Traditional Arts in Upstate New York. Traditional Arts of Upstate New York
53 Main Street
Canton, NY 13617
(315) 386-4289


Unless otherwise specified, events take place at The TAUNY Center.


Every Single Day: Life on North Country Dairy Farms

TAUNY's latest exhibit features photographs from 15 farms taken by internationally renowned photographer Martha Cooper and excerpts from interviews with more than 20 farmers and employees. Research and documentation for the exhibit were carried out by TAUNY staff. Program director Hannah Harvester and fellow folklorists Jill Breit and Varick Chittenden  interviewed 40 farmers, family members, employees, and others in St. Lawrence, Lewis, Franklin, Jefferson counties. Farms ranged in size from herds of 35 to 1200 milking cows.

“We wanted to offer a glimpse at the complexity of dairy farming today,” explains Hannah. “Farming is a really particular kind of livelihood--farmers tend to work closely with their families, close to home, they’re working with live animals and big forces like the weather. One minute they’re wrenching boulders out of the ground and the next minute they’re helping birth a calf. They face huge challenges like a milk pricing system that’s totally out of their control and a shortage of labor, but when they talk about what they love about farming you can see why they stay in it.”

The documentation project and exhibit were funded by an Archie Green Fellowship, awarded by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The original documentary materials generated will be part of the American Folklife Center’s Archie Green Community Documentation Collection, housed in the Library of Congress.

Also Showing

Slices of Main Street, Canton

Following its debut at the Grasse River Heritage solstice celebration, the “Slices of Main Street, Canton” quilt is on display at The TAUNY Center.

“Slices of Main Street, Canton” was created by a group of North Country quilters called the Fiberistas.
The “slice quilt” idea was adapted from similar art quilt groups that wanted to produce a group project worked on by many of their members. To create the “slices,” the group agreed on a section of Canton's Main Street, cut a photograph of that scene into pieces, and each quilter made a piece of the whole.  For display, the individual pieces are not sewn together, but are hung together to form the full picture.

TAUNY’s “Slices of Main Street, Canton” display is underwritten by North Country Savings Bank.


Saturday, October 25, 1 to 3 p.m. 
Halloween Cookie Decorating with "The Cookie Architect," Rebecca Weld 


Rebecca Weld, a.k.a. The Cookie Architect, will teach you to create cookie masterpieces in this hands-on workshop. Frosting and tools will be provided*, and participants will turn frosting into frightening as they decorate their cookies with spooky Halloween scenes! This workshop is appropriate for adventuresome bakers and artists alike, ages 12 and up. Pre-registration is required. The cost for this workshop is $30 per person ($25 for TAUNY Friends). To register, contact TAUNY at 315-386-4289 or 
*Please note: Participants are asked to bake and bring their own sugar cookies to decorate at the workshop. You will need about a dozen cookies, and circles or squares will work well. Rebecca Weld recommends the recipe at this link, which can be halved to make a dozen cookies.

Saturday, October 25, 1:30pm
Barn Quilt Trail; Organizational Meeting

There's a growing movement in St. Lawrence County to develop barn quilt trails through our communities.  A Canton group will host an information meeting at The TAUNY Center, 53 Main St., Canton, on Saturday, October 25 at 1:30.   The focus of the discussion on the 25th will be plans for a Canton trail.  Organizers of the meeting are putting out a call to anyone in the community interested in helping develop the trail, including property owners who would like to display a painted quilt. Please contact Joan Olin,, for more information.

Barn quilts, painted on plywood and mounted on the sides of barns, replicate a fabric quilt square on a very large scale, usually 4-by-4 feet or 8-by-8 feet. The squares reflect the culture and agricultural character of the areas in which they occur. Quilt trails can serve as special attractions in rural regions. The Canton project is similar to the Hammond Barn Quilt Trail started earlier this year. Find them on Facebook: Hammond Barn Quilt Trail. 

Saturday, November 1, 1:00 - 3:00pm
American and Continental Knitting with Jody Horwitz

Join Jody Horwitz for a workshop on American and Continental knitting styles. Students will need to bring worsted weight yarn and appropriate needles for the yarn they bring (consult the wrapper of the yarn).  

This skill building lesson is designed to prepare a knitter for Fair Isle knitting, carrying 2 colors of yarn with one in each hand, and is good preparation for the Fair Isle Headband workshop scheduled for December 13 at The TAUNY Center. It may also teach knitters to knit faster using Continental knitting as opposed to American style knitting.

