North Carolina artists depend on the tools of their trade. They keep them in fine working order for their best performance. These tools can include, the favorite pocket knife of a carver, the voice of a square dance caller or auctioneer, the hand planer of a furniture maker, dancer’s shoes, and potter’s hands. Tools need to be well cared-for and honed to perform to their highest level. Artists would never think of letting their tools fall into disrepair. Tools, along with the generations of knowledge they’ve accumulated through observation and practice, are central to artistic success.
The Handbook for North Carolina Folk and Traditional Artists is another valuable tool. As an artist, if you have questions about business, promotion, or opportunities for making money, this handbook is a helpful tool to keep close at hand.
These pages hold simple instructions for writing an artist statement, compiling a resume, creating a website, fairly pricing your artwork, producing an audio recording, and more. If you have questions about the business of being an artist, this book can help. The New York Folklore Society created a similar printed guide nearly 40 years ago. The guide’s impact caused other states to adopt the model as technical assistance for tradition bearers. Patricia Atkinson and Robert Cogswell of the Tennessee Arts Commission created a version in 1989 that is the model for this handbook and others across the country. Atkinson’s 2011 edition of the Handbook for Nevada Folk and Traditional Artists is the source for much of the information featured in this NC Handbook.
Technology changes quickly; therefore, this searchable PDF file version allows for more frequent updates, without the expense of printing. While the handbook data is specific to North Carolina, the skills it teaches and the insight it offers are universal. Through all of its changes, the handbook remains a simple tool that helps make challenging tasks a bit more approachable.
~ Evan Hatch, NC Folk
Handbook for North Carolina Folk and Traditional Arts
1st Edition, North Carolina Folklife Institute
Research and Editing: Ashton Copland, Joy Salyers, Kate Thompson, Solomon Weiner, Miller Winston.
You may reproduce any part of this document for non-profit, educational purposes if you credit and link to the North Carolina Folklife Institute (www.ncfolk.org).
Please include this page as well as photo credits for any relevant pages. Photo credits start on page 119.
Click here to download the complete handbook