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NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society

The Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), in partnership with the New York Folklore Society, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, offers technical assistance and professional growth services to the folk arts field.



NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society

Technical Assistance

Mentorships: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998

2014 Technical Assistance

Website development consultation for Kelly Mullaney, Working Art Media, Inc. to advise Evelyn Cassano from Grupo Cultural Latinos en Rochester on development and maintenance of the group’s new website.

Mentoring for Amanda Tarbell of the Iroquois Museum to work alongside a Native herbalist to learn traditional knowledge of Native plants in New York State.

Mentoring of Darrick Campbell by Charles “Chuck” Campbell for youth involved in a summer learning experience, as well as Chuck Campbell, to be mentored on the repertoire for the lap steel guitar.

Funding for folklorist Todd DeGarmo of Crandall Public Library to receive design assistance and training for a portable Blue Tooth Lab for the Folklife Center.

Funding for Button accordion player Doug Barr to receive mentoring on the pedagogical skills of teaching button accordion techniques by master artist Edel Fox.

Funding for folklorist Valerie Walawender to be mentored by folklorist Kelly Armor in best practices for the presentation of folk arts in museum settings.

Funding for folklorist Nicole Macotsis Hefny to be mentored by Anna Mulé in the best practices for online archiving and publishing of folk arts material.

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2013 Technical Assistance

Professional Development Funding for two public folklorists (Karen Canning and Kay Turner) and a folklore consultant (Caron Atlas) to travel to and participate in the NYSCA Decentralization conference for state and local partnerships in Saratoga.

Mentoring support for Linda Humes, with Griots in Concert and Yaffa Cultural Arts in NYC to advise on a world textile exhibit and how to incorporate African traditional arts into the exhibit, particularly for kids’ education activities, at the World Awareness Children’s Museum in Glens Falls.

Artist-to-artist mentoring for Marc Etienne, master drummer of La Troupe Makandal, to work with Catelus “Ti Tonton” Laguerre on an ongoing mentorship to work on the drumming traditions established by Tonton’s uncle, Frisner Augustin, particularly in regards to phrasing, tonal technique, and the interface of drumming and traditional Haitian song.

Mentoring support for refugee artists from Albany and Utica to attend the New York Folklore Society’s “Art of Community” gathering in Utica, at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, in April 2013.

Mentoring provided professional development support for Latino Youth Dance Troupes across NY State to attend the NYFS’ Latino Dance Summit in August, 2013.

Funding for Irma Bohorquez-Geisler, Director of the Staten Island Day of the Dead Festival, to engage in an ongoing consultancy with Amanda Efthimiou from ArtsTech about social media marketing and website development for the Festival.

Short-term consultancy for Paula Weiss, Director the Children of the Well Youth Storytelling group in Albany, NY, to develop a deepened understanding of the role of traditional narratives in everyday talk through her meetings with Lee Ellen-Marvin, a folklorist from Ithaca, NY.

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2012 Technical Assistance

Professional Development funds were used for two New York State public folklorists (Kay Turner, Director the Folk Arts Program at the Brooklyn Arts Council, and Karen Canning, Folk Arts Director at GoArt! in Rochester) and for Caron Atlas, Director of the Arts & Democracy Project in Brooklyn, to attend the annual NYSCA Decentralization conference for state and local partnerships in Saratoga.

Sheileen Landry, Museum Educator at the World Awareness Children’s Museum in Glens Falls—Awarded a short-term consultancy grant to work with Linda Humes, Executive Director of Yaffa Cultural Arts in NYC, on incorporating African cultural arts into the Museum’s education program in connection with their “Discovering World Textiles in Clothing and Small Images” exhibit.

Marc Etienne, master drummer with La Troupe Makandal in NYC—Worked with Catelus “Ti Tonton” Laguerre on an ongoing mentorship to work on the drumming traditions established by Tonton’s uncle, Frisner Augustin, particularly in regard to phrasing, tonal technique, and the interface of drumming and traditional Haitian song.

Traditional artists from the Somalian, Karen, Congolese, and Iraqi refugee communities in Utica, Albany and Buffalo were awarded professional development funding to attend the “Art of Community” gathering in Utica that brought together refugee artists and service organizations to collaboratively strategize ways of working together.

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2011 Technical Assistance

Faye McMahon, Independent Folklorist and Part-time Instructor at Syracuse University—Received Professional Development funding to attend and participate in the UNSPOKEN Human Rights Conference in Utica, NY, to build upon the work she does with refugee populations.

Karen Canning, director of the Geneseee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GoArt!) in Batavia, NY—Worked with Varick Chittenden at Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY) on a mentoring consultancy to develop folklife programming with a goal of creating a more cohesive regional identity.

Eniko Farkas, a Hungarian embroiderer in Ithaca, NY—Received a mentoring award to work with Vera Nakonechny, a Ukrainian needleworker, on issues of preservation and documentation of traditional embroidery.

Paul Kawam and Karen weavers from the Micro-enterprise project of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees—Received a Professional Development award to attend the embroiderer’s summit at the Ithaca History Center, November 2011.

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2010 Technical Assistance

Hannah Harvester, Staff Folklorist at Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY)—Received a short-term consultancy grant to work with Amanda Dargan, Education Director of CityLore, about designing educational children’s folklife programming.

The Ukrainian Women’s Voices Choir in NYC—Received a mentoring award to engage in a long-term artist mentoring with Yevhen Yefremov, ethnomusicologist, singer and folksong collector from the Kyiv Music Academy to incorporate songs from the now largely destroyed Chernobyl Region into their repertoire.

Marc Etienne, master drummer with La Troupe Makandal in NYC—Worked with Catelus “Ti Tonton” Laguerre on an ongoing mentorship to work on the drumming traditions established by Tonton’s uncle, Frisner Augustin, particularly in regards to phrasing, tonal technique, and the interface of drumming and traditional Haitian song.

Staff at the Schoharie River Center in Duanesburg, NY—Traveled to MindBuilders Creative Arts in the Bronx for a short-term consultancy regarding youth community documentation training.

Nancy Solomon, Folklorist at Long Island Traditions—Attended the AFS public policy work group meeting on historic preservation in Washington, DC with the help of a Professional Development grant.

Tonia Loran-Galban, a Mohawk basketmaker—Received Professional Development funding to attend the Maine Indian Basketmakers’ Alliance conference to work with Seneca basketmakers and exchange techniques and idea.

Carrie Hertz, Folk Arts Curator at the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University—Met with Kay Turner, staff folklorist at the Brooklyn Arts Council and Steve Zeitlin, folklorist at CityLore in NYC with a mentoring award to discuss strategies of working with more diverse constituencies in large, urban settings and in an organizational structure with a single staff folklorist.

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2009 Technical Assistance

John Lechicky, member of the New York Bandura Ensemble and one of the community members involved in the Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s Ukrainian Community Cultural Initiative—Received a mentoring award to work with IT specialist Hanya Krill to develop web marketing skills, web development, and interpretive materials for folk arts programming.

Todd DeGarmo of the Crandall Public Library in Glens Fall, NY—Professional Development mentoring award to meet with Nancy Davis of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for discussions about audience interactive activities and the patron experience in folklife exhibitions.

Christopher Mulé, new folklorist at the Council on the Arts and Humanities on Staten Island—Mentored by Kay Turner of the Brooklyn Arts Council, Tom van Buren of Arts Westchester, and Nancy Solomon of Long Island Traditions on various aspects of arts-council based folklorist activities.

Lois Wilcken, Director of Haitian folkloric group La Troupe Makandal —Received a short-term consultation award for consultation with folklorist Kathy Condon on folklife program evaluation outside of education-based evaluation.

Jade Banks, Director of the Community Folk Culture program at Mind Builders Creative Arts—Received a short-term consultation with folklorist Kathy Condon to discussion folklife program evaluation.

Dan Ward, curator of the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse—Mentorship with folklorist Kathy Condon to develop programming around model-boat building.

The Center for Traditional Music and Dance in NYC —Will arrange a mentorship to have ethnographic photojournalist Anna Batcheller work with various community members of their Ukrainian, Colombian and Chinese Cultural Initiatives. The mentorship will allow community members to better document, present, and interpret their own traditions.

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2008 Technical Assistance

Todd DeGarmo, The Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library—Consultation with Dan Berggren of Sleeping Giant Records to discuss appropriate live and recorded performance standards and management of new sound system components for a renovated space at the Crandall Public Library.

Constance Sullivan-Blum, the new folklorist at the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes—Consultation with Karen Canning of the Genessee-Orleans Regional Arts Council on researching, presenting, interpreting and documenting the folklife of the southern tier, and with Catherine Schwoeffermann about conceptualizing and designing folk arts exhibitions.

Colleen Cleveland, third-generation Anglo-Irish ballad singer from Brant Lake, NY—Mentored by Field Horne in techniques of archiving and cataloguing her grandmother’s collection. The consultation allowed Colleen to move beyond her mastery of the content and style and begin to study the original of this body of material.

