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.


Tuesday, October 14, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Grab a Slice of Canton: Slice Quilt Reception

Celebrate the Fiberistas' Slice Quilt of Main Street Canton with a slice of pizza, while the Fiberistas talk about the project! The Fiberistas will discuss how and why they made the quilt, showing patterns and other materials that were part of the process. They will also display previous works. Pizza will be provided by Josie's Pizza. The ongoing display of "Slices of Main Street, Canton" at The TAUNY Center is made possible by the support of the North Country Savings Bank. 

Sunday, October 19, 2 p.m.
Salute to North Country Legends

The 22 Annual Salute honors North Country Heritage Award Winners:
Island Chapel, Interdenominational Services, Upper Saranac Lake
Kontiwennanha:Wi - Akwesasne Women Singers, Traditional Mohawk Music, Akwesasne
Polish American Citizens Club of Lewis County, Polka Dances, Glenfield

Join us to learn about and celebrate these North Country tradition bearers.

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, which can be halved to make a dozen cookies.


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.

True Beginners Knitting Group with Becky Graham
Tuesday evenings in September, beginning on September 9th, 5 to 6 p.m.

Couldn't tell knitting from purling if your life depended on it? Come join the True Beginners Knitting Group! This limited-series knitting group is meant for knitters who are starting from scratch and would like an introduction to (or refresher on) basic knitting skills and projects. Please bring a pair of needles and some yarn if you have them, or drop us a line at if you'd like to come but need a loan of materials for your first time joining the group. Beginning knitters are encouraged, but not required, to attend the whole series. 

Please note: beginning knitters are also most welcome at the regular weekly Tuesday morning knitting group with Jody Horwitz. Knitters are invited to take part in either or both gatherings.


  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

Note: Tune School will not meet this Wednesday, October 8th, but will resume on Wednesday, October 15th.

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, 1 to 3 p.m.
American and Continental Knitting with Jody Horwitz

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

Saturday, November 8, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Chair Pad Braiding with Helen Condon

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

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

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please email 
  Please click here to review TAUNY's Workshop Cancellation Policy 

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