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


Of Recent Interest

Please join TAUNY in wishing our own 'Tilly’ Mathilde Lind the best of luck as she continues to pursue her...


The Board of Directors of TAUNY is pleased to announce the appointment of Joshua Vink as the new Executive Director. He replaces Jill Breit who...


TRADITIONAL ARTS IN UPSTATE NEW YORK (TAUNY) seeks a visionary and participatory executive director who, in collaboration with the Board of...


Dear TAUNY Friends: Recently, we announced that I will retire as Executive Director on June 1, 2023, just shy of my 30th...


Executive Director - Joshua Vink - 

Director of Digital Content - Gus Geraci -

Bookkeeper - Laura Gagne -

Development Assistant - Carol Hill -

Folkstore -

Folkstore Online Inventory and Curator - Lois Ann FitzRandolph

Folkstore Associates:

Debbie Courtney

Lawree Doe 

Kathy Flanagan

Rebecca Martin


 Executive Director Joshua Vink

A resident of Potsdam, Vink was a faculty member in The Department of Theatre and Dance at SUNY Potsdam, where he taught classes in Arts Management and Theatre, and helped to create the college’s Bachelor of Arts Management program. Previously, he taught at Bates College and was the Executive Director of a local arts agency in Lewiston/Auburn, Maine.


Vink began his career in New York City where he worked for fifteen years as an arts administrator, educator, and artist. As founding director of education at People's Theatre Project in New York City, he brought project-based initiatives in multiple artistic disciplines to schools, community centers, and the public, serving predominantly low income and immigrant communities. As a teaching artist and professional development facilitator for the Lincoln Center Institute and The Dreamyard Project, he trained teachers and taught students at a diverse array of colleges and public schools. As a theatre artist, he has worked Off-Broadway, regionally and in independent film. He holds an MFA in Classical Acting from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting, and bachelor’s degrees in English and Theatre from The State University of New York at Buffalo.

Executive Director Jill Breit (Retired)

Jill joined TAUNY in 1993, just before the organization opened its first public gallery in Canton. A graduate of St. Lawrence University, Jill earned her M.A. in Folk Studies at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  As Executive Director, in addition to oversight of programming, Jill is in charge of long-range planning, cultivation of funding sources, and staff development. She also continues to be involved in research and programs.





Founding Director Varick Chittenden (retired)

Varick is a folklorist with particular interests in regional culture, folk art, traditional crafts, foodways, and oral storytelling traditions. He is Professor Emeritus of English and folklore at SUNY Canton, has an MA in American Folk Culture from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a BA and MEd from St. Lawrence University. He has curated numerous exhibitions of folk art and published countess articles in scholarly and general interest publications. He remains an active folklorist locally and nationally, and regularly consults with TAUNY on programs and projects.



Digital Content Director Gus Geraci

Gus joined TAUNY in 2021. Gus has traveled to 38 US states and called seven of them home over the years, most recently Connecticut and Ohio before moving to the North Country in the Fall of 2021. He holds a degree in Audio/Video Production from Cincinnati State Technical College, FAA drone pilot certification and has been a professional video contractor since 2010. His passion is leveraging the access granted by documentary style formats, for storytelling content and a life of endless curiosity, discovery and learning. He is absolutely stoked by the creative latitude and culture offered through TAUNY. Catch him locally hiking the Adirondacks, snowboarding Whiteface or at a Clarkson hockey game.



Bookkeeper Laura Gagne 

Laura joined TAUNY in 2016. Laura retired as Deputy Village Treasurer in Massena. She attended Canton ATC for Accounting and SUNY ESC for Business and Finance. She and her husband, Dave, live in Massena and visit their 2 sons in North Carolina. She loves golf and enjoys various crafts including jewelry making and painting. Laura takes pleasure in working at TAUNY and seeing all the creativity around her.



Development Assistant Carol Hill 

Carol is from Massachusetts and moved to Canton in the fall of 2017 to “retire”. A graduate of St. Lawrence University, moving back here has enabled her to enjoy even more that the North Country offers. Carol’s main background is in various segments of the boating world, managing not-for-profit clubs, boatyards, and most recently working in development positions for a nonprofit sailing education tall ship program and a therapeutic riding organization. She is an avid photographer and can often be found photographing sports for St. Lawrence University.




Folkstore Associate Debbie Courtney

Debbie joined TAUNY in 2016. Debbie and her husband live outside the Village of Canton with their 4 rescue critters. Debbie retired from St. Lawrence County after 33 years of employment. They enjoy  hiking, snowshoeing, gardening and boating on the St. Lawrence River. If they are outdoors, they are happy.




Folkstore Associate Kathy Flanagan 

Kathy works closely with Debbie to keep the Folkstore running smoothly. Kathy is a Canton native, as is her husband Jack. They have two sons: Sean and Kyle. Kathy worked for Kinney Drugs for 35 years before coming to TAUNY. She enjoys camping and spending time with her extended family.




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