Virtual Coffee@Ten - Preserving Tradition Through Arts and Crafts

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Preserving Tradition through Arts & Crafts

This event is FREE and requires advance zoom registration. To register click here.

Ways of making decorative and functional objects have existed and evolved over tens of thousands of years. Through this evolution, new contemporary art practices emerge, but what traditions, practices, and crafts remain? Which fade away? Do we have an obligation to preserve the traditions of the past?

Join us for a panel discussion exploring the complexities of cultural preservation.

Panelists: Marsha MacDowell, Nancy McRay, Micah Ling, Regina Brubacker Carver


Marsha MacDowell
Marsha MacDowell is a curator, professor, and program director at Michigan State University. MacDowell’s work, as a publicly engaged scholar, is grounded in an interdisciplinary approach to material culture and is informed primarily by art historical, folkloristic, and ethnographic theories and methodologies. She describes herself as a folklorist/educator/art historian/curator.

Marsha MacDowell serves as Curator of Folk Arts and Quilt Studies, MSU Museum;
Professor, Department of Art and Art History; Director, The Quilt Index and the Michigan Stained Glass Census, Matrix: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences;
Director, Michigan Traditional Arts Program, Residential College of Arts and Humanities

Nancy McRay
Nancy McRay holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan with an emphasis on Fiber Art. She has worked as a studio artist and community arts organizer since 1994. An award winning Fiber Artist, McRay's current works are with Tapestry, Rigid Heddle Weaving and compound weave structures. She enjoys branching out to other media including printmaking and pastel painting as a way to “cross train” and enlarge her skill set.

Regina Brubacker-Carver
Boozhoo! Regina Brubacker-Carver is an enrolled member of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians. She comes from two separate families with a talent for making beautiful things. Her mother’s people have lived in Northern Michigan for centuries, and she feels the natural beauty around us inspires her people's art. Brubacker-Carver loves to take a pile of materials and see their vision come to life. She plays with all kinds of fibers as well as beads. Her biggest problem is deciding what I’m going to work on next!

Micah Ling
Brought up in a world of old-time tunes and dedicated pickers, Micah Ling is quite at home when she plays. A West Michigander hailing from the banks of the Thornapple River, Micah has deep roots in Michigan's traditional music community. This background in traditional music led her to pursue a PhD in Folklore from Indiana University, where she is currently a student. Her dissertation research centers on the relationship between music, material culture, identity, and belonging.

This program was made possible by funding from a Michigan Humanities Organization Pandemic Emergency Grant (Michigan H.O.P.E. Grant).  Funding for these grants has been provided by Michigan Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan.