Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival 2022

Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival 2022

The Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival is BACK for its second year! Join is on Sunday, October 2nd for another year of artist demonstrations, musical performances and new this year – cooking lessons! The festival will begin at 11:00 am and end at 5:30 pm at the Washington Park Lakehouse Amphitheatre.  

Celebrate the moving tapestry and rich cultural traditions of the Capital Region. Join us for a fun filled day of music, dance, art, food, crafts, and food demonstrations. Artists will demonstrate traditions like henna, pysanky, embroidery, and blacksmithing. Engage and participate with practitioners and the living traditions right here in the Capital Region. Practitioners hail from New York, Republic of the Congo, Greece, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and more! New this year is a series of food demonstrations by community cooks. Members of the Congolese, Karen. and Caribbean communities of the Capital Region will showcase their favorite dishes.

Two Young Karen girls dance at the 2021 festival

 

Musical performances will be on all day by folk favorites like the The Desi Trio and Capital Region staple, Mixed Roots.  

Food Demonstration Schedule
11:30 am -12:15 pm Karen fried gourd and fish with Saw Dabu
1:30 pm -2:15 pm Dominican empanada with Santa Cabrera
3:30 pm – 4:15 pm Congolese Samusa with Huguette Tshiamua

The full festival recipes can be found here 

Performance Schedule
11:05 am- 11:30 am Karen Music and Dance by Pinya and Eshue Aung
11:45 am -12:30 pm Puerto Rican Music by Tony and Rosario Madera
12:45 pm – 1:30 pm Pakistani and Desi Music by The Desi Trio
1:45 pm -2:30 pm Albanian Dance with Tatijana Gjergji
2:45 pm – 3:30 pm Congolese Music by Wa Lika
3:45 pm – 4:30 pm Puerto Rico and Afro-Cuban with ArtPartners/Tsehaya & Company
4:45 pm – 5:30 pm Mixed Roots

The full festival program can be found here   

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 2022 in the Greater Capital Region. The Festival is sponsored by NYSCA, Discover Albany, HumanitiesNY, and the City of Albany. 

colorful pysanky in a cardboard egg container

Pysanky by local artist Sarah Bachinger

 

New York Folklore Announces its Slate for Board of Directors for the 2022-2024 Term

New York Folklore Announces its Slate for Board of Directors for the 2022-2024 Term

The nominating committee of the New York Folklore Board has announced their slate for the 2022-2024 Board of Directors.   Thank you to these talented individuals who have agreed to offer their expertise to New York Folklore!

As is stated in the New York Folklore Society’s bylaws,

Members of the Board of Directors shall be elected by a The Board of Directors, functioning as a nominating committee, shall prepare a slate of candidates for those offices which are open.  The slate of candidate shall be presented to the membership.  Election shall be by majority vote of those members Voting shall be by mailed paper ballot, or by electronic means such as email, on-line survey, or other electronic medium. New offices shall assume their offices immediately upon completion of the election. The term of office for elected officers shall be two years.

Please take a moment to read the biographies of these members and vote for their election to the board at the following link:   Vote Here

We will present the results of this poll via our website.  These new members will join continuing members:  Maria Kennedy, President; Jim Hall, Treasurer; Mira Johnson, Secretary; and board members Wilfredo Morel, Mackenzie Kwok, Ed Y.J.Millar, Will Walker, Evelyn D’Agostino, and Tom van Buren as past President.  With this election, we also express our appreciation to outgoing board members Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe and Gamileh Jamil.

Not a member of New York Folklore?  Please consider joining us in our work!

Slate of New York Folklore Board Members – 2022-2024

Sandra A. M Bell  – NYC Region  (Production Manager, Producer, Teaching Artist) is a third generation Carnival Costume Designer.  Ms. Bell is CEO of Journeyagents, Inc an artist booking and special event production company. Co-Founder of JOUVAYFEST Collective preserving and presenting Trinidad & Tobago classic style J’ouvert locally, nationally and internationally. Ms. Bell has co-produced 3 CD Recording with Natural Expression Rhythm Band, Punta Rock Explosion & World Connection B.V and Arufudei Wanichigu with Garifuna International Band. Additionally, she is the Production Manager & Agent for Something Positive Inc, premier Afro-Caribbean Performing Arts Company. She has worked with major cultural venues and festival organizations in the United States and abroad.  As a teaching artist consultant in schools, museums & community centers, Ms. Bell assists students in creating visionary and inspiring art. She is a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellow and has earned numerous grants & awards. Ms. Bell has a BA in Arts Administration from NYU & Certificates in Film & Television production from WNET/TV Film & Video School.  Ms. Bell is also is the Individual of The Year for Best Costume Design 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019 by the Brooklyn Carnival J’ouvert City International  and Trinidad & Tobago Traditional Mas competitions.

