2010 Folk Art Family Festival
Saturday, July 17, 2010

New York State Council on the Arts is sponsoring our Children's Museum Folk Art Family Festival
Sponsored by New York State Council on the Arts

The Children's Museum, 311 Main St, Utica, NY

FolkArt Festival Information * Brochure

SATURDAY, JULY 17, 2010 NYS Folklorist Lisa Overholser and Museum Director Marlene Brown presented another exciting cultural event at The Children's Museum, sponsored by NYSCA (New York State Council on the Arts). Over the past several years, the Children’s Museum has highlighted a variety of regional cultural groups, demonstrating our rich diversity. The 2010 Family Folk Arts Festival highlighted groups in central New York and the Mohawk Valley (including the Italian La Banda Rossa, the Bosnian MAH Band/Dancers, the U. C. AIM Dancers, and Native American folk artists) Download Flyer. SCHEDULE: Musicians performing: 10:00am–11:00am: MAH Band & dancers; 11:00am–12:00noon: La Banda Rossa, traditional Italian music; 12 noon–1:00 pm: repeat performance of MAH Band & dancers; 1:00pm–2:00pm: AIM [Africa in Motion] contemporary dance troupe. 10:00am-1:00pm folk artists demonstrating at tables: Emina Bajric, Bosnian Needleworker; Native Americans Ron Patterson, lacrosse stick making; Ada Jacques, Haudenosaunee pottery; Candace Watson, male/female headdress; Birdy Burdick, cornhusk doll making.


July 2010, Museum Director Brown introduces our Folklorist

NYSCA Folklorist Lisa Overholser introduces the artists

The Bosnian MAH Band - brothers Haris and Adis ...

And their sister Mirela make up the MAH Band

Their MAH band performed lively & toe-tapping Bosnian folk music

Ron Patterson & wife demonstrates lacrosse stick making

Emina Bajric demonstrates Bosnian needlework

Candace Watson demonstrates the making of male/female headdresses


Ada Jacques & her granddaughter demonstrate Haudenosaunee pottery


Utica OD interviews Ada (above) & takes photo (left) , View article

The amazing LaBanda Rossa marched onto the museum's 3rd floor

Director Arlene Iagnacco had toes tapping & hands clapping!

The musicians from various cultures shared their joy of music


The Native American artists continued demonstrating for visitors

Birdy Burdick demonstrates cornhusk doll making

Enjoying the art of cornhusk doll making


Emina Bajric shares her needlework skills!

The various cultures enjoy learning the Bosnian dances!

The Utica College AIM [Africa in Motion] group takes the floor

...demonstrating their unique choreography

AIM Advisor Alana Varga enjoys

Visitors & artists join in the contemporary African music

FOLK ARTIST BIOS:

Africa in Motion (AIM) has been a Utica College student organization for approximately 15 years. Currently, Africa in Motion consists of 12 students who perform at Utica College and in the Utica community; the highlight of each year is AIM's Extravaganza, which takes place in April and includes a number of individual and group performances by Utica College students and community members from other colleges and places as far away as New York City. Members of AIM choreograph and perform dances intended to reflect the evolution of dance styles as well as a variety of cultural influences. Dances reflect African and Latin rhythms and steps, but also include jazz, modern, swing, reggae and hip hop. In addition to perfoming, members of AIM hope to educate audience members about dance as a form of cultural expression, use dance to illustrate the evolution of African/African-American culture, and inspire others to dance as well. AIM members dance to express their feelings, to tell stories, and provide a physical outlet for their energy, and do so knowing that dance says different things to each of us. AIM members demonstrating their choreographies and dance steps include: Tyler McCrae, Arsenio Stembridge, Jasmine Cordew, Jacqueline Ramos, Shaela Amaya, Shacquana Washington, Patricia Grant.

