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 Pinto Guira making guiramaking lacemaking a mandala

[We] have a stake in culture and its future, in the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences, and in world understanding; if we don’t make ourselves heard and felt in the councils of cultural strategy, then we (and mankind) will be losers.
—Benjamin Botkin, New York Folklore Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 2 (1952)

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NYFS Staff

Ellen McHale. Photo by Ben McKeeby, 2015Ellen McHale, Executive Director
Ellen holds a PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. A native New Yorker, she has worked for the last 17 years as a consulting folklorist in many areas of upstate New York and western Massachusetts. Before taking the position as executive director of New York Folklore Society, Ellen held posts as director of the Schoharie County Historical Society/Old Stone Fort Museum (1990–1994), director of the Shaker Heritage Society (1986–1987), and assistant director of the Folklife Center of the International House of Philadelphia (1983–1985). A Fulbright Scholar, she received a Senior Fellowship to lecture at the Institute for Folklife Studies (Institutet for folklivsforskning) at the University of Stockholm, Sweden, from 1988–1989 and has taught folklore courses at the university level for Empire State College and for Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York. She has published numerous scholarly articles and programmatic pieces about her folklore scholarship.

Ellen McHale is no stranger to the New York Folklore Society, having served on the Board of NYFS from 1987 to 1997, with a term as president from 1993–1996. Actively involved with the Society’s archives project from its inception, she was a major contributor to the New York Folklore Society’s publication, Working with Folk Materials in New York State.

marcia mossMarcia Harrison Moss, Development Director
Marcia comes to NYFS with more than 25 years of museum and non-profit experience. Most recently, she served as executive director for the Saratoga Automobile Museum. While there, she organized a major exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang and coordinated a facility refurbishment. Previously, she was director of development for The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, where her accomplishments included leading the fundraising campaign for the groundbreaking exhibition and catalogue, “Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George.” During her 20-year tenure at the Albany Institute of History & Art, she held a variety of senior development, marketing, and management positions, including deputy director for external relations; in this role, she directed the development, marketing, and visitor services staff of the museum and additionally served as principal grant writer, chief communications and marketing officer, and primary events coordinator. She has been active in the museum field on the regional, state, and national levels, including service on funding panels for the New York State Council on the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and on the boards of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums.

From 2008–10, Moss was development officer for SUNY Press, the scholarly publisher for the State University of New York. Among her responsibilities in this position was a statewide outreach initiative to develop publishing partnerships with museums, non-profit, and academic organizations. Her efforts resulted in projects with a variety of institutions including the Fernand Braudel Center at Binghamton University, the Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology at the University at Buffalo, the Iroquois Indian Museum, Mount Ida Press, the New York State Capital Commission, and the Rensselaer County Historical Society. A resident of downtown Albany, Moss is currently on the boards of Historic Albany Foundation and the Washington Park Conservancy. She holds a BA in History from Michigan State University.

Eileen CondonEileen Condon, New York City Regional Representative
The New York Folklore Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Eileen Condon has been hired in a consulting role to manage the NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society as the Society’s New York City Regional Representative. Eileen holds a PhD in Folklore from the University of Newfoundland and is a resident of Queens. Prior to her appointment as New York City Regional Representative, Eileen served as the Acquisitions Editor for Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore, (2008–2012) and was a consultant for the NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society. In her new role as New York City Regional Representative, Eileen Condon will serve as the primary contact for New York Metropolitan region requests for the NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society Exchanges. She is available to speak to your group regarding the NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society guidelines and the application process. For further information, please contact Eileen Condon at Eileen Condon, or at (347) 205-0053. For program specifics, visit the NYSCA Mentoring and Professional Development for the Traditional Arts – A Partnership with the New York Folklore Society pages.

