Folk and traditional arts encompass a diverse array of artists and communities. Cowboys, farm folk, and American Indians living in urban and rural areas and on reservation lands as well as the many cultural, occupational and ethnic groups throughout Utah each have unique identities, histories, and artistic practices. Their traditional arts include crafts, music, dances and stories passed down through families and shared culture groups. These art forms, which often reflect the values and knowledge of earlier generations, are a vital component of Utah’s diverse cultural heritage.
Chase Home Museum
The 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 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 vernacular architecture.
Folk Arts Collection
Utah’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, metalwork, and more. It contains over 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. Some objects are also featured in both traveling and temporary exhibits.
- Mondays in the Park – this free concert series, produced in partnership with Excellence in the Community, is held on Monday evenings in July and August at the Chase Home Museum in Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park.
- Pioneer Day at Liberty Park – Join us every July 24th for a day of folk arts programming. Inside, the museum hours are extended. Outside, there are demonstrations and performances by folk artists on the porch or balcony.
- Folk Arts Workshops – Learn more about diverse folk art traditions. Spend time at the Chase Home with local folk artists in these hands-on workshops. Artists, dates and prices vary. Visit the Chase Home Facebook page for the most up-to-date info on workshops.
Funding to support folk, ethnic and traditional arts is available on an annual basis. The opportunities assist individual artists and cultural communities in developing, perpetuating or presenting their own traditional art forms.
- Arts 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 Arts Apprenticeships support master folk artists to pass on cultural traditions to selected students. One-time funding. Deadline: Semi-annual.
- Preservation Scholarships assist individual artists, organizations, and cultural communities in documenting and presenting their traditional art forms. One-time funding. Deadline: Rolling, reviewed quarterly.
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 Utah State Archives. In an effort to share these materials with the public, educational publications and recordings highlighting various traditions and works of Utah folk art have been produced. Revenues support the production of additional books, CDs, and other educational materials. For information on purchasing these products, please contact Adrienne Decker at email@example.com or 801.245.7286. Click here for our online store.
Download an information sheet on the Folk Arts Program.