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The New York Folk Arts Roundtable provides a professional development opportunity for those working in the field of folk and traditional arts.

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New York State Folk Arts Roundtable

Originated by the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Folk Arts Roundtable is over 25 years old and provides a professional development opportunity for those working in the field of folk and traditional arts. For several years, the roundtable 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.

Annually, approximately 45 folklorists and community scholars are invited to gather for three days of training and discussion of issues relevant to the work of folklorists and traditional arts advocates. Everyone attending the Roundtable actively participates through discussing their own experiences with folk arts programming, and by attending sessions of general interest to the folk arts field. New program ideas and collaborative projects often develop out of discussions and experiences at the Roundtable.

2015 FOLK ARTS ROUNDTABLE May 27–29, Troy, NY

It’s been but six months since we last Roundtabled, but we’re swinging back to the familiar late spring cycle for the 30th Annual New York State Folk Arts Roundtable, Wednesday, May 27–Friday, May 29. The 2015 Roundtable will be held at four venues in Troy, and we will again be lodging at the comfy Best Western Franklin Square Inn, overlooking the lordly Hudson, and just steps away from the teeming heart of downtown Troy on One Fourth Street.

We will participate in Part Two of the Video Workshop begun at the Roundtable in December, “What Do You Do With It?”, which will deal with the basics of editing and preparing video for presentation through video productions which could be potentially used in web sites, social media and public screenings.

The New York Folklore Society will discuss their new initiatives, projects and services, and we’ll have an update on the New York State Council on the Arts and its Folk Arts Program. There will also be a presentation about the statewide project to train year-round folk arts programs to digitize their documentation, edit this material, and prepare it in a form suitable for the internet and social media.

Once again all Roundtablers will participate in small group roundtable discussions. The topics which had the highest ratings in our survey for first or second choice include: Directions in Regional and County Folk Arts Programs, Performing Folk Arts Programming, Marketing and Promotion, Community Collaborations, Archiving, and Organizational Succession.

F. Javier Torres, Director of National Grantmaking for ArtPlace America, will give a presentation on creative placemaking.

Please call the New York Folklore Society at (518) 346-7008 or send an email to Laurie Longfield at llongfield@nyfolklore.org, for further information.

2014 FOLK ARTS ROUNDTABLE December 2–4, Troy, NY
The 2014 Folk Arts Roundtable (our 29th!) was held December 2-4, in Troy, NY, and featured a workshop on video documentation, as well as opportunities for all in the field to discuss current projects and future plans. Thanks to the Sanctuary for Independent Media and the Arts Center of the Capital Region, and all who attended. See program.

2013 Roundtable

SEE PHOTOS from the 2013 Roundtable

Robert Baron bobble head doll
Bobble Head Doll of NYSCA Folk Arts Director, Robert Baron, displayed by Emily Socolov.


Mid-Atlantic Folklorists’ Retreat and New York Folk Arts Roundtable
“Sustaining Culture: A Regional Conversation”
Saratoga Springs, New York
May 23–25, 2012
“Sustaining Culture: A Regional Conversation,” brought together folk and traditional arts practitioners, professionals and enthusiasts from the mid-Atlantic region and New England. The meeting included professional development workshops, a conversation with local cultural activists, documentary film screening, and field trips, along with the opportunity to meet informally with peers. Public sector and academic folklorists, community scholars, tradition bearers, students, and others interested in traditional culture were welcome to attend.

The Retreat was a project of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the Folk Arts Program, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, New York Folklore Society, and Folklorists in New England. For more information, contact Sally Van de Water, Program Associate, Folk & Traditional Arts at 410/539-6656 x 107 or sally@midatlanticarts.org.Mid-Atlantic Arts Folklorists

In 2012, the Roundtable was planned in conjunction with two other affinity groups: the Mid-Atlantic Folklore Association and the Folklorists in New England (FINE), expanding the attendance to number in attendance to approximately 80 individuals and including folklorists from as far away as Washington, DC, and Maine. Focused on a theme of sustainability, the group spent one day exploring southern Washington County and its use of traditional arts and agriculture to sustain the local economy. The New York Folklore Society is especially appreciative of Sally van de Water of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation for her work as co-chair of the event, for Todd DeGarmo’s organizing the day in Washington County, and of Empire State College and Hubbard Hall in Cambridge for providing additional meeting venues.

Besides professional development opportunities, the New York Folklore Society hosted a charity auction of donated art and publications. A highlight of the 2012 Roundtable Auction was the addition of custom-made bobble head dolls by Eileen Condon which featured noted New York State folklorists.

READ Todd DeGarmo’s article, “Local Sustainability in the Battenkill Valley”: Focus of Folklorist Retreat in Washington County, in Voices, 38-1-2.

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