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The 1971 Ohio program featured some 150 participants invited to demonstrate their talents, skills and knowledge. The State of Ohio funded more extensive fieldwork than the Festival had been able to undertake in the past. The bounty from which the State presentation was drawn supported organizers' belief that all areas of the nation, no matter how urbanized or industrialized, contained a wealth of folk culture. Even though the fieldwork in Ohio spanned seven months time, Festival researchers did not imagine the results to be definitive. Choices were necessarily influenced by a fieldworker's intuition causing him or her to drive down a certain street to ask the right question at the right time, which led to a particular person's door.

Each year, the program book noted, the Festival became a broader representation of what people do and involved more of the special folklife of large communities of people. At the 1971 Festival, for example, there were several industrial craftspeople from glass factories in the Ohio River valley. There was one who cut glass in traditional patterns, and another who was a mold maker who chiseled similar patterns into the heavy steel molds from which pressed glass is made. In this way, the 1971 program sought to expand its view of craftsmanship beyond the family artisans or cottage industries that had predominated in previous Festivals.

The 1971 Ohio program was sponsored by the Governor of Ohio, the Ohio Congressional Delegation, the State of Ohio Development Office, and the Governor's Advisory Committee on Partnership for People.

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