About the Mag

In collaboration with the Kentucky Folklife Program and the Kentucky Folklife Network, Kentucky Folklife is a multimedia digital publication that explores the diversity of expressive cultures within Kentucky. From the regional Mexican foods served in Lexington’s taquerías, the vibrant drag show culture in Bowling Green, and Monroe County’s marble makers, to step-dancing traditions within Kentucky’s historically black fraternities & sororities and the thumbpicking guitar traditions of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky Folklife features original work focused on the Commonwealth’s present-day people, folk arts, cultural heritages, and histories.

Kentucky Folklife digital magazine welcomes contributions from network members, folklorists, students, Community Scholars, artists, and community partners throughout Kentucky.


Mark Brown, the Kentucky Arts Council’s Folk and Traditional Arts Director, has worked with folk artists and communities in the Commonwealth since 2001, when he earned a master’s degree in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University. He manages the Kentucky Community Scholars program, the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program, and folk arts traveling exhibits. Mark’s interests in music, writing, audio, and working with diverse traditional artists are at the heart of his efforts with Arts Council goals and programs.

Ellie Dassler is a graduate student in the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology at Western Kentucky University. She is a former Editorial Assistant for the Journal of American Folklore, the 2020 Summer Folklife Intern at the North Carolina Arts Council, and the current Graduate Assistant for the Kentucky Folklife Program.

Ann K. Ferrell is an Associate Professor of Folk Studies, Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology, Western Kentucky University. She holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University and an MA in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University, and she is the author of Burley: Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century (University Press of Kentucky, 2013). She was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of American Folklore, the flagship journal of the American Folklore Society, from 2016-2020. 

Emily Jones Hudson is a native of Hazard, Kentucky. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Berea College and is a writer, author, pastor, and poet. Her published books are Water-Walking Faith, Touch the Hem, and Soul Miner. She is the mother of two children and “Nana” to one granddaughter. A former city dweller, Hudson loves the hills of southeastern Kentucky and loves to tell their story. She recently started the Southeast Kentucky African-American Museum and Cultural Center.

Delainey Bowers is the Managing Editor of Kentucky Folklife and an independent folklorist working in southeastern Kentucky. With a background in archives and public librarianship, her interests rest in community curatorship, progressive preservation efforts, and applied folklore practices.