Maria Zeringue, of Bloomington, Ind., and native of Thibodaux, Louisiana, has been named folk and traditional arts program director of the Mississippi Arts Commission.
Zeringue previously served as research and curatorial assistant at Traditional Arts Indiana. Her primary responsibilities included developing public programs and exhibits, managing archival materials, operating the organization’s website and aiding in the grant writing process. Zeringue is pursuing a Ph.D. in folklore from Indiana University and has served as an associate instructor of folklore. She has published articles in Journal of Folklore Research Reviews and Louisiana Folklore Miscellany. She also speaks French.
As folk and traditional arts director, Zeringue will coordinate folk and traditional arts grants programs, including grants to organizations and individual artists as well as recruit folk and traditional artists to participate in MAC’s non-grant programs and initiatives, including the Artist Roster, a juried directory of Mississippi artists.
Zeringue will also manage MAC’s participation in federally funded folk and traditional arts initiatives, serve as managing editor for the Mississippi Folklife digital publication and conduct and oversee the documentary fieldwork of traditional artists.
“We are happy to welcome Maria to the Mississippi Arts Commission,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “Maria’s educational background and experience position her to serve as an incredibly knowledgeable resource for our state’s wealth of folk and traditional artists, which include blues musicians, basket weavers, woodcarvers, quilters, fiddlers, luthiers and many others who keep Mississippi’s rich history and culture alive through their creative work.”
Zeringue has master’s degrees in French and folklore from the University of Louisiana Lafayette and Indiana University, respectively, and a bachelor’s degree in Louisiana studies from University of Louisiana Lafayette. She began her new role with MAC on May 1, 2017.