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From the Director.

As the New York Folklore Society approaches its 75th anniversary (1944-2019), we are mindful of our history, while looking forward to new horizons. NYFS Board President Tom van Buren stated in his recent member letter that the New York Folklore Society was founded in 1944, "to serve the folklore community, whether in academia, in applied or public sector work, among folk artists themselves, and any and all persons with interest in the subject and its related fields." Your membership supports Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore, as well as the many programs of the Society. We hope to expand our membership in 2016. If you haven't yet renewed, please do so. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining!

We have much to report. On February 28, we convened local and national leaders for panel presentations and townhall-style dialogue, on the topic of "Democratizing the (Folk) Arts Nonprofit Workplace." This forum about inclusive governance and decision-making was introduced and moderated by its organizer, folklorist Eileen Condon, the NYFS New York City Representative. The forum was supported in part by funding from the Technical Assistance Consultancy Program of the American Folklore Society. View video of this forum on our website: <>.

Our conference, Crisis of Place: Preserving Folk and Vernacular Architecture in New York was a tremendous success, attracting vernacular historians, architects, folklorists, and geographers to the Rose Auditorium of The Cooper Union in New York City on April 2. Panel presentations highlighted both graduate student work, as well as the important work of community advocates and public folklorists. Andrew Dolkart of Columbia University and Michael Ann Williams of Western Kentucky University shared the keynote presentation.

During the 2016 Annual Meeting on April 2, 2016, we welcomed two new members to the Board of Directors. Julie Tay is the founder and executive director of Mencius Society for the Arts, which focuses on Chinese classical and folk cultural arts. Also joining the Board is Wilfredo Morel, a sculptor and gallery owner, community arts activist, and Director of Hispanic Health for Hudson River Health Care in Peekskill. Our board members are elected by the NYFS membership. Next year, with the newly approved bylaws change, we will be able to deliver a ballot and other materials to our members via email or other electronic means, providing greater membership participation in the Society's decisionmaking.

Finally, I am pleased to report that the Society is partnering with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) for a folk arts survey of a large part of Central and Western New York State, helping to extend our reach to and understanding of the folk arts in New York. Following the groundbreaking work of the Folk Arts Program of NYSCA, many areas of the state have received support for traditional arts activities. This project will seek to specifically document traditions in new areas, with Central New York and Southwestern New York being particularly targeted. Hannah Davis, our NYFS Upstate Representative, will begin her work in May 2016, and will be "on the ground" throughout the rest of the 2016 calendar year.

Ellen McHale, PhD, Executive Director

New York Folklore Society
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Author:McHale, Ellen
Publication:Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Mar 22, 2016
Previous Article:Thank you, New York Folklore Society supporters!
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