Dominic Raimondo, former member of the “Lost Boys” group of Sudanese refugees in Syracuse—Met with current members of the group to work on self-presentation skills to allow them to interpret and present their own traditions in their own words.

English willow basket maker Bonnie Gale from Norwich, NY—Traveled to Hornby Island, British Columbia, for a master artist exchange with Alastair Heselting about living willow growing and installation. (Travel supported by NEA)

Mary Clause and Marlene Printup, Tuscorara beadworkers—Professional development opportunity to attend the North by Northeast exhibit at the Maine Indian Basketmakers’ Alliance annual gathering. (Travel supported by NEA)

Andrew Albertson, Curator of Education at the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie—Received funding for a consultation with folklorist Constance Sullivan-Blum on event-specific oral history collection about floods that have affected the community.

Robin Lazore, Akwesasne Mohawk basketmaker—Received artist mentoring money to conduct an artists’ exchange with other basketmakers at the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance gathering. (Travel supported by NEA)

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2007 Technical Assistance

New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, consulted with Andy Kolovos on folklife/folklore archives.

Mindbuilders Creative Arts, Bronx, consulted with videographer Barry Dornfeld on video documentary techniques.

Roberson Museum and Science Center, consulted with Andy Kolovos regarding their folklore archives.

Felicia Faye McMahon attended a community pride arts conference in Syracuse, NY, a professional development opportunity.

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2006 Technical Assistance

Ian Japsi, Floral Park — Steel band teacher, consulted with Jit Samaroo a famous steelband teacher and music arranger in Trinidad, on ways to improve his educational programs. (NEA supported travel).

The Dutch Barn Preservation Society, Schenectady, consulted with Nancy Solomon of Long Island Traditions to explore formats for educational programming about vernacular architecture.

Port Washington Public Library — Eleanor Shodell consulted with archivist, Ira Revels, regarding arrangement and description and digitization of folklore materials.

Centro Civico of Amsterdam consulted with Elena Martínez regarding approaches to folk arts programming in the Latino community.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Rochester, conducted two days of master studies with Peter Horan (flute) and Gerry Harrington (fiddle) on specific techniques and styles in Irish music.

Alda Reuter, New York, attended the 2006 Leadership Training Institute of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, San Antonio, Texas. (Travel supported by NEA)

Young Indian Culture Group, Manhasset— Rathi Raja attended the International Ramayana Festival of the Government of Indonesia. (Travel supported by NEA)

Long Island Traditions, Port Washington, consulted with Paul Bentel, preservation architect, on the documentation of historic boatyard buildings.

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2005 Technical Assistance

Roberson Museum and Science Center, Binghamton — Folk and Traditional Arts Curator Catherine Schwoeffermann was awarded professional development funding to cover the registration portion of her expenses for attending the 2006 American Association of Museums conference in Boston. The conference featured a variety of presentations on development and diversification of museum-based folk arts programming.

Center for Traditional Music and Dance, Manhattan — Director Ethel Raim applied for mentorship funds to support a portion of CTMD’s consultation with fundraising expert Carol Cohen LaRose. At CTMD’s January Board Retreat, LaRose will present a newly developed comprehensive fundraising/marketing plan, which expands and enhances CTMD’s capacity to secure new support from private foundations, corporations, and individual donors.

Akwesasne Iroquois Traditional Quiltmakers (Benedict family members, Florence, and daughters, Salli and Rebecca) met in New York with Montreal-based Mohawk quilt maker Carla Goodleaf Hemlock, attending a quilt show under Carla’s guidance and receiving instruction from her in pattern, color use, and embellishments. The family, who quilt collaboratively, will pass the teaching on to other Akwesasne quiltmakers.

Manhattan Country School Farm, Roxbury: Farm director Virginia Scheer consulted with Marist college professor Neil Larson to learn more about Catskill regional stone house construction, in preparation for a public program she is planning related to the 1828 Walter Stratton House, a stone building which the Manhattan Country School acquired in 2001.

Roberson Museum and Science Center, Binghamton: Folk and Traditional Arts Curator Catherine Schwoeffermann consulted with Karen Tausig-Lux to plan an exhibit on the life and art of Joseph Mender, a Lithuanian-born New York folk carver and painter whose art is part of the Roberson’s permanent collection. The exhibit will highlight Mender’s walking sticks, miniature paintings, photos, and other personal objects from his life in Lithuania and in upstate New York.