La Banda Rossa is an Italian musical organization which performs at many concerts, church festivals, and parades. They have continued Italian musical traditions and customs for over 100 years. When Italian immigrants came to America, they brought with them a love a music, and a devotion to their patron saints. A small group of musicians in Utica, NY started gathering at the Sons of Italy Hall, just to play and enjoy the music they had brought with them from the old country. Concurrently, various societies, or “congregas”, were formed to honor the Saints with processions and feasts. In 1905, these Societies approached this group of musicians to ask them to provide the musical prayers for the Processions and perform in concert at the feasts. Legend has it that as these musicians were deciding on a name, one member just happened to have a pair of trousers with a red stripe down the side and a band hat with red bunting around it. This inspired the musicians and with that “La Banda Rossa” was born. In the early years, the Band’s repertoire consisted of many great classics including overtures, Italian opera selections, marche sinfonicas, and La Banda Rossa’s signature “Marcia Reale” (The Royal Italian March). The bands' reputation grew by leaps and bounds as did the membership. In the 20's, a group of non-musicians wanting to support and promote La Banda Rossa was formed and came to be known as the Red Band Club and continued until 1999. In the 1940's the band was sponsored by the Fort Schuyler Post and performed under that name. In the 1960's, after deciding by mutual agreement to go their separate ways, the band once again became known as La Band Rossa. As many of the Italian feasts were no longer being celebrated, the role of La Banda Rossa had to change and look to additional avenues in which to perform. It became a traveling band performing at parades and concerts in the surrounding areas including Albany, Amsterdam, Lake George as well as the Mohawk Valley. Today, the Band has expanded its repertoire to include Broadway Show Tunes, music by American composers, light Operettas, music of the eras, and American Marches, but all the Italian favorites remain at the core of La Banda Rossa’s repertoire. They continue to play at Feasts and processions regionally and internationally.

The MAH Band is named for the three Bosnian musicians Mirela, Adis and Haris, who rehearse every day after school in their family’s Utica home, The threesome is known throughout Utica’s Bosnian community for their lively Bosnian music and folk songs. The band members play at the local Bosnian club Europa and celebrations where Bosnian dances take place. Their repertoire includes traditional sevdalinka (love songs) and a kind of native Bosnian pop music in a folkish style, played on keyboards instead of the older sargija (long neck lute) or saz (larger lute), and line dance music for a local Bosnian dance group. The sevdalinka are the most widespread forms of song music in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These emotional songs which incorporate western and eastern elements, always focus on love. Today, the Turkish modal system has been replaced by the European major-minor system but the Muslim influence of free rhythm and melismatic melodies is still apparent. Emina Bajric emigrated to the U.S. in 2000 with her husband and three children. A Bosnian Muslim, she is the mother of the band and it is she who encouraged her children to continue to play Bosnian music. In Utica, Emina Bajric, Ziha Rahic and Zemka Huskic also preserve Bosnian women’s domestic art of hekljanje (crochet). Every Bosnian Muslim woman begins to prepare at an early age for her marriage by crocheting intricate tablecloths and doilies. The motifs of this folk art are traditional ones such as two mirror-images of geese. The needlework can be created as knitted crochet using two needles or using a fine crochet hook to create decorative crochet , also called “filet.’ Filet crochet is a series of box stitches worked in double crochet. Filled-in “boxes” create the design while open boxes form the background. The size of the pattern is adjusted by using different dc and chains for each box. As few as two stitches per box or ranging from three to as many as five stitches per box changes the size of the finished piece. The easiest filet is worked with two stitches per box. Unlike American crochet, Bosnian women traditionally use only the whitest of thread because hekljanje carries religious significance. Cleanliness is a central tenet of Islamic religion. Hands must be washed in order to ensure that the crocheted work is absolutely white on completion.

Native Americans: To bridge the divide that separates non-Native peoples in our city from the Oneida community, our festival includes folk artists who represent the Native American peoples in our region. The Native American folk artists will be demonstrating the following: Ron Patterson, (Oneida), the art of lacrosse stick making; Ada Jacques (Onondaga) Iroquois pottery demonstration; Birdy Burdick (Oneida) cornhusk doll making; Candace Watson (Oneida) headresses Haudonasounee wear.



Featured in our 2010 Folk Art Festival: La Banda Rossa!

Featured in 2010 Folk Art Festival the MAH Bosnian Band & Singers

Also, Native American folk art crafts

2009 Pictures

Friday & Saturday, August 2009 , NYS Folklorist Ellen Hale and Museum Director Marlene Brown presented another exciting cultural event at The Children's Museum, sponsored by NYSCA (New York State Council on the Arts). Over the past several years, the Children’s Museum has highlighted a variety of regional cultural groups, demonstrating our rich diversity. The 2008 Family Folk Arts Festival highlighted four groups currently found in central New York and the Mohawk Valley: artistic traditions of the Oneida, Onondaga & Mohawk nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), Italian & Bosnian folk art musicians, and traditions of Utica’s most recent communities: the Karen and Arakanese of Myomar (formerly Burma).


2008 Folk Art Festival: Four year old Samuel Butcher watching Alf Jacques carving lacrosse sticks
 

then getting a lesson in lacrosse playing!

