Current and past employment and projects
Heritage and Cultural Heritage Tourism Study of Schuylkill County,
County is home to the eastern Pennsylvania anthracite coal region.
Immigrants from Germany, England, Wales, Ireland, Italy, Poland,
The Ukraine, Lithuania, the Carpatho-Rusyn region and other parts
of the world came to mine coal in the 19th and 20th Century. Germans
began arriving as farmers in the 18th Century. The late 20th and
early 21st Century have seen further spicing of the ethnic makeup
through the cultural influence of arrivals from Pakistan, India,
other parts of Asia, and Latin America.
have been engaged with the Schuylkill River National and State
Heritage Area to document local cultural practices from music
and dance to fine crafts and culinary arts. They have determined
that Schuylkill County residents are carrying on fascinating traditions
which are long gone from their country of origin. Through extensive
photography and digital audio recordings, Talking Across the Lines,
LLC is sharing with the community aspects of its own cultural
wealth. Their raw tapes and photos are housed in Pottsville's
Schuylkill County Free Library. They have produced an ethnographic
study detailing local traditions and serving as a handbook for grassroots development of cultural heritage tourism. They collaborated with community members in designing a traveling exhibit celebrating ethnic diversity in Schuylkill County.
Singing Across the Lines
From 2001 to 2005,
Michael and Carrie Kline directed the Southern Maryland Folklife
Project, one of four Maryland Traditions projects funded by the
National Endowment for the Arts Folk Arts Division, the Maryland
State Arts Council, the Maryland Historical Trust and local institutions.
In Southern Maryland the project was housed by Historic St. Mary's
City at Farthing's Ordinary. It is supported in part by St. Mary's
College of Maryland, where the Klines offer courses in folklife
documentation and mentor students through independent study and
Each of the Maryland
Traditions projects was charged with conducting a survey of folk
artists and affirming these vital members of our communities.
Where possible, the project connected artists with folk arts programmers
for classroom and community venues.
The Southern Maryland
Folklife Project documented sacred singing in remote African American
churches of St. Mary's, Charles and Calvert Counties. The Klines
worked with community members from diverse backgrounds to develop
programs which forge cross-cultural relationships with music as
This project yielded a rich collection of photos and sound recordings,
which are archived at St. Mary's College of Maryland.
Michael Kline was
folklife coordinator at the Augusta
Heritage Center at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins,
WV from 1981-1988. In that capacity he produced several commercial
recordings after co-founding the Augusta Heritage label. Michael
was the architect for the West
Virginia Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program. As folklife
coordinator he conducted research throughout the state and region,
orchestrating hands-on learning opportunities for students at
Davis & Elkins College to interact with local folk artists and
Michael and Carrie
continue to teach courses in folklore and fieldwork at Augusta
on a regular basis.
Michael Kline served
as folklorist at the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina
University in Cullowhee, North Carolina from 1988-1990. While
in that capacity he conducted fieldwork and offered public presentations
of local North Carolina mountain culture working extensively with
the Cherokee. Kline produced a recording of traditional Cherokee
music sung by elder Walker
Calhoun, who Michael then went on to successfully nominate
for a 1991 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Award.
While at the Mountain
Heritage Center Michael, along with Cherokee artist and historian
Davey Arch, organized a series of educational workshops on traditional
Cherokee life and arts for the North Carolina Center for the Advancement
To hear "Bear
Dance" or "Amazing Grace"
by Walker Calhoun and Cherokee girls (respectively)
click on "Soundbytes" above
an article written by Michael Kline about
the life and experiences of Walker Calhoun
Valley Folklore Society
It was a happy day
when Carrie Nobel and Michael Kline met along the Sawmill River
in western Massachusetts. It was folklore collection and dissemination
which brought the two together. Michael served as staff folklorist
for the Pioneer Valley Folklore Society from 1991-1993 under a
grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to gather the living
traditions found along the Connecticut River Valley in Massachusetts.
Carrie joined the effort part-time and together with other community
volunteers produced finished radio from field recordings. Reaching
Home, an hour long radio documentary on the experience of
immigrants journeying to and making their home in western New
England and Sing Me Back Home, an hour long radio documentary
on musical traditions brought to Western Massachusetts from other
lands were broadcast on WFCR-FM, Public Radio for Western New
The Klines, along
with community interns, produced a series of public programs entitled
Down By the Riverside, featuring performances and live interviews
with French Canadian, Tibetan and Vietnamese residents of the
Connecticut River Valley.