Anna Lomax Wood

Anna L. Wood is Director of the Association for Cultural Equity (ACE), a center established by her father, the legendary musicologist Alan Lomax, to explore and preserve the world's expressive traditions. In addition to overseeing the preservation of her father's recordings, films, photographs, manuscripts and research (the originals of which now reside at the Library of Congress), Anna curates projects which reintroduce the public to his work and what it stands for: cultural equity - a fundamentally democratic approach to culture and the arts, based on the principle that every culture has the fundamental right to express and develop its distinctive heritage.

With a doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University, Anna has done research on cultural history and inter-community variation; disaster recovery and reconstruction; the local impact of NGO disaster aid and rural industrialization programs; risk factors for children in poverty; and settings for children's mental health programs. She has worked in children's mental health planning for the Children's Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, and designed mental health ethnographies for the Florida Mental Health Institute of the University of South Florida, where she also taught.

In the 1970s and 90s, Wood researched folkways among Italian, Spanish, and Greek immigrants to the United States and Canada, and in Italy and Spain, and developed frameworks for presenting non-English-speaking folk artists in public venues. She has written about disaster aid, disasters and development; micro-adaptations in historical communities; folklore re-contextualization; and the Calabrian villanella, a genre of sung poetry. She edited, with Joseph Sciorra, a book on Sicilian American poet, Vincenzo Ancona, as well as films and LPs of Italian folk music. Wood was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 1980.

Since Anna stepped in to preserve her father's work in 1996, ACE has become a leader in preserving and repatriating intangible oral heritage. Anna and her team believe that regional institutions and local people must have access to their cultural memory - not a given among people whose traditions are primarily unwritten. ACE's mission is served through repatriating publishing rights and royalties to folk artists; disseminating our collections over the Internet; and returning physical recordings, photographs, film, and other documentation to their regions of origin, with a special emphasis on the Caribbean. We foster cultural capacity building at the local level through the free and creative use of the core cultural materials which we return to people, and have presented our model at conferences in Australia, South Africa, the Caribbean, Greece, and New Orleans.

Wood has overseen the compilation of Alan Lomax's historic recordings in 100 CDs in ten series, released on Rounder Records, as well as the publication of Brown Girl In the Ring: Caribbean Children's Game Songs by Lomax, Bess Lomax Hawes, and Jacob D. Elder; new editions of the classic Mr. Jelly Roll and Our Singing Country; and books of her father's photographs taken in Italy and Spain; and a curated edition of recordings made in Haiti in 1936-37, Alan Lomax in Haiti, released on Harte Recordings in 2009. She won a Grammy as producer of the Best Historical Recording of 2005 for the critically acclaimed Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax.

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