NYFS logo    tagline
 Pinto Guira making guiramaking lacemaking a mandala
Help Sustain the New York Folklore Society

The New York Folklore Society needs your support. Please help us today.

Support the New York Folklore Society


Dear Friends of Folklore,

Last July, the New York Folklore Society helped to document the reunion of Camp Woodland campers—a gathering of people from all over the United States who shared the childhood experience of attending camp in Phoenicia, New York from 1940–1961. Run by progressive educators Norman and Hannah Studer, the camp focused on revealing issues of social justice and cultural equity, while at the same time exposing youth to the folklore and folk music of the Catskill Mountains and the knowledge of its elders and tradition bearers.

George Edwards performing at Camp Woodland
George Edwards performing at Camp Woodland

At the reunion’s 2012 gala concert, more than 80 people joined their voices for a sing-along of folk music learned in their youth and remembered as long as 50 years later. They were joined by Pete Seeger, who had visited and performed at the camp on an annual basis. Emcee Sue Rosenberg wove the traditional tunes together with a narrative that spoke of camp life and key camp staff, shared narratives and shared music, and the unique experiences provided by the camp’s focus on teaching folklore fieldwork methodology to its older campers. A regular feature of Camp Woodland life was the exposure of the camp to the local community through fieldwork and visitors to the camp. Tradition bearers such as George Edwards were remembered fondly as people spoke of the impact of the traditional knowledge brought by camp visitors.

I left the performance with the phrase, “the power of folklore,” circling in my brain. In their focus on folklore, Norman and Hannah Studer had recognized the elemental nature of folklore and folk music and its potentiality as a unifier. They had seen folklore’s utility as a bearer of a value system that stressed the importance of cultural diversity and heritage and folklore’s pedagogical value in teaching equal rights and equity.

As the New York Folklore Society prepares to enter its 60th year, I ask you for your support in continuing NYFS’s organizational mission and core values. You can help the New York Folklore Society to sustain itself for the future in several important ways:

  1. Become a 2013 member of the New York Folklore Society today. If you join before January 1, 2013, an individual membership is $45 and institutional membership is $60. At its most basic level, your support is most important in giving us operating funds for the next year. Your membership makes us strong.
  2. Become a Harold Thompson member at the highest membership rate of $100. A membership at this rate honors the New York Folklore Society co-founder, Harold Thompson, and provides additional program support for the Society.
  3. Become a member of the Centennial Club, the purpose of which is to provide sustainability for the next 100 years of the New York Folklore Society’s operations. A donation of $500.00 or more enters you into the Centennial Club. This amount can also be pledged over time, with payments made on a monthly basis, or it can be pledged as a “legacy gift,” with payment deferred as part of one’s estate planning. All donations are tax deductible.
Your gift in any amount supports the following:
  • Continued publishing of Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore.
  • Cultural traditions through the NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society which provides direct support to traditional and folk artists through short-term mentoring assistance and travel assistance.
  • Many and varied educational programs, including
    • Annual graduate student folklore conference (the 2013 conference will take place in White Plains, March 2, 2013)
    • The New York Folk Arts Roundtable for folklore professionals
    • Issues-based gatherings such as Low Bridge: Music of the Erie Canal (2012) and Embroiderers’ Gathering and Summit (2011)
    • Youth development programs, including the ongoing Schenectady Community Cultural Documentation Project and the 2013 Latino Dance Summit
  • Outreach to artists, educators, and cultural workers online or through our work as a resource and referral agency
  • Making a difference within the local, statewide, and national arenas through advocacy and support for folk culture and cultural equity at all levels of society and government
  • The only statewide folklore society in the United States with a full-time staff dedicated to the field!
The New York Folklore Society needs your support. Please help us today.


Ellen McHaleGabrielle Hamilton
Executive DirectorPresident
New York Folklore SocietyNYFS Board of Directors


Let It Snow!
NYFS invites members and friends everywhere to help us decorate the Gallery with snowflakes. Please donate $5 this season to NYFS, and we will hang your snowflake from Thanksgiving to the New Year. Thanks for your support! READ more.

Please support the
New York Folklore Society
during this Holiday Season!
“Celebrate the Extraordinary
in Everyday Life”

holiday landscape

To celebrate the Holiday Season, the New York Folklore Society suggests several ways that you can show your support for the folk arts and traditional culture of New York State.
  • BECOME A MEMBER today!
    We have membership categories at several levels. JOIN now!

    We have many items for last minute shoppers, including folk art, books, and CDs. Call us at (518) 346-7008, if you need additional assistance or wish to discuss the one-of-a-kind made in New York items for sale online or in our shop on Jay Street, Schenectady.

    The New York Folklore Society needs your support NOW to help us to remain fiscally sound. We are committed to providing services in a manner that conveys respect for the dignity of the individuals and cultural communities which we serve. We value the rights and needs of all New Yorkers to express and practice the artistic and cultural traditions that are part of New York’s story. We fulfill our mission through publishing Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore, through the NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society, through our Community Cultural Documentation Youth Development Program, and through our many and varied conferences and gatherings. We need your tax-deductible SUPPORT today! Please DONATE.

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