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Jon Kay
Traditional Arts Indiana

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Friday, April 6, 2007

IU's Traditional Arts Indiana program honored with resolution

April 6, 2007

Milan Opacich

Milan Opacich (left), a master tamburitza luthier, taught his 15-year-old apprentice John Miksich to make a cello tamburitza in Schererville, Ind. They are participants in TAI's master artist apprenticeship program.

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI), a partnership between Indiana University's Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and the Indiana Arts Commission, on Monday (April 2) was honored with a resolution passed by the Indiana General Assembly.

The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Eric Koch (R-Dist. 65), Rep. Peggy Welch (D-Dist. 60), Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Dist. 61), Rep. Cleo Duncan (R-Dist. 67) and Rep. Sheila Klinker (R-Dist. 27) in the House and by Sen. Vi Simpson (D-Dist. 40) and Sen. Teresa Lubbers (R-Dist. 30) in the Senate.

The resolution recognized Traditional Arts Indiana as Indiana's official traditional arts support and development program and commended its efforts to rekindle interest in folk and traditional arts in the state. TAI is one of the few programs of its kind housed at a university.

TAI's ongoing programs include a master artist apprenticeship program, which encourages the passing of traditional arts from one generation to the next; several activities at the Indiana State Fair, including an annual fiddling contest; and traveling exhibits in libraries and museums. It also has developed radio programs about music originating in Indiana.

Photo by: George Vlahakis

TAI presents an annual fiddling contest at the Indiana State Fair

Print-Quality Photo

TAI also goes into communities to conduct surveys of local and ethnic traditions and then provides them with technical resources to continue those heritage arts. It was established in 1998.

Koch presented the resolution, noting that "the overall goal of Traditional Arts Indiana is to integrate and connect cultural heritage to educational activities, cultural conservation, arts and community development at the local, state and national level and ... attempts to bring this art to the forefront and to archive and preserve it for future generations of Hoosiers."

Jon Kay, TAI's director, thanked the legislators for their support. "With this new affirmation, Traditional Arts Indiana will continue to identify and promote Indiana's living cultural heritage," he said.