Young Indian Culture Group, Manhasset: Rathi Raja, Executive Director, attended the Chicago Ramayana Conference at Northern Illinois University in June of 2005, to gain information and mentorship related to future storytelling sessions and workshops the Young Indian Culture Group plans to offer.

City Lore, New York City: City Lore Folklorist Elena Martínez engaged Computer Specialist Richard Levine to install an audio production program on City Lore office computers and instruct staff members on how to use the program for dubbing and distribution of copies of interviews and oral histories, recorded on City Lore’s new minidisk recorder.

Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center, Bronx: Center Executive and Program Directors Madaha Kinsey-Lamb and Deirdre Hollmann consulted with the Smithsonian’s Dr. Diana N’Diaye to plan fieldwork initiatives, programs, and a documentary film project on multiple folk arts genres of African-American, African, and Caribbean teens and families in their service area.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Rochester: Singers’ Session Coordinator Chris Brennan brought sean-nos (old style) traditional Irish singer Treasa Ní Catháin of Red Hill, Pennsylvania to New York to lead a workshop for Rochester-area traditional singers, to enhance group members’ knowledge of vocal techniques and introduce additional Gaelic language material to their repertoire.

North Tonawanda History Museum, North Tonawanda: Director Donna Zellner Neal was consulted with folklorist Claire Aubrey to acquire further knowledge of folklore approaches to developing an ethnic heritage celebration for North Tonawanda. Aubrey will consult with the museum to orient staff to ethnographic fieldwork methods, multiple folk festival models, and other options in multicultural program development.

Traditional Arts of Upstate New York, Canton: Varick Chittenden consulted with Jane Beck, executive director of the Vermont Folklife Center, regarding board development and strategic planning.

Immigrant and Ethnic Arts Forum, hosted by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Laura Marcus of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Bill Westerman of Chicago, Illinois

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2004 Technical Assistance

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann of Rochester received support for Brian Conway, Irish fiddler to work with selected members of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí. They will receive instruction in the Sligo style of Irish Fiddling.

Duanesburg Area Community Center received support for young Capital District fiddlers who were selected to receive mentoring from renowned Catskill fiddler Hilton Kelly.

Chemung County Historical Society will work with mentor Lydia Fish to train adults who will be training teenagers to interview Veterans. This "train the trainer" request is a continuation of a Veteran’s History Project initiative.

The Jewish Federation of Ulster County will work with Folklorist Janis Benincasa to train committee members in conducting ethnographic interviews. She will also mentor them on the structure of an event on 8/4/04 to allow for the best exchange of information and will provide guidance on the best method of documenting the event for archival purposes.

La Troupe Makandal, a group which researches and performs Haitian dance traditions, received support for master artist Pierre Desrameaux to work with the dancers, with the goal of adding several specific Haitian dances to the group’s repertoire.

Ted McGraw, archivist for the Northeastern Chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, received mentoring support to work with a computer consultant, Daniel Feuerstein, to design and implement an archival database program.

The New York Multi-Arts Center Consortium received support for Amanda Dargan, Madaha Kinsey-Lamb, Mary Zwolinski, and Raona Roy to attend their annual conference for Multi-Arts Centers and to present on successful models for folk arts programs.

Yaffa Cultural Arts, Inc., a community based arts organization, received mentoring support for curriculum consultant Eva Lopez to work with Harlem-based folk artists to develop standards-based folk arts presentations, lesson plans and curriculum guides for use as folk arts in the schools.

The Center for Traditional Music and Dance received support for Jim Hirsch of the Old Town School of Folk Music of Chicago to mentor them on developing a folk arts academy.

Todd DeGarmo, Director of Crandall Public Library’s folk arts program, Glens Falls, traveled to both the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian and to a private collection to study Pomo Baskets in order to have a better understanding of the Pomo basket collection currently in the collection of Crandall Public Library.

Eileen Condon, folklorist for Dutchess County Arts Council, received mentoring in public sector folklore and programming from Steve Zeitlin of City Lore, and Kay Turner of Brooklyn Arts Council.

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2003 Technical Assistance

Hudson Valley Writers’ Center. Joanne Mulcahy of the Northwest Writing Center at Lewis and Clark College will conduct a one-day writing workshop for folklorists who wish to hone their skills in writing for the public sector. Workshop participants will number no more than six folklorists, allowing for writing and discussion of work.

Ramon Ponce—Professional Development. Ramon Ponce, Artistic Director for the Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s Mexican Community Cultural Initiative, attended the conference of the Mid-Atlantic Folklore Association in Wheaton Village, New Jersey.

Ruby Marcotte—Professional Development. Ruby Marcotte of the Black Crow Network attended the conference of the Mid-Atlantic Folklore Association in Wheaton Village, New Jersey.

