Joyce H. Cauthen Fellowship Fund
In 2010 Joyce H. Cauthen, Executive Director Emeritus of the Alabama Folklife Association (AFA), retired. Her more than 20 years of dedication to the organization, included 12 years of service on the Board of Directors and 10 years spent leading the organization as the first Executive Director.  In gratitude of her work and achievements, the Board of Directors passed a resolution creating the Joyce H. Cauthen Fellowship Fund and announced the program at the AFA annual meeting on Saturday, November 13, 2010 in Belk, Alabama.

The Cauthen Fund provides grants to individuals or programs to support the research, documentation, and preservation of Alabama's traditional music and other folkways. The fund initially raised $6,760.00 in private donations.  The AFA continues to seek contributions.  Contribute Now @ Razoo Platform under special projects. The first donors included 18 Jumping Bullfrogs, 23 Gum Stumping Possums, and 6 City Stage Performers (List) 

For information on the First and Second round fellowship recipients, click here.

Fieldwork Documents and Information      
Smithsonian research documents are in MSWord, so that they can be edited to use for other projects.
Library of Articles and Booklets
Click on image for a PDF  (*all essays or articles and images are copyrighted) 

Alabama Community 
Scholars Institute (ACSI)

What is ACSI? (click for PDF, "About ACSI") ACSI is a workshop program that provides training in the research, documentation, presentation, and promotion of Alabama's folklife.  People involved with local museums, arts councils, festivals, and cultural tourism, plus graduate students, librarians, artists, community educators, and genealogists have benefited and enjoyed the program. 

List of research topics proposed by participants from 2004, 2006, & 2008 institutes.
Articles by participants from 2004-2010 and AFA staff.

2013 in Cullman, Alabama
Brochure    and   Blog article by Kristin Law
Common Threads in 2014:  
Alabama's Quilting Heritage
Six sessions provided two days of information and training. Friday's study program featured scholars, authors, and tours.  Saturday morning quilt-making workshops provided instruction by master artists plus ideas and opportunities.  Join and follow Common Threads on facebook page to see photo albums, get updates, and post and share traditional quilt-making activities, information, and events.

Projects by participants include:
Common Threads Programs with instructions by Sylvia G. Stephens and master artists available by order.
  • Birmingham, featuring master quilter, Bettye Kimbrell.
  • Gee's Bend and Camden, featuring a community of quilters, town of Boykin, That's Sew Gee's Bend family business, and heritage development initiatives.
  • Montgomery, featuring collections, the Alabama Quilt Book project, and master quilter, Loretta Pettway Bennett
  • Greensboro featuring Nora Ezell, Mary Maxtion, Yvonne Wells, and Chris Clark.  
  • Selma's theme was Heirlooms and Ancestery
  • Auburn featuring master quilter, Mozell S. Benson.
For information on digital recording devices, click on the image above.
Folklore research in Alabama; article by Henry Willett, click on the image above.
The folk legend of John Henry by 
John F. Garth, 2007
River Redhorse and the Seasonal Snaring Thereof  in Alabama by Jim Brown
AFA Foodways Gathering 2009 
Baskets of Alabama and Quilts by Mozell S. Benson
Exhibit Catalog, 2002
Style and Production
Guide for Tributaries

The 2019 Alabama Community Scholars Institute (ACSI) will provide training in the research, documentation, presentation, and promotion of Alabama's folklife.  All sessions will be specialized around the theme of traditional music genres.  

In addition to overview sessions on folklife research and the musical heritage of the region, training will include the production of radio shows, CDs, and documentary films.  Have you ever heard the term digital humanities?  An afternoon workshop will be dedicated to this field and the application of new technologies to folklife collections.  Other presentations on archival research and fieldwork will intersect with folk music genres from the Southern Appalachians.  Evening programs will provide lectures followed by dinner and an opportunity to experience live performances by master artists and engage in interesting conversations.

Due to sources of funding, this will be a very unique ACSI and open to the general public, but fully registered participants will receive excellent discounts and we will work with you to ensure that you receive a graduation certificate and fulfill any other necessary credits. All registration fees just cover food and accommodations, not the sessions.  Don't miss out on this opportunity, because it will be one for the record books!   

REGISTRATION by Mail ---form HERE.   






Genres will include old-time music, shape-note singing, and the authentic roots of country. Scholars contributing to sessions, lectures, and training include: President of Northeast Alabama Community College, Dr. David Campbell; Humanities and Sacred Harp scholar, Dr. Jesse Karlsberg; Executive Director Emeritus of the Alabama Folklife Association, folk musician, scholar, and author, Joyce Cauthen; Professor, Tennessee Tech University, education specialist, and co-founder of the International Country Music Conference, Dr. James E. Akenson; Director of the Center for Popular Music and Professor of Music History, scholar, and performing musician, Dr. Gregory Reish; plus folklorists and staff members from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and other special guests.  

We will have an old-time fiddle night on the back porch of Jacksonville State University's Little River Canyon Center with Matt Downer and James Bryan, movie night at the DeKalb Theatre, and country music night at Vintage 1889 featuring Kathy Louvin, daughter of Ira Louvin of the famous Louvin Brothers. Thursday afternoon and Friday mid-day will offer free time to hike, swim, explore Mentone, or downtown Fort Payne, museums, and any other attractions.

AFA's special country music programs on Friday June 21 are made possible by an express grant from South Arts. These programs are open to everyone, including ACSI participants, who will attend.   
HERE is REGISTRATION for those programs individually.


ACSI 2019 is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Humanities Foundation , a partner of  the National Endowment for the Humanitiesand matched by the Alabama "Support the Arts" car tag program. We are very grateful to Jacksonville State University's Little River Canyon Center, the City of Fort PayneLandmarks of DeKalb County, and Fort Payne Main Street for their sponsorship and support.