Welcome to GLOW Traditions
 Karen Canning, Director  glowtraditions@goart.org


GLOW Traditions supports our area's living cultural heritage through documentation and public programming of traditional arts. We are a shared program with the Arts Council for Wyoming County, the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts, and the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council. 

Save the Date: Saturday, May 6
Annual Round & Square Dance

with Kelly's Old Timers & the Geneseo String Band
7:00-10:00 pm
York Central School, 2578 Genesee St., Retsof

$5 Adults, $3 Students, 18 and under Free


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.

Kelly’s Old Timers was started by brothers, Woody and Roger Kelly of Perry in the 1950’s and has been getting people up on the floor for more than 60 years.  The group continues with Doug Kelly (Woody’s son) calling the dances and playing bass, Doug Kelly, Jr. on bass, Eric Kelly (Roger’s son) on keyboards and vocals, Guy Macaluso on keyboards, vocal, trumpet and guitar, Tom Kwiecien on drums, and Elise Kelly on vocals and guitar–and now, as a dance caller! Elise is a 2023 recipient of an Apprenticeship grant to learn dance calling from Doug Kelly, funded by the New York State Council on the Arts.

Also a long-standing ensemble in the valley, the Geneseo String Band was formed in 1976 at SUNY Geneseo by Jim Kimball, playing traditional American fiddle, dance and vocal music.  For more than 40 years, the student group (and some alumni and townspeople) has played for countless on and off-campus events, performing for receptions, clubs, dances, concerts, local churches, historical societies, camps and schools.  Much of their music comes from the Genesee Valley region, documented and recorded from old time players by Jim Kimball.  Many of Kimball’s recordings have been recently digitized and can be viewed and heard at https://knightscholar.geneseo.edu/kimball




What do we mean by traditional arts?

Traditional or folk arts are the ways a group maintains and passes on its shared way of life. They are usually learned informally, through watching and doing rather than learning from a book or in school. Traditional arts are often 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 fraternal club – these are all groups that practice and maintain creative traditions that give meaning to everyday life.


Our folk arts program was established in 1985, one of the first in New York state. Dr. Bruce Buckley, a noted scholar and folklorist who had retired from the folklore program at Cooperstown/SUNY Oneonta, came to Wyoming County and began his second career in public folk arts documentation and programming. His work forms the basis of our archive of traditional arts, which contains interviews and slides of more than 200 artisans in our region from 1985 to the present day. Folklorist Kathy Kimiciek led the program from 1988-1990, and in 1996 Karen Canning became the staff folklorist for the region encompassing Wyoming, Livingston, Genesee and Orleans (GLOW) 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.

Here are some examples of our activities and projects over the years:

  • Fiesta Latina: Music, Dance and Arts of our Hispanic/Latino communities 
  • “A Good Ride: Arts and Traditions of the Attica Rodeo” exhibit
  • On Your Feet: Festival of dance tradtions from around the world
  • Festive Foodways: Celebratory food traditions of our Italian, Polish and Hispanic communities
  • Talking Turkey: Techniques, Tricks and Tales of Turkey Hunting
  • Annual Round & Square Dance
  • Annual Accordion Fest






Carved Duck Decoy

Carved Duck Decoy


Panamanian Dance by
Grupo Cultural Latinos en Rochester


Day of the Dead ofrenda, 2013


Raised Beadwork Hat


Round & Square Dance
York, 2011

Accordion Fest, 2008

Horseshoe Art by Danny Kruszka


Wyoming County Fair
Costume Show, 2012


Rug Hooking
Joanne Kelly, 2011

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