Harnett County, North Carolina is a cultural crossroads. The county straddles Eastern North Carolina and the Piedmont, acting as bridge between rural North Carolina and the more urban landscape of the Triangle. What else makes Harnett County special? What are the cultures, arts, and historical foundations of Harnett that make the county a unique landscape? Who are the musicians, and singers? Who are the painters and potters?
Harnett has a great central location, and boasts manufacturing and thriving small towns and communities. But what is all of that built upon? The North Carolina Folklife Institute worked with the North Carolina Arts Council and Harnett County communities to document the artists, musicians, and tradition bearers that make the cultural landscape so special.
In March, 2016, NCFI began our fieldwork with Harnett County, which would span six months. We held community meetings and presented ongoing information to the Harnett County Arts Council. At the project’s end, we presented a final 60-page research document, 50 hours of recordings, logs, photographs and recommendations for programming allowed them to bring their county into focus and start building their communities’ arts infrastructure.
In 2016, the North Carolina Arts Council hired the North Carolina Folklife Institute to conduct a folklife survey for Harnett County, North Carolina. Their research was thorough and uncovered an often unseen network of artisans from across the county. NC Folk exceeded our expectations with well-curated content, solid community leads, and a greater understanding of the state of traditional and folk arts in Harnett County. A folklife survey is a strong foundation on which to build a community’s arts infrastructure, and I heartily recommend NC Folk as a trusted partner to help discover the traditional arts of your county.”
~ Leigh Ann Wilder, Arts in Communities Director, NC Arts Council