Folk Arts

Folk Arts 2023

Check out a 2023 summer brochure.

Registration is now open.  Register online.

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Programs for Folk Arts 2023
Chairperson:  Megan Viscio

F01 Dollhouse Workshop
Week: 2                                                          Grades: 4 & up

Welcome to the world of miniatures where everything is adorably small. Imagine a baby crib that can fit in the palm of your hand. A bottle cap transformed into a tiny dog dish. Students will learn how to design, construct and decorate their own dollhouse with miniature items made from scratch! We will work with materials such as wood, paper, glue, fabric, beads, yarn and other various found objects. We will also explore miniature scale and how to use everyday items to make our own mini treasures.

Instructor: Megan Viscio

 F02 French and Indian War
Week: 4                                                          Grades: 4 & up

Indian attacks…France invades New York. Defend King and Country! “Kid -life” in 1753 Heldebergs is dangerous, but fun. Pioneer life in Colonial New York comes alive as you develop exciting skills learned during the War that made America. Ben Franklin’s Albany Plan of Union asks the question; will we learn to govern ourselves?

Instructor:  Jonathan Neal

F03: Art Rocks
Week: 3                                                          Grades: 3 & up

Have you ever found a rock and imagined how to transform it into using paint? Perhaps your rock will become a chipmunk, a frog, or a salamander. Maybe even a mandala with bright colors and patterns. Did you know that humans have been painting rocks for more than 40,000 years, making their own paints and painting tools? The earliest rock art found shows symbols to represent parts of nature, and of course, animals that were in the area. During the week we will explore many forms of rock art using different kinds of paint and tools, and we will learn some new techniques and skills in applying paint to the rocks. Get ready to create some amazing “one of a kind” rock creations!

Instructor: Trisha Zigrosser

F04 Sew Bear-y Cute!
Week: 1                                                          Grades: 3 & up

Hand-stitch a bear-y cute pillow of a black bear’s face, an animal common to the Helderbergs. Create other bear-themed projects, including jewelry or a headband. Finish the week with a sampling of treats a bear would eat at a teddy bear picnic.

Instructor: Sharon Breisch

F05 Games Galore
Week: 4                                                        Grades: 4 – 6     
Join in the fun of playing games that require running, thinking, listening, strategizing, throwing, capturing, and hiding! Play old-fashioned games like spud, capture the flag, cat’s cradle, freeze tag, water balloon toss and new games like octopus, crossing the poison peanut butter swamp, sharks and minnows, mingle, chubby bunny and foot bridge. Using hand tools, you will make a game to take home to challenge your friends and family.
Instructors: Deb Barnes & Karol Harlow


 F06 Fanciful Forest Creatures
Week: 2                                                          Grades: 4 – 6

Come into the forest and learn about the mythical creatures that hide in plain sight!  We will be learning all about them and how each creature has been portrayed in stories!  We will make fairy houses, troll traps, our own unicorn horns and much more! By the end of the week you’ll be able to create your own creature and its habitat.  Share them with the class and your families!

Instructor: Lily McDonnell

 F07 Indians of North America
Week: 2                                                         Grades: 4 & up

How did the Iroqious and Sioux Indians live? Join us for a weeklong adventure and hear their stories and songs.  Explore the woods to find and identify plants, animals, footprints and feathers.  Gather natural items to make and decorate a “talking stick”.  Visit our longhouse and tipi!  Make your own clay pot, an Eastern Indian cornhusk doll, and Plains Indian medicine wheel.  Join us and see how the Indians of North America lived!

Instructor:  “Standing Woman” (Dawn Marczak)

F08 Get Hooked on Crochet
Week: 6                                                        Grades: 4 & up
Crochet is a versatile art that can be used to create all sorts of projects, from stuffed animals to wall hangings to scarves to blankets and so much more! For the beginners in this class, we will learn the basic crochet skills and stitches of chaining, slip stitch, single crochet, and even double crochet for our most adventurous students. All levels of experience welcome – students with prior crochet experience will be provided opportunities to expand their skill set. Come join us for a fun, productive, and creative week!
Instructor: Stephanie Berlind


 F09  Revolutionary War
Week: 1, 5                                                      Grades: 4 & up

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and you! Learn about the Revolution in the Heldebergs. Young people like you in every battle. Hands-on fun filled activities. Learn military tactics as you battle to save Albany from British invasion and discover how our freedoms were won. Join up and decide… Will you take the Kings shilling or sign the Declaration and create a new country of your own?

Instructor:  Jonathan Neal

F10 Basketry
Week: 1                                                          Grades: 5 & up

Learn a new skill and take home your own basket!  This class will be an introduction to basketry. Students will learn the methods of weaving with reed as an introduction to the numerous methods of this craft. We will learn how to prepare the materials and then weave them together in a hexagon pattern. We can then upend the sides and place the rim. We will be making a Shaker Cheese Basket. It was created by the Shaker people to separate the curd from the whey when making cheese.

Instructor: Candace Christiansen

 F11 Mini Babydolls and More!
Week: 6                                                          Grades: 3 & up

If you enjoy cute miniatures, then this is the class for you! Students will learn how to make a miniature babydoll with clay and swaddled with fabric. We will also make a variety of items to go along with our dolls including cradles, blankets, books and tiny toys. Design a nursery in a carrying case so that you can pack up all your minis and take them on the go. If time allows, you can make a whole crew of babydoll bundles!

Instructor: Megan Viscio

 F12 Weaving Studio – Beginning and Advanced
Weeks: 1, 2, 3                                                Grades: 4 & up

Create your own handwoven textile! Choose your colors and set up your loom, then weave your project. Watch as your design grows under your hands! Beginner and advanced students are welcome. Beginner students will learn basic weaving skills on a four-harness loom. Advanced students can review these skills as needed, then explore more complex patterns and projects. Students may enroll for two weeks consecutively to further their skills and complete weavings of their choice.

Instructor:  Elena Rose

F15 Earth Art
Week: 1                                                           Grades: 3 & up

Do you love to build things? Are sandcastles and mud creations something you would enjoy? “Earth Art” is the class for you! Earth artists work in nature, using natural materials, such as sand, stones, twigs, mud and leaves, for their creations. Exploring, collecting, and designing our earthworks will be lots of fun! The sculptures won’t last too long, but the photographs will!

Instructor: Trisha Zigrosser

F16 Civil War
Week: 2, 6                                                      Grades: 4 & up

Step back in time and experience the lives of soldiers and civilians during the period of America’s Civil War. Roll calls, songs, Army Drill and mock battles are what is in store for you! You will learn about the causes of this conflict between Americans and meet some characters who look like they just stepped out of your history book.

Instructor: Jonathan Neal

 F17 Maskmaking
Week:  2                                                        Grades:  3 & up

Do you like your hands submerged in slime?  It’s a messy process, but the masks we create will be astounding!  We’ll use Heldeberg rocks as forms, then layer paper strips to produce masks that can be mysterious, funny, fanciful or even frightening.  Masks will be painted and perhaps embellished with natural items we find on the Land.  Ancient cultures will be our inspiration as we let our imaginations soar!

Instructor:  Trisha Zigrosser