Tuesday, February 27, 2024

On WIOX tonight, February 27 at 7 pm, Women in Folk Art

Join Ginny Scheer, folklorist and Executive Director of Catskills Folk Connection, on Catkills Folk to talk about "Anonymous Was A Woman", a book published in the 1970s, that still has insights for women today.  It was written by Mirra Bank, a documentary filmmaker who created a PBS special of the same name.  Learn about ordinary women's aesthetic and artistic accomplishments by listening at 91.3 FM or at www.wioxradio.org.  

To see some of the folk art Ginny will talk about deep this blog open on your laptop, on your computer, or on your cell phone and stay right here . We'll be looking at and discussing the quilt below and other woman-made folk art (in the article further below) and you'll be able to follow along.

See you on the radio!  (to quote Charles Osgood, the late radio and TV commentator who explored the America of ordinary people.) 


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Folk Art Illuminates Past Lives of Women.



Tonight Tuesday February 13 at 7 p.m. on WIOX Community Radio (91.3. FM or www.wioxradio.org) Catskills Folk Connection's radio program Catskills Folk will initiate a discussion of a classic book,  "Anonymous Was A Woman" by Mirra Bank.  It was published in 1979 when Bank was beginning her career as a creator of documentary videos. She hsd just produced a PBS video documentary with the same title, and felt that she should share as a book the primary source materials on which she based the video documentary.  Folklorist Ginny Scheer will discuss the beginnig of the book tonight and will invite a limited number of listeners to appear on the air in two weeks on February 27 to give their insights into the rest of the book. Contact Ginny at 607-326-4206 or 607-238-9162 or gscheer.mcs@gmail.com if you would like to be a discussant..

Here are some of the primary sources, in both words and in images, of the folk art created by women in the 18th and 19th centuries.     

Lucy Perkins, Pastel Portrait by Sara Perkins


Diary of Elizabeth Fuller, 1791-1792

Sampler by Mary Antrim

Introduction to "Anonymous Was A Woman" by Mirra Bank

All illustrations and teexts above are for educational use only.  Plese do not copy or re-use.

Blog Emerging from Hibernation

 After we posted early in 2023 that Catskills Folk Connection had finally obtained its designation as a 501.c.3 non-proft, the blog was allowed to stay as it was, having docmented many years of programming while CFC was a fiscally sponsored project.  The blog is still available for you to scroll through past programs and look at collections of photographs ( In the Gallery see Halloween projects from 2013 and from before CFC was even founded.)  Today, February 13 at 7 p.m., the blog will assume a new use - illustrating audio programs on CFC's radio show, Catskills Folk either at 91.3 FM or at www.wioxradio.org. The topic is a book called "Anonymous Was A Woman", and the blog will share some illustrations and some quotes from the book.  Join us to hear how folk art can be a primary source for understanding passt lives.

While we got away from using the blog, we did begin to work with Facebook. Our page has some unusual pathways, so feel free to give us feedback on how you were able to find it.  Note: If you find a profile photo of people dancing, you have the old Facebook page.  If you see Joe Dibble's beautifully carved brown trout at the top of the Facebook page, you have arrived! 

Later this winter, watch for the launch of Catskills Folk Connection's new website that will releive this blog of announcing events.  It will be a very simple, homemade website for now, perhaps only a landing page.  We will use it to make sure you know when square dances are scheduled, when CFC will sponsor food demonstrations by Catskills tradition bearers, when this fall's exhibit, Folk Art in Fiber, will take place, and when we might be holding our lecture series, Catskills Folk Lyceum,  Last year's Lyceum featured two presentations: a talk by Diane Galusha about the experiencs of enslaved Africans in Delaware County, and a panel of Native American speakers and language teachers who discussed the revitalization of their languages and then taught us a few words in Seneca, Mohawk and  Northern Cheyenne.  We hope to gain funding to present a follow up Lyceum this year featuring the next generation of Native language teachers from public and tribal schools. 

But don't watch this blog for event announcements. If you don't find the website just yet, or if you want to convey your experience with CFC's Facebook presence, feel free to contact folklorist Ginny Scheer, 607-326-4206 or 607-238-9162; or gscheer.mcs@gmail.com.  

Monday, May 8, 2023

Catskills Folk Connection Is a Real Non-Profit!

 As of January 17 Catskills Folk Connection has its own 501c3 designation as a no-profit organization. Thanks to CFC's friend, Cary Goodman, we were able to navigate the application process, first for an EIN number and then the non-profit designation. No longer will CFC be a fiscally-sponsored project, dependent on another organization's non-profit status.  We are very grateful to the Roxbury Arts Group, and before them the Manhattan Country School, for serving as our fiscal sponsors.  They provided pracitcal support as well as esssential advice, and they referred to us to important organizational services. 

Our transition to being a free-standing organization will be gradual, because at least one of our grants was applied for while we were still a project of Roxbury Arts Group.  Plus we are finding that there are other organizations eager to work with us.  For example, the Catskill Center for Conervation and Development has offered to rent us desk space, and eventually a room, to serve as CFC's office with access to the library for storage and for Board meetings  

New York Folklore, the statewide organization for folk heritage, is at present including Catskills Folk Connection in its appplications for far-reaching grants to promote traditional arts and artists in the Southern Tier of the state.  These initiatives range from designing interpretive wayfinding on the region's waterways, to studies of communities' and artists' resilience in the face of climate change, to digitization of local archives.  We will hear about those later this year.

