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.

NYFS fosters the study, promotion, and continuation of folklore and folklife of New York’s diverse cultures through education, advocacy, support, and outreach.

Voices Spring Summer 2014

Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore is back on track, with leadership provided by the editorial/production team of Todd DeGarmo, Patti Mason, Laurie Longfield, and Desktop Solutions. The most current issue was mailed early in 2015.
Stable Views: Voices and Stories from the Thoroughbred Racetrack

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. At The Folklife Center of Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls through December 2014. Read more...

Exercise rider, Roger Horgan, checking his
tack at the Palm Meadows Training Facility,
Photo of exercise rider, Roger Horgan, checking his tack at the Palm Meadows Training Facility, Florida. Photo by Ellen McHale.

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

Read the latest news and...

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The New York Folklore Society: 70 Years of Service
We at the New York Folklore Society thank you for your support and look forward to working with you in 2015. Here are a few highlights from 2014, a busy and productive year:

Technical Assistance and Professional Development:

NYFS partnered with SALT (Schoharie Area Long Term) Recovery and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) to train volunteers in the techniques and methodologies of oral history interviewing to capture the narratives of those impacted by flooding caused by Hurricane Irene and those who volunteered to assist in the recovery efforts. NYFS is working to ensure an archival home for recorded narratives, as well as collaborating with Long Island Traditions for a national exhibit on responses to climate change and weather events which will open in 2016.

In conjunction with the Veteran’s History Project of the Library of Congress, the New York Folklore Society conducted a July, 2014, oral history training at Hogansburg, NY for volunteer interviewers interested in capturing the experiences of Haudenosaunee Mohawk Veterans.

The annual New York State Folk Arts Roundtable, took place in Troy, NY, in December 2014. A program of the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYS Folk Arts Roundtable is a professional development program for those involved in folk arts documentation and presentation in the state. The Roundtable, held in collaboration with the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, attracted more than 40 participants from throughout New York State.


In collaboration with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady, NYFS worked throughout November and December 2014, within Central Park Middle School’s Afterschool Program to explore cultural approaches to health. Working with middle-school age youth in a folk arts in education format, NYFS Folklorist, Lisa Overholser, explored health, wellness, and diet from diverse cultural perspectives.

Please take a moment to support the New York Folklore Society. Your donations directly support the New York Folklore Society’s mission and programs. Donate Now!
Around the State

In March 2014, in collaboration with Catskills’ Maple Weekends, a New York Folklore Society sponsored photographic exhibition on Catskill’s dairy heritage by photographer, Benjamin Halpern, debuted at two Delaware County locations.

In June 2014, the New York Folklore Society participated in Schenectady’s Kids’ Arts Festival, with support for hands-on demonstrations of henna art and making traditional “bibbi,” or fans, by members of Utica’s Somali Bantu community.

A Sundays on the Canal Series, in collaboration with the Town of Brockport, presented local and regional artists for an Erie Canal themed performance series in July and August 2014. This series was supported by a grant from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, and was presented in collaboration with the Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse.

Stable Views: Voices and Stories from the Thoroughbred Racetrack opened at The Folklife Center of Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, in August 2014 with viewing through December 2014. This exhibition is funded in part by the Alfred Z Solomon Trust, and the New York Council for the Humanities. It will travel to Flushing Town Hall, Queens and Traditional Arts of Upstate New York, Canton in 2015. A portable version will also travel to China in March 2015, to be viewed at the New York Institute of Technology, Nanjing Campus.

Best wishes,
Ellen McHale, PhD
Executive Director, New York Folklore Society
Laurie Longfield, Gallery and Voices Manager
Todd DeGarmo, Voices Acquisition Editor
Patti Mason, Voices Copy Editor and Website Administrator


Visit the New York Folklore Society’s
Gallery of NY Traditions

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!

slideshow of gallery gifts
Henry Arquette receives the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award for 2014

                                    NEA Heritage Fellow Henry Arquette with NEA Chairman Jane Chu. Photo by Tom Pich. Photo courtesy of NEA.

On September 17, 2014, Henry Arquette received the highest award that this nation offers to folk and traditional artists. A maker of utilitarian baskets held in high regard by his Haudenosaunee Mohawk community, Henry Arquette was one of nine award honorees for 2014, and the only artist from New York State to receive the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award for 2014. READ more from the Director’s Column in Voices Fall-Winter 2013.

NYS Folklife Reader: Diverse Voices   

New York Folklore Society

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.

Support is also available for travel to attend conferences or to observe a colleague or fellow artist. Sound interesting? Email the New York Folklore Society or read more here.
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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.

© 2015, 2014–1998 New York Folklore Society. Last updated January 21, 2015

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