The 40th Annual Folk Arts Roundtable

by Jun 4, 2024Blog, Education

For the 40th annual New York Folk Arts Roundtable, New York Folklore brought the Roundtable to our neighborhood in Schenectady, NY.  For this big milestone we were joined by one of our largest cohorts ever!

artists sitting in a large cirle watching a presentation

Artists Participating in the Arts in Education Roundtable. Photo by Local Learning.

Things kicked off on Sunday, April 28th at the Arts Education Roundtable for Folk and Traditional Artists, the first ever! Teaching artists from NY and NJ enjoyed a Master Class with Julia Guttierez-Rivera, and an Arts in Education concert. Performers included; Zorkie Nelson, Veena Chandra, and Devesh Chandra, all of whom have been collaborating with New York Folklore on artist lead initiatives to bring folk arts to the Schenectady School District. You read more about The Capital Region Pan African Youth Orchestra and Indian Classical and Folklife Traditions.Monday morning the staff of Local Learning lead artists through a workshop to identify the needs of the folk arts in community and help build the New York Folk Arts in Education Network (contact Mira Johnson with questions about this network!).

After lunch folklorists from New York and New Jersey convened the 40th Annual Folk Arts Roundtable. For the third year in a row, every  attendee took five minutes to address the entire Roundtable, followed by semi structured breakouts. Topics included; Community Based Approaches, Archives, Exhibitions and Access,  Folklife Programming and Looking Back/Looking Forward.

participants in the sand mandala workshop hover over a partially finished colorful sand mandala

Ed Millar, Akilah Briggs-Melvin, and Stephanie Nerbak during Ritu’s workshop. Photo by New York Folklore.

Roundtablers enjoyed the best hospitality that Schenectady has to offer at restaurants (and New York Folklore Gallery Neighbors), like Cornell’s, Tara Kitchen, and Simone’s. On Tuesday attendees had a variety of activities to participate including, a special viewing of our current exhibit, Pulse of the Heart at the New York Folklore Gallery, Shop and Office, and a sand mandala workshop hosted by New Jersey, artist Ritu Pandya.

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

These 4 days produced an incredible wealth of conversation, resources and of course – memories. To see the full list of resources shared by roundtablers scroll to the botton of the page! 

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.

2024 Roundtable Shared Resources.  

Video Presentations: