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.


Stable Views; Life in the Backstretch of Thoroughbred Racetracks
Many North Country residents have enjoyed a day at the Saratoga racetrack, where the spectacle is the excitement of the race and the fancy dress of the spectators. Folklorist Ellen McHale has spent years behind the scenes at the Saratoga and Belmont racetracks, getting to know the workers who care for the horses, out of the public’s sight.

What she found was a tight-knit community, whose love for the animals in their care is the basis for a rich occupational culture. That research is the subject of an exhibit now on display at The TAUNY Center. The exhibit consists of photos, quotes from the workers featured presented in English and Spanish, and artifacts from the backstretch.

The exhibit will remain on display through early November. TAUNY thanks Potsdam Agway for their underwriting support of this exhibit.

Bill Parmer Loves Barns

If you travel the country roads around St. Lawrence County, chances are you may have seen Bill Parmer working on a painting by the side of the road and wondered what he is up to. Now through September 12, visitors to The TAUNY Center can see a display of original oil paintings Bill made along country roads in Waddington, Lawrenceville, Hopkinton, Winthrop, and other nearby locations. The paintings are accompanied by Bill’s explanations of the circumstances and content of the paintings. Bill travels throughout the North Country and into other states to paint, but most of the time you will find him close to his home in Buckton. He paints in all weather except high wind and driving rain.

All the paintings in the display are for sale in the gallery, and some of them are in our online shop here.

Selected Works by Fred Morgan (Case Exhibit)

Fred Morgan (1913-1994) of Norwood, tinkerer and inventor, carved and painted dioramas after a stroke left him partially paralyzed. His pieces represent the history of Norwood, telling the story of the town’s past from his perspective, including the musical life of Norwood, the humor that can be found in contentious political issues, and the communal work and celebration involved in the seasonal rounds of rural life.

This exhibit of selected works, a more complete version of which was first displayed at TAUNY in the fall and winter of 1996-7, celebrates the gift of Fred Morgan’s collection to TAUNY. We are deeply indebted to Mrs. Rena Morgan and her children—Joan, Chuck, Jack, and Fred—for their generosity and confidence. We are committed to preserving the work and to sharing it with the public.



Jam School

Tuesdays August 11, August 18, August 25

Noon - 1:00pm

Cost: $45.00/$40 for TAUNY Friends

This is a 3-lesson course over 3 weeks to help you navigate music reading and group playing. This course is designed as a preamble to our monthly TAUNY jams which begin in September.

Learn about time signatures, repeats, first and second endings, codas, and other musical terms that can befuddle a first-time jammer. We’ll also practice group playing and jam etiquette. Bring any fretted instrument and get set to have fun! To register, email

The cost of this class is $45 ($40 for TAUNY Friends). Pre-registration is required. To register contact us at 315-386-4289 or


Welcome to the North Country Open House

Thursday, September 10

5:30 - 7:00pm

TAUNY's Welcome to the North Country reception offers newcomers to the area a chance to meet some of their neighbors and learn a little bit about what makes life in the North Country special. This year's reception features exhibits, activities, music, food, and more. The reception is free and open to the public. Join us and share your great North Country stories and information about your favorite local organizations.

Special thanks to Hoffman, Eells and Gray, CPAs, P.C. and Pat Collins Real Estate for their underwriting support of this event.


Alex Smith in Concert

Saturday, September 12

7:00 - 9:00pm

Suggested donation: $5-15

Adirondack folk singer-songwriter Alex Smith will be in concert at The TAUNY Center at 53 Main St., downtown Canton on Saturday, September 12 from 7:00-9:00pm.  A suggested donation of $5-$15 includes simple refreshments.

Alex Smith grew up in Long Lake, and his music echoes North Country culture. He builds songs from a blend of traditional folk harmony and strikingly modern lyrics, confronting today's most pressing issues with grace, while paying homage to the musical traditions of the region.

Smith's characters, though fictional, live and breathe a balance between beauty and imperfection. His stories draw on the triumphs and hardships of friends, relatives, and neighbors near and far, and he has worked tirelessly to carry the music of northern New York to audiences nationwide.

