Welcome to GLOW Traditions!
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.
Come Join Us For Our Next Event!
Kelly's Old Timers has kept Western New York dancing for more than 60 years. Want a preview? Click on the dancers:
If you’ve never been to a square dance, you can come early at 7:00 p.m. and learn the basic steps. No special clothing or prior knowledge is required—just come ready to have fun and enjoy a longtime local tradition. Refreshments will be available.
Kelly's Old Timers was started by Woody and Roger Kelly in Perry, NY in the 1950’s and has been getting people up on the floor ever since. The group continues with Doug Kelly (Woody’s son) calling the dances and playing bass, Eric Kelly (Roger's son) on keyboards and vocals, Guy Macaluso on keyboards, vocal, trumpet and guitar, Tom Kwiecien and Keith Kruppner on drums, and third-generation family members, Elise Kelly on vocals and guitar, and Doug Kelly, Jr. on bass.
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. They specialize in regional tunes documented by Kimball from many old time music makers.
Contribute to our 4-County Quilt Stories Project
(Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming)
Quilted wall hanging of family farmstead, by Suzanne Benedict
Are you a quilter? Do you have a tradition of quilting in your family?
We're interested in your stories!
The roots of quilting lie in filling a need: to keep warm. Almost immediately, quilt creators reached beyond simple utility to add their own creativity, imagination and beauty to these ordinary items, making them extraordinary. The same is true of numerous folk arts traditions—a blanket (or chair, sweater, walking stick...) carries the artistry and stories of its maker.
Quilts in particular seem to hold stories, sometimes through their actual materials of worn shirts or outgrown dresses, or perhaps in their reason for being created. Given for graduations, weddings, births, deployments; sewn to remember a loved one; pieced together in honor of a historical event or era: these are a few examples of how quilts can reveal cherished relationship and shared histories.
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
Panamanian Dance by
Grupo Cultural Latinos en Rochester
Day of the Dead ofrenda, 2013
Raised Beadwork Hat
Round & Square Dance
Accordion Fest, 2008
Horseshoe Art by Danny Kruszka
Wyoming County Fair
Costume Show, 2012
Joanne Kelly, 2011