Where Folklore, History, & Art Merge
Submitted by NAI Member Clive Romney
The stories that a community accepts as true and/or relevant influence the cohesiveness of that community. The Legacy Series is a project of Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts that has taken on the challenge of gathering up stories, music and art unique to each of Utah’s counties. The series consists of thirty art books (1 for each county in Utah and two for Salt Lake County.)
Each art book highlights stories from the pioneering era and includes at least one modern pioneering story. A music CD accompanies each of the books. An ad hoc committee of historians, storytellers, folklorists and representatives from travel, education, business, government, and cultural communities selects the stories. The selected stories introduce the reader/listener to the unique character of the people of the county and highlights the county’s history and folklore.
Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts helps the committee select the stories that are most unique to each county so that there is a minimum of duplication between counties. The most engaging stories are chosen in order to motivate the listener/reader to visit the site where each story took place.
Once the stories are selected, a songwriter is assigned to each one to create a memorable musical interpretation of some aspect of the story. If there are existing folk songs about the area that are considered engaging they may also be included. Original artwork or photography that amplifies the impact of that story is sought or, when none exists, commissioned. A priority is placed on the work of artists living within the county.
The Legacy Series products for Sanpete and Sevier counties are complete. Two more are written in various stages of production. Funds are being sought to produce the remaining Legacy Series.