Arts & Culture

Languages are fundamentally linked to arts and culture, and ELA is deeply engaged with the music, literature, performance, and artistic traditions encoded and expressed in endangered languages.

Unheard Of

Unheard Of

Unheard Of! is an ongoing series since 2014 — 7 events so far — presenting poetry, music, and oral literature from a wide range of languages and regions.


Partnering on the Swiss film "Ciao Babylon", the award-winning PBS documentary "Language Matters" and the award-winning short film "This Is Who I Am", as well as many shorter film projects, ELA has worked to raise awareness about endangered languages through film.

Language and Song

ELA records singing and vocal traditions in endangered languages when possible, often with seasoned performers and artists, and in many cases the individuals and communities we work with have a special interest in recording song.

Language and Culture

Languages are central nodes of culture — many people feel that the loss of a language is tantamount to the loss of an entire culture. A language can encode a worldview, a range of unspoken norms and assumptions, and a wealth of historical and environmental knowledge.