Established and emerging folk performers across music, dance and the spoken word are urged to apply for a National Folk Fellowship.

Offered jointly by the National Library of Australia and the National Folk Festival, the annual Fellowship is a unique opportunity for performers to research the National Library’s collections, and to showcase their artistic work at a special performance and workshop at the 2009 National Folk Festival in Canberra.

Now in its fifth year, the Fellowship was established with the aim of making more accessible the myriad of traditional songs, tunes, dance and spoken word gems held in the National Library’s folklore archives.

The 2008 Folk Fellow, doctor, academic and Scottish music expert, Ronald McCoy, of Melbourne, has explored the contribution of the Scots and Gaels to Australian folk culture. The National Library’s Curator of Music, Robyn Holmes, said, “Ron’s research makes the music of the past available for the future, showing contemporary audiences how fresh and relevant this material remains.”

The successful applicant for 2009 will research any aspect of the Library’s collections with an overarching focus on reinterpreting Australia’s music, dance and story-telling traditions.

The four-week residency guarantees recipients a performance at the National Folk Festival, held over the Easter break each year, and is undertaken three to six months before the Festival.

During the residency the Fellow will have special access to research facilities, collections and sound recording studios. Also included is financial support for travel, accommodation and living expenses. The Fellowship is valued at $8,000.

Applications for the 2009 Fellowship are now open and close on 30 June 2008. Visit Awards & grants for more information and application forms or telephone (02) 6262 1196.

Media contacts:
Sally Hopman, 02 6262 1704;
Ellen Peterson, 02 6262 1571;