Digital Folklife Lab

The Digital Folklife Lab (DFL) supports traditional artists by giving them the tools, skills, and knowledge to share their work via digital means, at no cost. The DFL is comprised of audiovisual/sound equipment, editing software, and technical training available for free to traditional artists in Montgomery County. Artists can use the DFL to livestream a performance, take professional photographs, and record a podcast, among many other uses. The goal of the DFL is to empower artists to use the internet to advance their careers, sustain their traditions, and support their communities.


We offer fifteen hours of free, technical support to artists working with the Digital Folklife Lab. You can use this time to learn how to edit a song, set up a photo shoot, or to learn a new piece of equipment. Training is provided by rob Hinkal—a musician and technical guru—who can walk you through each step toward your next digital project. 


The DFL’s equipment and software has been designed by traditional artists, for traditional artists. Click here to see an itemized list of the equipment offered by the Digital Folklife Lab.

Apply to use the Digital Folklife Lab

To use the Digital Folklife Lab, please complete this simple application.


Where is the Digital Folklife Lab Located? Is it a physical lab?

The DFL is located on the grounds of Sandy Spring Museum.

I know very little about the internet or social media, but I’m interested. Can I still contact you?

Yes, the Digital Folklife Lab is open to any traditional artist in Montgomery County, no matter your skill level. 

How is the DFL free?

The Digital Folklife Lab is generously funded through support from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and the Maryland State Arts Council. 

Do I need to refer to the organizations that funded the DFL in my work?

Yes. When possible, include a logo for Sandy Spring Museum, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County in your video and text-based productions. In your audio work, a spoken recognition of these organizations is acceptable.

Can I take the DFL’s equipment out of the Museum?

At this time, it is not permitted to take DFL equipment out of the Museum.

When I use the Digital Folklife Lab, who owns the content and intellectual property?

Traditional artists retain control of the content they create with the Digital Folklife Lab. Likewise, artists are solely responsible for any content created with the Digital Folklife Lab. Artists will retain the copyright for materials created with the Digital Folklife Lab and are responsible for clearing protections for the use of copyrighted materials. 

When I use the Digital Folklife Lab, where is the information stored?

Staff and contractors can assist you in uploading and storing your files on a password-protected external hard drive. All project materials will be stored on the hard drive for one-year following the completion of your Digital Folklife Lab project. After one-year, only final products created with the Digital Folklife Lab will be saved. Final products may be used, with permission, to promote the Digital Folklife Lab and in grant applications.