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 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,  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: or 607-326-4206

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Exhibit "Folk Art in Metal," through October 15


There's Still Time to See The Exhibit "Folk Art in Metal"

At Hanford Mills Museum, 51 Co. Rt 12, East Meredith NY 13757

Art works drawn from nature, by coppersmith Mark Swanberry.

Iron tools and utensils that combine tradition and innovation, by blacksmith  Lucas Novko.

Whirlygigs made from Volkswagen Beetles, by Hans Hohn

Whimsical masks and figures made from farm implements, vehicles, tools, household utensils and appliances, by John Jackson.

And a surprise among the other works made from rustic, natural and recycled metal, you will find stainless steel furniture in mid-20th century style from Michael Radu. 

You can still see more of these wonderful works of metal art at "Folk Art in Metal," the exhibit now on display at Hanford Mills Museum, 51  Co. Rt. 12, East Meredith, NY  13757.  The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am - 4 pm.  Visiting the exhibit is free; there is a charge if you wish a tour of the water-powered woodworking mill.      

What you Missed:  
Hanford Mills Exploration Day
Saturday, September 24

 Featuring in-person demonstrations by two of the exhibit's artists:

John Jackson 

and Lucas Novko

Photo courtesy of the Farmer's Museum.
Cooperstown, NY

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

For more information contact Ginny Scheer, folklorist, or 607-326-4206.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Busy Weekend September 17 -18




This Saturday: Catskills Folk Connection's 5th square dance of the summer takes place in Delhi, at United Ministry, 1 Church Street, off Main Street by the Courthouse.  This dance is described in press releases as “Square Dance Madness!" because we’re having more than one or two squares at dances these days. We’re looking for the same in Delhi and hope that the collection of dancers from the Walton Downsville area will come on over to Delhi -  this Saturday 7 pm at United Ministry on Courthouse Square in Delhi.

"Folk Art in Metal" exhibit artists' reception, September 4, 2022 
at Hanford Mills Museum's Feed Mill gallery

Catskills Folk Connection is also putting on its biennial folk art exhibit – it is the third in a series based on the material used for folk sculpture.  This one is called Folk Art in Metal and has attracted artists that work in iron, copper, or stainless steel, and artists who recycle old equipment to make entertaining sculptures for indoors and outdoors.  The exhibit can be seen at Hanford Mills Museum, East Meredith NY, on Wednesday – Sunday between 10 and 4.  All visitors are offered a tour of the historic mill (admission info on the website  While there is a fee for the mill tour, the folk art exhibit is free.  Just sign up at the admissions office.  In addition to visiting the exhibit on regular museum tour days, there will be a special program called “Exploration Day” at the Mill on Saturday, September 24, in which some of the artists will demonstrate their artistic technique or talk about some unique aspect of their art work. Check the above website for details.

"Woodpile" a wall hanging in copper by Mark Swanberry.

 Last time on WIOX, 91.3 FM broadcast in the Catskills, and at on the internet, Catskills Folk described the work of the blacksmith – Lucas Novko, the iron worker –  and introduced John Jackson the creator of whimsical outdoor sculptures made from old farm equipment and indoor sculptures made with household utensils and appliances.  This week's radio program will feature the coppersmith Mark Swanberry, the folk modern artist Michael Radu, who works in stainless steel, and we'll talk about the whirly gigs made from recycled Volkswagen Beetle parts by a             Margaretville auto mechanic.  

Also on tonight’s program on WIOX will be a description of the biennial Catskill Mountain Quilters Hall of Fame exhibit, this year called “Festival of Quilts”.  It will take place at Roxbury Arts Group, 5026 Vega Mountain Rd, in Roxbury on Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18.  10 am – 4 pm. I am hoping to have on the air tonight one of the Festival reps, Lucci Kelly or Pat Cumming.  There are many events associated with the Festival of Quilts, not the least of which is the induction of master quilters from the region into the Catskill Mountain Quilters Hall of Fame. These are quilters nominated by their guilds to be vetted and inducted by the Hall of Fame. There will also be quilters’ history books, a memorial display, raffled baskets, door prizes and the big one – a special quilt raffle.  I believe the raffled items will be announced on Sunday. Call ahead if you can’t go both days.  To see the raffle quilt, visit  and click on “2022 Show & Raffle”. 

Stay with us tonight on WIOX to hear quilt tradition bearer talk about their work and why the quilt show and the Hall of Fame are so important to them.

This weekend there are even more quilts and quilt events.  The Delaware County Historical Association is presenting an exhibit "Quilts Along the Delaware" Saturday & Sunday, September 10 & 11 - 17 & 18: 10am - 4pm.  After the opening weekend, quilts from the "Delaware County Town and Country Quilters" will be on display Tuesday September 13 - September 18 from 10am to 4pm. The Raffle Quilt, Vendor and Boutique will take place on the weekends. The raffle quilt drawing is Sunday September 18th at 3pm. Admission: $5.00.

