Mission Statement


Connecting the generations with a world of traditions:

Folklore Village creates opportunities for individuals and communities to celebrate, experience and support ethnic and traditional folklife. Folklore Village offers an ongoing program of cultural, educational and participatory folklife activities in rural Southwest Wisconsin, serving regional communities and the Upper Midwest.

Guiding Principles and Core Values

Cultural Understanding

Folklore Village respects the unique cultural heritage of all peoples. It seeks to foster an understanding of one's own cultural traditions, while nurturing a respect for the values and traditions of others. Folklore Village believes that each individual has folklife traditions no matter what his or her background. Traditions are an important part of who we are and what makes us human.


Folklore Village believes that intergenerational activities perpetuate a shared sense of traditions, values and community. People of all ages need places and opportunities for joy, camaraderie, and celebration.

Tradition Bearers

Folklore Village encourages the appreciation and continued vitality of folklife through the recognition and active involvement of cultural tradition bearers.


Folklore Village believes that participation fosters learning, interaction, sharing, and fellowship. Participation nurtures an environment that is welcoming and inclusive.

Community & Partner Quotes

Folklore Village believes in using its resources to serve as a catalyst and partner within its regional communities for the betterment of individual and community life. Below are some organizations we have had the pleasure of partnering with and what they have to say about Folklore Village.


"As part of the greater Military Ridge Grasslands, Folklore Village provides an educational opportunity for school groups and the local community to experience first-hand prairie restoration and the wildlife species that utilize this unique eco-system." -Kurt Watersadt, Wisconsin Private Lands Coordinator, US Fish & Wildlife Service.

"Folklore Village is a regional leader in presenting traditional arts. Their site and staff are perfect hosts for the multiple forms of folk art they feature. It's an inviting place-inviting you to get in touch with your own cultural traditions as you learn about and enjoy others. Folklore Village doesn't just celebrate community; it creates it." -Anne Pryor, Folk and Traditional Arts Specialist, WI Arts Board

"Folklore Village is one of our favorite and most dependable partners, and we find the work that Doug does inspiring, especially for teachers and the presentation of arts and music." -Ruth Olsen, Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, University of Wisconsin Madison and co-founder of Wisconsin Teachers of Local Cultures

"Folklore Village is a source of inspiration for all of us who work to strengthen community life by engaging people with the rich history and cultural traditions of Wisconsin and beyond. It is a magical place where people of all ages are reconnected with one another, with the landscape that supports us, and the stories that draw us together." -Dena Wortzel, Executive Director, Wisconsin Humanities Council

"Folklore Village has become more than a Folklife Center, it has become a resource that all of SW-Wisconsin knows about. Folklore Village is one of the few places in all of Wisconsin that offers resources to school children (of all ages), retirees, farmers, business leaders and civic groups. When a new initiative is being investigated and a startup is in process, one of the first places we call is Folklore" -Paul Ohlrogge, Department Head, Community Resource Educator, UW-Extension Iowa County

"Folklore Village is an exemplar of participatory global peace education"-Vincent Kavaloski, World Peace Program Edgewood College

"Making connections is what Folklore Village is all about-connections across generations, across geography and across cultures. Learning how to look for and see those connections is one of the most valuable outcomes of anything one experiences at Folklore Village. It is essential for our families, our schools, our region and our society that Folklore Village helps us keep those connections alive."-Marian Maciej-Hiner, Director of Continuing Education and Confucius Institute, University of WI

"Folklore Village touches the lives of our clients in ways that help them rediscover their pleasure-giving memories and fulfilling experiences that are connected with their earlier life events or their heritage. The interaction with music is a soothing positive experience and, as well as a stimulating and happy experience for our clients. After they have been to Folklore Village they talk about it for weeks." -Laura Crowley, Iowa County Seniors