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

Board of Directors

Of Recent Interest

TAUNY’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Andrew Gillcrist of Rensselaer, Kate Castle of Cape Vincent and Carolyn Twomey of Canton...


A nonprofit incorporated organization, TAUNY is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board meets bi-monthly, usually on the third Friday of each month.

President Ruth McWilliams, South Colton, co-owns and manages Catamount Lodge & Forest LLC with her husband Joe. She is a native of St. Lawrence County, raised on a family-owned dairy farm in Lisbon. Ruth is interested in sustainable approaches to community development and natural resource management. She recently retired from the US Department of Agriculture after 30 years of public service; she last served as the Forest Service’s National Sustainable Development Coordinator in Washington, DC. She also currently serves as president of a local family foundation created in honor of her parents. Ruth and Joe have a grown son who lives in Virginia.

Vice President Jackie Sauter, Canton, is retired from her position as Program Director at North Country Public Radio. She is a member of a variety of community groups, with a special interest in the arts and in assisting individuals with disabilities and their families. Her particular interests include world, traditional, and folk music, which she featured on her own public radio program, Music for a Monday Afternoon.

Treasurer Fran Moore, Saratoga Springs, is retired from the corporate life of Information Technology at IBM, and finally able to express her creative side in pursuit of fiber arts: knitting and spinning; and food-as-art, having delivered several “Tea Talks” and demonstrations at TAUNY and other organizations in Northern NY. Fran’s other volunteer experiences include grant writing; awareness building and fund raising; governance; and program development and delivery.

Peggy Lynn, Secretary, Lake Clear, is a well-known Adirondack singer/songwriter. She has been writing, recording, and performing traditional and original songs of the Adirondacks for over 30 years. She also teaches online courses on these subjects. Her love of the Adirondacks began when she was a forestry student at Paul Smith’s College. Peggy has made it a personal mission to be sure the voices and stories of Adirondack women are not overlooked.

Kate Castle, Cape Vincent, moved to the 1000 Islands in 2018, where she manages her family’s artisan gift shop, Chateau, and founded her own apothecary business, Hedge Witch Botanicals. A native of CNY, she holds a BA in art history, with a focus on gender in early 20th century art. Prior work experience includes administration and directorships of various nonprofit theaters and performing arts centers, as well as volunteer and board experience in the arts. 

Martha Foley Smith is retired from North Country Public Radio, where she helped found and grow the news department, leading reporting on regional identity, human interest, and issues of life and work in the Adirondack North Country region. She grew up on Mt. McGregor, an Adirondack foothill in rural Saratoga County, and lives outside Canton. She traces her family roots to Croil’s Island, and northern St. Lawrence County and has been in and out of the Adirondacks since childhood. She’s a knitter and gardener, but expert at neither!

Andrew Gillcrist, Rensselaer, splits his time between the Capital Region and the North Country. He is currently the Program Director at Great Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lake, New York where he plans a variety of programs and activities including music performances, workshops, retreats, folk art demonstrations and children's programming. Andrew has spent a number of years in the North County, first as a student at SUNY Potsdam and later as an employee at Great Camp Sagamore. He is passionate about the outdoors, music, traditional arts and supporting local artists and musicians.

Michale Glennon, a native of Lake Placid,  is Science Director at Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute.  She is also a passionate fiber arts enthusiast, whose recent exhibit at The TAUNY Center, Wool and Water, demonstrated how traditional fiber arts can be a medium for presenting scientific data.

Alan Hersker is the Director of the General Education Program, and Associate Professor of Applied Anthropology at SUNY Potsdam. His research interests include organizational anthropology, heritage management, Gender and LGBTQ studies. He and his partner, Eric King, live in Oxbow with several large rescue dogs, a few cows, some goats, and Sulli the Llama. He also serves on the boards of the Oxbow Historical Association and the Oxbow Volunteer Fire Company.

Kate Newell, a native of  St. Lawrence County, currently makes her home in Canton. She is a former elementary school teacher, has served on numerous North Country community boards, and is a co-founder of the Sweetgrass Foundation. She’s been involved with TAUNY since the beginning and continues to be a strong supporter of the organization.

Carolyn Twomey is a visiting professor at St Lawrence University originally from the North Country of New Hampshire. When she is not researching and teaching the intersections of lived religion and material things in the premodern past, she is starting another rug hooking project or nordic skiing in the present. She lives in Canton with her partner Tom and their cats. 

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