 

Nada Odeh – Central New York (teaching artist, museum professional) is an artist, museum curator, and educator who holds a BFA in Fine Arts from the University of Damascus, Syria and an MFA in Museum Studies from Syracuse University.   She has curated exhibitions throughout the United States and in Belgium, and served as a Middle Eastern folk arts consultant for exhibitions and art programs, including NYSCA funded programs at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn and at New York Folklore.  Currently, she is working on a NYSCA-funded Individual Artists’ grant to design and execute a mural.

 

 

 

Aaron Paige- Hudson Valley  (ethnomusicologist, public folklorist, performing artist, educator) He is the Director of Folk & Traditional Arts at ArtsWestchester where he works in collaboration with many cultural, ethnic, immigrant, and occupational communities to identify, document, safeguard and present the diverse cultural heritage and artistic practices of the region. He holds an MA in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and is completing a PhD at the same university. Prior to taking up his position as Director of Folk Arts, Aaron worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Denver. His academic work focuses on issues of race, class, caste, and language in the popular music of Tamil Nadu, India, as well as the Tamil diasporas of Malaysia, Singapore, and Canada. He has been studying and performing South Indian percussion for the last two decades under mrdangam artists David Nelson and Palladam R. Ravi. His research has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, the Watson Foundation, the Society for Asian Music, the US Department of Education, and the American Institute for Indian Studies.

Vicie A. RollingSouthern Tier Region. (retired educator, storyteller, writer, arts educator)  As a retired Professor of Health and Wellness, Vicie has gone on to more artistic pursuits. She is a “StoryCatcher.” Her avocation is storytelling that includes poetry, short stories, and historical re-enactment. She works as a teaching artist in a variety of settings including, schools, museums, historical societies, churches, and festivals. She has produced two chapbooks and two CDs of poetry and short stories .  Vicie has participated in the Culture, Community and the Classroom program of Local Learning, in collaboration with the Arts Council of the Southern Tier as a teaching artist.

 

 

 

For Re-election to a Third Officer Term:

Kay Turner – NYC Region (folklorist, educator, author)  Vice President, Board of Directors

Born in Detroit. BA Rutgers University 1971 (Literature/Philosophy), MA/PhD University of Texas Austin 1989 (Folklore/Anthropology). Interim Director, Folk Arts Collections, San Antonio Museum of Art 1982-1984; Co-Founder/Associate Director, Texas Folklife Resources 1984-1991; Folk Arts Director, Brooklyn Arts Council 2000-2014. AFS: member since 1972, Executive Board 2006-2008; Elli Köngäs-Maranda Prize 2000, AFS Fellows 2013, Benjamin Botkin Prize 2013; Women’s, Public Programs, LGBTQA, and Folk Narrative Sections; New York Folklore Society: Board 2011-present; folk arts panels, consultancies, lectures, publications 1979-present. Adjunct Visiting Professor, Performance Studies Department, NYU 2000-present: courses include: women’s folklore, oral narrative theory, urban folklore, pedagogies of the ephemeral, ghost ontologies. Books include: Beautiful Necessity: The Art and Meaning of Women’s Altars, Transgressive Tales: Queering the Grimms (with Pauline Greenhill). Support includes: Woodrow Wilson, NEA, NYSCA, SSHRC, American Express, and MetLife. Public programs/exhibitions: Art Among Us/Arte Entre Nosotros (with Pat Jasper), Brooklyn Maqam: Arab Music Festival; Days of the Dead in Brooklyn: Diverse Traditions of Mourning and Remembrance; Folk Roots of the Black Brooklyn Renaissance, 1960-2010; Harborlore/Sandylore; September 11th Rethinking Memorial Series (2005-2011).

