Artist Overview

Extraordinary folk and traditional artists live in Philadelphia's many neighborhoods. It is a common complaint, across many communities, that our artists are better known away from the city than in Philadelphia itself. We are home to artists who have received formal recognition of their arts - National Heritage Fellowships, given by the National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Fellowships in the Arts, funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage - and we are home to artists whose name and work are legendary within particular communities. Yet despite their skill and stature, most folk and traditional artists struggle to maintain their art forms. This list of folk artists introduces you to a handful of the artists in our midst through short biographies and samples of their work. Included are a sample of people and groups who have been featured in PFP programs, or who have participated in PFP technical assistance programs, over the past few years. (Look for more artists to be added.) Consult PFP exhibits, publications and videos for background and information about these artists and their traditions. To learn about artists who offer residencies and workshops, perform, or show their work, click on Artist Referral.