 And to top it all off the Balkan Mountains Music Festival is taking place on  Saturday September 17, 3 to 7 pm at Glenbrook Park in Phoenicia NY.  For more information go to  The festival features ethnic musical artists Zlatne Uste, Bourbon & Breast Milk, and Cherven Tractor.  This Cabin Fever Concert is sponsored by the Phenicia Library and Ulster Savings Bank.

 The above announcements don't even include what’s happening at the Ashokan Center, at the West Kortright Center, and at town and village festivals around the region!! There are many more events going on this weekend.  Lots of things to choose from. 



Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Folk Art in Metal?


Folk art usually brings to mind carved wood or quilted cloth. But folk art in metal has an equally long history and astonishing variety. You’ll be able to take in this profusion of creativity in copper, iron and steel at Catskills Folk Connection’s exhibit “Folk Art in Metal,” beginning Saturday September 3 at Hanford Mills Museum’s Feed Mill gallery, 51 County Route 12, East Meredith, NY, 13757. The next day, Sunday, September 4, there will be an artists’ reception at 1:30 pm. And on Saturday, September 24 several of the artists will demonstrate or present their work at the Museum’s Exploration Day.

"Forest  Litter", a wall piece by Mark Swanberry

Coppersmith Mark Swanberry took part in Catskills Folk Connection's first sculpture exhibit in 2019, “Folk Art in Stone,” but since then has immersed himself in making copper into naturalistic forms. Inspired by three generations of creative people in his family, he shapes the copper into leaves, nests, bark and other forest litter that he has seen on his regular woods walks. For the title panel of this exhibit he is bringing a large wall hanging in copper of a carefully stacked woodpile.

Hand Forged Whale by Lucas Novko.

Lucas Novko is a blacksmith that you may have encountered as an interpreter of historic blacksmithing at the Farmer’s Museum and at Hanford Mills Museum. “While my work is based on historic pieces and I try to keep to certain ironworking traditions, it is still me making the decision  (or even making aesthetic decisions on a whim while I'm forging) that fulfills my own sense of creativity.“ While he makes carefully crafted reproductions, Lucas will also display some of his original contemporary pieces.

Modernist Chair, fabricated in steel and kevlar by Michael Radu

Michael Radu comes from an artistic Romanian family that moved to the US when he was a child. He joined his father in operating a foundry to cast art and architectural commissions, but moved to the Catskills to raise his family and create his own business. His original works are mostly in steel, and in other metals, and are a surprise as folk art because they are consciously mid-20 century in style. His chair and side table, as well as his sculpture, would fit into the 20th century glass houses that epitomized the modernist style.

                         Musician Figure, made from musical instruments by John Jackson

John Jackson did not anticipate being captivated by metal fabrication until he found himself already entranced by it while travelling and visiting an artist who showed him a few of his techniques. Since then self-taught, Jackson has become a prolific creator of figures in metal, but metal that comes from a surprising source: discarded tools, equipment, household utensils, and musical instruments. While he makes outdoor sculptures primarily of animals, his collection of figural sculptures includes mostly two-legged creatures in amusing poses and activities: most memorable are the figures made of musical instruments and ones of musicians playing musical instruments.

Whirly Gig, made from VW Beetle part by Hans Hohn

Hans Hohn spends most of his energy in his career as a car mechanic, skills he initially gained from his father who started the business. Hans would tell you he is not an artist, but there are surprising things around his shop that show his tendency to make intriguing things. In the Catskills Folk Connection exhibit will be whirly gigs made from Volkswagen Beetle parts. For the rest of his creations pause on the side of Route 28 in Margaretville to see his business sign, made from half a VW Beetle. You may also be able to see a customer waiting area made from the back seat and back end of a Beetle. If you can look more closely (don’t block the business driveway!) there are on office doors Hans’s rope and pulley door closers, with weights also made from VW parts, simple enough to be a modernist design.

For exhibit viewing, Hanford Mills Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am through 4 pm. The address is 51 County Route 12, East Meredith NY 13757. For free admittance to the exhibit, go to the Admissions Office. You may also wish to participate in Museum tours of water-driven wood-working machinery and an overshot water wheel, for which admission is $9.00. Consult the Hanford Mills Museum website for numerous discounts. For more information about tours call the Museum at 607-278-5744. For more about the exhibit “Folk Art in Metal” contact Ginny Scheer at

Monday, August 15, 2022

Don't Forget! Square Dance Soon

Saturday, August 20   1 pm - 4 pm 

Admission Free

Catskills Visitor Center 

5096 State Route 28
Mt. Tremper NY  12457

The Tremperskill Boys will play and call for an old-time Catskills square dance in the pavilion at the Catskills Visitor Center.

Come enjoy traditional Catskills entertainment.  Beginners are welcome.  All dances will be taught.   

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