The story of the Arizona
Folklore Preserve is the story of a dream-come-true for
Mr. Dolan Ellis, Arizona's Official State Balladeer.
Dolan wanted a place where the songs and stories celebrating
Arizona and our western heritage and culture
could be performed and preserved.
Originally Dolan thought this
center should be located in Fountain Hills, near
Phoenix. However in 1990 he and his former
wife Rose visited southeastern
Mountains. They fell in love with this
beautiful area, rich in history and folklore, and subsequently bought 15
Dolan founded the Arizona
Folklore Preserve, and in June, 1996, started
performing at the Moffett House, a small 1920s ranch house located on their
property. The tiny Moffett House Theater accommodated an audience of at
most 30 closely-packed patrons.
In 2000 Dolan joined with the
Arizona South to build his dream, the current
Center with its state-of-the-art theater. The
new building opened on Mothers’ Day, 2001, and is located on 4 of the
original 15 acres. Dolan's
partnership with the
Arizona South ensures the Arizona Folklore
Preserve will continue to exist far into the future.
Artist-in-Residence Dolan Ellis
performs at the Arizona Folklore Preserve one weekend a
month. Guest artists
entertain at Preserve shows the remaining weekends.
(Pictures of the Moffett House
and the Folklore Preserve can be seen on our
Folklore Preserve Shows
Our shows are perfect for
Arizona residents and for visitors to our state. While they entertain,
they also tell about:
Arizona's place in history
performs regularly at the Arizona Folklore Preserve
Guest artists who perform at
the Arizona Folklore Preserve must meet these criteria:
Talented, whether as singers,
songwriters, instrumentalists, storytellers or poets.
Their performance must be of a
type that engages the audience.
Their performance must have a
- Many of our artists have CDs
or books available in our unique bookstore.
Shows are weekly Saturday and
With rare exceptions, show
time is at 2:00 p.m.
Reservations are recommended. To make a reservation for one of our
Come early and relax in the serenity
of Ramsey Canyon:
Bring your binoculars and
watch the birds, including the hummingbirds that are so prevalent
Watch the deer, wild turkeys
and other wildlife.
Enjoy a picnic lunch.
The Arizona Folklore
Where Arizona's songs, legends, poetry, and myths
are collected, presented for audiences of today, and
preserved for the enrichment of future