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Press Releases

Friday, June 20, 2003

Library of Congress Folklife Presentation Set in Crisfield

SALISBURY, MD -- Residents of Crisfield, MD, and other Eastern Shore communities have the chance to see the results of this year’s Library of Congress American Folklife Center Field School Wednesday, July 2, in the Crisfield High School Auditorium.


The evening marks the culmination of research conducted in Crisfield by this year’s field school students.


Activities begin with a reception at 7 p.m., followed by a 7:30 p.m. presentation of slides, recordings and other media - research conducted by students attending this year’s three-week school, co-sponsored by Salisbury University. The presentation includes an audience question-and-answer period.


This year is the first year the field school has come to Maryland. Students spent a week interviewing watermen and other residents of Crisfield to record changing traditions as the “Seafood Capital of the World” transitions itself from a seafood-based economy to one using the city’s waterfront location and Chesapeake Bay heritage to attract tourism.


With legislation in place that could soon allow a high-speed ferry into the area to boost a tourist-centered economy, students captured scenes from a town still rooted in seafaring tradition, but searching for economic salvation.


Participants have experienced a little Crisfield tradition themselves, interacting with accented locals, visiting points of interest on land and water, and dining on local delicacies from seafood to slices of nine-layer Smith Island cake.


Research results will be held at the Ward Museum of Waterfowl Art in Salisbury and at the Crisfield Heritage Foundation in Crisfield for local study. This research also will be made available to the Smithsonian Institution for use at its 2004 National Folklife Festival on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Next year’s festival focuses on Mid-Atlantic maritime communities.


The annual Folklife Field School brings together amateur and professional folklife collectors from around the United States, providing training for those interested in recording and preserving U.S. folklife.


Crisfield High School is located at 210 N. Somerset Ave. in Crisfield. The reception and presentation are free and the public is cordially invited.


For more information call 410-546-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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