Central Appalachian Folk & Traditional Arts Program Survey and Planning Project (CAFTA) is a project of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) in cooperation with Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN).

The goal of CAFTA is to conduct a comprehensive 15-month cultural study of traditional arts and practices in the 112 Appalachian counties of Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. The results of this study will inform the development of a new multi-state program designed to promote the understanding, recognition and practice of the diverse folk and traditional art practices present in Central Appalachia.

MAAF, one of the nation’s six Regional Arts Organizations has engaged LiKEN to coordinate and conduct the extensive fieldwork for this project and to formulate program recommendations. For this project, LiKEN has assembled a team of highly skilled fieldworkers who are folklorists, oral and public historians, artists, and ecologists doing community-based work in Central Appalachia.


• To survey established and emerging Appalachian arts and culture programs, festivals, archives, and initiatives in order to assess their constituencies, goals, and outcomes, and to understand the barriers and opportunities they face within the context of economic and demographic trends.
• To identify folk and traditional artists in the region and listen deeply to their experiences with community and public programming, their current methods for inter-generational transfer of traditional practices, and the forms of recognition they value.
• To undertake a systematic assessment of stakeholders, and identify potential partners and resources for the proposed Central Appalachian Program.
• To build strong relationships in the region by engaging in deep listening, employing cultural sensitivities, clearly communicating project goals, and creating space for input and public feedback.

The survey phase of the project will end in April 2020 with the intention of launching MAAF’s new Central Appalachian Program in the following months. www.midatlanticarts.org

About MAAF
Since 1979, MAAF has been providing services to artists and arts organizations throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Initially established to promote and support multi-state arts programming in a region that includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the US Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia, MAAF has expanded its reach to include national and international initiatives. MAAF envisions a vital arts and cultural sector enriched by the movement of a vibrant and diverse environment of artists and arts organizations engaging audiences across geographic, artistic, and institutional boundaries regionally, nationally, and internationally.

About LiKEN
The Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) is a link-tank for community-based research to build economic futures based on local assets, values, and visions (www.likenknowledge.org). Founded in 1990, we provide training and digital platforms for communities to document, understand, and act on root causes of economic and cultural well-being. We provide training and resources to document local assets, frame issues and solutions, identify stakeholders, analyze root causes, and develop work plans. We help to build cross-sectoral partnerships between communities and their supportive web of scholars, practitioners, artists, and government agencies. We provide platforms for collaborative, multi-stakeholder data gathering, aggregation, and analysis that integrate digital and face-to-face participation and problem solving. www.likenknowledge.org

For questions and additional information,
contact Jess Porter, Program Officer, jess@midatlanticarts.org, and 410-539-6656, ext. 116
contact Mary Hufford, Folklorist / Associate Director, hufford@likenknowledge.org, and 610-717-2002