Folk Arts in Education (FAIE) is a cross-disciplinary, active-learning approach to education. FAIE looks locally and then finds connections regionally and globally. It begins with an art form and then links primarily with social studies and language arts.
Folk Arts in Education at the Wisconsin Arts Board starts with traditional practices that are a part of the living heritage of Wisconsin. These are cultural expressions of identities and ideas that range from creating black ash baskets or a Day of the Dead altar, to hosting a polka festival or a lutefisk dinner, to performing gospel music or a Highland fling, to telling an origin story about Oneida corn-husk dolls or a fishing joke about “the one that got away.”
What makes these cultural expressions “folk art” is their aesthetic qualities that follow the conventions of the cultural group as interpreted creatively by the individual artist.
We conduct research to collect detailed information about how these traditions are practiced in communities throughout Wisconsin. We then show how these aesthetic expressions can be the content used to meet Wisconsin Model Academic Standards. We do this through on-line and printed curriculum materials
, training opportunities for teachers, folk arts events, technical assistance with teacher-led projects, and grants for folk arts projects.