Putting the Folk Back in Folk Music: Sixty Years of the University of Chicago Folk Festival

A group singing with books at an a capella singing convention
Photo by Art Thieme
A capella singing convention, 1973

For the past sixty years the University of Chicago's Folklore Society has made a national impact on the folk music scene in its annual presentation of the Folk Festival—bringing exceptional traditional musicians from their source communities to new audiences in Chicago and beyond. As times have changed, the Folklore Society has diversified acts to include new communities, but its time-tested format of the Festival and workshops has remained unchanged since 1961. Through three cases of photographs and reproductions of documents from the inaugural Folk Festival in 1961, Putting the Folk Back in Folk Music: Sixty Years of the University of Chicago Folk Festival celebrates the Folklore Society's commitment to the artistic integrity of source communities over the years, and celebrates the musicians over the years who have made the Folk Festival a national success.

Curator: Nicola Lustig

The audience in the main floor and balcony seating areas in Mandel Hall
Photo by Ezra Deutsch-Feldman
Mandel Hall during the 50th Annual Folk Fest in 2010.

Visit the Exhibit

Exhibit on view Feb. 13, 2020 – May 26, 2020 at the Regenstein 5th Floor Reading Room
Visitors without a UChicago ID can enter to see the exhibit by obtaining a visitor pass from the ID and Privileges Office in Regenstein Library during its hours.