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

Thank you to all who attended our 
Day of the Dead Celebration!
Saturday, October 22, 3:00-7:00 pm
Orleans County YMCA, Medina NY
More than 400 people enjoyed arts, dance, music and traditional foods. We hope to see you next year, and at the next GO ART! event. 



What is the Day of the Dead - or Dia de los Muertos?

The Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration is a time of joyful remembrance of deceased loved ones, filled with an array of colors, scents, sounds and stories.

Centered around the Christian observance of All Saints and All Souls Days on November 1 and 2, the celebration includes images and ideas about the roles of ancestors in our lives, that trace back to Mexico’s indigenous peoples. 

Traditionally, people welcome souls at this one time of the year when they can return to earth for a day, to commune with their families and friends.   Celebrations include the construction of an ofrenda or home altar to honor the returning souls, who are greeted with flowers, fruits, incense, photos, and their favorite food and drink.

Families clean and refresh grave sites of loved ones and may spend the night in a candle-lit vigil in the cemetery, often with the whole community. Hospitality and generosity among the living is a very important part of the holiday.  Neighbors and family visit one another, sharing stories, remembrances, and special foods associated with the holiday such as tamales, hot chocolate and a special bread called pan de muerto.

We hope you can visit our Dia de Muertos Celebracion this year!


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. 


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






Subscribe to our newsletter