Executive Director - Jill Breit - email@example.com
Founding Director - Varick Chittenden - firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Research and Programs - Camilla Ammirati - email@example.com
Director of Development - Laura Desmond - firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications Specialist - Rachel Tengowski - email@example.com
Bookkeeper - Laura Gagne - firstname.lastname@example.org
Program Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator - Maggie McKenna - email@example.com
Folkstore Associates - firstname.lastname@example.orgSara Ricalton
Executive Director, Jill Breit, joined TAUNY in 1993, just before the organization opened its first public gallery in Canton. A graduate of St. Lawrence University, Jill earned her M.A. in Folk Studies at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. As Executive Director, in addition to oversight of programming, Jill is in charge of long-range planning, cultivation of funding sources, and staff development. She also continues to be involved in research and programs.
Founding Director, Varick Chittenden, retired, is a folklorist with particular interests in regional culture, folk art, traditional crafts, foodways, and oral storytelling traditions. He is Professor Emeritus of English and folklore at SUNY Canton, has an MA in American Folk Culture from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a BA and MEd from St. Lawrence University. He has curated numerous exhibitions of folk art and published countess articles in scholarly and general interest publications. He remains an active folklorist locally and nationally, and regularly consults with TAUNY on programs and projects.
Director Research and Programs, Camilla Ammirati, joined TAUNY in early 2014. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Virginia and her B.A. in English from Carleton College in Northfield, MN. At UVA, she specialized in 19th- and 20th-century American literature, with particular focus on the relationship between domestic space and national belonging in early 20th-century American literature and music. More recently she has taught American literature and communication at St. Lawrence University. Camilla has been an active musician in the Boston bluegrass and Virginia old-time music communities, playing guitar and banjo as well as singing and writing music inspired by varied American roots traditions. Prior to her American musical adventures, she traveled the U.K. and Ireland as a Watson fellow, exploring the relationship between music, folklore, poetry, and place.
Director of Development, Laura Desmond, came to TAUNY in 2015. Much of her life has been spent in the “TAUNY region”: born in Plattsburgh and raised in Gloversville, she attended St. Lawrence University and then worked in the North Country after graduation. She left the North Country to attend the University of Chicago, where she earned her Ph.D., returning in 2008 to teach for a time at St. Lawrence University. As Director of Development, Laura is responsible for building and sustaining ongoing philanthropic support for TAUNY. She welcomes you to talk with her any time about ways that you can contribute to TAUNY’s mission.
Folkstore Associate, Sara Ricalton, started working at TAUNY in early 2012. She is responsible for welcoming visitors to The TAUNY Center and for running TAUNY's retail operation, the North Country Folkstore. Sara graduated from Canton Central School and has lived in the North Country for the majority of her adult life. A former kindergarten teacher, Sara lives in Canton with her two children.
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