2017 Governor's Folklife Award
Freda Cruse Hardison, Mountain View

Freda Cruse Hardison is a writer, photographer, and a scholar of folklore, culture and history of the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of several books, including "Voices of our People: Stone County, Arkansas" and "Places of Our People: Stone County, Arkansas." Hardison also completed The Mountain Music Project, documenting the history of music in Stone County. The project contains almost 100 photos and interviews and is on display at the Stone County Historical Society. She is working on a third book in the Stone County series, to be titled, "Music of Our People." In 2010, she completed the award-winning museum exhibit "Birth of the Ozarks" at the Calico Rock Museum. In addition, she is developing a historic driving tour that will circle the Ozark National Forest, taking in Stone, Izard and Baxter counties. In 2015, she released "Frank and Jesse James: Friends and Family," true stories told in the voice of Frank James. She won the Sons of Confederate Veterans award for the body of work. She is working to establish historical monuments and markers in Stone and Izard Counties to preserve the folklife history, as well as recording and preserving frontier graves.