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2018 Annual Meeting: Ticketed Events
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The deadline to purchase tickets for this special event has been extended to October 1; no refunds will be issued after October 1:

Dance Party—Blues, Funk, Polka and Fine Food
Sponsored by the American Folklore Society.
Performances sponsored by the New York Folklore Society and the New York State Council on the Arts.

The Saturday night AFS dinner dance is coming back with a bang, featuring fine food and smokin’ sounds by two local bands. Music will be by funk, jazz and R&B and blues musician Eric Crittenden’s Critt’s Juke Joint, and by Special Delivery, led by veteran polka musician Mark Kohan.

Crittenden (left), the son of a long-time musician in James Brown’s band, has shared the stage with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, G-Love & Special Sauce and Mickey Hart. Find out more about Critt’s Juke Joint at

Kohan, who plays bass, guitar and concertina, leads Special Delivery. The band comprises some of Buffalo's finest polka musicians, while also playing swing, oldies and classic rock. Find out more about Special Delivery’s music and schedule at (right: Jim Kaminski)

It takes place just a block from the conference hotel at the 1892 Market Arcade, with catering by acclaimed Italian restaurant Osteria 166.

Saturday, October 20, 2018, 7:0010:00 pm, Market Arcade Building, 617 Main Street
Ticket: $35.

Ticket holders can dine at the dance, but all are welcome to come and enjoy the music and cash bar. A limited number of dinner tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Annual Meeting registration table. No dinner tickets will be sold at the door.


Registration for these events closed August 31; no refunds will be issued after August 31:


Niagara Falls and Hodinöhsö:ni’ (Haudenosaunee) Heritage
Sponsored by the 2018 Local Planning Committee and Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University

Ed Yong Jun Millar
(Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University)

The cascading waters of Niagara Falls carve a winding, blue-green path to Lake Ontario: a waterway that’s shaped and influenced the French, British, Canadian, American, and Hodinöhsö:ni’ communities who have called the area home.

Join us for a series of place-based experiences throughout the Niagara River Region exploring the continuing Hodinöhsö:ni’ heritage of the Niagara Falls area. First, a traditional foodways stop on Skarù:ręˀ (Tuscarora) Nation during harvest to learn about the meanings, preparation, and uses of Skarù:ręˀ White Corn–a variety of corn brought with the Skarù:ręˀ during their migration to Western New York from North Carolina. A trip up-river to Old Fort Niagara, the oldest continued use military installation in North America (over 300 years old), at the meeting of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario will focus on the shifting relationship of native communities to the fort throughout its history, including the current Native Interpretation program at the historic site. Heading back south, we will stop at the Castellani Art Museum–which hosts the public folklore program in the Buffalo-Niagara region–for provided lunch and self-guided tours of its folk arts exhibits. The tour will end on Goat Island at Niagara Falls State Park to learn about Skarù:ręˀ raised beadwork, a local folk art with a unique and historical connection to Goat Island and Niagara Falls–ending with an opportunity to explore the incredible scenery of Niagara Falls on your own.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 8:30 am4:00 pm, departing and arriving at the Hyatt Hotel
Registration: $60, including lunch.


Buffalo City—Gritty Is Now Pretty
Sponsored by the 2018 Local Planning Committee and Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University

Marty Biniasz
and Steve Cichon (Forgotten Buffalo Tours)

The Buffalo city tour will begin with a spectacular bird’s eye view of the Queen City and its neighborhoods from the 25th-floor of its stunning art deco City Hall. Next, you will get a closer look at the Central Terminal, the Broadway Market, and Corpus Christi Church, all located in the historic eastside Polonia neighborhood. Further down Broadway, visit the Colored Musicians Club, a famed stop on the “chitlin’ circuit,” where Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald all performed. Heading back towards the city’s downtown waterfront, you will view 19th-century grain elevators that have been repurposed by both visual and performing artists. Experience the West Side Bazaar—a diverse marketplace and food hall—which functions as an economic incubator and hub in the heart of the Grant-Ferry neighborhood, providing training, startup funding, and support for refugees, immigrants, and local community members starting their own businesses. You’ll see first-hand how historic Buffalo neighborhoods are renewing while keeping their robust ethnic character. Lunch at Happy Swallow Restaurant, a family-run tavern, includes both Polish dishes and Beef on Weck, a Buffalo favorite whose distinctive kummelweck roll can be traced back to German immigrants; some vegetarian options will also be available. Along the way, tour guides from Forgotten Buffalo ( will share information about many additional landmarks and points of interest.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 9:30 am 3:00 pm, departing and arriving at the Hyatt Hotel
Registration: $65, including lunch.

The Local Planning Committee also offers these suggestions for self-guided excursions for those who can extend their stay, or for those who have a few hours to get away.


Culture Through Comics: An Ethnographic Cartooning Workshop 
Sponsored by the AFS Archives and Libraries Section and the Vermont Folklife Center

Marek Bennett
(Marek Bennett's Comics Workshop)
Andy Kolovos (Vermont Folklife Center)

Ethnographic cartooning is emerging as a powerful tool for cultural representation. In this workshop we will explore the concepts and challenges of ethnographic cartooning, learn the basic techniques of cartooning and comics creation, and then try our hands at drawing our own original comics. We invite participants to bring their own primary source materials or use sample materials from the Vermont Folklife Center archives. Participants each create 1+ pages of original comics drawn from primary source texts and go home with the skills necessary to continue drawing ethnographic comics in their community. No experience required--everyone can draw comics!

Wednesday, October 17, 1:00–4:00 pm, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center
Registration: $25.

Experiments in Exhibition
In-reach: New Directions in Museum-Community Partnerships

Sponsored by the Castellani Art Museum and the
AFS Folklore and Museums Section

Carrie Hertz (Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, NM)
Michael Knoll (HistoryMiami Museum)
Edward Millar (Castellani Art Museum)
Suzanne Seriff (University of Texas, Austin)

The fourth Experiments in Exhibition Workshop, organized in collaboration with the Castellani Art Museum, explores the unique skills that museum-based folklorists can bring to community-generated initiatives and projects beyond the museum walls. While most of us are experts in drawing on community lore and voices for our own exhibition and outreach projects, this workshop explores “in-reach,” following the recommendation of the American Alliance on Museums. The workshop will address how to inventory our unique museum-related assets and skill sets to more effectively serve our collaborating community partners in their own curatorial, archival, or storytelling projects. After a participatory exercise in institutional asset mapping, the workshop will address the transferability of curatorial, digital storytelling, and archival skills to community developed projects; propose strategies for framing and communicating these skills; and discuss challenges in balancing such community needs and commitments with the demands of our own museum-based initiatives.  Workshop participants will have an opportunity to brainstorm real-life solutions, based on their own newly honed tools of the trade, with members of Buffalo’s Turkish and Bhutanese Nepali communities, who will seek advice for how to effectively implement their nascent ideas for low-budget community projects.

Wednesday, October 17, 1:00–4:00 pm, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center
Registration: $25.

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