What is Traditional Arts Indiana?

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Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) is a partnership established in 1998 between Indiana University Bloomington and the Indiana Arts Commission.

Our Mission

Traditional Arts Indiana is dedicated to expanding public awareness of Indiana’s traditional practices and nurturing a sense of pride among Indiana’s traditional artists. TAI identifies, documents, and seeks to understand more fully the many ways in which cultural values are embedded in daily life. It calls attention to neglected aesthetic forms that firmly ground and deeply connect individuals to their communities–from the spoken text to the hand-made object to customary behavior. TAI’s overarching goal is to integrate and connect cultural heritage to educational activities, cultural conservation, arts, and community development at the local, state, and national level.

How We Accomplish Our Mission

TAI actively documents Indiana’s traditional arts and artists through interviewing, recording, and photographing individuals and groups throughout the state about their crafts and traditions. TAI archives materials for public use in the Indiana Historical Society Library and Archive, and produces public programming to present its ethnographic research to communities. TAI also collaborates and consults with other cultural specialists and organizations about cultural documentation methodologies and presentation of materials through public programming.