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



Unless otherwise noted the following events and workshops take place at The TAUNY Center and are free of charge. To receive our monthly event and workshop email, join our mailing list.



Community Contra Dance

Friday, March 29

6:30-7:00pm - Introductory Lesson

7:00-9:00 pm - Contra Dance

$5-$10 Suggested Donation

Location: First Presbyterian Church on the Park

17 Park St., Canton, NY

Join us for our first live-band, community contra dance of 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church on the Park! Beth Robinson will be calling the dances, and there will be lively music by fiddler and North Country Heritage Award recipient Gretchen Koehler and the Community Contra Dance Band.

The Community Contra Dance Band has been a special project this spring, as part of a year-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of the North Country Heritage Awards. To form this ensemble, TAUNY and band leader Gretchen Koehler have invited interested community members to join in preparing a selection of traditional tunes and arrangements, with a focus on learning the best techniques for playing for social dancing. TAUNY is pleased to offer this opportunity to join a Heritage Award recipient in celebrating--and helping carry on--the long-intertwined North Country traditions of social dancing and old-time fiddle music. Learn more about TAUNY’s North Country Heritage Awards at

There is a suggested donation of $5-$10 for this program. Beginners are welcome and all dances will be taught at an introductory lesson from 6:30-7:00 pm. This is a family-friendly event.

The Community Contra Dance is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.   

Talk and Book-signing with Author Paul Hetzler

Saturday, March 30

1:00-3:00 pm

Naturalist and educator Paul Hetzler will stop by The TAUNY Center to talk about and sign copies of his book Shady Characters: Plant Vampires, Caterpillar Soup, Leprechaun Trees and Other Hilarities of the Natural World.

Entirely off-grid and frequently off the wall, Paul Hetzler was raised by wolves, his two children, and various other wild things. When his dream of becoming a bear did not pan out, Mr. Hetzler spiraled into a steep moral decline, finally landing a job as an educator. Despite a busy schedule burning toast on the woodstove and generally embarrassing his offspring, he manages to write weekly natural-history columns for newspapers and magazines in northern New York State, as well as just across the border in southern Québec and Ontario, where he lives (part-time for now) with his Canadian wife.

Hetzler's work has appeared in Highlights for Children, Prime Number Magazine, and (to his surprise), in the medical journal The Lancet. Ever the optimist, he hopes one day to burn less toast. Shady Characters is his first published book. His second volume of humorous nature essays entitled Don't be Such a Duck! will be released soon.

From Jamaica to Peru

Exhibit Opening Reception

Saturday, April 13

2:00-4:00 pm

Join us for the opening of our next exhibit, From Jamaica to Peru! The opening reception will include Q&A with the curator, and light refreshments will be served.

In this photography-based exhibition, guest curator and photographer Ben Stechschulte explores the inextricable fortunes of TAUNY North Country Heritage Award recipient Forrence Orchards, in the northern Adirondacks, and the generations of Jamaican men who travel thousands of miles to work there each year. The project, based on Ben’s extensive fieldwork and documentation over the course of a recent production season, was originally published as an Adirondack Life Magazine feature in October 2017. The TAUNY Center exhibition offers an expanded presentation of photos along with video and selected objects reflecting the work and daily experience of the Forrence Orchard apple pickers.

TAUNY is pleased to present “From Jamaica to Peru” as part of this year’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the North Country Heritage Awards. Forrence Orchards received a TAUNY North Country Heritage Award in 2009 in recognition of the multi-generational ownership and operation of the orchard, which is itself an example of an important regional agricultural tradition. This exhibit offers a unique, in-depth look at the essential role the Jamaican apple pickers play in sustaining the orchard, and through that focus it offers insight on one of the main topics TAUNY is exploring through the 25th anniversary celebrations: the ever-dynamic balance of change and continuity in how deeply-rooted North Country traditions are carrying on.

Ben Stechschulte is a portrait, editorial, and documentary photographer and filmmaker based in the Adirondacks and New York City.

TAUNY presents “From Jamaica to Peru” in partnership with Adirondack Life magazine, which originally published material from the documentary project in October 2017. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding was also provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Special thanks to Forrence Orchards and the apple pickers for participating in this project.

Learn more about Forrence Orchards and TAUNY’s North Country Heritage Awards program at:


“The Trails of the Adirondacks:

Hiking America's Original Wilderness”

Talk and Book Signing with Neal Burdick
Sunday, April 28

1:30-3:30 pm

Join us for a talk and book signing for the newly published book, The Trails of the Adirondacks: Hiking America's Original Wilderness by Carl Heilman, foreword by Bill McKibben, and text by Neal Burdick. This book release will include a presentation and book signing by Neal Burdick (Canton, NY), followed by a reception. Light refreshments will be served. This book will be released on April 16, 2019. Pre-ordering a copy will guarantee availability the day of the signing. To pre-order a copy from the North Country Folkstore, click here.


Published by Rizzoli International with ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club), this new title celebrates America's original hiking destination through breathtaking contemporary photography by Carl Heilman, maps, and archival photos. Text by Neal Burdick brings the history of the trails to life. Sidebars by Christine Jerome and Stuart F. Mesinger and excerpts from The Adirondack Reader provide additional perspective and interest.

Carl Heilman II has spent the last forty years hiking and photographing the Adirondack Mountains. His photographs of the region continue to be published in magazines such as Outside and National Parks and presented as shows on PBS. Neal Burdick, in addition to being editor of Adirondac, writes regularly for Adirondack Explorer, Adirondack Life, and other regional periodicals; has coedited four regional anthologies; and was a charter board member of the Adirondack Center for Writing. Bill McKibben is an environmentalist and writer who frequently contributes to The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, and Outside.

The Adirondack Park is home to the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 states--six million acres comprising more than 10,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, and thousands of miles of hiking trails. Includes fold-out Adirondack Park map in inside-cover pocket.

First Friday Jam

Please note that our monthly jams are currently on hiatus. Stay tuned--and tuned up!--for other musical opportunities coming up.

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