Welcome to GLOW Traditions

GLOW Traditions supports our area’s traditional arts and folklife through public programs, documentation and advocacy. We are a shared program among the Arts Council for Wyoming County (ACWC), the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts (GVCA), and the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!).
With support from The New York State Council on the Arts and New York Folklore, we are part of a network of folk arts programs across New York State.

Annual Round and Square Dance - April 27th

With Kelly’s Old Timers and the Geneseo String Band
Saturday, April 27, 2024
7:00-10:00 pm; 6:30 pm instruction
York Central School, 2578 Genesee St., Retsof NY 14539

$5 Adults, $3 Spectators/Students, 18 and under Free
Info: https://gvartscouncil.org/glow-traditions
Email: glowtraditions@goart.org

If you’ve never been to a square dance, you can come early at 6:30 p.m. and learn the basic steps.

No special clothing or prior knowledge is required—beyond knowing one’s left from one’s right! The dance is truly a fun evening for all ages, and a great opportunity to enjoy a longtime local tradition.

Refreshments will be available.


What do we mean by traditional arts and folklife?

Traditional arts and folklife connect people, and celebrate how local communities practice and pass on their shared way of life. They are usually learned informally, through watching and doing rather than learning from a book or in school. Traditional arts can be passed down over generations, expressing a community’s sense of beauty, identity and values. Folk arts and folkways range from verbal “lore” like local ghost stories, children’s rhymes or family sayings, to material arts like woodcarving, quilting or fly tying, to performance arts like fiddling, break dancing, or square dance calling. Your family, your church, your social club – these and many others are groups that practice and maintain creative traditions that give meaning to everyday life.
Womba Workshop
Sorkunlu Ebru Demo


Documentation, or fieldwork, allows the GLOW Traditions to identify artists and communities who might otherwise go unrecognized for their artistic traditions. We record stories and art forms that make up our living cultural heritage. This is the first step in the process of creating public programs and forming pathways for advocacy. Through interviews, oral histories, photography and video, we continually add to a growing archive of traditional arts and folklife practiced in our region. Do you have a story to tell or an art form to share? We’d love to talk with you.

Public Programs

Public Programs take many forms, showcasing our region’s vibrant and diverse traditional arts. Through concerts, festivals, workshops, demos, school programs, exhibits, and online resources, GLOW Traditions helps to bring greater awareness of arts and traditions of individual communities into the public sphere. Events offer the opportunity to learn about and participate in community folklife–we look forward to seeing you!

Upcoming Events

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Traditional arts aren’t always included or recognized within the larger scope of funding and support within the Arts. Culturally-based, immigrant, and local communities sometimes struggle to access support for the creative work that makes their lives unique and vibrant. GLOW Traditions works to provide pathways to grants and funding, public visibility, and technical assistance for communities who are working to maintain their creative heritage. Do you have a need? GLOW Traditions is ready to help.


Our folk arts program was established in 1985, one of the first in New York state. Dr. Bruce Buckley, a noted scholar and educator, came to Wyoming County in 1985 and began his second career as a public folklorist. His fieldwork is the base of our archive of traditional arts, which contains interviews and slides of more than 300 artisans and tradition bearers. Folklorist Kathy Kimiciek led the program from 1988-1990, and in 1996 Karen Canning became the founding Director of GLOW Traditions,encompassing Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming Counties. In 2013 we officially renamed our program, GLOW Traditions, to further emphasize the connection to our partner arts councils in surrounding counties: ACWC, Livingston Arts and the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

Meet the GLOW Traditions Director

Karen CanningKaren Canning is an ethnomusicologist, folklorist and educator. As GLOW Traditions Director, she frequently collaborates with community, educational, business and civic entities to document and present diverse folk arts of our region such as Hispanic holiday traditions, American folk music, world dance traditions, Native American arts, and occupational folklore. Canning collaborates with Local Learning to lead workshops for traditional artists and teachers and develop residencies in NYS schools, and participates in statewide initiatives to support New York’s traditional cultures. She holds a Masters degree in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, with a specialty in indigenous Mexican popular music. Canning is also a cellist, strings instructor and a member of Panloco Steel Band.

Glow Traditions Gallery