Long Island Traditions (LIT) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for its Maritime Folk Arts programs, enabling it to launch a new joint program with the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (FHC) connecting Long Island maritime folk artists with their counterparts in Massachusetts.
The grant will also enable LIT to continue to bring maritime tradition bearers into classrooms in the Freeport and East Williston school districts, as it has done for decades.
The joint program, scheduled for 2022, will include public programs focusing on the challenges of preserving maritime traditions and folk arts. Tradition bearers in both regions will share their experiences in occupational maritime roles such as fishing, clamming, net mending, and boat building.
The grant will also continue to help fund LIT’s Maritime Arts in Education Programs which the organization has been conducting in Long Island schools since 1988. The program brings traditional maritime occupational artists – fishermen, baymen, model makers, and decoy carvers – into classrooms in the Freeport and East Williston school districts for hands-on workshops, in-classroom presentations, and demonstrations, as well as taking students off-site on fishing boats or to view oyster farming. The program encourages participation and discussion between the students and tradition bearers, and gives students opportunities to question maritime artists about their work and life.
Long Island Traditions was 1 of only 4 organization on Long Island and 1 of only 12 in the entire state of New York to be chosen within the Folk and Traditional Arts category.
Long Island Traditions is dedicated to the documentation and preservation of Long Island’s living cultural heritage, including traditional architecture, occupations, and arts. For more information visit their website.
Photo of Maritime Folk Arts program courtesy Long Island Traditions.