A Common Wealth of Music: Virginia's Rich Musical Heritage

Jon Lohman, Virginia State FolkloristLecture Details

Lecturer: Virginia State Folklorist and Director of the Virginia Folklife Program Jon Lohman
Date: Wednesday, October 29th at 5:00pm
Location: Washington 101

About the Lecturer

Jon Lohman is Program Director of the Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation of the Humanities (VFH) and Virginia State Folklorist. Jon earned an MA in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania. As the state folklorist, he works to document, present, and support Virginia's rich cultural folkways through a variety of mediums, including audio and video documentation, exhibit design, public programming, and project development. He has produced more than twenty music recordings, including the Pascall Brothers' Independent Music Award-winning CD On the Right Road Now for the Smithsonian Folkways and the VFH's critically acclaimed Crooked Road Series. Jon is the author of In Good Keeping: Virginia's Folklife Apprenticeships and has published scholarly  and popular writings on Southern folklore. Jon has presented and facilitated cultural programs at numerous festivals and symposia throughout Virginia and the nation, including the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the American Folklore Association, the National Folklife Festival and many others. Most recently, Jon was part of a small American delegation invited by the International Intellectual Property Institute to speak about protecting and promoting traditional arts at conferences in Lima, Peru and Mexico City. He has taught academic courses on American folklife, cultural sustainability, and oral history at Mary Washington College, Goucher College, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he also served as the Program Coordinator for the Urban Studies Program. In 1991, Jon was Corps Member of Teach for America with assignment as a fifth-grade teacher at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in New Orleans.

Lecture Overview

In his talk, Jon Lohman explores the role and impact of the folklorist, and a state folklife program more generally, on public policy, community development, and the health of the cultural communities which they serve. Through the lens of field recordings, cultural documentation, and demonstration of various modes of artistic presentation and education programming for the general public, Lohman takes listeners on a musical journey throughout Virginia - from the hollers of the coal fields, the rolling hills of the southern Piedmont, the shores of the Tidewater and the urban landscapes of its vibrant cities, sharing field recordings and videos. The presentation explores the Commonwealth's musical roots and present day masters.