Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology News
Kentucky Folklife Program now accepting nominations for the 2023 Homer Ledford Award
- Tuesday, November 29th, 2022
Since 2007, the Kentucky Folklife Program’s Homer Ledford Award has been awarded to Kentucky luthiers who have demonstrated outstanding craftsmanship, a mastery of instrument creation (which includes an ease of playability and set-up for superior sound quality), and who have been recognized by the communities of musicians that they serve.
The Kentucky Folklife Program, based in the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology at Western Kentucky University, has a long history of working to document, present, conserve, and teach the public about the rich heritage of folk and traditional artists working in Kentucky today. This award celebrates the legacy and creative industry of traditional stringed instrument makers who continue to be so vital to the musical culture of Kentucky. The award will be presented, in conjunction with the Kentucky Arts Council, at their annual Kentucky Crafted Market at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena on Saturday March 12th.
This award is given in honor and memory of master luthier, musician, and educator Homer Ledford. Known for his exceptional craftsmanship, impressive productivity, inspired innovations, generous spirit, and willingness to teach anyone interested in his art, Homer had a profound impact on musical communities throughout Kentucky and far beyond. Many luthiers and musicians remember visiting his basement shop in Winchester, Kentucky where he immersed himself in his work while sharing techniques, wisdom, and stories surrounding his cultural heritage. Ledford’s legacy lives on among today’s musical craftspeople, and this award symbolizes that legacy.
Past Homer Ledford Award recipients include Warren May of Berea, Art Mize of Lexington, Donna Lamb of Lancaster, Frank Neat of Russell Springs, and Doug Naselroad of Hindman.
Send completed nominations and work samples to firstname.lastname@example.org. For instructions and details on the application process, visit kentuckyfolklife.org/homerledfordaward. If you have questions about this process, contact Joel Chapman at 270-745-4133.