For now, Catskills Folk Connection's Executive Director, Virginia Scheer, is getting the new non-profit corporation registered with a number of state agencies and funders.  The Board of Trustees is meeting to finalize corporate policies and the board structure (committees etc.).  This year's program is falling into place.  In 2023 our program will look like the project we have always been and hopefully in 2024 will shed its project skin and will begin to develop the programmatic characteristics of a full-fledged organization.

In May Catskills Folk Connection will sponsor its first in-person square dance of the year, featuring the Tremperskill Boys with caller Dane Scudder, and guest caller Earl Pardini.  It will take place on Saturday, May 20 at 7 pm at the Halcott Grange, 264 Greene Co. Route 3, Fleischmanns NY 12430.  (Note: the Halcott Grange is in Halcott Center, north of Fleischmanns, reached by Del. Co. Route 37 that becomes Greene Co Route 3. Use Fleischmanns for the town address on GPS or mapping services.)

June 10 & 11 Catskills Folk Connection will be at the Meredith Dairy Fest with information about our programs, and demonstrations that may include local foodways and possibly a guest appearance by a local musician.

June 17 at 7 pm is CFC's second square dance, this one at the Walton Grange. on Stockton Avenue in Walton.

In July, on the 15th in the afternoon, the dance will be held at the Catskills Visitor Center on State Route 28 in Mt. Tremper , 

In August, the Catskills Folk Lyceum, CFC's lecture series, plans to present a roundtable with a panel of Native American language instuctors to discuss increasing their nation's fluency in their native languages and to engage the audience in a bit of language leearning.  Tentative date is August 13 and tentative location is the Bovina Community Center, Bovina Center, NY.  

In September, CFC plans to host another festival booth, this one at the Cauliflower Festival, where we hope to feature demonstrations of regional ethnic groups' foodways.

Dances are being planned for August, September and October.  Watch this space, your e-mail Inbox, your postal mailbox, or your local newspaper for announcements of time and  place.  All events will be announced on our radio program Catskills Folk, alternate Tuesdays at 7 pm (for example, May 9 and May 23) on WIOX, broadcast at 91.3 FM and streamed on wioxradio.org.  

See you at a square dance, at a festival, or at the Lyceum!

For more information consult this blog, or contact Ginny Scheer, 607-326-4206, or gscheer.mcs@gmail.com.  Use this e-mail address to ask for e-mail announcements of programs.

Catkills Folk Connectio is supported by the Roxbury Arts Group, and is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts Folk Art Program, by Gov. Hochul and the NYS Legislature, by Action & Vision Grants from Humanities NY and by the O'Connor Foundation. 


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Link November 19 On-line Discussion

 Catskills Traditional Music and Dance

November 19, 2 pm to 4 pm


If "Control - Click" does not take you to the meeting site, 

Copy and paste the link into the [https:] field at the top of your page,

then click at the end of the URL.  

Join Catskills Folk Connection on Saturday 

to discuss the future of Catskills traditional music and dance

Resources, open discussion, plan a future in-person event!

For more information, or help attending



Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Symposium Will be an On-Line Discussion This Year

Saturday November 19  

on Zoom    2 pm - 4 pm  FREE!

    It's not all square dancing in the Catskills!

The in-person Symposium that Catskills Folk Connection had hoped to present this month has been changed to an on-line event.  It will be a discussion, as planned, about Catskills traditional music and dance. Missing will be the in-person jam, the potluck supper, and the in-person square dance. The change was necessitated by fund restrictions and caution about Covid rates of infection and vaccination.    

The two hours of discussion (with breaks) should allow time for a lively conversation among dancers, musicians, dance organizers, folklorists, and cultural organizations about the current status of traditional music and dance in the Catskills.  By the end of the meeting we hope to have a consensus about what is needed for Catskills traditional music and dance to thrive in our region.  

Catskills Folk Connection's folklorist, Ginny Scheer, will host the meeting and will begin with a short video clip in recognition of the late Hilt and Stella Kelly, as a starting point for the open discussion.  Audience members may wish to talk about what is happening in their music and dance lives, or they may wish to focus immediately on the question about the future of traditional music and dance in the Catskills. 

Some audience members may have something to share, such as a short oral presentation, or materials such as a page or a photo.  If you think you'd like to share, please contact Ginny Scheer www.gscheer.mcs@gmail.com or 607-326-4206 as soon as possible and submit materials by Sunday, November 13. 

We are expecting musicians and dancers to attend from a number of genres that share the larger Catskills audience. Possible areas we might recommend for enrichment may be about performance opportunities and venues or about centralized marketing.  Or we may wish to discuss the need for archiving materials about past music and dance, or we may decide to emphasize education to involve younger members of our region's population.

Come join the discussion!  Share your experience in music and dance in the Catskills.  Advise Catskills Folk Connection how it might grow to meet the needs of Catskills traditional music and dance in the future.    

Contact:  Ginny Scheer, www.gscheer.mcs@gmail.com  607-326-4206

Catskills Folk Connection is sponsored by the Roxbury Arts Group and is funded by the New York State Council on the Arts Folk Art Program, by Gov. Hochul and the NYS Legislature, by Action and Vision Grants from HumanitiesNY, and by the O'Connor Foundation.  



entations of content.  

Friday, October 7, 2022

2022's Last Square Dance:

Moved Indoors at Same Address:
 53865 St. Hwy 28 (Main St.) 
Roxbury NY 12474


Old-Time Catskills Square Dance

Photo courtesy Pine Hill Community Center.

Saturday, October 8   3-6 pm
The Tremperskill Boys & Friends
Beginners welcome. Masks optional, but recommended. Donations appreciated.
More  info: gscheer.mcs@gmail.com or 607-326-4206