Six Oregon artists will deliver special presentations about the history and cultural significance of their crafts and traditions at state parks across Oregon during the month of June. “Folk Arts in the Parks” is sponsored by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) along with the University of Oregon’s Oregon Folklife Network (OFN), the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust.
“The program is a great opportunity to work with heritage and arts organizations to showcase cultural traditions in Oregon while also bringing people out to enjoy scenic state parks,” said Roger Roper, deputy state historic preservation officer with OPRD.
Each artist will appear with a folklorist from the OFN, the state’s designated folk and traditional arts program, in collaboration with a local arts organization. The featured events and presenters are:
“Cowboy Stories, Songs and Sing-alongs.” Award-winning singer and guitarist Barbara Nelson will perform cowboy poetry and songs. A horse lover and rider since childhood, Nelson grew up loving the cowboy movies and songs of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. In 2013, the Academy of Western Artists named Nelson as the female western singer of the year and presented her with the Will Rogers award. Presented in collaboration with Arts East.7-9 p.m., Saturday, June 7, Blue Mountain-Emigrant Springs State Park.
“Latino Folk Music.” The trio Grupo Condor will perform a variety of Latino-based folk music. Through concerts and school programs, Grupo Condor blends the styles of Spanish, African and Native American influences that have created this tri-cultural art form. The performance also will feature an instrument petting zoo and discussion of the group’s instruments and their origins. Presented in collaboration with the Hillsboro Arts and Culture Council.7-9 p.m., Saturday, June 14, at Stubbs Stewart State Park.
“Lutes and Flutes: Music of the Andes.” Andean musician and instrument maker Alex Lluminquinga Perez will perform traditional charango (lute) and quena (flute) music. Raised in Quito, Ecuador, Perez was a child when he first started playing music. In Oregon since 2001, he has performed in a range of venues, including schools, colleges, public libraries and music festivals. This program will include a display of Alex’s instruments and a make-and-take flute workshop (limited to 25 participants, 8 years and above). Presented in collaboration with Columbia Arts. Noon – 2 p.m., Sunday, June 15, Vista House at Crown Point.
“Warm Springs Regalia: Traditional Wasco Beadwork.” Roberta Kirk will demonstrate and explain how to create traditional Wasco beadwork, used to adorn powwow regalia and other ritual items. A member of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, Kirk – whose Wasco name is H’Klumaiyat – started sewing and beading as a young girl. She continues to do beadwork and to design traditional clothing for men, women and children. Her program will feature a display of her intricate and beautiful handiwork. Presented in collaboration with the Estacada Area Arts Commission. Noon – 2 p.m., Saturday, June 21, Milo McIver State Park.
“Jingle Dancing of the Paiute.” Julie Johnson of the Fort McDermott Paiute Shoshone Tribe will demonstrate traditional jingle dancing and beadwork. Julie makes Native American dance outfits for her family and friends who wear their regalia for powwow, dances and other special occasions. Julie, who also is an accomplished dancer, performed in the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Olympics. This event will also include a display of her handiwork. Presented in collaboration with the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture. 7-9 p.m., Saturday, June 21, Wallowa Springs State Park.
“Hip Hop with Mic.” Mic Crenshaw will entertain visitors with a hip-hop performance, stories and discussion. One of the most respected hip-hop artists in the Northwest, Crenshaw is a world-class MC and poet also prominent on the national and international scene as a performer and community activist. His debut solo CD, “Thinking Out Loud,” spent 10 weeks in the top 10 on College Music Journal’s (CMJ) National Radio Hip Hop Charts, peaking at number 4. Presented in collaboration with the Arts Council of Lake Oswego. 2-4 p.m., Sunday, June 29, Tyron Creek State Park.
All events are free and open to the public, and all ages are welcome—no registration is required. Some parks may charge for day-use parking permits. For more information about the Oregon Folklife Network, visit http://ofn.uoregon.edu. For directions to the parks, visit www.oregonstateparks.org.