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,” formerly “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 month of weekend events kicked off with “Cowboy Stories, Songs and Sing-alongs,” in which award-winning singer and guitarist Barbara Nelson performed cowboy poetry and songs.  Presented in collaboration with Arts East, the event took place the evening of June 7 at Blue Mountain-Emigrant Springs State Park.

This Saturday “Latino Folk Music” trioo Grupo Condor will perform a variety of Latino-based folk music. Grupo Condor blends the styles of Spanish, African and Native American influences that have created a one-of-a-kind tri-cultural art form. The performance 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, this event happens 7-9 p.m., Saturday, June 14, at Stubbs Stewart State Park. >

On Sunday, “Lutes and Flutes:  Music of the Andes” features Andean musician and instrument maker Alex Lluminquinga Perez, who will perform traditional charango (lute) and quena (flute) music. Raised in Quito, Ecuador and living in Oregon since 2001, Perez has performed in 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). Columbia Arts will partner on thispresentation, from noon to 2 p.m., Sunday, June 15, Vista House at Crown Point.

The third weekend of June, the program moves East, with “Warm Springs Regalia: Traditional Wasco Beadwork” by Roberta Kirk. The program includes demonstrations on the creation of the 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 – designs traditional clothing for men, women and children. Her program will feature a display of her intricate and beautiful handiwork and is presented in collaboration with the Estacada Area Arts Commission.
Noon – 2 p.m., Saturday, June 21, Milo McIver State Park. 

“Powwow Dance and Regalia” is also happening June 21, with Julie Johnson teaching traditional jingle dancing and beadwork featured at intertribal powwows. Johnson, who lives and works on the Burns Pauite Reservation, is an enrolled member of the Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone Tribe. Johnson is an accomplished dancer; she performed in the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Olympics. Josephy Center for Arts and Culture is the local contact for the event at 7-9 p.m., Saturday, June 21, Wallowa Lake State Park.

And who says hip-hop isn’t folk art? In a challenge to stereotypes, 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. A 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. The Arts Council of Lake Oswego presents this unique program, 2-4 p.m., Sunday, June 29, at Tyron Creek State Park.

Each artist will appear with a folklorist from the OFN.

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 For directions to the parks, visit

“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.