Staten Island Arts’ Folklife program (SIA Folklife) is dedicated to the preservation,promotion, and safeguarding of traditional arts, through programming and technical assistance. Folklife is found in living traditions, passed down through generations, within communities. These art forms are the fabric of cultural heritage and represent an important grassroots dimension of the cultural sector. On Staten Island, examples of these expressions can be found in the architecture of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto, the sharing of Liberian folk tales told in their native dialects, the distribution of Sri Lankan foodways through markets and restaurants, the ritual and celebration of Mexican Independence Day, monthly Irish traditional music sessions, and the occupational traditions that preserve one of the city’s last working waterfronts.


SIA Folklife:

-Produces public programming that presents and celebrates folk art traditions indigenous to the ethnic communities of Staten Island
-Provides technical assistance to folk artists and communities via development research and grant writing, technical and administrative support, advocacy work, and press-kit design
-Conducts fieldwork and documentation within Staten Island’s ethnic communities, which is housed in Staten Island Arts’ Digital Folk archive.


Please contact us for more information on how we may be able to serve you, as a traditional artist, or your community through folk arts programming. To make an appointment, please e-mail or call our regional and county folklorist at (718) 447-3329 ext. 1006


SIA Folklife programming and services are made possible by the generous support of New York State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City, Department of Cultural Affairs, ConEdison, JP Morgan Chase, New York Folklore Society, the Association for Cultural Equity, CityLore, the Nicotra Foundation, the NationalStorytelling Network, and all of our community partner organizations.