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Voices of Belief: Folklore and
the Sacred Arts

Cunneen Hackett Arts Center
Poughkeepsie, New York
November 2–4, 2007



2007 New York Folklore Society Annual Conference

New York Field Trip 2007:  Voices of Belief-Folklore and the Sacred Arts, November 2-4, 2007, in Poughkeepsie, NY

Theme: Voices of Belief: Folklore and the Sacred Arts
November 2–4, 2007
Cunneen Hackett Arts Center
Poughkeepsie, New York

The New York Folklore Society’s 2007 Field Trip, “Folklore and the Sacred Arts,” traveled to Poughkeepsie to experience the wealth of religious expession and belief in the Mid-Hudson Valley. This scholarly conference explored the intersections of religious belief and experience with the folk arts: sacred music and dance, folk art, and narrative. It also examined the ways that belief has informed and continues to influence social action.

Kicking off the weekend was a three-hour educators’ workshop held on Friday afternoon, November 2, entitled Religious Pluralism and Its Role in Classroom Learning. Co-sponsored by the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center, the workshop addressed issues of pluralism within the classroom learning environment, as well as tools to tie religious belief and expression into the Social Studies curriculum.

An opening reception on Friday night included Altars by the Guadalupe Association (Day of the Dead) and the Hindu Samaj Temple (Diwali). The conference’s keynote speech was provided by Dr. Robert Farris Thompson of Yale Unversity. His illustrated speech, entitled “Staccato Incandescence: Towards a History of Mambo,” was followed by a Mambo dance party with Soñando. Proceedings on Saturday, November 3, involved panel discussions on topics of “Social Justice and the Sacred Arts,” “Sacred Song,” and “A Tribute to John Mohawk.” A gala concert took place on Saturday evening with La Troupe Makandal (Haitian Voudou music and dance); Kontiwennenhá:wi: Carriers of the Words (Mohawk singing traditions); and The Jewish Singing Table by Sruli Dresdner, Lisa Mayer, and special guest Michael Alpert (Jewish sacred song). Sunday, November 4, included a field trip to a community sacred site, as well as a collaborative narrative program with the Interfaith Story Circle of Dutchess County.

The weekend included food, performance, and forays into the community. Event partners included the Dutchess County Interfaith Council, TRANSART, INC., and the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center. Support has been provided by the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.



QUESTIONS? Please contact: Dr. Lisa Overholser, info@nyfolklore.org, 518-346-7008

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The New York Folklore Society and its programs are funded by the
New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts

Council on the Arts         NEA-logo-color200

Additional funding for this conference provided by the Theatre Development Fund and
the New York Council for the Humanities.


      Program presenters included:

      Conference performers included:

Fall Conference 2007 Poster

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