Nancy Solomon—Professional Development. Nancy Solomon of Long Island Traditions attended the 2003 Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle, WA. She will benefit from this year’s theme of maritime culture of the east and west coasts. This will assist her with Long Island Tradition’s Maritime Folklife Festival.

Tuscarora Beadworkers. A group of beadworkers from the Tuscarora Reservation will have a one-day training with Kathy Mundell of Cultural Resources, Inc. and Mick White on self-management and promotion, including websites and website design.

East End Seaport Museum. East End Seaport Museum will receive assistance from Nancy Solomon on the basics of collecting maritime narratives from the formerly important fishing community.

Center for Traditional Music and Dance. CTMD will receive training from database expert Benjamin Shen regarding the redesign of their database holdings from ACCESS to a new system.

Historical Society of Rockland County. The Historical Society will receive mentoring from Mary Zwolinski in folk arts collection, exhibition, and presentation within their organization with an eye towards incorporating folk arts into the mission of the Society.

Mexican Consulate. Support was given to the Mexican Consulate for a gathering of folklorists from throughout New York State who have been working in the area of Mexican traditional arts. Support was given for travel for folklorists to attend a meeting at the Mexican consulate to share their programming ideas and to initiate a conversation among the different programs.

Utica Monday Night. Felicia Faye McMahon will mentor members of "Utica Monday Night" on collaborating effectively with ethnic and refugee organizations and artists. She will assist in audience development and program sustainability.

Traditional Arts of Upstate New York. TAUNY will consult with an experienced retailer who is familiar with arts organizations to develop TAUNY’s "North Country Folkstore" as an outlet for arts and artists and a source of earned income for TAUNY.

City Lore, Inc. City Lore will consult with Andrew Kolovos, an archivist from the Vermont Folklife Center, to devise a digitization strategy for the orgnization as well as to develop a strategy for long term preservation of audio and photographic collections.

Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural and Sport Center. The Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural and Sports Center received technical assistance support for a mentorship with Nancy Groce to organize and plan a clear, well-crafted thematic direction for their folk arts program, the Irish Traditional Music Festival.

Long Island Traditions. Long Island Traditions folklorist, Jill Gellerman, will consult with Amanda Dargan regarding the development of Folk Arts in Education programming for their organization.

Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester. Folklorist, Susan Quan Chodorow, of the Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, will receive mentoring from folklorist, Kate Koperski, on best practices in being a public folklorist regarding fieldwork, documentation, and archival methodology. She will also receive information about folk arts programming and the traditional artists/groups residing in Greater Rochester.

Upstate History Alliance. The Native American Task Force of the Upstate History Alliance received support for the attendance of folklorist Kathleen Mundell to present her experiences in crafts marketing and the organization of the Native American Basketmakers’ Alliance of Maine to this small group of Native American museum professionals.

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. Hudson River Sloop Clearwater received support to convene a roundtable discussion of Capital Area and Hudson Valley folklorists who will advise the organization regarding the development of a traditional arts program.

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2002 Technical Assistance

Bradley Shope. Brad Shope, being new to his position at the Queen’s Council on the Arts, was approved to consult with three experienced folklorists working in arts council settings—Kay Turner, Jean Crandall, and Mary Zwolinski. This includes advice on managing budgets, event development and implementation, and advice on existing programs already in place at Queens Council.

Adirondack Carousel. The Adirondack Carousel received a mentorship for master woodcarver, Carl Borst, to mentor community craftspeople in carving carousel animals.

Ellenville Public Library. The Ellenville Public Library is conducting a project on community narratives utilizing state of the art audio-visual equipment. They received support for archivist Brian Keough to advise them on archival procedures for the storage of tapes, cataloging, and public access.

Jean Crandall. Jean Crandall, folklorist at the Dutchess County Arts Council, received mentoring on maritime traditions from folklorist Nancy Solomon from Long Island, NY.

Comite Mi Gente, Dutchess County Arts Council. The Dutchess County Arts Council received a mentorship for staff from the Latino organization, Comite Mi Gente, to travel to Amsterdam, NY and consult with Ladan Alomar, Director of Centro Civico, on their successful model of a Hispanic community-based organization with strong Latino Arts Programming.

Varick Chittenden. Folklorist Varick Chittenden was met with Steve Zeitlin of City Lore regarding fundraising and fund development for folk arts organizations and programming.

Ted McGraw. Ted McGraw of the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann of Rochester received training from web master Michael White to train him to develop and maintain web access to the extensive collected materials of the Northeast Comhaltas.