Hannah DavisHannah Davis, Upstate New York Regional Representative for Folk Arts
The New York Folklore Society, in collaboration with the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, is pleased to announce that Hannah C. Davis is serving as the Upstate New York Regional Representative for Folk Arts. A native of Noblesville, Indiana, Hannah holds a BA in Folklore and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University and an MA in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University. Previously, Hannah worked as a program coordinator for Traditional Arts Indiana, and as an intern for the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the American Folklore Society. As the Upstate Regional Representative, Hannah is carrying out field research on traditional music, dance, material culture, occupational traditions, narrative, occupational folklife, and other customary practices and identify traditions and folk artists. Her service area includes the southwestern counties of Allegany, Chatauqua and Cattaraugus, and a large portion of Central New York (Tompkins, Cayuga, Seneca, Yates, Wayne, Ontario). The New York Folklore Society is partnering with the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts for this important new position. With her assistance, NYFS hopes to better serve all of New York. Please give us a call at 518.346.7008 or email us if you’d like additional information, or if you know of an artist or cultural tradition that should be documented.

Todd DeGarmoTodd DeGarmo, Acquisitions Editor for Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore.
Beginning with the Spring-Summer 2012 issue, Todd DeGarmo assumed the position as acquisitions editor for Voices. Todd DeGarmo is the founding director of the Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, New York, an award-winning program known for its research collections, gallery exhibits, and innovative public programming that showcase the cultural traditions of the lower Adirondacks and upper Hudson valley. Todd cut his professional teeth in folklife studies with the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife, came back to eastern upstate New York in the mid-1980s, and has been active in public sector folklore ever since. He has a BA from Colgate University, MA in anthropology and archives coursework from SUNY-Albany, and ABD. in American Studies (with an emphasis on Folklife Studies) from George Washington University. He has taught a variety of courses to various students, including corporate Tokyo, Skidmore and Empire State Colleges, Massachusetts Audubon, and BOCES Gifted and Talented. He has served as President of the New York Folklore Society, is an advisor to the Capital District Library Council’s Documentary Heritage Program, a Folk Arts panel member to the New York State Council on the Arts, and has provided professional services to many organizations in the Northeast. Todd grew up in the mid-Hudson valley (rural Dutchess County) with family ties to his father’s family farm in Saratoga County, and his mother’s homeplace on the north shore of Long Island. He currently lives a stone’s throw from the Batten Kill in Washington County, near the Vermont border with his wife, three children, and assorted animals.

Laurie Longfield, Gallery and Administration
Laurie Longfield was born and raised in Schenectady, New York, and has lived in many areas of the US, from Seattle, Washington, to New York City and Brooklyn, to Burbank, California. Laurie has worked in the arts and banking and finance for most of her business career, having worked at EF Hutton, European American Bank, and Manufacturers Hanover Trust on Wall Street, and at Chase Manhattan Bank and the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado. She has an associate degree in Advertising Design and Production. At NYFS, Laurie is the gallery manager, coordinating the gallery inventory and maintaining artist records and fulfilling web-based sales. She also processes and records membership activity and maintains the membership database. She is the administrative manager for Voices, and works very closely with executive director Ellen McHale on the administration of various projects, such as the CD Club, Voices of New York, and Dr. McHale’s and Dr. Elizabeth Tucker’s book, New York State Folklife: A Reader. Laurie is a licensed New York State Notary Public.

patti-180Patti Mason, Voices Copy Editor and Website Administrator
Patti Mason joined the New York Folklore Society staff in 1997, working in the Ithaca office through May 1999. She has developed and maintained the Society’s website since 1998, including the management of the online store, statewide activities calendar, and digital publication archives. She assumed copy editing responsibilities for Voices in 2012. She has worked as a typesetter, a laboratory technician, a registered dietitian, a database manager for a commodity trading advisory firm, a processor of university research proposals, and a substitute teacher and school librarian. She holds BS degrees in Biochemistry and in Nutrition from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin, respectively. At Cornell University, she had the pleasure of studying cultural history and literature, including classes taught by her favorite professors, Dr. Michael Steinberg and Dr. Daniel R. Schwarz. She continues to assist Dr. David Sahn in the Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program with editing projects, including the recent volume The Fight against Hunger and Malnutrition: The Role of Food, Agriculture, and Targeted Policies (Oxford University Press, 2015), and with website development.

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