"These songs of Alex Smith stretch the expectation of what fresh, new music can say about ancient hills, the communities they hold, and their stories," says Dan Berggren, Adirondack folk legend. TAUNY Program Director Camilla Ammirati adds, "We're delighted to present Alex Smith in concert at The TAUNY Center, as his music demonstrates how a deep-rooted sense of place can nourish beautiful new creative work that celebrates North Country life and heritage."

WORKSHOP FULL, but dinner tickets remain available

Indian Cooking Workshop and/or Dinner
with Rajiv and Geetika

Saturday, September 19th

3-8pm or 6:30-8pm

Cooking workshop, including dinner: 3pm to 8pm (space limited to 10 people)

Cost: $70, $60 for TAUNY Friends

Dinner only: 6:30 to 8pm (space limited to 30 people including workshop participants)

Cost: $40, $35 for TAUNY Friends


Join Geetika and Rajiv Narula for an amazing day of cooking and sharing Indian food to celebrate the bounty from a good summer and support TAUNY's mission. The North Country is home to a variety of rich food traditions, some of which are rooted right here in our region, while others have been brought to the North Country by those who have come to live in the area, and who continue to carry on and celebrate the traditions of their home and heritage communities. On Saturday, September 19th, to benefit TAUNY, Geetika and Rajiv will lead a workshop for 10 people in TAUNY’s very own kitchen, where you will have the opportunity to share in one of those traditions.

In this workshop, you will learn the fine details of cooking an Indian meal, including an appetizer and a dessert. The menu will incorporate local seasonal produce into traditional and healthy Indian dishes such as Curried Potatoes, a Pumpkin Chickpea Coconut Milk Curry, and an appetizer of fresh, local vegetables dipped in a mouth-watering batter and baked. While you will learn how to use Indian spices and cooking techniques, Geetika and Rajiv will also show how traditions transform as old recipes meet new experiences and regional ingredients. The meal will include a Tomato Apple Chutney, for instance, that puts a North Country spin on an Indian recipe by using maple syrup as a sweetener.

While a world of recipes may be a click away on-line, there’s no substitute for spending an afternoon in the kitchen with the cooks themselves. Geetika and Rajiv are both experienced in Indian cooking traditions. As they told TAUNY Director of Research and Programs Camilla Ammirati, “We grew up in families where food is honored and celebrated and where at least three fresh meals are cooked every day, where the dining table brings all family members together!”


Workshop participants will learn about all this and more while preparing a meal for themselves and additional guests who will come join us for dinner a little later in the evening. Whether you want to take the cooking workshop or just come in for dinner, there’s a way for you to take part! Join us for the workshop, which starts at 3pm and includes dinner, or come for dinner only, starting at 6:30pm. Either way, seats are limited, so RSVP soon!

Sunday, October 18


Salute to North Country Heritage

Our newly-revised annual Heritage Awards program promises to introduce you to some hidden legends and magical places in our community. Join us to celebrate the winners of this year's award.

More details here.


TAUNY Jams Fall 2015

Starting Friday, September 11

Then, First Fridays October, November, December

(October 2, November 6, December 4)

7:00 - 8:30pm

TAUNY's traditional music jams are open to good-natured folks interested in gathering with North Country neighbors to play old time fiddle tunes and songs from American folk traditions.

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! The jams are geared toward guitar, fiddle and other acoustic instruments, and beginners are very welcome.

These evenings are hosted by fiddler Gretchen Koehler and singer/guitarist and host of NCPR's String Fever Barb Heller, with occasional guest-host champion fiddler Don Woodcock and clawhammer banjo player and TAUNY director of research and programs Camilla Ammirati.

More details about the jams are available at this link.



Watercolor Circle

Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00am - Noon

A group of watercolorists and other artists gathers at The TAUNY Center each  Wednesday and Friday morning, bringing their own materials and projects, to paint, consult, and converse. The group is open to the public, and you are welcome to bring any kind of art or craft project you’re working on. For more information, call Camilla at 315-384-4289, or email

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