Master Makers and Players Series Debuts at the Castellani Art Museum February 23

February 19, 2014  |  by Susan Clements

Join the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, for an afternoon lecture given by Dan Franklin Ward, exploring the life of Elizabeth Cotten  and her impact on American music. The program is the first in the Master Makers and Players Series, programs held in conjunction with the Folk Arts exhibition (Feb. 2—June 20, 2014). Admission is free.

National Heritage Fellow, Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten (1893-1987), grew up near Chapel Hill, N.C., in a family that had sung and played traditional country blues tunes for generations. Although she worked most of her life in domestic service, she became an acclaimed songwriter and performer, winning a Grammy Award and inspiring the praise of other musicians like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Taj Mahal, and Jerry Garcia, who covered her songs. Elizabeth Cotten eventually settled in Syracuse, N.Y., where she was befriended by folklorist Dan Franklin Ward.

Dan Franklin Ward, Ph.D., is a Syracuse-based public folklorist and Curator at the Erie Canal Museum. Over the past decade, he has co-directed collaborations with a number of organizations on an extensive documentation of contemporary culture along inland waterways in upstate New York. Prior to undertaking his waterways project, Ward served as the regional public folklorist in Central New York for 23 years. He holds a Ph.D. in American studies from Bowling Green State University and an M.A. in folklore from the Cooperstown graduate program.

This event is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

For more information, contact Carrie Hertz, Ph.D., curator of folk arts, at 716.286.8290.