Local Legacies: Celebrating Community Roots

Explore the cultural richness of local communities in Virginia and any other state through The Local Legacies project, created in 2000 to commemorate the Library of Congress Bicentennial and to celebrate America's richly diverse culture.  For more than a year, Local Legacies teams documented the creative arts, crafts, and customs representing traditional community life; signature events such as festivals and parades; how communities observe local and national historical events; and the occupations that define a community's life. More than three-fourths of Congress and 4,000 Americans have been a part of this once-in-a-lifetime project.

Congress registered almost 1,300 Local Legacies projects from all 50 states, the trusts, territories, and the District of Columbia. Photographs, written reports, sound and video recordings, newspaper clippings, posters, and other materials from just over 1,000 Local Legacies projects were sent to the Library to become a permanent part of the collections of the American Folklife Center. Like a century's-end time capsule, the scenes, sights, and events of everyday America featured in these projects are a testament to the uniqueness of our nation and to the rich diversity of culture and heritage that makes us all "Americans."

The Chincoteague Pony Swim?  Roanoke Festival in the Park? Torpedo Factory Art Center? Blue Ridge Folk Life Festival?  Legacy of the Norfolk Waterfront? Who knows what you’ll find?