Learning about No-Face dolls & making a dream catcher
 
 

Tony Diana playing traditional Italian music on the mandolin
 

The Arkanese Dancers (from Burma) performing their traditional Candlelight Dance
 
 

The artsts & audience on the museum's second floor

Demonstrating Karen of Burma beautiful intricate weaving
 

Karen of Burma Don Dancers & musicians perform
 
 

CM Director Brown w/Burmese interpretor
 

NYS Folklorist Ellen McHale records the presentations

Mirza Tihic, performing on the saz, a Bosnian instrument

Hava Tihic demonstrating Bosnian needlework

Friday, August 22 - Friday's Festival, 12:00noon to 3:00pm -
Alf Jacques,
a member of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga, learned the art of lacrosse stick making from his father, Lou Jacques. To craft a stick, a hickory log is split into 8-12 pieces lengthwise and then is shaped, dried, steamed, and dried again over a period of more than a year. The basket is made from rawhide and leather. Besides crafting lacrosse stick, Mr. Jacques also coaches a lacrosse team.
Monica Antone-Watson, a member of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk nation, is a maker of No-Face dolls, which are developed from the original Haudenosaunee cornhusk doll which had no face and which represents the Corn Spirit. Born on the Oneida Reservation in Southwold, Canada, Monica Antone-Watson learned her doll making from her grandmother, Betsy Chrisjohn, when she was about 5-6 years old. Monica Antone-Watson is active as a demonstrator at Oneida Nation festivals.
Brenda Bush is a member of the Oneida nation, Wolf Clan. While she is also a maker of cornhusk dolls, she will be demonstrating the making of dream-catchers. According to Native Americans, dreams that humans have while sleeping are sent by sacred spirits as messages. According to their Legend, in the center of the Dream Catcher there is a hole. Good dreams are permitted to reach the sleeper through this hole in the web. The web traps the bad dreams and they disappear at dawn with the first light.
Saturday, August 23 - - Friday's Festival, 11:00am to 3:00pm
11:00 a.m. - Tony Diana, performing Italian music on the mandolin, is an active member of Utica’s Italian American community. He has been playing the mandolin for about six years.
11:30 a.m. - Ah Mu, Karen of Burma weaver, has recently arrived in Utica. Using backstrap looms, weavers in the Karen community performed the “Candlelight” dance. Arakan is bordered by India and Bangladesh and was an independent nation until 1784 when it was annexed by Burma, now Myanmar. The Arakanese are one of eight distinctive ethnic groups currently under the control of Myanmar.
1:00 p.m. - The Karen is another distinctive group which came to Utica from Myanmar. Arriving first in 1999, they are now the largest recently resettled refugee group in the city of Utica. They are joined today by traditional musicians. The folk music of the Karen has melodies and storytelling which reflect life in the thick tropical jungles of the region. Instruments include the Cweh, a reeded horn made from bamboo or buffalo horn, the occasional one-string violin, and the mouth harp or Ta Ki. The intricately choreographed dance of men and women, called Doan or Don, can last up to twenty minutes.
1:30 p.m. - Hava Tihic, Bosnian needleworker, has done needlework since the 1970s, predominantly for home decoration and traditional gifts. The specialized form of crochet made in a single slip stitch results in an extremely dense fabric, which is a similar appearance to woven braid, but remarkably elastic.
2:00 p.m. - Mirza Tihic, performing on the saz, has been a musician since childhood. He began playing the saz in 2003. The saz is a long-necked stringed instrument of the lute family which often accompanies singing. The instrument has its origin in Turkey, reflecting the influence that Turkey has had on Bosnia.

Reduced General Admission both days of $7.00 per person (Members & children under 2 free). Download brochure. Visitors will be able to actively participate.

New York State Council on the Arts is sponsoring our Children's Museum Folk Art Family Festival
The Children's Museum thanks NYSCA, the New York State Council on the Arts, for sponsoring our Folk Art Festival

