For over 30 years, TAUNY has searched the towns, villages, hamlets, back roads, woods, waterways and more of our remote corner of the world looking for those individuals, groups, and places that define and expand our cultural heritage. We hope you enjoy exploring these pages and learning about these fantastic people and places.




Celebrating 25 Years of North Country Heritage Awards

Sunday, October 28, 2018

12:00-5:00 pm

Baskets to blintzes! Fiddling to fungus art! Over 25 years, TAUNY has recognized 129 individuals, groups, places, and events representing the vibrant array of traditions that make the North Country so special through our North Country Heritage Awards. Join us on Sunday, October 28th for an afternoon full of demonstrations, music, food, and hands-on activities shared by award recipients and others carrying our region’s arts and skills forward!

Visitors will have a chance to jump into a square dance with the Adirondack Playboys; watch a live portrait-painting by Tug Hill artist Loretta Lepkowski; learn to take tricks playing Pedro with the Cooks Corners Schoolhouse crew; trace the intricacies of custom inlay work with Dave Nichols; sleuth the secrets of a perfect loaf of challah bread with Laini Kavaloski from Potsdam’s Congregation Beth El; and more. Kids will have a chance to learn about traditional arts from beadwork to fungus art through hands-on crafts. Musical and material arts presentations will abound, and guests can refuel throughout the event with North Country traditional foodways-themed sweets and savories. In the Folkstore, there will be features of Heritage Award-related products and publications. TAUNY is also publishing a special commemorative booklet–featuring the history of, reflections on, and a visual tour of the awards–that will be distributed to visitors at the event.

Featured intergenerational arts demonstrations will include Akwesasne Mohawk traditional artists Nanci Ransom and Carrie Hill (fancy baskets) and Glenn Swamp (utility baskets) demonstrating black ash splint and sweetgrass basket making. Eli Tracy and grandson will demonstrate blacksmithing alongside James Gonzalez, sharing his work in honor of the late John Scarlett. Historian Hallie Bond will show an Adirondack guide boat. Performances will include ballad singer Colleen Cleveland, storyteller Bill Smith, and fiddlers from NYS Grand Champion Don Woodcock, the Perkins Family, and Vince and Louise Boyea, to the rising talents of the Madstop Fiddlers (Potsdam) and the Osceola-based Fiddlin’ Future group. The afternoon of demonstrations and performances will culminate in a concert with the Fraser Family and Friends from 4:15-5:00 pm.

*Alongside demonstrations and displays presented by award recipients and friends, there will be ongoing community-based activities including a knit-in, a wood-carving circle, and a traditional music jam; any who do these activities are invited to take part, and all visitors are invited to stop by during the event to watch, listen, or get a quick demo. If you’re interested in participating in one of these activities, RSVP is appreciated by Wednesday, October 24th to Camilla Ammirati at or 315-386-4289.


Schedule of Events

Folk Arts Demonstrations, 12:00-4:00 pm

(TAUNY Galleries, 1st and 2nd Floors, and Outside)

Carrie Hill (Fancy basket making)

Nanci Ransom (Fancy basket making)

Glenn Swamp (Utility basket making)

Helen Condon (Rug-braiding)

Dave Nichols (Guitar-making and inlay)

Carol Pearsall (Buff knitting)

Jack Taylor (Woodcarving)

Dick Hollis (Duck decoy carving)

Frank White (Model boat making)

Jane Desotelle (Herbal arts, wild foraging)

Loretta Lepkowski (Folkloric portrait-painting)

Hallie Bond (Historian, showing guideboat and quilt-tying)

Birdsfoot Farm (Information table)

James Gonzalez (Blacksmithing)

Eli Tracy and grandson Eli Tracy III (Blacksmithing)

Bill MacKentley (Horticulturist)

Mike Small (Fly-tying)

Kitchen Demos, 12:00-4:00 pm

(TAUNY Kitchen, 1st Floor)

12:00-1:00 pm: Pierogies and other Polish Treats with Rachel Tengowski

1:00-2:00 pm: Herbal Infusions, Decoctions, and Tinctures with Jane Desotelle

2:00-3:00 pm: Greek pastries

3:00-4:00 pm: Challah Bread and Kugel with Laini Kavaloski


(TAUNY Galleries, 1st and 2nd Floors, and Back Entryway)

12:00-5:00 pm: General refreshments and kitchen demonstration samples available

12:00-4:00 pm: Michigans and beer for purchase

4:00-5:00 pm: Cash bar

Music and More, 12:00-4:00 pm

(TAUNY Main Gallery/“Mainstage” area, 1st Floor)

12:00 pm: Gretchen Koehler and Madstop Fiddlers: Old-time fiddling

12:25 pm: Colleen Cleveland: Ballad singing

12:45 pm: Liz Scarlett: Poetry reading and story in honor of John Scarlett

1:00 pm: Remarks

1:20 pm: The Adirondack Playboys: Square-dance band and dancing demo

2:00 pm: New York State Old-tyme Fiddlers’ Association “Fiddlin’ Futures” Group

2:25 pm: Dawn Atkinson, Bill Smith, and Don Woodcock: North Country songs, stories, and tunes

3:00 pm: Fiddling Families and Friends Session with Don Woodcock, Jackie Hobbs, the Perkins Family, and Vince and Louise Boyea

Other Interactive Activities, 12:00-4:00 pm

(TAUNY Conference Room, 2nd Floor)

12:30-1:30 pm: Traditional Music Jam, open to the public

1:45-2:45 pm: Pedro Party with Cooks Corners Schoolhouse (card game demonstration and teaching)

3:00-4:00 pm: Kids’ crafts with Jessie Weirich of 4-H Camp Overlook

Open Crafting Activities

(TAUNY Gallery, 2nd Floor)

All knitters and woodcarvers are invited to bring their own projects, materials, and tools, and drop in on these activity circles. Or if you’re new to the activity, stop by to watch, listen, and get a quick lesson.

12:00-4:00 pm: Knit-In, open to the public

12:00-4:00 pm: Woodcarving circle, open to the public

Schedule is subject to change. For further details and updates about the Folklife Fair, visit or follow TAUNY on Facebook and Instagram. If you have further questions or are interested in volunteering at the Fair or to help with preparations including refreshments, please contact TAUNY Director of Research and Programs Camilla Ammirati at or 315-386-4289.

The 2018 North Country Heritage Awards program is made possible by the generous support of the Cloudsplitter Foundation, the Sweetgrass Foundation, Corning Incorporated Foundation, the Perkins Family Charitable Fund (in honor of Gerald R. Perkins), and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Additional support provided by Car Freshner Corporation, Community Bank, N.A., County Seat Realty, Jreck Subs, Bliss Massage, MacFadden Dier-Leonard Agency, Inc., Northland Veterinary Hospital, Pat Collins Real Estate, and Pepsi-Cola Ogdensburg Bottlers.

Special thanks to this program’s media sponsor, NCPR.