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The Dennos Museum Center

Michigan Folksong Legacy: Grand Discoveries from the Great Depression

folksongsNovember 1–January 5, 2014

The Michigan State University Museum has produced a traveling exhibit and a companion multimedia concert that arrives at the Dennos November 1 as part of a state-wide tour in celebration of the 75 Anniversary of folk music collector Alan Lomax’s journey through Michigan.

The multimedia performance, supported by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, combines live music with historic images, color movie footage, and recorded sound from the Great Depression. Some of these materials haven’t been heard or seen by the general public for more than seven decades. Michigan Folksong Legacy: Grand Discoveries from the Great Depression, brings Alan Lomax’s 1938 field trip to life through words, song lyrics, photographs, and sound recordings. Ten interpretive banners explore themes such as Alan Lomax and Michigan folksong collecting in the 1930s; the geography of Lomax’s travels; the musical culture of lumberjacks, miners, and schoonermen (Great Lake sailors); Michigan’s ethnic diversity and its reflection in Lomax’s field recordings; and the importance of the Lomax Michigan legacy today. Each panel contains a QR code that links to related sound recordings from the Alan Lomax Collection at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.