Capital Region Artists Receive Community Grants

Capital Region Artists Receive Community Grants

Congratulations to New York Folklore-supported artists who received a Statewide Community Regrant (SCR). These grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, are distributed by community arts partners. In the Capital Region, we are happy to work with the Arts Center of Capital Region.

At a ceremony at the Arts Center, seven folk and traditional artists accepted a combined total of $16,000. The grants will fund workshops, demonstrations, and performances for each artist in their communities and the general public.

Artists worked with New York Folklore’s Edgar Betelu to complete grant applications at the end of 2021. New York Folklore had identified these talented traditional artists as part of the 2021 Upstate Regional Project.

Congratulations to:

Pinya Aung, Karen Harpist

Ehsue Klay Aung, Karen Dancer

Latifa Ali Mohammad, Afghan Embroidery

Jordan Taylor Hill, African Drumming and Dance

Seth Tagoe Traore, Ghanian Drumming and Dance

Shaman Raphel, Pakistani  Harmonium and Singing

Aurelius John, Pakistani Percussion and Flute

 

 

2022 Folk Arts Graduate Internship Program Announced

2022 Folk Arts Graduate Internship Program Announced

Applications are now being accepted for this paid opportunity, supported through the Internship program of New York Folklore and the New York State Council on the Arts. The 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 intern.

Any student enrolled in a masters or doctoral graduate folklore program may apply. Folklorists who graduated from a graduate folklore program in the past two years may also apply.

Interns will be expected to undertake a special project linked to their learning program for graduate study which will also benefit the host organization. This year one internship is available, to be hosted by GLOW Traditions, located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. GLOW Traditions is a shared program with the Arts Council for Wyoming County, the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts, and the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council which is directed by Karen Canning. GLOW Traditions is located in a predominantly rural area of western New York between Rochester and Buffalo, with a service area encompassing around 2200 square miles.
The duration of this internship is 8 weeks, 30-35 hours per week. It will occur from late May through August, 2022.

How to Apply: 

A driver’s license and use of an automobile is required. A dedicated office at the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts in Mt. Morris, NY will be made available for the intern. Karen Canning will assist in securing housing in a centralized location, possibly in Geneseo, NY. A stipend of $5000 will be provided to the intern.
To apply, submit a resume’ or CV and a letter describing the potential benefits of the internship for the applicant’s career goals as a public folklorist. For current graduate students, please reflect on the internship’s relationship to your graduate learning program. The application letter should also indicate how previous experiences in programming, field research and/or administration would contribute to the organization hosting the internship. Following the internship, the intern and the host organization are both required to submit a report evaluating the internship.

Applications must be received by midnight on Sunday, March 13th and decisions about the successful candidates will be made by March 28. Applications must be submitted electronically to Laurie Longfield at New York Folklore [email protected] (please do not contact GLOW Traditions for information about these internships). Additional information can be obtained by contacting Ellen McHale, Executive Director of New York Folklore, [email protected]

Internship Description

Stories That Cook: Art, Memories and Recipes

This is a two-year project, recently funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, that will include a series of arts workshops, an exhibit, and a cookbook created by artists, farmworkers and their families in western New York. It is a collaboration between GLOW Traditions and another GVCA program, Creative Artists Migrant Program Service (CAMPS). CAMPS was founded in 1975 at the Geneseo Migrant Center, with a mission to offer free art workshops to migrant farmworkers and families in Western New York, who are currently predominantly Hispanic. GLOW Traditions has consistently worked with these communities for more than 15 years to document and present traditional arts, music, dance, foodways, and celebrations such as the Día de Muertos and Tres Reyes. This project will spotlight and honor the rich cultural gifts that reside in our agricultural community, from generational farm families to newer farmworkers, and celebrate points of connection among diverse cultures in the region. The intern will assist GLOW Traditions staff with interviews of farmers and farmworkers to gather foodways and family histories, and work with ongoing data entry of recipes and contextual materials for the book preparation.

A history of GLOW Traditions:

The folk arts program was established in 1985, one of the first in New York state. Dr. Bruce Buckley, a noted scholar and folklorist who had retired from the folklore program at Cooperstown/SUNY Oneonta, came to Wyoming County and began his second career in public folk arts documentation and programming. His work forms the basis of our archive of traditional arts, which contains interviews and slides of more than 200 artisans in our region from 1985 to the present day. Folklorist Kathy Kimiciek led the program from 1988-1990, and in 1996 Karen Canning became the staff folklorist for the region encompassing Wyoming, Livingston, Genesee and Orleans (GLOW) Counties. In 2013, the program was officially renamed, GLOW Traditions, to further emphasize the connection between partnering arts councils in surrounding counties: ACWC, Livingston Arts and the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

Artist Spotlight: Efthimios (Altin) Stoja

Efthimios (Altin) Stoja is an Albanian and Greek artist and iconographer. Ancient frescoes decorating the church walls in his father’s village in Albania first inspired his love of art. Altin trained in the Byzantine/ Macedonian style iconography under master artist Tsuni Spilio in Nea Makri, Greece, before opening his own studio. He later moved to the U.S. to begin working with the St. Sophia Orthodox Church in Albany.

