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Virginia Folklife Area to Present a Buffet of “Tasty Licks”


For Immediate Release
Press contact: Kelly Vance   


Aug. 4, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. – Save room for seconds at the Richmond Folk Festival this year, the Virginia Folklife Area’s theme “Tasty Licks: Virginia’s Food Traditions” is shaping up to be a smorgasbord of culinary and musical delicacies.

“The popular expression ‘you are what you eat’ is often meant to be interpreted literally, but the saying also holds true in the greater cultural sense,” State Folklorist Jon Lohman said. “It is often through our food that we consciously and unconsciously express to ourselves and others our most deeply felt sense of who we are.”

The 2016 Virginia Folklife Area will showcase the diverse foodways of Virginia, and present
some of its greatest practitioners. Instead of famous chefs and restaurateurs, the spotlight will be on “home cooks,” featuring traditions both old and new to the Commonwealth. Festival attendees will get to learn family-held recipes, share in closely-guarded kitchen secrets - and taste the results.

A full listing of the foodways demonstrators will be announced in mid-September. The Virginia Folklife Stage will complement the foodways demonstrations with a lineup of artists from the same communities. Performers include:

  • Cora Harvey Armstrong – gospel (Richmond)
  • Dori Freeman – Appalachian singer-songwriter (Galax, Virginia)
  • Shadowgrass – bluegrass (Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina)
  • Sherman Holmes – soul and gospel (Saluda, Virginia)
  • Unique Sound of the Mountains – Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer (Callaway and Whitetop, Virginia)
  • The Legendary Ingramettes – gospel (Richmond)
  • David and Mason Via – bluegrass/singer-songwriters (Patrick Springs, Virginia)
  • The Hurdle Brothers with Reverend Tarrence Paschall – Tidewater gospel (Portsmouth, Virginia)
  • Trio Sefardi – Sephardic folk songs (Northern Virginia)
  • Reverend Frank Newsome – old regular Baptist a cappella gospel (Haysi, Virginia)
  • Humayun Khan – Hindustani singing (Annandale, Virginia)

The Virginia Folklife Program, a public program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, is the state center for the documentation, presentation, and support of Virginia’s rich cultural heritage.

The Virginia Folklife Stage and Folklife Area is sponsored by Union Bank & Trust.

Other festival sponsors include Altria, Dominion, The Community Foundation, CarMax, VCU Health System, Genworth, the Richmond Times­ Dispatch/, WestRock, New Market Corporation, AmTrak, and Loveland.

Richmond Folk Festival producing partners include the City of Richmond, the National Council for the Traditional Arts, The American Civil War Center at Tredegar, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.



About The Richmond Folk Festival
The Richmond Folk Festival is one of Virginia's largest events, drawing visitors from all over the country to downtown Richmond's historic riverfront. The Festival is a FREE three-day event that got its start as the NCTA’s National Folk Festival, held in Richmond from 2005-2007. In the tradition of the "National," the Richmond Folk Festival features excellent performing groups representing a diverse array of cultural traditions on seven stages. The festival includes continuous music and dance performances, a Virginia Folklife Area featuring ongoing demonstrations, an interactive Family Area produced by the Children's Museum of Richmond, a folk art marketplace, regional and ethnic foods, festival merchandise and more. Additional information is available at

About Venture Richmond
The Festival is produced by Venture Richmond, in a continuing partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the City of Richmond, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the National Park Service, The American Civil War Center, and the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Venture Richmond is a non-profit organization formed to engage business and community leaders in partnering with the City to enhance the vitality of the community, particularly Downtown, through economic development, marketing, promotion, advocacy and events. Venture Richmond also produces such long-standing and signature community events as Easter on Parade, Friday Cheers, RVA Fireworks on the James, and the 2nd Street Festival, and partners with the Richmond Sportsbackers to co-produce Dominion Riverrock. For more information visit

About the National Council for the Traditional Arts
The National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk and traditional arts in the United States. Founded in 1933, it is the nation's oldest folk arts organization. The NCTA presents the nation's very finest traditional artists in festivals, tours, international cultural exchanges, workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions, media productions, school programs, and other activities. It works in partnership with communities across America to establish new, sustainable traditional arts events that deliver lasting social, cultural, and economic benefits. For more about the NCTA, visit


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