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U.S./China Museums and Intangible Heritage Partnership Project

The American Folklore Society has received a series of major grants from the Henry Luce Foundation to continue its collaborations between folklorists and folklore studies institutions in the U.S. and China. The MSU Museum has been one of the lead partners on each of these grants. The MSU Museum received additional grants from the Henry Luce Foundation to support the fieldwork plus the development of a traveling exhibition and book, Quilts of Southwest China, a collaboration among six ethnographic museums (three in each country including the MSU Museum). Additional partnership projects include the presentation of conferences, webinars, publications, and professional exchanges.

Recent multiyear funding from the Luce Foundation supported the production of three summer folklore institutes for senior and early-career folklorists and a collaboration among six ethnographic museums (three in each country including the MSU Museum) involving original field research on southwest China folk textile traditions, a training event, and two research workshops. Folklorists from Japan will also take part in the summer institutes. A series of collaborative publications and professional presentations continue to be made based on this fieldwork. An exhibition is also being planned with an accompanying book.


  • Henry Luce Foundation 
  • Asian Cultural Council
  • Ford Foundation
  • China Ministry of Education


C. Kurt Dewhurst

Director for Arts and Cultural Partnerships, Office for Public Engagement and Scholarship
Curator of Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Michigan State University Museum
Professor, Department of English
University Outreach and Engagement Campus Senior Fellow

Office for Public Engagement and Scholarship