Southern Ohio Folklife Endowment Fund announced for 11 counties

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 4, 2022

The Scioto Foundation has announced the creation of the Southern Ohio Folklife Endowment Fund, an organizational fund established for the benefit of the new nonprofit’s efforts to embrace the rich folklife of 11 counties in Appalachian Ohio.

The new endowment fund will be used for support of the research, community engagement or educational purposes of Southern Ohio Folklife. The new nonprofit plans to participate in the Foundation’s 2022 Scioto Gives campaign on Oct. 20.

“Southern Ohio Folklife is excited to join the Scioto Foundation family this year because we are interested in connecting with other organizations in the area and growing our potential for long-term investment to carry out folklife projects. Building our capacity early on will help us develop intentionally and sustainably,” said Southern Ohio Folklife executive director Cassie Rosita Patterson.

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“Our goal for this endowment fund includes, but is not limited to, supporting folklife research and programming that fosters cultural understanding and solidarity between Latine and Appalachian communities across southern Ohio,” Patterson said.

The purpose and mission of Southern Ohio Folklife is to research, support, document and network folklife within the Southern Ohio region, focusing specifically on Clermont, Brown, Highland, Adams, Ross, Pike, Scioto, Vinton, Jackson, Lawrence and Gallia counties.

The nonprofit engages community-centered participatory approaches and collaborative methodologies in order to center local perspectives and knowledges in complex, equitable and inclusive representations and decision-making processes that impact local life.

After receiving a planning grant from Ohio Humanities in 2021, Southern Ohio Folklife has been awarded a quarterly grant from the state organization to continue its work with the Latine community.

The nonprofit seeks to deepen and expand existing relationships in the area, recruiting more collaborators and stakeholders and continuing to build collaborative frameworks with the project Steering Committee and to contextualize Latine life in the area by conducting archival and public research that culminates in a white paper that is available for free to the general public.

They also intend to continue exploring Latine life in the southern Ohio region through fieldwork and by collecting and transcribing three to four bilingual oral histories with Latine leaders, to establish a bilingual archival collection with the Center for

Public History at Shawnee State University and to contribute to the existing Oral Narratives of Latino/as in Ohio Collection at the Center for Folklore Studies at The Ohio State University.

Finally, they plan to present their work at a public event and solicit feedback from community members. At the end of the grant period they will reflect on their work and the feedback from the public event and brainstorm their next steps based on expressed community interests.

Collaborators for the project include the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center and the Center for Public History at Shawnee State University.

More information about the Southern Ohio Folklife Fund or other planned giving opportunities at the Scioto Foundation may be obtained by contacting Patty Tennant, Program Office – Donor Services, or SF executive director Kim Cutlip at 740-354-4612.