A partnership with the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts provides professional development opportunities for organizations and individuals. Since 1991, New York Folklore has worked in partnership with the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts to provide targeted technical assistance to the field of folk and traditional arts in New York State. This partnership has manifested itself in various forms, including jointly held workshops and trainings, targeted assistance for organizational capacity building, documentation initiatives, and meetings and convenings for folklorists to explore topics of relevance to current folklore practice.

NYSCA Partnership Projects with New York Folklore are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


Folklife and traditional arts programming requires professional knowledge and technical skills in many areas, including fieldwork, artist self-management, marketing and promotion, concert production, interpretation and presenting, editing, graphic design, exhibition, planning, documentation, archives, and organizational management. The Mentoring and Professional Development Program provides free technical assistance for organizations and individuals. It provides opportunities for organizations and individuals engaged in or planning folklife and traditional arts programs in New York State to receive mentoring from consultants who are working professionals in folklife and related fields, mentoring from a traditional artist, and travel support for professional development exchanges.

Through this program, folklorists and other folklife program staff, folk artists, and leaders of community-based cultural organizations learn professional and technical practices, contributing to the development of the folklife field. Please note that Mentoring and Professional Development support is only for technical assistance, artist mentoring (not apprenticeships) and professional development support and not for project grants or activities that would be eligible for funding by the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). For more information, see the NYSCA Folk Arts guidelines.

View the Mentoring Program Guidelines here.


The New York State Folk Arts Roundtable is an annual convening for the public folk arts field in New York State. Annually, approximately forty-five folklorists and community scholars are invited to gather for three days of professional development workshops and presentations about issues and practices. 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.

The New York State Folk Arts Roundtable occurs each Spring, moving to a different location every year or two,and is supported by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. The Roundtable includes events designed to introduce participants to the local community and to discuss heritage issues of concern to community members.


The NYSCA-New York Folklore Upstate Regional Initiative is a NYSCA Folk Arts Initiative to provide folklife documentation and programming initiatives in areas that are under-served by the folk arts program of the New York State Council on the Arts.

The first year of the program, 2016, focused upon nine counties in New York’s Southern Tier, South Central, and Western New York and provided folklife documentation and programming in collaboration with the Cattaraugus Arts Council, Auburn Civic Theater, and the Tompkins County Council on the Arts.

Year two of the initiative focused Upstate Regional Folklorist, Hannah Davis’s, work on Binghamton and surrounding Broome County, as well as the City of Rochester. Programming took place at the Discovery Center of the Southern Tier, the Bundy Museum (Binghamton), and the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

In 2018, the project concentration was on the Mohawk Valley communities of Rome and Utica, with programming at the Rome Cultural Center and the Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute.

The fourth phase of the project took place in Chenango, Madison, and Cortland Counties in 2019, through the work of folklorists Beth Bevars and Iryna Voloshyna.  Programming took place at the Earlville Opera House.

Year Five finds New York Folklore in Albany and Rennselaer Counties.  Fieldworkers for the project are Ladan Alomar, Edgar Betelu, and Anne Rappaport.  Intern and ethnomusicology Ph.D. candidate, Reyers Brusoe, also contributed his expertise.The project culminated in the Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival, held at Albany’s Washington Park Lake House in October 2021.  It also generated several apprenticeship opportunities for participating artists.

The 2021 Upstate Regional Initiative continues work in the Mohawk Valley, with southern Herkimer, Fulton, Southern Hamilton, and Oswego as its focus.  Anne Rappaport is the folklorist working in this region. 


The NYSCA Folklore Graduate Student Folk Arts Internship provides opportunities for graduate students in folklore to learn first-hand about public folk arts programming and field research while completing a project that will benefit both the host organization and the folklorist. This program, involving mentoring by a senior level folklorist within a cultural agency, has introduced many public folklorists now employed in the field to the challenges and opportunities of working within the public sector. For a participating folk arts program within an organization, the internship provides an opportunity to interact with students immersed in the latest folklore scholarship at the graduate level.

Internships are of eight to ten week duration and typically take place within the summer months (June through August). Applications for host organizations are available in January. After an internship site is chosen, applications are accepted in February and early March from qualified folklore graduate students or folklorists who have completed their graduate studies within the past two years (February/March). For information, or to receive an application, please contact New York Folklore!