. The Chase Home, built more than 150 years ago in a traditional hall-and-parlor style from adobe bricks, is a fine example of 19th-century folk art.

Folk Arts Collection

Folk Art CollectionUtah’s Folk Arts Collection was established in 1976. This collection of works made by Utah artists includes not only paintings and sculpture, but also handmade rugs, woodcarving, needlework and weaving. It contains more than 400 pieces of folk art ranging from handcrafted saddles and American Indian beadwork to a variety of traditional crafts from the state’s European, Asian, Latino and Polynesian communities. Certain objects are also featured in both traveling and temporary exhibits.

Annual Events

  • Mondays in the Park – this concert series, produced in partnership with Excellence in the Community, is a free concert held on Monday evenings in July and August at 7 p.m. at the Chase Home Museum in Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park.
  • Pioneer Day at Liberty Park – Join us every July 24 for a day of folk art. Inside, the museum hours are extended. Outside, there are demonstrations by folk artists on the porch.
  • Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live! – in the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket…for free!
  • Folk Art Workshops – Learn how to create your own folk art. Spend time on the Chase Home balcony with a local folk artist learning their specific art form. Artists, dates and prices vary.

Funding

Grants to support folk, ethnic and traditional arts are available on an annual basis to support teaching in both one-on-one and group settings. Project grants assist individual artists and cultural communities in developing, perpetuating or presenting their own traditional art forms.

  • Project Grants target local grass-roots organizations and artists, both urban and rural, throughout the state, assisting them in planning new projects and obtaining the seed money needed to leverage greater community support. Folk artists are eligible to apply for other Utah Arts & Museums funding throughout the year.

Folk Art Products

Over the past 30 years, thousands of photographs and recordings documenting Utah’s traditional art, artists and community-based events have been accessioned into the State Folklife Archives. In an effort to share these materials with the public, educational publications and recordings highlighting the most interesting traditions and best Utah folk art have been produced. Revenues support production of additional booklets and CDs. For information on purchasing these products, please contact Jean Tokuda Irwin at 801.533.5760. Online store coming soon.

Download an information sheet on the Folk Arts program.