Maryland Traditions Folklife Area & Stage
The Maryland Traditions Folklife Area & Stage celebrates and showcases the rich, living traditions that create identity and sense of place in communities across the state. With a different theme each year, the Folklife Area will shine a spotlight on the distinctive music, rituals, crafts, occupations, foodways, and other traditions at the heart of Maryland heritage, expressing both the state’s deep history and its evolving character.
Performances, demonstrations, displays, exhibits, and narrative presentations by Maryland master artisans and performers will explore a wide range of topics, including the traditions of its First Peoples, the cultural legacies of early settlers, and the expressions of the newest Maryland residents whose cultural roots are in far-flung places around the globe.
Maryland at Work
At the 81st National Folk Festival, Maryland at Work will explore the state’s cultures and traditions of work. The East Coast’s most diverse state according to the 2020 census, Maryland is home to an array of trades, industries, crafts, and professions—from agriculture in the Appalachians to textiles in Baltimore to the Eastern Shore’s maritime and tourism industries. These occupations allow individuals to earn a living and express their identity while contributing to the state’s economy and heritage. Traditions of work take many forms, whether drawing on family heritage to launch entrepreneurial ventures, volunteering skills as community service, or “working it” through creativity and ingenuity. Maryland at Work presents but a snapshot of the ever-changing ways Marylanders work.