Jon Lohman is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Cultural Vibrancy. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina and holds an M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. From 2001 until 2020 Jon was the director of Virginia’s state Folklife Program where he initiated and carried out numerous programs, including an award-winning Folklife Apprenticeship Program and the correspond book In Good Keeping, which chronicles the first five years of the Apprenticeship Program. He also produced numerous documentary materials, including films such as The Buckingham Lining Bar Gang and Put me Down Easy: the Charlie McClendon Story. His audio recordings’ portfolio is rich and includes albums such as The Sherman Holmes Project’s The Richmond Sessions, The Legendary Ingramettes’ Take A Look in the Book, and more than a dozen records in bluegrass, old-time, and gospel in the Crooked Road Music Series of Virginia’s Music Heritage Trail. Jon has presented and served on curatorial committees for numerous local and national festivals, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Richmond Folk Festival, Merlefest, Floydfest, the Lowell Folk Festival, the American Folk Festival, and the National Folk Festival. Jon has presented his work and collaborated with the Smithsonian, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the State Department, and numerous cultural organizations and festivals throughout Virginia and the country. Jon taught courses on folklife, oral history, and cultural sustainability at the University of Pennsylvania and Mary Washington and Goucher Colleges. In 1991, he was a Corps Member of Teach for America, assigned as a fifth-grade teacher at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in New Orleans.
Center for Cultural Vibrancy Associate Director Josh Kohn has been working in the arts for more than two decades, specializing in curating powerful performance experiences and meaningful community dialogue. From 2014-2021, he served as the Performance Director at Creative Alliance in Baltimore, Maryland. There, he focused on community-responsive programming, including the visioning, and launching of the nationally heralded series “Sidewalk Serenades” which brought over 400 performances to neighborhoods around the city of Baltimore and placed over $100,000 in the hands of Baltimore artists in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Annually, he produced over 130 concerts and community events while at Creative Alliance. Previously, he served as Program Officer, Jazz and Traditional Arts at Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation supporting the jazz and traditional arts ecosystems. He spent the first eleven years of his career with the National Council for the Traditional Arts where he programmed large scale festivals around the country and managed their artist touring program. In addition to concert and festival work, he has collaborated with American Routes, a weekly public radio program out of Tulane University, for three cultural exchange music tours in China, provided research and writing for “A Guide to The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail,” and has produced over a dozen music albums and radio programs. He is a former Fellow with the Devos Institute of Arts Management at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Josh lives with his family in Baltimore, Maryland.
CCV Business Manager Tori Talbot has been working in the arts and nonprofit world for more than twenty years specializing in logistical planning, event production, and financial management. Known for her organizational wizardry and calm under pressure, she shepherds CCV through daily administrative operations, financial and human resources processes, and provides support to projects and programs. From 2010 to 2021 Tori served as Events Manager for Virginia Humanities, where she handled all aspects of logistical planning and execution for several major festivals including the Virginia Festival of the Book, coordinating the participation of more than 300 authors for a weeklong literary event involving more than 150 separate programs in two dozen venues; the annual Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase; and the Virginia Folklife Area at the Richmond Folk Festival, which routinely draws audiences exceeding 150,000 people. Prior to her position of Events Manager, Tori served as the Program Associate for the Virginia Folklife Program assisting in the planning, coordination and production of a host of festival events, conferences, concerts, apprenticeships, recording projects, and exhibitions. In 2003 Tori handled all logistical aspects of Re-Imagining Ireland, a weeklong festival and conference that hosted a large number of Irish and American artists, authors, poets, activists, and political leaders, including the President of Ireland. Tori holds a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia.
The vocal acrobatics known as “throat singing” has its roots on the grassy Mongolian steppe of Central Asia. Discover this remarkable singing style and learn about its connections to Tuvan daily life from one of its greatest living masters in his traditional yurt, the portable dwelling used by the nomadic people of Tuva.
Keeper of an unbroken 800-year lineage of West African oral historians and musicians known as djeli, Kouyate is a master of the balafon, the predecessor to the xylophone. Enjoy this unique opportunity to visit with a master musician and oral historian sharing his tradition imbued by the wisdom of hundreds of generations of ancestors.