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.


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!


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.

Applicants for Mentorship and Professional Development support are required to first contact New York Folklore to discuss the proposed application.

Program Components


Consultancies support mentors’ providing technical or other professional assistance to individuals or organizations engaged in or planning folk arts programming. Consultancies can be one or two day immersive experiences or can be staged over a longer period of time to support multiple mentoring meetings that provide continuing technical assistance for ongoing processes and projects in folklife and folk arts programming. Generally, consultancies will not exceed 5 days or $1,800, including consulting and travel.

The standard compensation rate for the mentor is $300/day plus travel (total award not to exceed 3 days or $1,200, including consulting and travel). All applications are received on a rolling basis throughout the year; the ordinary turnaround after review is 3 – 6 weeks.


Opportunities for master folk artists to mentor or advise other folk artists on an aspect of their shared traditional art are designed to provide for initial or short-term contacts only, and can include time with the mentor as well as travel. Opportunities in this category are limited and must be for a specific skill. Support for apprenticeships is only provided directly by the New York State Council on the Arts to eligible organizations applying on behalf of the artist or apprentice. Compensation is provided at the same level as other consultancies.


Support is provided for travel within the state or region to attend conferences and meetings, observe exemplary programs, and interact with colleagues/mentors for specific professional development purposes. Travel and/or registration fees are the only costs eligible for support. Funding generally does not exceed $400.00. Only one application by a folklore professional per year is eligible for support in this category.

Contact NYF for more information about the Mentoring and Professional Development Program!


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