Mark Y. Miyake currently teaches and advises students at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University in his capacity as Assistant Professor of Music and Society and directs their program in Audio Technology, Music, and Society. He has also served on the Board of Trustees for Humanities Washington, on the Board of the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions, and with numerous other regional and national humanities and arts organizations in Washington and New York. As a scholar, he has conducted extensive research into the discourse on race, gender, community, and identity, primarily focusing on intersectional approaches to traditional Appalachian music and local punk, heavy metal, and bluegrass scenes.
What is the future you wish for AFS and how as a member of the Nominating Committee would you work toward this future?
The future that I wish for AFS is one in which the organization brings folklore scholarship and public community-based arts together in a way that provides increased opportunities for all of the scholars, leaders, and communities involved. Closing the perceived and functional gaps between these roles and allowing more individuals to move between them is, I believe, the key to creating sustainable environments in which local and shared creative expression can thrive. AFS can be a positive driving force for these collaborations and in positioning the field in a manner consistent with this goal can lead the movement towards positive change in these communities.
As a member of the Nominating Committee, I would encourage AFS leadership to continue and expand their efforts include a wider range of voices in our nomination and decision-making processes. A large part of working towards this goal has to include actively reaching out to professional and regional communities that do not currently feel included in the mission and agenda of AFS. I do believe that AFS can directly bring together and assist many more individuals and organizations than it often has in the past and look forward to the potential opportunity to help facilitate this in the future.