Brooklyn African American Heritage Preservation Committee. Received mentoring in culinary traditions from Jessica B. Harris, culinary arts historian, to help them develop a culinary arts porject in Brooklyn, NY.

Roberson Museum and Science Center (Catherine Schwoeffermann). Received support for a mentoring with Steve Zeitlin to plan, develop and implement the audio components for the Roberson Museum’s Voices and Visions exhibition.

James Kiki, Simon Luchano, Fortunato Longkok (Felicia McMahon). Recent immigrants from war torn Sudan received assistance in the dissemination and maintenance of their musical traditions through Charles Lino mentoring younger singers in their Sudanese singing traditions.

Black Crow Network (Ruby Marcotte). Black Crow Network received mentoring in fundraising and development to assist them in maintaining the organization after the death of Vaughn Ward.

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2001 Technical Assistance

Ivan Erickson, a carnival mask maker from the Dominican Republic who lives in New York State traveled to Santiago to study with a master mask maker.

Rensselaer County Historical Society. Librarian James Corsaro received mentoring from Peter Hirtle, co-director of the Cornell Institute for Digital Collections, to assess and advise on the preservation of audio tapes from the Fox Hollow Folk Festival. The annual Fox Hollow festival was of national significance, featuring traditional and revivalist folk singers from around the country, and from 1967 to 1980 it took place in Petersburg, New York. The collection provides an important record of the folksong revival.

American Dexter Cattle Association. Kathleen Smith, vice-president of the breed association, received a mentorship so that master ox handler Drew Conroy could train ox handlers at the association’s 2001 annual meeting in Schoharie County. The oral tradition of ox training—a skill that played an important role in the settlement farm traditions of the United States—is rapidly becoming a lost art. The trainees shared their skills with other handlers in the state.

Westchester Arts Council. Michael Murray, a folklorist and manager of the Westchester folk arts program, consulted with Mary Zwolinski of the Arts Center of the Capitol Region in Troy. Their goals are to improve his skills as a folk arts manager, conduct research, and develop programs to present the folklife of the region.

Significant Elders. Malika Lee Whitney, director of Significant Elders, received mentoring from Susan Perlstein of Elders Share the Arts to assist in strategies for intergenerational projects involving youths paired with seniors in Harlem. Through narrative interviews and arts programming, she seeks to preserve and transmit significant aspects of African-American folklife to future generations.

Norman Studer Collection. Archivist Jim Corsaro from the Rensselaer County Historical Society received a mentorship to spend five days inspecting, listing items, and reporting recommendations for preserving the John Studer collection, which is being moved to the SUNY-Albany archives and properly housed and preserved for future generations of New Yorkers.

Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY). Varick Chittenden, director, received a mentorship to have Amy Skillman of the Institute for Cultural Partnerships advise on strategic planning for the organization’s future. After successive meetings with staff and board members, she presented a report with recommendations.

Eldridge Street Project. This group, which is restoring the landmark Eldridge Street Synagogue in Manhattan, received a mentorship for folklorist Kathleen Condon to advise on long-term community development. The consultancy focuses on the Eldritch Street Blintzes and Egg Roll Festival, which celebrates the neighborhood’s old Jewish heritage and the contributions from the Chinese Americans who are the current residents. The purpose is to promote cross-cultural understanding by bringing these two groups closer together in a festival setting.

Queens Council on the Arts. Director Laura Waters received a quick-response mentorship for ethnomusicologist Kathy Ragland to help implement folklife programming in Queens.

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2000 Technical Assistance

Arts and Recreation Commission, Whitehall, NY, for folklorist Pat Wells to help develop cultural tourism in the region.

Center for the Study of Women and Society, Patricia Lawrence (New York, N Y)—Karen Michel consults with the Center on turning women’s narrative project with under-represented women into radio documentaries.

Dutchess County Arts Council, Poughkeepsie, NY, for videographer Winnie Lambrecht to help develop a video series featuring local folk and traditional artists.

Centro Civico of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NY, for videographer Michael Vandow to consult on technical and stylistic features for a documentary on arts and artists from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Colombia, which will be used to promote cross-cultural understanding.

The Brooklyn Historical Society, Brookyn, NY, for folklorist Kathleen Condon to consult about folklife perspectives for exhibition design and about forming an advisory committee for the exhibition "Brooklyn Works: 300 Years of Making a Living."

Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY, for training the folk arts program staff in the use of their newly acquired sound reinforcement equipment.

