Job Openings at New York Folklore

Photography Summer Internship.

This is a temporary position for a current or recently graduated college student to provide one day of photography portraiture and the resulting editing for approximately 50 photos (10 photos per person photographed).  New York Folklore is committed to assisting folk and traditional artists – those artists who are masters in artforms that are based in heritage and personal identity.  This internship is to provide photographic services to four-five artists over a limited period of time.  The photographs will be incorporated by New York Folklore into marketing and promotional materials for use by participating artists, providing them opportunities to compete in a wider arts marketplace and to help a general public to understand their artforms and cultural backgrounds.

To apply, send a resume’ or statement of qualifications with a cover letter to [email protected]




Ellen McHale 
Executive Director

Laurie Longfield
Gallery, Administration and Publications Manager

Anne Rappaport
Staff Folklorist – Upstate Regional Project

Elinor Levy
Regional Coordinator, Mentoring and Professional Development Program


Edgar Betelu
Folklife Fieldworker – Upstate Regional Project

Ladan Nikravan
Folklife Fieldworker – Upstate Regional Project

Mira Johnson
New York Folk Arts in Education Network Coordinator/ A Shared Position with Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education

Todd DeGarmo 
Editor, Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore

Patti Mason
Associate Editor, Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore


Maria Kennedy, President
Rutgers University, New York Metro Region

Sandra A. M. Bell
JouVay Fest, New York Metro Region

Edward Y.J. Millar
Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, Western New York

Will Walker
SUNY Oneonta, Mohawk Valley

Folklorists sit in a circle one person stands in the middle, leading the conversation

Kay Turner, Vice President
Independent Folklorist, New York Metro Region

Evelyn D’Agostino-Sasso
Xerox Corporation, Finger Lakes

Photo of Nada standing in front of artwork

Nada Odeh
Independent Artist, Central New York

Tom vanBuren

Tom van Buren, Past President
Independent Folklorist, Hudson Valley

Photo of Nada standing in front of artwork

Vicie Rolling
Framing the Past Storytelling, Southern Tier

Folklorists sit in a circle one person stands in the middle, leading the conversation

James Hall, Treasurer
Rochester Institute of Technology, Finger Lakes

Mackenzie Kwok
Citylore, New York Metro Region

Photo of Nada standing in front of artwork

Aaron Paige
Arts Westchester, Hudson Valley

Folklorists sit in a circle one person stands in the middle, leading the conversation

Mira Johnson, Secretary
Bronx Community College/Local Learning, Hudson Valley

Wilfredo Morel
Sun River Health Care, Hudson Valley

Ellen McHale

Executive Director

Ph.D. and M.A. in Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania 

B.A. Music and American Studies, Wesleyan University 

Ellen McHale has served as the CEO of New York Folklore, since 1999, including the role of managing editor of “Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore,” working with the New York Folklore Board of Directors, communicating with funders and potential donors and funders, and serving as spokesperson for the organization.

Prior to her work at New York Folklore, Ellen McHale worked as a public sector folklorist in several locations in New York State. She initiated folk arts programs at Arts Mid-Hudson and the Arts Center for the Capital District, and served as a consulting folklorist for many cultural organizations. Ellen served as Executive Director of the Shaker Heritage Society and later as the Director of the Schoharie County Historical Society. 

A scholar, Ellen has conducted fieldwork and written about the occupational life and lore of workers at Thoroughbred Racetracks in the United State, (Stable Views: Voices and Stories of the Thoroughbred Racetrack, Mississippi Press, 2014).  Her other research interests include responses to climate change and flooding caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, refugee and immigrant inclusion and adaptation, and the intersection of culture and the environment.  She is a Fulbright Fellow (Sweden/Senior Fellow) and was awarded an Archie Green Fellowship from the Library of Congress in 2012.   She has served as an adjunct for Utica College, Empire State College, and Hudson Valley Community College.

Ellen McHale currently serves on the Executive Boards of the American Folklore Society, and Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts Education. She serves as a trainer for the Veteran’s History Project of the Library of Congress.  She also serves as an elected town board member for the Town of Charleston, Montgomery County, NY.