Altin at the Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival

His iconography (in the Macedonian tradition – which shows movement and facial expressions) can be found within Albany-area Orthodox Churches. Altin uses a variety of techniques to create large-scale art including a canvas transfer, and architectural drawings, to place the subjects of his work. In both his religious and secular arts Altin’s personal style is apparent, particularly when looking at the facial structure of his subjects. Biblical figures and contemporary portraits feature a reflection in eye which is a signature of Altin’s style. The landscape of the Mediterranean and Upstate New York are common subjects in his secular painting. From the waters of the Mediterranean and the many lakes, rivers, and waterfalls of New York, Altin draws inspiration.

 Both his large-scale murals and smaller works appear in churches around the Capital Region including Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, St Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church and St Nicholas Russian Church. Altin makes his living as a professional iconographer and painter. Altin’s non-religious pieces can be seen within public venues, such as in the recent (Dec 2020) Albany Center Gallery’s Member Show and the 2021 “Angels and Icons” exhibit in The New York Folklore Gallery.

New York Folklore Supported Activities: 

  • Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival 
  • Angels and Icons” exhibit at the New York Folklore Gallery 
  • Shining a Light, A Public Art Project in Greek Orthodox iconography. 
36th Annual Folk Arts Roundtable

36th Annual Folk Arts Roundtable

Our 36th annual Roundtable has officially wrapped! This year we were joined by 35 of our colleagues at the Hotel Syracuse, the Roundtable’s Birthplace. It is poetic that while revisiting the Roundtable’s roots we welcomed a record number of new peers. We are thrilled to have folks representing organizations like Imamou Lele, Big Eyed Enterprises, and JouvayFest in our New York Folklore family.  

Monday morning began with a workshop hosted with Local Learning and led by teaching artists Juan Gutierrez-Rodriguez and Julia Gutierrez-Rivera of Los Pleneros de la 21. Juan and Julia started with an energetic demonstration of the Bomba y Plena and ended with discussions of best practices for artists. Folklorists brainstormed ways to support a network of Folk Arts in Education in New York.  

In the afternoon we dove into our Roundtable tradition, What We’re Doing Presentations. Presentations took place over Monday and Tuesday. Monday’s sessions were followed by a conversation about the state of the field in New York, led by New York Folklore board members; Kay Turner and Maria Kennedy. The Roundtable’s first day came to a close at a delicious group dinner at Eritrea Ethiopian Restaurant 

We were honored to be guests of the Skä•noñh Great Law of Peace Center, in Liverpool on Tuesday. At the Center, Frieda Jacques a clan mother from the Onondaga nation kept our group at rapt attention with her tour. Frieda’s tour was followed by Tim Frandy’s presentation on working with Indigenous communities. After a second round of What We’re Doing Presentation, roundtablers headed to an impromptu group dinner at Salt City Market – complete with a presentation by market staff about the good work by Allyn Family Foundation and Salt City Market. Thank you to roundtabler, artist, and Syracuse resident Nada Odeh for organizing the dinner.  

As we prepared to part ways on Wednesday, the Roundtable concluded with a discussion of advocacy, and strategy concerning forward movement as a field, as well as statewide initiatives by groups like Local Learning, Long Island Traditions, and of course New York Folklore’s Technical Assistance program and Voices. Remember Rountablers: Spread the word about the services that New York Folklore can provide to traditional and folk practitioners!   

For more information about Technical Assistance or Voices, please contact New York Folklore. For more information about self-guided audio tours by Travel Storys contact Nancy Soloman at Long Island Traditions.  

Thank you to everyone who joined us in person and virtually! We are looking forward to the next Roundtable in the spring of 2022 back in Syracuse!  

Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival

Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival

The Capital District (Albany and Rensselaer Counties) Upstate Regional Initiative is ending with a BANG this Fall. On October 3rd from Noon to 5 pm join us in Albany’s Washington Park at the Lake House Amphitheater for the Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival. The festival will feature the artists, tradition bearers and musicians identified by our Community Fieldworkers Ladan Nikravan, and Edgar Betelu.  

Artists will display and demonstrate their work throughout the day for visitors to engage and participate. Demonstrations will include; African Hair Braiding, Iconography, Wood Carving and more!  Adults and children will have the chance to try their hand at crafts inspired by these traditions in workshops and activities. 

Woodcarved bluebirds

Photo of Carved Birds by Majaliwa D Maulidi. Photo by Ladan Nikravan.

Chinese papercut of an ox

Chinese Papercut by Anping Liu. Photo by Anne Rappaport

Musical performances by the Wa Lika Band and Mundeo Nuevo will bring the day to a close starting at 3pm! See the full performance schedule below.  

11:30 am Washington Park Drummers  

12 pm – 1pm  Karen (Myanmar) Harp by Pinya Aung   

1 pm –2pm Mixed Roots  

2 pm – 3pm Pakastani Music by Shaman Awan and Aurelius John  

3pm – 4pm Wa Lika Band  

4 pm – 5pm Mundo Nuevo 

The full festival program is available here: Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival Program

Patrick sits at keyboard and plays

Photo of Mbaya Patrick Kasongo of Wa Lika Band. Photo Courtesy of the Artist. 

The Upstate Regional Initiative is a program initiated by the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts. The project was developed to conduct field documentation and programming in counties underserved by the Folk Arts program of NYSCA, with the goal to serve as a catalyst for community-based projects and to identify artists and cultural traditions within these regions. The initiative continues in 2021 in the Mohawk Valley