John D. Calandra Italian-American Institute, New York City, for archivist Nancy Johnson to assess the collection and provide guidance on professional standards for storing, cataloging, and documenting material objects donated by the Italian-American community in New York City.

Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, for professional development for folklorist, Todd DeGarmo to travel to Arlington, Virginia, for training from Paulo Endo of the Columbia Heights West Teen Photo Project to develop four community-based youth documentary projects.

Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, New York City, for folklorist Amanda Dargan to help develop folklore education materials, study guides, and classroom activities that teach cross-cultural understanding of Czech and Slovak culture through the use of traditional puppetry.

Malika Lee Whitney-Pinckney Productions, Harlem, for professional development for Malika Lee Whitney to attend a conference at the Creative Aging Institute in Philadelphia, to augment her intergenerational folk arts and education programs for youth and seniors.

The Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Collection and Connecting Libraries and Schools Program (CLASP), Brooklyn, for Kathleen Condon to consult on outreach and documentation of the community of Greenpoint, New York.

Betty Haufrecht-Herbert Haufrecht Collection, Shady, NY, for archivist Jim Corsaro to assist in finding a repository for the papers of New York composer and folksong collector Herbert Haufrecht.

Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, Sleep Hollow, NY, for the folklorist Jean Crandall to provide training to the staff in working with the predominantly Hispanic population of Sleep Hollow and Tarrytown.

Adirondack Community Carousel Board, Saranac Lake, NY, for master carver Alan Aardsma of the Adirondack Museum to train community carvers in constructing a carousel featuring animals native to the Adirondack region.

Portchester Even Start Program, Portchester, NY, for folklorist Kay Turner to help develop a community-wide project with the Hispanic population presenting Mexican altares caseras (personal altars).

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1999 Technical Assistance

Adirondack Fiddlers, Inc., Dick Richards (Lake Luzerne, NY)—Talented young fiddler Sara Milanovich conducted a workshop with other fiddlers from the region.

West Side Neighborhood Association, Leona Casey Signor (Saratoga Springs, NY)—Folklorist Vaughn Ward consulted with the Association on developing and maintaining an oral history project.

The Society for Folk Arts Preservation, Evelyn Stern (South Fallsburg, NY)—Kevin Brown and Winnie Lambrecht consulted with the Society on modern digital editing for video and advised them in the purchase of equipment by the organization.

Marion Jacobson (Yonkers, NY)—Jacobson helped facilitate a six week mentorship of Mexican paper artist Aurelia Fernandez with members of her community to celebrate and pass on traditional arts.

Kwong-Yu Fong/Chinese Theatre Workshop (Jackson Heights, NY)—KwongFu Fong, Director of the Chinese Theatre Workshop worked with Chinese Opera Master Yu Cheng Ren to learn stage combat for Peking Opera.

Hopps Memorial CME Church, Inez Mack (Syracuse, NY)—Gospel singer Geraldine Clark mentored Ariane Denise Tucker in the proper use of her voice.

Centro Civico of Amsterdam, Ladan Munoz (Amsterdam, NY)—The mentorship enabled Ladan Munoz to consult three days with Olivia Cadaval at the Office of Folklife Programs, Smithsonian Institute, for Olivia’s expertise on Latino Folk Art for Centro Civico’s Cultural Art Center.

National Council of Jewish Women, Naomi Mirensky (New York, NY)—Marion Jacobson consulted with the Council on interviewing techniques with its seniors and researching the role of Yiddish music in culture.

Mindbuilder’s Community Folklife Project, B. Madaha Kinsey-Lamb (Brooklyn, NY)—Kathleen Condon assisted with the development of a one-year and two-year plan, which includes the hiring and orientation of a staff folklorist.

Schoharie County Arts Council, Beverly Butcher (Voorheesville, NY)—Folklorist Vaughn Ward consulted with B. Butcher in providing professional guidance in music concert production.

Schoharie Arts Council, Beverly Butcher (Voorsheesville, NY)—Kate Koperski consulted with B. Butcher in presenting folk art exhibits in the Schoharie Arts Council’s gallery.

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1998 Technical Assistance

The Hungarian-American Club of Rochester (Rochester, NY)—Eniko Farkas, a local historian, consulted on helping refugees from Europe conduct interviews and in self-documentation.

City Lore, Marci Reaven (New York, NY)—Thea Miller consulted to help City Lore rearrange and describe multi-media materials in their Center for Folk Arts in Education and design a data base system to unify their holdings.

Project Greenhope Services for Women, Llia Lopez (New York, NY)—Malika Whitney consulted on a folk arts program which included a women’s narrative project with women in this residential facilty for parolees and court referred females, whose lives may have been shattered by abuse and anti-social behavior.