Welcome to Mira Johnson as the New York Folklore in Education Network Coordinator

Welcome to Mira Johnson as the New York Folklore in Education Network Coordinator

Felix Nelson, conducting a dance lesson as part of a Ghanaian drumming and dance residency

as part of the Schoharie River Center’s  Middleburgh, NY Advantage Afterschool Program in 2021.  Photo by Ellen McHale

 

Local Learning and New York Folklore are pleased to welcome Mira Johnson to the role of New York State Folklore in Education Network Coordinator. With a doctorate in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning from Penn State University and an M.A. in folklore from the University of Oregon, Mira is excited to bring her expertise from both the fields to the New York Folklore in Education Network.

Due to the growing interest and need to support authentic pathways between diverse tradition bearers and both formal and informal learning spaces, in 2021 Local Learning and New York Folklore partnered to hire a shared staff position at .5 fte who could engage and coordinate our growing folklore education network. We continue to invest in this position to connect and coordinate between sites where Culture, Community, and the Classroom programs have happened, as well as other arts, humanities, and culture activities of New York Folklore. In a recent survey of program participants in Local Learning and educational folklore programs, 84% of the respondents ranked their interest in participating in the New York Folklore in Education Network at the highest level, including participating in hybrid, face to face, and zoom gatherings. Mira will help conceptualize network activities to engage artists and educators from across the state.

As a regional culture specialist for Pennsylvania’s state folklife program, Mira 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.

Mira is also an adjunct assistant professor at Bronx Community College in the English Department and the First Year Seminar Program. She is currently board member and board secretary for New York Folklore. Her research addresses the role of traditional knowledge and ecological relationships in community-based education, as well as regional belief practices.

Mira started in this role September 1, 2021. She will be available at [email protected]

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  

New York Folklore Adds New Staff and Board

New York Folklore Adds New Staff and Board

Here we grow again! 

As we look towards new projects and programs for 2021 and in the future, New York Folklore is growing  – with new leadership and members for the Board of Directors, and with the addition of several new staff members and partnerships.

In partnership with Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education, we are pleased to announce a shared position of Outreach Coordinator to the Folk Arts in Education Network in New York State.  Suzanne Kolodziej is an arts educator who brings vast experience to the role.  She holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Arts Education and she worked previously as the outreach coordinator for Cornell University’s East Asia Program.  Concurrent with her work at Local Learning/New York Folklore, Suzanne also works at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, where she is a Teaching Artist, Museum Educator, and Program Assessor in the Expanded Learning Collaboration with the Rochester City School District.

Due to the concerns with the spread of COVID-19, New York Folklore’s NYSCA Upstate Regional Initiative has gone through some revisions, rendering the ongoing project to be stronger and more connected to community.  Because of delays caused by the pandemic, we are also working concurrently to document and conduct folklore fieldwork in more than one region of the state.  We are pleased to welcome Anne Rappaport as a full-time staff folklorist to the New York Folklore staff, working within the Mohawk Valley communities of Montgomery, Fulton, Southern Herkimer, Oswego and Southern Hamilton Counties.  New York Folklore also welcomes three part-time community fieldworkers to work within Albany and Rensselaer Counties: Ladan Alomar, Khizra Awan, and Edgar Betelu.   These talented individuals have complementary skills and interests and they are working together to provide a better portrait of the cultural traditions found within the greater Capital District. New York Folklore will also have an intern beginning in May 2021. 

Reyers Brusoe, a graduate student at the University of Kentucky in the department of ethnomusicology/musicology will be interning with New York Folklore during the summer months. New York Folklore’s reach has expanded and we look forward to continuing to serve folk and traditional arts in New York State. Photo of a performance of the Jamestown Swedish Dancers with members of the Allegheny Dancers as part of a program of the Upstate Regional Initiative, 2015. Photo by Ellen McHale

New York Folklore Annual Meeting and Election on January 16, 2021

New York Folklore Annual Meeting and Election on January 16, 2021

The Board of Directors of New York Folklore requests your presence at the Annual Meeting of New York Folklore, to take place on Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. via Zoom.

The link to attend can be found here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-york-folklore-annual-meeting-and-election-tickets-135346584277

The meeting agenda will include remarks from outgoing President, Tom van Buren and President-elect Maria Kennedy; a report from Executive Director Ellen McHale; and opportunities to interact with other members and attendees.

