Alan Govenar is a writer, folklorist, photographer and filmmaker. He is president of Documentary Arts, which he founded in 1985 to present new perspectives on historical issues and diverse cultures. Govenar is the author of twenty-nine books and is a Guggenheim Fellow. The Off-Broadway premiere of his musical Texas in Paris received rave reviews in The New York Times and Huffington Post.
Govenar's film Stoney Knows How, based on his book by the same title about Old School tattoo artist Leonard St. Clair, was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Govenar has also produced and directed numerous films in association with NOVA, La Sept/ARTE, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, including Master Qi and the Monkey King, The Beat Hotel, You Don't Need Feet to Dance, and Extraordinary Ordinary People, all distributed by First Run Features.
Since 1982, Govenar's work related to the recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Fellowship has included three books: Masters of Traditional Arts, Extraordinary Ordinary People, and Stompin' at the Savoy; two 52-part radio series, broadcast on more than 150 NPR stations nationwide; the development of the website www.mastersoftraditionalarts.org; and a learning resource guide for students K-12 that he co-authored with Betty Carter and Paddy Bowman.