Monday, May 16, 2016

Human Books

Ever Read a Human Book?

Books offer wisdom and adventure.  So do people.

FolkHeart Press recently learned about a new twist on this old theme!!!

The Human Library, according to an article on Good Net written by Mirele Mann.

Much like a typical library, at a Human Library a ‘reader’ checks out a person who is knowledgeable on a specific topic. The reader then has an allotted amount of time to ask the person questions and learn about the topic.

It started in Denmark as a social movement. The Human Library - “Menneskebiblioteket” - was developed in Copenhagen in 2000 as a project for Roskilde Festival by Ronni Abergel and his brother Dany and colleagues Asma Mouna and Christoffer Erichsen. The goal was to encourage dialogue to challenge stereotypes and prejudices. Human books on the ‘shelves’ include law enforcement officers, veterans, single parents, refugees, artists, alcoholics, and more.

To date these unique and very, very personal storehouses of knowledge and experience is now available in more than 70 countries. 

Over time more institutions, including schools, have become interested in the project. In some cases the support has become long-term.

In this way, the Human Library offers human interaction that are unique. Questions can be asked and answered in a non-threatening and non-judgmental way. Reportedly that information can provide insights and dispel myths.

According to Ronni Albergal, the founder, this project is designed to honor diversity which can lead to finding common ground.

Though perhaps unconventional, Human Libraries may just be exactly what’s needed to break barriers, erase labels, and bring people together. After all, you never know what you can learn when you read between the lines.

The Human Library is always looking for ‘new books’. Interested in being one? Click here.

Related Information


Monday, May 9, 2016

June-September Folk Art

Sunflowers Quilt, American Folk Art Museum

Summer Folk Art

This June-September is packed with folk art exhibits. Many of them would make for a welcome addition to summer travel...

Folk art chronicles everyday life. In almost all cases, it does so without bravado or arrogance and is often a portrait of the ‘common’ life members of a society live. While some of the artists may be classically trained (as fine artists), many of them choose to create works based upon folkloric tradition. A bench, a wine barrel, or a weather vane are examples of functional items that become ornate under the care of a folk artist.
We have complied here a list of several current and upcoming exhibits that celebrate the multi-media forms folk art can take.

Spring Fling: Quilts from the Collection 

Through June 5, 2016
American Folk Art Museum, New York, New York 

This limited time display features master quilts from the museum’s renowned collection.  The colorful selection includes Amish, stenciled, pieced, and appliqu├ęd quilts, including a circa 19th century sunflower quilt.

Texas Folk Art

Through September 25, 2016
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas 

This exhibit of contemporary work features some of the state’s most original painters and sculptors. According to the museum, these artists unfettered by the conventions of academic training and traditional guidelines of art making are storytellers who use pictorial means to create animated narratives about working, playing, and worshipping in Texas.

Sacred Realm:

Blessings & Good Fortune Across Asia

Through March 2017
Cotsen Gallery, Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico

This exhibit explore some of the ways in which people seek and secure blessings and good fortune in Asia, a vast and culturally diverse region. Presented are amulets, votive offerings, and ritual objects – objects with other-worldly, divine qualities. This multi-media show reveals the many ways Asian folk artists 'saw' deities, nature spirits, and other unseen forces.

Related Information: