UNCG Research

Folk Festival Kickoff: Atlantic World Arts Creative Symposium

UNCG partners with the National Folk Festival


Posted on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 by Savannah Hutko.

Image from Atlantic World Research Network website

This September, the National Folk Festival comes to Greensboro for the third year. The festival brings together musicians, dancers, and craftspeople from across the nation to celebrate the richness and variety of American culture. The three-day event is free and open to the public, and will feature performances, workshops, food, and more.

UNCG will kick off the festivities on Thursday, September 7, with a concert that also marks the beginning of the university’s Atlantic World Arts Creative Symposium.

The symposium is a collaboration between UNCG’s Atlantic World Research Network and The National Folk Festival, in cooperation with the UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts. Through campus and community performances and exhibits, keynotes, expert panels, and more, Atlantic World Arts will explore how the music, dance, drama, literature, cinema, and visual arts of Europe, Africa, and the Americas have collided, combined, and re-birthed new and hybrid forms.

Click here to learn more about the opening concert, a journey through Celtic and mountain music presented by Fiona Ritchie (of NPR’s The Thistle and Shamrock) and Doug Orr (founder of The Swannanoa Gathering).

Click here for the symposium schedule.

AWA Poster AWA Poster

See below for more information from the the Atlantic World Arts organizers. 


Atlantic World Arts: Collision, Fusion, Re-Vision
A Creative Symposium

7-9 September 2017

The Atlantic Rim has, since the first Columbian contact, been a great cauldron of artistic exchange and creativity: from the poetic “Tenth Muses” of Anne Bradstreet and Sor Juana de la Cruz “sprung up in America,” to the African-American dances of Josephine Baker in Paris; from the Scotch-Irish fiddlers of Appalachia, to the Art Nouveau splendors of Buenos Aires; from the symphonic jazz of Gershwin, to Picasso’s use of African Fang masks; and from hundreds of Shakespeare festivals across the U. S., to film noir, a quintessentially American genre with a French name. Our Atlantic World Arts conference will bring together varied scholars, artists, and performers from across campus and around the U. S. and the Atlantic.

Celebrating UNCG’s newly configured College of Visual and Performing Arts and Greensboro’s third hosting of the National Folk Festival, we will explore how the music, dance, drama, literature, cinema, and visual arts of Europe, Africa, and the Americas have collided, combined, and re-birthed new and hybrid forms—whether through colonial importation and naturalization, indigenous survivals and imitations, Modern primitivist appropriations, or post-colonial irony. Through keynoters representing varied arts from different continents; campus and community performances and exhibits; and expert panels and paper sessions which bring together multiple disciplines addressing common topics—Atlantic World Arts will explore the relations between concepts of place, time, power, identity, and beauty across and around Columbus’s Ocean Sea.

Featured Speakers:

  • Fiona Ritchie, National Public Radio (“The Thistle & Shamrock”)
  • Dr. Doug Orr, President Emeritus, Warren Wilson College; Chancellor Emeritus, UNC Asheville; Founder, the Swannanoa Gathering
  • Dr. Candace Keller, Michigan State University
  • Dr. Jeff Titon, Brown University

Featured Performers: Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac, Scottish Gaelic Musicians, Nova Scotia

About our Speakers and Performers:

  • Candace Keller, Associate Professor, African Art, Art History & Visual Culture, Michigan State University—expert on African Photography in the Atlantic World;
  • Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac, Cape Breton Fiddling and Song; “two lights of the Canadian firmament”
  • Doug Orr, President Emeritus, Warren Wilson College, Chancellor Emeritus, UNC Asheville; Founder, the Swannanoa Gathering, co-author with Fiona Ritchie of the NYT bestseller Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia (UNC Press, 2014)
  • Fiona Ritchie, National Public Radio, the British Broadcasting Company, “The Thistle & Shamrock,” famed broadcaster of transatlantic Celtic mountain music, speaking in partnership with her co-author
  • Jeff Titon, Professor of Music, Brown University—expert on the Arts of African-American Preaching

Mary Jane Lamond, Wendy MacIsaac, Fiona Ritchie, Doug Orr, and Jeff Titon appear in partnership with The National Folk Festival

Other Featured Events include:

  • The National Folk Festival—in downtown Greensboro, September 8-10, 2017
  • Weatherspoon Art Museum—Collision, Fusion, Re-Vision: A Circumatlantic Exhibition of Works from the Permanent Collection, September 7-9
  • Collage — UNCG ’s 10th annual concert showcase for the College of Visual and Performing Arts, UNCG Auditorium, 7:30 pm, Saturday, September 9 — this year celebrating UNCG’s 125th anniversary and featuring the theme of Atlantic Crossings, an extension of Atlantic World Arts

Presented by UNCG’s Atlantic World Research Network (http://www.uncg.edu/eng/awrn/ ), in partnership with:

  • The Office of the UNCG Provost
  • The College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • The College of Arts and Sciences
  • The Weatherspoon Art Museum
  • The Department of Art
  • The Creative Writing Program in the Department of English
  • ArtsGreensboro/17Days
  • The National Folk Festival