MSU MUSEUM'S DEWHURST NAMED AMERICAN FOLKLORE SOCIETY FELLOW
Michigan State University Museum Curator of Folklife and Cultural Heritage C. Kurt Dewhurst has been named a fellow of the American Folklore Society (AFS), demonstrating outstanding accomplishments and making important contributions to the field of folklore.
Dewhurst has also served as president of AFS during 2010-2011, leading the 2,200-member professional organization's scholars, teachers, librarians and cultural workers. Established in 1960, the Fellows of the American Folklore are folklorists who have produced a significant number of important articles, books, and other scholarly productions or exhibitions on folklore, and have provided meritorious service to the Society and the discipline of folklore studies. In addition to its honorary function, the Fellows sponsor activities to advance folklore studies, including mentoring programs for students and educational programming. (Learn more: http://www.afsnet.org.)
Dewhurst, who is also a senior fellow and director for arts and cultural initiatives with University Outreach and Engagement at MSU, previously served as MSU Museum director 1983-2009. His research interests include cultural change and continuity in folk arts, material culture, ethnicity, and occupational folk culture and he has curated over 50 research-based interpretive exhibitions and festival programs. At Michigan State University, Dewhurst is a professor in MSU's English Department as well as a faculty member in the College of Arts and Letters Museum Studies Program, where he teaches future museum professionals curatorial, research, field work, exhibition and civic engagement. He also chaired the university's Cultural Engagement Council, which works to promote increased awareness and participation in arts and cultural resources and offerings. Dewhurst is also founding director of the MSU Museum's Great Lakes Folk Festival, a university-community partnership that recently marked 10 years in downtown East Lansing.
A leader at the national level in folk arts, civic engagement and museum administration, Dewhurst serves as president of the board of the Fund for Folk Culture Foundation, in Santa Fe, N.M., and is chair of the advisory committee of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and the board of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, both based in Washington, D.C. Dewhurst will be co-curating a program for the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, occurring June-July on the national mall in Washington, D.C.