Black Crow Network, Vaughn Ward (Rexford, NY)—Patricia Wells for Heritage Partnerships and Willie Smythe consulted with the Black Crow Network, a cultural organization, about cultural tourism and folk art event planning in the Mohawk Valley/Lake Champlain regionof New York State.

Photography Workshops, Jean Crandall (Tarrytown, NY)—Marty Cooper, an experienced folk art photographer, consulted with a group of participants in two workshops giving them a basic grounding in documentary photographic techniques.

Huntington Arts Council, Deborah Robbins (Huntington, NY)—The Huntington Arts Council, which runs its Journey Program in 7 school districts, saw a need for training artists in how to present folk art in the classroom. John Eilertsen consulted in two days of workshops with artists that included presentation, curriculum requirements, and NYS required standards in schools.

Storyworks, Sharon Humphries-Brooks (Clinton, NY)—Folklorist Lee-Ellen Marvin consulted with Storyworks in raising community awareness of documentation of traditional arts through narratives, including the indexing, transcribing and storage of interview tapes.

The Museums at Stonybrook, Sarah Battaglia (Stonybrook, NY)—Kathleen Condon consulted with Stonybrook on how to produce folk arts programs in a museum setting.

The Roxbury Arts Group, Nancy Harding (Roxbury, NY)—Mary Barile, a Catskill Mountains food historian, consulted in adding a traditional foods component to the annual Fiddlers Festival.

Finger Lakes Finns, Jean Lindblad (Newfield, NY)—Yvonne Lockwood provided technical assistance for the design/development of a Finnish Heritage Project to revitalize interest in Finnish heritage in the region.

Long Island Traditions, Nancy Solomon (Pt. Washington, NY)—Andrew Hollander, C.P.A., consulted with Long Island Traditions, City Lore, World Music Institute and Hallockville Folklife Center and Museum in optimizing their use of the Quickbooks computer accounting program.

IDEA, City Island School, Rose Rodstrom and Pataricia Hennesey (Bronx, NY)—Nancy Solomon consulted with IDEA to help implement folk arts in education program with public school PS175. This focused on narratives and maritime traditions of the City Island seaport.

Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts, Pamela Cooley (Oneonta, NY)—Mary Zwolinski and Virginia Moseson consulted with Pamela Cooley of the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts in planning and implementing a Folklore Program in Delaware County, New York, which included a feasibility study of hiring a folklorist.

Seneca Iroquois National Museum, Michele Stock (Salamanca, NY)—Mary Adams, an 81-year old master basket weaver, consulted with Michele Stock in the processes of traditional Seneca basket weaving. See report here.

Westchester Arts Council, Marion Jacobson (Brooklyn, NY)—Steve Zeitlin and Amanda Dargan consulted in planning and organizing a Folk Arts Program.

Chinese Theater Workshop, Kwong-Yu Fong (New York, NY)—Accountant Brian Smith consulted on how the organization needs to operate as a viable corporation.

City Lore, Marci Reaven (New York, NY)—Helen Chin and Dr. Rose Reisman consulted with City Lore on marketing their Culture Catalog.

Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission, Rachel Bliven (Canajoharie, NY)—The Commission brought in folklorist Pat Wells to consult on expanding their heritage tourism plans to include traditional and regional folklore and art, which included a workshop and a final written report.

Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural & Sports Centre, Inc., Mary Barile (East Durham, NY)—The Centre consulted with Janis Benincasa on funding strategies for their 1999 Irish Arts Week and Traditional Festival.

The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, Glenda Gustafson (Arkville, NY)—Janis Benincasa and Christine Palmitier responded to a quick response consultancy to help the Catskill Center organize its archived material.

Ellen McHale, folklorist (Buffalo, NY)—Ellen McHale attended the Oral History Conference held in Buffalo, NY, October 15-18, 1998.

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Find out about:

Read Midge Stock’s Report on a NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society Project
Iroquois Basketry Thrives

Mary Adams of Akwesasne Reservation on the New York/Canadian border received a New York Folklore Society mentorship to teach Iroquois basketry to Midge Stock of the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum in Salamanca.
Mohawk split and sweetgrass basket

Mohawk splint and sweetgrass basket from Akwesasne. Photograph courtesy of Traditional Arts of New York.

Mentoring Brochure Download the NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society Brochure (PDF)

SPANISH language version of NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society Guidelines (PDF) available here.

The NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society is made possible with funds from the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Council on the Arts

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