NYFS logo tagline
 Pinto Guira making guiramaking lacemaking a mandalaplaying mandolin
The New York Folklore Society
celebrates the extraordinary in
everyday life, bringing focus
to traditions of our state’s
diverse peoples.
1944             Celebrating 70 Years of Service to New York State             2014
The New York Folklore Society fosters the study, promotion, and continuation of folklore and folklife of
New York’s diverse cultures through education, advocacy, support, and outreach.

Voices Cover Spring Summer 2013

Help the New York Folklore Society in its 70th year
Each year, we seek to work
with ever more communities in New York State and to increasingly impact people with our mission to foster and support traditional arts and culture in New York. We rely upon our supporters and members to make us more effective. Please spread the word about the good work that the New York Folklore Society does, and let us know how we can better serve you in your community.


Have You Seen My Dragon?

Have You Seen Our Dragon in Schenectady?

The Open Door, Schenectady’s locally owned independent bookstore, at 128 Jay Street, is sponsoring a summer event involving 20 businesses (including the New York Folklore Society) centered around Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steven Light, a fantastic book celebrating cities and art and dragons. The bookstore will host a month-long scavenger hunt to find their dragon in 20 participating local businesses in July, culminating in prizes and a party on July 30 at the bookstore with author-illustrator Steven Light. Visit the Open Door for more details.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Reflection on Service: Stories of Hurricane Irene
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, SALT (Schoharie Area Long Term) Recovery), the New York Folklore Society, and AmeriCorps VISTA, were proud to sponsor The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Reflection on Service: Stories of Hurricane Irene on Monday, January 20, 2014, at the Middleburgh Reformed Church, Middleburgh, NY. Read more...

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SEE Executive Director Ellen McHale on Schenectady Today, February 25, 2014.

NYFS emails a
Member Newsletter to inform members of all our upcoming events and program. Read July’s newsletter here.
NYFS Wins Grant from Erie Canalway
◊   Celebrating Music and Dance in Brockport  ◊  ◊   
NYFS partnered with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the Greater Brockport Development Corporation for

Sundays on the Canal

Zorkie Nelson
Zorkie Nelson leads drumming at a Kwanzaa celebration at the Empire State Museum in Albany. Courtesy of Zorkie Nelson.

Free performances this summer of 2014 were held at the Welcome Center, 11 Water Street, Brockport, NY, including:
Poetry Readings
Garth Fagan Dance School Ensemble
Papaloti Mexican Folkloric Dance School
Zorkie Nelson and Drummers (Ghanaian drum and dance)
Caramelo Trio (Latin Contemporary Music)
Broadway on the Canal (favorite songs)
Grupo Cultural Latinos en Rochester (music and dance)
George Hogan (country music)
Fever Pitch (a cappella barbershop quartet)

The New York Folklore Society proudly announced the receipt of a Canalway grant from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor for a partnership project with the Erie Canal Museum (Syracuse) and the Village of Brockport.

The award to NYFS was announced at a press conference in Albany on February 18, 2014. NYFS Director Ellen McHale said: “The New York Folklore Society is thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this project with the Village of Brockport and the Erie Canal Museum, as it strengthens our mission to support the traditional arts of the entire state of New York. A collaborative project like this that unites institutions literally along the length of the canal simply wouldn’t have been possible without support from Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.”

70th Anniversary Special Membership

20th Annual KidsFest, Schenectady, June 7, 2014

slideshow kidsfest
Ask the New York Folklore Society about opportunities for Mentoring and Professional Development

Technical assistance and professional development opportunities are now available from the New York Folklore Society, through support from the New York State Council on the Arts, Folk Arts Program.

Organizations, artists, and individuals working within folk and traditional arts and culture are eligible to receive support for activities which increase one’s knowledge and skills in areas of performance, organizational and business acumen, artistic techniques, and practices, presentational formats, marketing and development, website development, etc. The Mentoring and Professional Development Program of NYFS will provide direct support to a consultant, artist mentor, or arts professional to help you to solve a problem, develop a program idea, or learn a skill.

Support is also available for travel to attend conferences or to observe a colleague or fellow artist. Sound interesting? Contact Lisa Overholser at the New York Folklore Society or read more here.
Stable Views: Voices and Stories from the Thoroughbred Racetrack
Photo of Juan Bon Bom Galbez demonstrating the Chilean art of braiding manesPhoto of Juan Bon Bom Galbez demonstrating the Chilean art of braiding manes

Based upon research by NYFS Executive Director, Ellen McHale, through an Archie Green Fellowship in Occupational Folklore from the Library of Congress, this exhibition portrays the workers in the “backstretch” of the thoroughbred racetracks. Through photographs and their reflections of work in their own words, it portrays the work and workers behind the scenes within thoroughbred racing.

The exhibition features the paintings of Sarah Camele Arnold, handmade objects by riders and trainers, and video. It opens at The Folklife Center of Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls on August 5, 2014, and runs through December 2014. Read more...

New York Folklore Society

New York Traditions

129 Jay Street
Schenectady, NY
Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Buy local!

New York Traditions On-line

Folk art, CDs, books, handmade gifts! Find that unique gift for someone special!

Amish Wall Hanging

NYFS congratulates Henry Arquette, just designated an NEA Heritage Fellow! (shoutout also to Vera Nakonechny, participant in our 2012 Embroiderers’ Gathering).


NYS Folklife Reader:
Diverse Voices

READ the Review in CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries (Vol. 51, No. 7, March, 2014)

Support New York Folklore Society when you search the Web or shop online with GoodSearch.
The New York Folklore Society’s programs are made possible in part with public funds from the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, The William Gundry Broughton Charitable Trust, The Arthur Z. Solomon Charitable Trust, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, New York Council on the Humanities, Stewarts’ Corporation, IBM Corporation, the Community Loan Fund of the Greater Capital Region, the Rotary Club of Schenectady, and Schenectady County Initiative Program.

© 2014, 2013–1998 New York Folklore Society. Last updated September 15, 2014

NEW YORK FOLKLORE SOCIETY ♦ 129 Jay Street ♦ Schenectady, NY 12305 ♦ 518.346.7008 ♦ Fax 518.346.6617 ♦ nyfs@nyfolklore.org