Anne Rappaport

Staff Folklorist

B.A. State University of New York at Potsdam
M.A. Folk Studies, Western Kentucky University

Staff folklorist, Anne Rappaport, holds a Master’s degree in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University.  Currently working to document Mohawk Valley traditions, Anne’s research interest includes food and food heritage.



Elinor Levy

Regional Coordinator, Mentoring and Professional Development Program

Ph.D. in Folklore, Indiana University

M.A. in Anthropology, California State University

B.A. in Performing Arts Management, University of California

Elinor Levy, Ph.D. was raised in a family dedicated to art patronage in Oakland, CA. She earned a bachelor’s in Performing Arts Management, a self-designed major, at University of California, Riverside and worked briefly in the field in San Francisco. In 1995 she received her master’s in anthropology from California State University, Sacramento after completing a thesis on Vietnam Veterans Memorials as religious shrines. Following the advice of her mentors, who thought she was too funny for anthropology, she pursued a doctorate in folklore at Indiana University, Bloomington which she completed in 2003. Her dissertation focused on the use of folklore in collaborative methodologies using Habitat for Humanity as a case study.

Elinor has bounced around the country from California to Indiana, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and now New York. Previously, she worked in Las Vegas as the folklorist for Clark County Parks and Recreation and as executive director of the Northwest Jersey Folklife Project. She loves working in the culturally rich Mid-Hudson Valley.

Elinor is a folk artist in her own right as a third generation knitter on her mother’s side. She has added spinning her own yarn to her skills and looks forward each year to helping a friend shear a small flock of Jacob sheep.


Edgar Betelu


Edgar Betelu has over 25 years of experience as a public sector folklorist in New York State.  A native of Argentina, he is a record producer and owner of Sunnyside/Circular Moves, a music label that produces world music and jazz recordings. Edgar is currently conducting fieldwork in the Capital District and Hudson Valley for the Upstate Regional Project.

Mira Johnson

New York Folk Arts in Education Network Coordinator

Mira Johnson, D. Ed., is the New York Folklore and Education Network Coordinator–a joint position of Local Learning and New York Folklore. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at Bronx Community College in the English Department and the First Year Seminar Program. She holds a doctorate in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning from Penn State University and an M.A. in folklore from the University of Oregon. As a regional culture specialist for Pennsylvania’s state folklife program she conducted fieldwork with rural and urban folk artists and tradition bearers, and served as the program coordinator at FolkArtPA, Pennsylvania’s statewide folklife program. She later served as the Folk Arts and Education Coordinator at the Pelham Arts Center in Pelham, New York, where she oversaw the folk art performance and workshop series and worked to integrate folk art education into the center’s studio art curriculum. She is currently board member and board secretary in the New York Folklore Society. Her research addresses the role of traditional knowledge and ecological relationships in community-based education, as well as regional belief practices.

Laurie Longfield

Gallery,  Administration and Publications Manager

A.S. in Advertising Design & Production

Laurie was born and raised in Schenectady, New York, and has also lived in Seattle, Washington, New York City, Brooklyn, Colorado, and Burbank, California. Laurie joined NYF in 2009, bringing with her years of experience in the arts, banking and finance. Laurie is Manager of the Gallery of New York Folk Art and enjoys working with the gallery folk artists. She coordinates the gallery inventory and maintains artists’ records in that capacity. Laurie is also the Administrative Manager, tracking membership activity, and the administration of Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore. Before she joined NYF, Laurie worked at EF Hutton, European American Bank, and Manufacturers Hanover Trust on Wall Street, as well as the Aspen Art Museum and Chase Manhattan Bank in Colorado. She has extensive experience as a manager and human resources liaison. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking (and has had several recipes published, most notably in the Seattle (WA) Times, and the Vidalia Onion Cookbook), and visiting her family in New York City and New England. Laurie is a licensed New York State Notary Public and is Secretary of the Jay Street Business Association.


Todd DeGarmo

Editor and Chair, Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore

A.B.D. American Studies with an emphasis on Folklife Studies, George Washington University

M.A. in Anthropology, and Archives coursework, SUNY Albany 

B.A., Colgate University

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 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 and as a Folk Arts panel member to the New York State Council on the Arts, is an advisor to the Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services for New York, and has provided professional services to many organizations throughout 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.