Friday & Saturday, July 20th & 21st, Folklorist Felicia McMahon and the Children's Museum Executive Director Marlene Brown present another exciting cultural event at The Children's Museum. Sponsored by NYSCA (New York State Council on the Arts), the FolkArt Family Festival provides an opportunity to learn about the rich diversity of local traditions. This two day event features demonstrations representing different cultures, which help make up our richly diverse community. Following is the schedule: Friday: 12:30noon to 3:30pm - Native American cultures, with Vicky Shenandoah (Oneida) shell & leather jewelry demonstration; Jerry Shenandoah (Oneida) traditional leather clothing demonstration; Danielle Shenandoah & daughter Jolene demonstrating Oneida beadwork and cornhusk dolls; Annie Green (Algonquin) traditional glass bead frames/purses demonstration; Larry Jones (Onondaga) carving wooden walking sticks; Ada Jacques (Onondaga) Iroquois pottery demonstration; Alf Jacques (Onondaga) lacrosse stickmaking demonstration . Saturday: 10:30am to 3:30pm - Ukrainian, Irish, Latino and Native American folk arts. Artists include: Randy Shenandoah (Oneida) moccasin-making demonstration; MJ Shenandoah (Oneida) cornhusk dollmaking; Maria Bero (Mohawk) featherwork; Anna Seminiak (Ukrainian) needlework; Mary Kuchera (Ukrainian) "pysanky" wax egg decorating; Lorenza Lloyd, Lorenza Soto, Martina Parra and Pablo Bailon (Latino) crocheting and sewing. 1:00 to 3:00pm - There will be music and dance performed by members of the Mohawk Valley Latino Association - Ritmo Caribeano ("Caribbean Rhythm") youth and adult dance group, plus Latino music and folk songs by Nelson Santiago and his group (Hector Raimirez, Sonia Canardia, Michael Santiago), Also performing are Utica area's Irish musicians & dancers ( fiddlers, bagpipes, Irish drums, dance jigs, etc.) 6 wonderful fiddlers. Through this annual program, the Children's Museum seeks to bridge the cultural divide that separates neighbors from our oldest and newest communities in our region.

 

To top

Friday & Saturday, July 14th & 15th, 2006, Folklorist Felicia McMahon once again worked with Children's Museum Executive Director Marlene Brown to line up another exciting cultural event at The Children's Museum. Sponsored by NYSCA (New York State Council on the Arts), the FolkArt Family Festival provided an opportunity to learn about the rich diversity of local traditions. This two day event featured demonstrations representing 5 different cultures, which help make up our richly diverse community. Following is the schedule: Friday: 12:00noon to 3:30pm - Native American cornhusk doll making by Brenda Bush; Native American beaded jewelry by Melissa McCann; Rural turkey calls by Gary Campanie, local hunter; German zither music by Klaus Raith; German-American dances by Grace Schell; Urkainian psyanky (egg decorating) by Mary Kuchera. Saturday: 10:30am to 3:30pm - Native American dancers/drum & rattle making by John Webster; Native American wampum belt-making by Judy Chrisjohn; Bosnian music and needlework by the Bajric family; performances by the "Kud Bosanska Mladest" Bosnian dancers; and the Karen Dancers from Burma. Through this annual program, the Children's Museum seeks to bridge the cultural divide that separates neighbors from our oldest and newest communities in our region. Download flyer. Download brochure.

New York State Council on the Arts is sponsoring our Children's Museum Folk Art Family Festival
The Children's Museum thanks NYSCA, the New York State Council on the Arts, for sponsoring our Folk Art Festival

 

To top

THE 2005 FOLK ART FESTIVAL: Saturday, April 23, 2005, Folklorist Felicia McMahon lined up an exciting cultural event at The Children's Museum. Sponsored by NYSCA (New York State Council on the Arts), the FolkArt Family Festival provided an opportunity to learn about the rich diversity of local traditions. Demonstrations representing 3 cultures: Native Americans, Polish Americans, and Bosnians, were on-going throughout the day, including no-face doll making, palm weaving, needlework/crocheting. At 11am, the MAH Band performed Bosnian folk music, representing Utica's newer immigrants. At 1pm the Little Poland Dance Ensemble performed traditional Polish dances, representing one of our older communities. At 2pm, the Oneida Nation Social Dancers performed, representing the first settlers in our area. Through this annual program, the Children's Museum seeks to bridge the cultural divide that separates neighbors from our oldest and newest communities. FolkArt Festival Info * Pix * Brochure * Press Release


The MAH Bosnian Band opens the program

The band and singers wowed the crowd

Left & Above: teaching Bosnian folk dances

The crowd enjoying

The talented young band

Bosnian crocheting and needlework display

Oneida Indian Nation No-Face Doll display

Polish American palm weaving

The Polish American dance group is up next

Their music had the floor jumping joyously

Left & Above: The Little Poland Ensemble

Both Polish-American groups were enjoyed by all

Left: their last number; Above: taking a well-deserved bow

The Oneida Indian Nation Social Dancers enter to perform

Their lead singer starts them off

The young ladies and young men performing

Traditional Oneida Indian Nation dances

The audience joins in the dance

Bosnians, Polish, and Oneida Nation dancing together

Hey, it's fun to know each other's culture!

The Oneida Nation Social Dancers take their final bow

Folklorist Faye McMahon thanks the crowd
New York State Council on the Arts is sponsoring our Children's Museum Folk Art Family Festival
The Children's Museum thanks NYSCA, the New York State Council on the Arts, for sponsoring our Folk Art Festival

 

To pictures * To top * To text * To previous festivals