We'll devote a half hour each to American style knitting, American style purling, Continental style knitting, and Continental style purling.

Cost: $15 ($12 for TAUNY Friends)

Saturday, November 8, 10am - 3:30pm

Chair-Pad Braiding with Helen Condon

Come make a 14-inch braided chair pad with TAUNY Heritage Award Winner Helen Condon. You will learn braiding, lacing, and finishing skills—all the skills needed to make a full rug. Wool strips, needle, and twine will be included in the cost of the workshop, and clamps will also be available to purchase. Condon will provide materials in the Adirondack colors green, brown, and red, but other colors are also possible if you contact TAUNY by Nov. 4th.  Pre-registration for this workshop is required (payment is required upon registration). The cost for this workshop (including materials) is $55 ($50 for TAUNY Friends).

Note: Participants are encouraged to bring a bag lunch.


Knitting Groups

Knitting Group with Jody Horwitz
Tuesday mornings, 10 a.m. to noon

Each week a group of knitters gathers in the comfortable meeting space on our first floor for a morning of knitting. Bring a project, bring a problem - enjoy knitting and visiting with fellow knitters.

  TAUNY Jams
Fall 2014 
Third Fridays of the Month

TAUNY's traditional music jams are open to good-natured folks interested in gathering with North Country neighbors to play old time fiddle tunes. All levels of musicians, singers, and step dancers are welcome. Toe tappin’ listeners are encouraged although they may be handed a pair of spoons or washboard before the eve is over!

Fall 2014 jams will happen on third Fridays in September, October, and November, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. They will be hosted by fiddler Gretchen Koehler and singer/guitarist Barb Heller, host of NCPR's String Fever.  

TAUNY / SLU Contra Club Community Contra Dances and Tune School
Fall 2014
Tune School: Each Wednesday, 4:30 - 6:00pm at The TAUNY Center

Saturday, Nov. 1st, 7pm, The TAUNY Center
Saturday, Dec. 13th, 7pm, Sykes Formal Lounge at St. Lawrence University

Calling musicians! This season, TAUNY will partner with the student contra dance club at St. Lawrence University to hold monthly Community Contra Dances and a weekly Tune School.

Dances will begin in October (keep an eye out for details), and the Tune School will meet weekly at TAUNY on Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00pm, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 24th.

Acoustic and traditional musicians are encouraged to attend weekly, with the goal to play as part of the band for the upcoming contra dances. Tune School meetings will be a cross between lessons and a jam, with a melody instrument player teaching tunes each week. Players should be comfortable learning by ear and are encouraged to bring recording devices and/or notebooks to help with picking tunes up. Both melody and rhythm instruments are welcome.

Styles will vary depending on the teachers, who will include Cape Breton and Scottish-style fiddle player Jacob Brillhart, fiddler Dillon Black, and Appalachian-style clawhammer banjo player and TAUNY Director of Research and Programs Camilla Ammirati. Attention will be given to tunes, etiquette and methods for playing with other musicians in various styles, and how best to play for dances.

Please join us at The TAUNY Center for Tune School and keep an eye out for details about fall Community Contra Dances. (TAUNY Jam players are ancouraged to attend Tune School as well!)

Contact TAUNY at 315-386-4289 or with questions.

Dust off those instruments and come play tunes with us!

Details of the following 2014 activities and events will be posted as they are available.

Saturday, November 1, 7 to 9 p.m.
Community Contra Dance

Friday, November 7, 5 to 7 p.m.
Annual Donor Reception and Holiday Showcase Opening

Saturday, November 8, 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Quilt Documentation Workshop with Jill Breit and Hallie Bond

Saturday, November 15, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Gingerbread Workshop with Sue Wilder

Saturday, November 15, 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
St. Lawrence Arts Council, Artists Studio Tour
TAUNY will host guest artists: 
Susan Robinson (driftwood paintings), Teddi Lawless (beading), Alice David (quilting), and Gene Newman (woodworking) 

Friday, November 21, 7 to 8:30 p.m. 
Third Friday Jam

Saturday, November 29 (Time TBA)
Adirondack Folk Singer-Songwriter Alex Smith in Concert

Saturday, December 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Holiday Open House and Sugar & Spice Opening

Saturday, December 13, 1 to 3 p.m.
Knit Fair Isle Headband Workshop with Jody Horwitz

If you would like to receive periodic e-updates about TAUNY activities and events,
please email 
  Please click here to review TAUNY's Workshop Cancellation Policy 

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