Siegel Appointed Folk Arts Coordinator for University Libraries

Virginia Siegel
LeeAnna Ta Thao

Virginia Siegel

Folklorist Virginia Siegel has joined the University Libraries' staff as the new Arkansas folk arts coordinator for the Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts, a new program funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that seeks to document, present and sustain Arkansas traditional arts. 

Originally from Ohio, Siegel earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design, which focused on the preservation of architecture. She then became an AmeriCorps service member for the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky, working with low-income homeowners to revitalize and repair their historic homes. 

"We went into homes, talked with people and heard their stories," said Siegel. "I became more interested in the homeowners and their experiences than the physical architecture on its own, and how people related to an environment and made it their home." 

Siegel went on to earn her Master of Arts in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University. She served as the Folklife Specialist for the Kentucky Folklife Program, Kentucky's equivalent to AFTA, which is located within Western Kentucky University's Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology.

As the Arkansas folk arts coordinator, Siegel will work with individuals and groups to promote Arkansas heritage and traditions. She will develop programming centered on Arkansas traditional arts, as well as provide training and workshops in folkloric methodology. Her focus is on what's happening right now with Arkansas' "living tradition bearers" and is inclusive of Arkansans of all walks of life.  

"I really see my role as a link between tradition bearers and organizations already doing this great work throughout the state," said Siegel. "I am here to document Arkansas traditional arts and produce programming that highlights Arkansas tradition bearers, and my focus is on supporting those who are already working to sustain Arkansas folklife and culture and finding ways to partner and enhance one another. Arkansas has a rich, diverse heritage, and I'm excited to shine a light on it."

The public is welcome to contact Siegel about any Arkansas traditions or tradition bearers that should be documented and featured in programming. 

Contacts

Virginia Siegel, Arkansas folk arts coordinator
University Libraries
479-575-7115, vdsiegel@uark.edu

Kelsey Lovewell Lippard, public relations coordinator
University Libraries
479-575-7311, klovewel@uark.edu

Headlines

Arkansas Alumni Association Announces New Board Members

The Class of 2023 for the Arkansas Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors began work on July 1.

Arkansas Union to Re-Open in July

The Arkansas Union will reopen its entire facility beginning Monday, July 6. Hill Coffee Company will also re-open on Monday, July 6, with a limited menu. Club Red Union remains open 8 a.m.to 2 p.m. weekdays.

School of Art High School Summer Workshop Presents Virtual Exhibition 'Together Apart'

The U of A School of Art recently hosted the second annual summer workshop for high school students that concluded with an online exhibition, 'Together Apart.'

Civil Engineering Graduate Student Awarded American Water Works Association Scholarship

Civil engineering doctoral student Samuel Hodges has earned the American Water Scholarship to further his research into sample gathering technology for use in drinking water.

GPSC Shifts Funds to the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry

The Graduate-Professional Student Congress donated nearly $1,000 worth of food and other needed products to the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Campus Food Pantry.

News Daily