At New York Folklore’s 38th annual New York Folklore Arts Roundtable, we were joined, for the first time ever, by our neighbors from New Jersey! Our expanded group convened in the Bear Mountain State Park, Tompkins Cove, NY. The only thing more impressive than the views was the incredible work being done by all who attended.
Wednesday, we gathered for the first of seven Roundtable Sessions which took place over a three-day period. Roundtable topics included Programming Formats, Arts Education, Folk Art and Community Health, Place-based Folklife, Archiving and Fieldwork, and Access and Inclusion. A media session ended the morning on Thursday, May 18th. In addition to presentations, participants had the opportunity to participate in activities led by fellow roundtablers including a Bollywood Dance Workshop and Yoga with Ritu Pandya, drum circles with Kofi Donkor, hikes, and of course – the RoundTable “Field Trip.”
On Thursday afternoon, we made our way to Haverstraw, NY. Once there, Ginny Norfleet, Tarah Singh, and their team at Haverstraw African American Connection (H.A.A.C) guided us through Haverstraw on a walking tour which included the Haverstraw African American Memorial Park, Haverstraw Brick Museum, Fairmont Baptist Church, and St. Thomas AME Zion Church. Our guided tour ended with an incredible meal at Central Presbyterian Church of Haverstraw, cooked by the folks of the H.A.A.C.. Roundtablers were treated to an impromptu concert of gospel music by the St. Thomas Congregants and Roundtabler, Beareather Reddy. On the tour we learned the impact of the brick industry and its affect on the community, and about the previously unknown story of enslaved and African American brick makers.
We ended the Roundtable with an overview of the work and opportunities by New York Folklore, The New Jersey Council on the Arts and Mid Atlantic Arts. Remember you can always find information about Mentoring and Technical Assistance on our website at https://nyfolklore.org/mentoring-professional-development/
The entire event was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts through the support of the New York State Legislature, the New Jersey State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.