Folk Arts Education


As folklorists and educators, we believe the qualitative experiences of individual students are at least as significant as the quantitative data. Working in classrooms with new immigrants, we often work with students who refuse to speak at school—they’re often called “selective mutes.” Arts education is a way to change those behaviors. In the arts, teaching artists like George [Zavala] use words and attach them to something the students are doing—when you say the word “red,” you paint with red. We often see kids start to speak very quickly.

From the Director

In July 2012, the
New York Folklore
Society was asked to
help document the
second reunion of Camp Woodland
campers—a gathering
of people from
all over the US who
shared the childhood experience of once attending
a children’s camp which had existed
in Phoenicia, New York, from 1939–1962.

YMCA Camp Chingachgook on Lake George Celebrates its Centennial

Established in 1913, YMCA Camp
Chingachgook is one of the oldest
children’s camps in America and is presently
celebrating 100 years of operation.
Over 350,000 children have participated
in Camp Chingachgook programs in the
last century….Today, Chingachgook serves over
10,000 children and adults annually in
year-round programs on Lake George in
the Adirondack Mountains.

NYFS News and Notes

On March 2, 2013, New York Folklore Society
hosted its annual conference at ArtsWestchester
in White Plains, NY. The theme centered
on occupational folklore. While the current
economic crisis has drawn much attention to
the need for strategic and sustainable economic
development, this conference was a great opportunity
to highlight folkloric aspects integral
to the economic machine in New York State.

Artist Spotlight: Devesh Chandra

Artist Spotlight: Devesh Chandra

DEVESH CHANDRA has been learning the Tabla since the age of 3. He learned Indian Classical Music by accompanying his mother, renowned Sitar exponent Veena Chandra and he continues to perform with her.  Their mother and son duo has received national and international...


Urban Explorers is a youth development program by City Lore in New York City that uses the skills of documentation and fieldwork.

From the Waterfront

Students in Freeport, New York examine their waterfront community in 2015-16 after Superstorm Sandy had affected local maritime traditions.