about this program
Foodways: a Place at the Table
Texas Folklife is conducting a statewide survey of regional foodways: the cultural, historical and economic traditions that surround food. The study of local cuisine leads us to stories of sustenance, celebration, work and identity. We use the study of foodways as the entry point into diverse communities; starting with food customs, we then explore the family and community traditions that mark the occasions when Texans come together to eat. When documenting local methods of growing, gathering, preparing and enjoying food, we also encounter the music, crafts, dance and festivals associated with regional heritage The first year of this three-year project began with documentation of Central, East and South Texas. We are now expanding into 29 counties in West Texas, a vast and mostly sparsely populated area from Del Rio at the southernmost border, 400 miles west along the Rio Grande to the urban enclave of El Paso, then east to Odessa, Midland and San Angelo. “A Place at the Table” goals are to build a portrait of the dynamic and diverse cultural communities of Texas, to develop new statewide programming and collaborations , and to inspire a new generation of arts leaders in the creative and respectful engagement with the traditional arts.