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Folklife Program for New Jersey


What are folk arts often the first thing that usually comes to mind is "crafts" - home made items that sometimes can be bought at gift shops. This description is partially correct. However, we should not stop here. Because folk art is more than a handiwork, acquired in gift shops.
Folk art is life itself!

Our life is made up of shared traditions that are called "culture" by most people. These traditions are ways that we express ourselves within a community that has a common root and common understandings.

These shared expressions may take the form of music, religion, food, drama, handicrafts, plays, etc. They are learned through informal instructors who are living in our community, or through our relatives, passed down from generation to generation.

Thus, our traditional art works are family/community-based. They reflect our social structure and therefore they are seen as a foundation that holds our community together.

Folklife Program for New Jersey is a
project of the Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission
. Its mission is to endorse and encourage our communities to identify unique artistic talents preserved and practiced by our residents.

The program presents these important artworks within our communities and the general public.  By so doing, we  celebrate and share the diversity of our cultural society and encourage cross-cultural exchanges. Our programs are designed to address public's needs. To that end, we utilize facilities that are accessible to people with disabilities. Our publications are available in LARGE PRINT and Braille. On-site interpreters are also provided. All of our programs are free of charge.




Folk Arts Are

Basket making


Bead work 
Body adornment
(e.g. hair braiding, styling)

Crochet work



Natural healing



Quilt making 

Natural dyeing


Kite making


Jewelry making/designing

Clothes making

Wood working


Doll making

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The Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission is funded in part by the
New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts
New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of Cultural Affairs in the Department of State

Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission 703 Jersey Ave  New Brunswick, NJ 08901-3605
(732) 745 4489       FAX (732) 745 4524      Email   
culturalandheritage@co.middlesex.nj.us      TTY users only call (732) 745 3888