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 making lacemaking a mandalaplaying mandolin
What We Do

We value the rights and needs of all New Yorkers to express and practice their artistic and cultural traditions. We fulfill our mission through our Mentoring and Professional Development Program, through our Community Cultural Documentation programming, and through our many and varied conferences and gatherings.

Support the New York Folklore Society

Programs & Services
Mary Adams, Iroquois basketmakerMentor Mary Adams, Iroquois basketmaker The Mentoring and Professional Development Program for Folklife and the Traditional Arts—With funding from the New York State Council on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, we offer people and organizations engaged in or planning folklife and traditional arts programs to work with work with consultants who offer expertise in the needed area. Read more.

Conferences & Symposia—Since its beginnings, NYFS has sponsored at last one conference a year, exploring the folklore and folk culture of the host region. In 2010”2011, the Society embarked on a new conference format: a graduate student conference which showcases student work. The 2013 Annual Conference was in White Plains, NY, on March 2013, in collaboration with ArtsWestchester and Long Island Traditions and focus on Occupational Folklore. In 2014, the New York Folklore Society collaborated with the Children’s Folklore Review of the American Folklore Society and The Strong National Museum of Play to present a conference on the folklore of play. “Crisis of Place: Preserving Folk & Vernacular Architecture in New York” is the 2016 annual conference, coming to Cooper Union in New York City on April 2, 2016. Issue-based gatherings such as Low Bridge: Music of the Erie Canal (2012) and the Embroiderers’ Gathering (2011) bring together traditional artists, educators, and the general public for fun and educational events. Read more.

Hungarian dancersDancers at Hungarian Trilogy Dance event Community Programming—Community programming events celebrate the diverse cultures and history of New York State’s peoples. From The Schenectady Cultural Documentation Project to the Latino Dance Summit, the New York Folklore Society provides outreach to artists, educators, cultural workers, and tradition bearers. Read more.

Archival Services—Since 1991, with grants from the NYS Documentary Heritage Program, the NYFS has been addressing the problems facing important collections of folklore and folk arts documentation that exist in organizations large and small throughout the state. We expanded our technical assistance to include direct support for folklore collections and archives by archivists, who consult and assist in processing folklore collections throughout the state. Read more.

Advocacy—The New York Folklore Society plays a leading role in advocating for sympathetic and informed attention to issues and concerns related to folk arts, and the arts in general, on the part of the state legislature, the federal government, and other entities whose policies affect the welfare of the field. Read more.

Folk Arts Roundtable—The New York State Folk Arts Roundtable, a professional development opportunity, was initiated by the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, and for several years was organized with the assistance of the Cultural Resources Council of Syracuse and Onondaga County. In 2011, the New York Folklore Society became the convening organization for the New York State Folk Arts Roundtable. Read more.

Folk Arts Education—The New York Folklore Society has supported folk arts education through workshops, projects, and course development in conjunction with Empire State College designed for students interested in non-profit community arts and folk arts programming and for those involved documenting the culture and tradition of their local community. Read more.
Traditional artist Andes Manta
Tradtional Artist Andes Manta

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, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

NYS Council on the Arts

STABLE VIEWS—A moving revelation of the many essential workers and their lives on the backside of horse racing

Stable Views offers an inside look at the thoroughbred racing industry through the words and perspectives of those who labor within its stables. In more than 14 years of field research, NYFS Director Ellen E. McHale traveled throughout the Eastern Seaboard, Kentucky, and Louisiana to gather oral narratives from those most intimately involved with racing: the stable workers, exercise riders, and horse trainers who form the backbone of the industry. She interviewed workers at Saratoga, Belmont, Tampa Bay Downs, Keeneland, the Evangeline Training Center in Louisiana, and the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida.

160 pages (approx.), 8 x 8 inches, 45 color photographs, bibliography, index

Photo by Ben Halpern
Photo by Benjamin Halpern. See Voices 38:1–2: “Sullivan County’s Diehl Homestead Farm
Farm and Field: The Rural Folk Arts of the Catskill Region
Photography by Benjamin Halpern

Through April 2016
Daniel Pierce Library
328 Main Street, Box 268
Grahamsville, NY 12740
(845) 985-7233

“Farm and Field: The Rural Folk Arts of the Catskill Region” is one of New York Folklore Society’s collaborative initiatives to document and showcase the rural folk arts of the Catskills region of New York State, especially those folk arts which relate to the community of farmers and agricultural workers in this region. Read more....

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