NYFS logo    tagline
 making lacemaking a mandalaplaying mandolin
The Art of Community: Building an Arts & Culture Support Network for Newcomer Artists in Central New York State

Friday, May 17, 2013, 8:30 a.m.to 5 p.m.
Utica Public Library, 303 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13501



Colombian dancers

The Art of Community: Building an Arts & Culture Support Network for Newcomer Artists in Central New York State

A Workshop presented by The New York Folklore Society, Building Cultural Bridges, The American Folklore Society and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature

Utica Public Library
One block east of the Ithaca Commons at 401 E. State/MLK Jr. Street
303 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13501

Friday, May 17, 2013
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

SEE PHOTOS from the Event

READ “Building an Arts and Culture Support Network for Newcomer Artists in Central New York State” — the Report for the American Folklore Society’s Professional Development and Best Practices Program (PDF)
Upstate New York has become home to an ever-expanding community of refugees and immigrants from all over the world. Layering upon an already rich infrastructure of arts organizations, there is a great potential for an increasingly varied cultural landscape. Yet many of the artists from these communities struggle to maintain their expressive and cultural heritage traditions in the face of overwhelming and immediate needs as they adapt to their new environment.

The public was invited to a workshop that explored merging the arts with social services to better serve these newcomer communities and to enliven our community at large.

Who should attend?
Anybody concerned with the well-being of immigrant/refugee communities is welcome to attend, including but not limited to: refugee or immigrant artists, staff from cultural and community-based organizations and local art organizations, educators, funders, folklorists, staff from shops and galleries that market immigrant/refugee arts, refugee and immigrant service providers, and library staff.

Workshop Format
The day-long workshop presented both national and local models of successful arts and social service collaborations which serve the focus communities. Also, newcomer artists performed, demonstrated and talked about the importance of maintaining their cultural traditions in their new homeland. Drawing on personal experience and ideas generated by the presentations, participants worked together to explore possibilities for collaboration and to establish a local network for resource sharing. Spaces were made available for participants to share information about their art forms or programs through printed materials. Interpretation services were available.

Individual registration fee was $35, which included refreshments, lunch and workshop publications. Two publications were included: The Art of Community: Creativity at the Crossroads of Immigrant Culture, a collection of profiles highlighting successful arts and social service collaborations; and Newcomer Arts: A Strategy for Successful Integration, a resource manual for refugee and immigrant traditional artists and the organizations that serve them. Organizational registration fee was $50 for two members, with additional reduced fees for additional members. One set of publications per organization. A limited number of registration scholarships was made available to newcomer artists.

Please call 518/346-7008 for more information..

 American Folklore Society

National Endowment for the Arts

     NYS Council on the Arts


From the Art of Community workshop>

Amber Dodge has created website focusing on newcomer arts, which she describes:
This website was designed to generate awareness of newcomer arts groups throughout North America, to advocate on their behalf, and to encourage discussion and collaboration among them.

Newcomers such as resettled refugees and immigrants bring their artistic skills and knowledge with them when they relocate to the US and Canada. They can benefit by having opportunities for creative self-expression and participation in the arts within their new communities, especially fiber arts. Participation in fiber arts projects can be the vehicle for newcomers to reinvent themselves and decide who they want to be going forward.

Unfortunately, the work that newcomer artisans do, along with the tireless efforts of employees and volunteers from numerous community organizations who support these artisans, often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. This website was designed to change that by bringing recognition and awareness to their work and demonstrating that arts groups make a significant contribution to the cultural vibrancy of the United States and Canada.”

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