NYFS logo           tagline
 Pinto Guira making guiramaking lacemaking a mandalaplaying mandolin
The New York Folklore Society
celebrates the extraordinary in
everyday life, bringing focus
to traditions of our state’s
diverse peoples.

NYFS fosters the study, promotion, and continuation of folklore and folklife of New York’s diverse cultures through education, advocacy, support, and outreach.

Refugees enrich our communities with their skills, dreams, and aspirations. NYFS supports continued resettlement in the US.



Shop the Gallery for your
Holiday Gifts!

Featured Artist of the Week:

A master storyteller, Jonathan grew up on tall tales and day dreams. Jonathan was selected “Best Storyteller in the Hudson Valley” by Hudson Valley Magazine. He enchants children every year at hundreds of schools, libraries, historic sites, and festivals performing finger fables, story theater, and New York lore.

Jonathan Kruk has a way with the spoken word, the telling gesture, the sprinkling of humor and the appropriate costume for a smorgasbord of stories.” —The New York Times, March 23, 2003

Santa on the Hudson CD—Stories of the Christmas Spirit as told by Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk/Music by Matt Noble $15

Rip Van Winkle CD—A dramatic reading by master storyteller Jonathan Kruk $15

Gallery of New York Artists at
the New York Folklore Society

129 Jay Street, Schenectady, NY 12305

Holiday Hours: Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.,
Sun 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Open til 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 21
(Downtown Holiday Parade) and
Open Mondays: Nov. 30 through Dec. 21

NYFS Director Ellen McHale
Visits China...
Read more here.

Ellen in China



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Ask the New York Folklore
Society about opportunities
for Mentoring and
Professional Development


Join Ellen McHale for a book signing on November 28,
from 12:00–2:00 p.m. in the Gallery of the New York Folklore Society, 129 Jay St, Schenectady, New York 12305

stableviews-bk-300 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

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


Traditional Arts in Upstate New York logo
      Now at TAUNY
      Traditional Arts in Upstate New York
      53 Main Street, Canton, NY 13617 (315) 386-4289

Stable Views: Life in the Backstretch of Thoroughbred Racetracks
Many North Country residents have enjoyed a day at the Saratoga racetrack, where the spectacle is the excitement of the race and the fancy dress of the spectators. Folklorist Ellen McHale has spent years behind the scenes at the Saratoga and Belmont racetracks, getting to know the workers who care for the horses, out of the public’s sight. What she found was a tight-knit community, whose love for the animals in their care is the basis for a rich occupational culture. That research is the subject of an exhibit now on display at The TAUNY Center. The exhibit consists of photos, quotes from the workers featured presented in English and Spanish, and artifacts from the backstretch.

The exhibit will remain on display July through early November. Curator and NYFS Director Ellen McHale will be at TAUNY on December 5 to sign books.


Visit the Gallery of New York Artists
at the New York Folklore Society

New York Folklore Society


129 Jay Street
Schenectady, NY
Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Buy local!
Shop Small Business Saturday
November 28, 10:00–4:00 p.m.
New York Traditions On-line

Folk art, CDs, books, handmade gifts! Find that unique gift for someone special!

slideshow of gallery gifts




ArtsWestchester will host a


with Eileen Condon
New York Folklore Society Representative

When:Monday, November 16th, 2015
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where:ArtsWestchester, Main Gallery
31 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10601

Call 914-428-4220 x 329 for more information,
or visit artswestchester.org/events/folk-artist-mentorship-grant-information-session/

Calling all folk artists and folk arts professionals: New York Folklore Society Mentoring and Professional Development monetary awards are there for you—all year round on a rolling deadline. READ MORE...

The New York Folklore Society announces its
2016 Conference!

Photo by Ellen McHale

Crisis of Place: Preserving Folk and Vernacular Architecture in New York

Saturday, April 2, 2016
At Cooper Union in New York City

In this one-day conference, folklorists, architects, historic preservationists, museum professionals, community members, and students will come together to address questions concerning the significant crisis in our understanding of everyday landscapes and the built environment:
  • What is the folk and vernacular architecture of New York State? What makes it “folk” or “vernacular?”

  • How are the conditions of urban and rural life in 2016 challenging traditional architectural practices among various ethnic and regional communities?

  • Who is sustaining vernacular design and construction in the face of globalization and gentrification, and why?
Join us for an invigorating discussion in plenary and panel presentations featuring Michael Ann Williams (President, American Folklore Society and Professor of Folklore, Western Kentucky University); Annie Polland (Senior Vice President, Education & Programs, Lower East Side Tenement Museum); Cynthia Falk (Associate Professor of Material Culture, The Cooperstown Graduate Program); Molly Garfinkel (Director, Place Matters/City Lore); Nancy Solomon (Director, Long Island Traditions); Joseph Sciorra (Director of Academic and Cultural Programs, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College); graduate students specializing in folk and vernacular architecture, and many more!!

Watch this space or call 518.346.7008 for more details!

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NYS Council on the Arts
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. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, The William Gundry Broughton Charitable Trust, The Arthur Z. Solomon Charitable Trust, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, New York Council on the Humanities, Stewarts’ Corporation, IBM Corporation, the Community Loan Fund of the Greater Capital Region, the Rotary Club of Schenectady, and Schenectady County Initiative Program.

© 2015, 2014–1998 New York Folklore Society. Last updated November 23, 2015

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