Please plan to join us for this celebratory event!

 

The slate for members and officers of the Board of Directors of New York Folklore is to be presented as follows:

President:  Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the Administrative Director of the New Jersey Folk Festival at Rutgers University. She is a faculty member in the Department of American Studies, where she teaches classes on folklore, public humanities, and supervises student interns on the folk festival’s staff. She previously served as the Folk Arts Coordinator for The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and worked as a graduate assistant at Traditional Arts Indiana. Her PhD in Folklore at Indiana University examined environmental conservation and agricultural heritage in the United Kingdom, looking at practices of orchard conservation and craft cider making. Maria has lifelong connections to New York state, having grown up visiting her grandparents in the North Country and cousins in the Hudson Valley. She continues her interest in orchards heritage as an avid connoisseur of New York cider.

Treasurer: Jim Hall

Dr. James C. Hall joined RIT in 2014 as the Executive Director for the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies, later renamed the School of Individualized Study. Previously, he was director of New College at Alabama and executive director of the Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning. Prior to the University of Alabama, Dr. Hall taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Hall completed his Ph.D. and MA in American studies at the University of Iowa. He has also completed a MA in religion and culture and BA in English at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. His research and professional interests include African-American literature as well as higher education innovation and reform.

 

2021-2023 Directors

Evelyn D’Agostino-Sasso, Rochester/Finger Lakes

Evelyn D’Agostino Sasso, formerly of the Republic of Panama, serves the Xerox Corporation as International Logistics Analyst. She currently is board member of HAPA (Hispanic Association for Professional Advancement at Xerox corporation- Rochester Chapter), Rochester La Voz newspaper advisory board, founder of Grupo Cultural Latinos en Rochester, and Artistic Director for Avenue D Afro-Latino Dance Group.  She is a graduate of the Catholic University Santa Maria La Antigua of Panama.  The organization which Evelyn helped found, Grupo Cultural Latinos En Rochester, was founded in 2013  in the belief that “the arts have a unique power to engage and  maintain our Children’s Cultural Heritage.”

Mackenzie Kwok, New York City

Mackenzie Kwok received her Master’s degree in anthropology at the University of  Cambridge, England, after completing a BA in American Studies and Folklore at UNC Chapel Hill. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on Asian American Foodways in North Carolina and wrote her Master’s dissertation on Confederate monument toppling, and space-making through chanting.  Mackenzie is currently the Community Engagement Director at City Lore in New York City and is a former Bartis Intern for the Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

 

 

Edward Young Jun Millar,  Niagara/Western New York

Edward Y. J. Millar is a native of Northern New Jersey, and grew up in a mixed Scottish, German, and Malay-Chinese household.  Edward enrolled in the Anthropology and University Honors Program at Seton Hall University in 2008, and received his M.A. in Folklore from the Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2014.   As Curator of Folk Arts at the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, Edward conducts original fieldwork in the Buffalo-Niagara region, and develops exhibits, programs and initiatives in collaboration with community members and traditional artists.  As a member of a small staff at a university museum, Edward’s skills and responsibilities have grown to include not only fieldwork, program and exhibit development, and content creation typical of the position, but also: audio and video editing, multimedia production, graphic design, preparatory work, framing, lighting, construction, and exhibit installation.

Wilfredo Morel,  Peekskill/Hudson Valley (renewal for a third, two-year term)

Wilfredo Morel is a highly acclaimed artist known for his sculptures utilizing recycled materials, related to the communities where the materials are found. Morel is also a community relations professional at Sun River Health Care, where he assists migrant workers, HIV/AIDS patients and the LGBT population with health care disparities, concerns and needs.

William Walker, Cooperstown/Mohawk Valley

William S. Walker is associate professor of history at the Cooperstown Graduate Program. He is the author of A Living Exhibition: The Smithsonian and the Transformation of the Universal Museum and editor of The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook (inclusivehistorian.com). An active public historian, Professor Walker oversees CGP Community Stories, an ongoing oral history project that uses recorded narratives to initiate public dialogue programs on critical social and environmental issues. His areas of expertise are public history, 20th-century U.S. cultural and intellectual history, and the history of race and ethnicity, especially as related to museums. He is committed to equity and inclusion in the field, and his courses emphasize building anti-racist and anti-oppression knowledge and skills.