The 1970's

1971-1980:  Creative Media Beginnings
Locations: 3756 Mimosa (1970 to 1975); 1216 Peabody (1975-1989)

  • Bill Ferris and Judy Peiser begin making documentary films in the Mississippi Delta.
  • After completing award winning film Gravel  Springs Fife and Drum (Produced by David Evans, Bill  Ferris and Judy Peiser), Ferris and Peiser form Center for Southern Folklore in 1972 private non profit organization.
  • With support of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Tennessee Arts Commission and others the Center produces numerous films, slide shows, radio programs and publications including Ray Lum: Mule Trader, Four Women Artists, and Hush Hoggies Hush: Tom Johnson's Praying Pigs
  • Memphis Public Library, libraries and museums across the United States begins to purchase Center produced media.
  • Center builds soundroom and darkroom to produce range of multimedia materials.
  • Center films are shown at Kennedy Center, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, etc.
Judy Peiser and Bill Ferris
Judy Peiser and Bill Ferris

Ray Lum: Mule Trader
Peiser & Ferris filming Ray Lum: Mule Trader

Frank Fourmy in Media Room
CSF Darkroom

  • In 1978 Ferris becomes Director of the University of Mississippi's Center for the Study of Southern Culture.
  • Under Peiser's direction the Center for Southern Folklore embarks on programs that focus on Memphis as the music and cultural center of region.
  •  1977 in cooperation with Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service produces major traveling exhibit: Folk Art and Crafts: The Deep South.
    Folk Art and Crafts: The Deep South
    Folk Art and Crafts: The Deep South
Blanche Taylor
Mrs. L.O. Taylor

  • In 1978 Center receives collections of photographs, film footage, audio recordings by Rev. L. O. Taylor. With help of American Film Institute copies footage for early preservation
  • In 1978 Pathe-Cinema makes film, Du Cote de Memphis, about Center's film work shown in France and Belgium. Other Center films are shown as TV shorts in Europe.
Du Cote de Memphis
Du Cote de Memphis

George Baucom
Mid-South Folklife Survey / George Baucum
Pecolia Warner Quilt
Pecolia Warner shows her quilt
  • International Communication Agency (USIA) shoots film about CSF called A Legacy of Memories distributed to US Cultural Centers worldwide.
  • Center initiates Mid South Folklife Survey and Ethnic Study Surveys that continue to early 1980s.

  • Center begins performance series concentrating on regional music, food, and crafts.
  • Center hosts numerous government and political leaders, artists, musicians and cultural leaders.
Peiser with Joe Duffy & Joan Mondale
Crossroads Africa visits Othar Turner
BB King
B.B. King in CSF Soundroom

Main Office & Folklore Hall:
119 S. Main Street
At Peabody Place Trolley Stop
Memphis, TN 38103

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Folklore Store:
123 S. Main Street
At Peabody Place Trolley Stop
Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 525-3655
Fax: (901) 544-9965

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