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Jon Kay
Traditional Arts Indiana

Jason Baird Jackson
Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Last modified: Friday, August 7, 2009

IU's Traditional Arts Indiana will have expanded presence at Indiana State Fair

Aug. 7, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- For the past decade, IU's Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) has been an active participant at the Indiana State Fair. This year, TAI has expanded its presence with a major exhibition in the Home and Family Arts Building at the fair that opens today (Aug. 7) and runs through Aug. 23, as well as hosting the Indiana State Fair Fiddle Contest Saturday (Aug. 15).

The Home and Family Arts Building exhibit features the works of more than 30 Hoosier folk artists, craftspeople and musicians. From hoop-net makers and African American quilting to handmade chocolates and fiddle tunes, the display celebrates the persistence of many of Indiana's traditions as well as the emergence of folkways brought to the state by its immigrant communities.

The Indiana State Fair Fiddle Contest (Saturday Aug. 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) gathers some of the finest fiddlers in the state, from talented children to seasoned professionals and everyone in between. The contest is in the Pioneer Village at the Fair Grounds and will feature a special performance by the Not Too Bad Bluegrass Band at noon.

Milan Opacich

National Heritage Fellow Milan Opacich

Thursday, Aug. 20, is Traditional Arts Indiana Day at the State Fair, which features Indiana Bluegrass on the Main Street Stage. Throughout the day, Olivia Smiley's Bluegrass Band and the White Lightning Boys will perform. At 3 p.m., representatives from the State Fair and TAI will honor the Indiana State Fair Masters, an award highlighting the work of longtime fair participants. This year's honorees are Patti Light, a baton twirler from Boone County, and Tuttle Orchard from Hancock County. The ceremony will debut two short documentaries about each master.

In conjunction with the large exhibit at the fair, TAI will feature the following demonstrations throughout each day on the third floor of the Home and Family Arts Building at the fairgrounds:

  • Sat., Aug. 8: Geoff Davis, Indiana ukulele music
  • Sun., Aug. 9: Larry Hopkins, fiddle, mandolin and guitar builder
  • Sat., Aug. 15: Roy Spight, African Drum Making and Harold Klosterkemper, Fiddle Tunes
  • Sun., Aug. 16: Viki Graber, willow basketry and Carol Powers, Ukrainian eggs
  • Sat., Aug. 22: Sisters of the Cloth, African American quilting and Dan Cain, hoop-net making
  • Sun., Aug. 23: James Yang, Chinese calligraphy

For more information about Traditional Arts Indiana, see