Maryland Folklife

Maryland Traditions Folklife Area & Stage

Master artist Nuri Auger teaching Indonesian kebaya (garment) making to Stacy Stube (Photo Credit: Remsberg, Inc)

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.

In Collaboration With

Maryland Traditions Folklife Stage Performers

Amadou Kouyaté Ensemble

Manding kora Washington, D.C.

Big Howdy with special guest Jonathan Vocke

bluegrass Silver Spring and Baltimore, Maryland

Charm City Junction

bluegrass Baltimore, Maryland


Ukrainian traditional music Silver Spring, Maryland

Janice Greene & Naomi Reid

Blackstorytelling Windsor Mill and Baltimore, Maryland

Josanne Francis Quartet

steel pan Capitol Heights, Maryland

Karen Ashbrook & Chao Tian

American and Chinese hammered dulcimer Silver Spring and Clinton, Maryland

Maryland Spirituals Initiative Ensemble

African American spirituals Eastern Shore of Maryland

Maryland WERKS

drag performers Salisbury, Maryland, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Pablo Regis & Cissa Paz

Brazilian cavaco music College Park, Maryland

Samia Mahbub Ahmad Quartet

Hindustani classical music Bethesda, Maryland

Maryland Traditions Folklife Area Demonstrators

Black Women’s Hair: Salisbury Style

Black hair braiding Salisbury, Maryland

Gertie Hurley

Black doll making Bowie, Maryland

Gwen Handler & Winnie Dreier

wool work Westminster and Millers, Maryland

Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County

community service and home building Salisbury, Maryland

Joanne Guilfoil

Trimper's amusement park ride restoration Ocean City, Maryland

Johnson Bay Oyster Company

top-water oyster farming Girdletree, Maryland

Mark Wiest

mast carving Tilghman Island, Maryland

Nuri Auger

Indonesian kebaya (garment) making Baltimore, Maryland

Puerto Rico Distillery

Puerto Rican moonshine Frederick, Maryland

Rosie Bowen & Adriana Bowen-Herrera

collard green sandwiches Baltimore, Maryland

Split Acres Maple

maple syrup and sugar Grantsville, Maryland

The National Folk Festival | Salisbury, MD is produced by

In Partnership with