head and shoulders of Troyd Geist wearing a tan vest over a red flannel shirt with short brown hair, blue eyes, a big toothy smile on a cream-colored background

State Folklorist

Fargo, ND


As folklorist for North Dakota, Troyd Geist is charged with encouraging the preservation and continuation of folk and traditional arts, heritage, and culture. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology/Anthropology from North Dakota State University.

Troyd has participated in and conducted projects involving the impact of folk art and folk traditions on health and wellness. He directed the original Art for Life pilot project in 2001-2003, which measured the effects of long-term folk arts and artist interaction on combating the negative impact of the "Three Plagues" (loneliness, boredom, and helplessness) that many residents in elder care facilities experience. Subsequently, he developed the Art for Life Program, which seeks to improve the health and wellness of elders in care facilities through folk and fine art.

Troyd is the producer of eight enhanced CDs and the author of three books devoted to the folk arts, music, and storytelling. He has coordinated and directed multiple art exhibits curated by the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum.