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Meet Folklore Consultant Sarah Bryan

Sarah Bryan

As Legends & Lore continues its momentum in 2021, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation is delighted to welcome Sarah Bryan, Folklorist & Executive Director of the North Carolina Folklife Institute, as our newest folklore consultant.

A national expert on folklore, Sarah brings years of experience both in research and in conducting extensive fieldwork to her new role with Legends & Lore. She joins folklorist and scholar Stephen Olbrys Gencarella as the program’s second folklore consultant.

Sarah is passionate about engaging the public through folklore. She has worked in a variety of positions at the North Carolina Folklife Institute since 2005. Sarah’s work as executive director has spanned everything from directing fieldwork and grant writing to conducting research and leading discovery for heritage tourism programming. During her years at the North Carolina Folklife Institute, she has conducted fieldwork for NCFI’s partnerships with the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Traditional Artist Directory, the African American Music Trails Project, and NC’s Statewide Heritage Initiative. She has headed up the North Carolina Folklife Institute’s partnership with Legends & Lore since October 2018.

Sarah Bryan poses with North Carolina folk artist Eddie Hayes (left). Photo by Joan Weld.

In addition to her work at the North Carolina Folklife Institute, Sarah currently serves as Executive Director and Editor of the Old-Time Herald, a leading North Carolina based publication specializing in the field of traditional Southern music. She also is the former Editor of the Association for Recorded Sounds Collections Journal. Serving as an independent folklorist and researcher, she has worked for the Survey of South Carolina Tradition Bearers and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

Sarah is a 2016 recipient of the Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. She received her B.A. in American Studies from The George Washington University and her M.A. in Folklore from the University of North Carolina.