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Vermont Folk Center opens new Cultural Sustainability Institute

MIDDLEBURY-The Vermont Folklife Center has kicked off a new educational initiative, called the Cultural Sustainability Institute.

"We are launching the Cultural Sustainability Institute this spring with a workshop series that explores the concept of cultural sustainability, and provides participants practical training in ethnography and oral history, the use of audio, video and photography documentation in cultural sustainability projects, and the creation of community cultural inventories," said spokesman Andy Kolovos. "These workshops are open to the general public, students, educators, scholars, staff of non-profit organizations, policy makers, and others interested in better understanding their communities and the larger world around us."

The first workshop, titled "An Introduction to Cultural Sustainability" will be held on Friday, April 8, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. The workshop series runs through November of this year.

In recent years, scholars such as folklorist Rory Turner of Goucher College and ethnomusicologist Jeff Titon of Brown University have begun to draw connections between concepts of sustainability and the intellectual perspectives and approaches of folklorists, ethnomusicologists and anthropologists.

Cultural sustainability merges ideas of sustainability that have arisen in environmental conservation and community and economic development with anthropological notions of culture.

Cultural sustainability provides a framework though which people can explore those cultural practices that they and their communities most value, and to develop strategies to enrich and renew these practices into the future.

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