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American Studies|College of Arts and Sciences

Andrea Graham, Folklife Specialist

B.A. University of Pennsylvania, 1978

M.A. University of Pennsylvania, 1980

Andrea Graham has worked as a public folklorist for over 30 years, 25 of those in the Intermountain West. She conducts field research on Wyoming folklore; interviews and photographs craftspeople, performers, and other tradition bearers; produces public programs such as exhibits, festivals, workshops, websites, and publications; assists students with folklife and oral history projects; and serves as a resource on folklife topics and projects for other organizations. As a folklorist working across the entire state of Wyoming she must be a generalist in understanding all kinds of traditions, but her particular interests are in material and occupational culture.

Andrea’s current research project is called “The Art of the Hunt” and focuses on the entire range of hunting and fishing lore and traditions. Fieldwork will include documentation of gunsmiths, fishing rod makers, fly tiers, bow makers, saddlers, decoy carvers, knife makers, guides, outfitters, taxidermists, trappers, falconers, camp cooks, and many others. Craft skills, occupational traditions, and stories are just a few of the rich elements of Wyoming’s hunting culture encompassed in this research. The project will culminate in a year-long exhibit at the Wyoming State Museum opening in the spring of 2014, produced in cooperation with the Folk & Traditional Arts Program of the Wyoming Arts Council. The project is supported with grant funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wyoming Cultural Trust, and the Wyoming Humanities Council.

Before moving to Laramie in 2009, Andrea worked as an independent folklorist based in Idaho, doing freelance fieldwork and programming projects in California, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. She served as the Folklife Program Coordinator for the Nevada Arts Council from 1990 to 2000, and worked for state and regional folk arts programs in Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida at the start of her career. In addition to her work at UW, she also works on contract as the Traditional Arts Program Coordinator for the South Dakota Arts Council, a position she's held since 2002.


Work on the web:

Wyoming Lands & Ways collection of project presentations (various contributors)

Crook County survey work for the Wyoming Arts Council, 2007

Art of the Hunt survey in the Big Horn Basin, 2009

The Art of the Hunt: Fishing Traditions,” article in the Wyoming Arts Council Newsletter, Spring 2010, page 5. [PDF link]

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Andrea Graham, Folklife Specialist

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