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Rochester Folk Art Guild presents 2022 Lecture on the Lawn Series

The Rochester Folk Art Guild will present a summer Lecture on the Lawn Series at their East Hill Farm, 1445 Upper Hill Road, Middlesex, NY 14507 on June 12, July 31, August 21, and September 11. Lectures will take place on Sunday afternoons at 2:00 pm and will feature local artists, scientists, and thought leaders. This is a continuation from the 2021 series, which focused on good environmental citizenship.

The Guild is delighted to welcome the public to its picturesque East Hill Farm for this summer’s unique series, which features creativity, whether it is how we approach things, work to solve problems, express ourselves, or present information. Topics range widely from racial issues and food justice to glacial history and local ecological communities. The series kicks off with a lecture about Black Freedom and Food Justice, presented by Rebekah Williams and Danielle Tcholakian.

Rebekah Williams said: “As we approach our country’s annual Juneteenth Celebration on June 19th, we have a wonderful opportunity to combine our love of local food and agriculture with our love of freedom, justice, and sustainability. Many people are aware that interest in local and sustainably-grown food is on the rise, but not everyone is aware of the contributions of Black farmers and farm scientists on our country’s sustainable farming practices. In response, members of Food for the Spirit’s Buffalo Food Equity Network (BFEN) established the Juneteenth Agricultural Pavilion as a space to celebrate the contributions and innovations of Black farmers on farm science and entrepreneurship in the U.S.” Williams continued: “I hope members of the Finger Lakes community will join myself and Danielle Tcholakian at the Rochester Folk Art Guild on June 12 for a lecture on Juneteenth, the Juneteenth Agricultural Pavilion in Buffalo, and the role that Black farmers and food justice activists have had in bringing about a more ecologically-just and sustainable food system.”

The full lecture series schedule appears below:

June 12 – Celebrating Black Freedom & Food Justice: the Juneteenth Agricultural Pavilion in Buffalo

with Danielle Tcholakian, Teen Services Coordinator at the Naples Public Library, and Rebekah Williams, founder of Food for the Spirit and the Buffalo Food Equity Network

This lecture will focus on Juneteenth, the Juneteenth Agricultural Pavilion in Buffalo, and the role that Black farmers and food justice activists have had in bringing about a more ecologically-just and sustainable food system.

July 31 – Playing with Life’s Deepest Questions: The Deep Play Institute 

with Aaron Finbloom, PhD and Netta Sadovsky, MFA, LSW

This lecture will cover the Deep Play Institute’s approach to playing with life’s deepest questions. Aaron and Netta will describe the work they did with a retreat group at the Guild, and they will facilitate interactive activities to give the audience a first-hand taste of what their work is like. The Deep Play Institute’s mission is to use play to bring us into an open-hearted, curious process of discovery of what it means to exist.  They use play to try to deepen the connection and curiosity to all parts of self, others, and the world.

August 21 – Poetry and Music in the Finger Lakes

with Steph Unger, Paul Schliffer, Scott Williams, and Carol Mikoda

Join us for readings from some of our very talented local poets, some of whom will share readings about life here in the Finger Lakes. Local musicians will also perform and share folk tunes, instrumental music, and singing.

September 11 – The Local Landscape Then and Now: Glacial History, Early Forests, and Current Ecological Communities

with Dr. Bruce Gilman, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Conservation at Finger Lakes Community College

Dr. Gilman will discuss the glacial origin of the local landscape using a large poster map and acetate overlays, early forests of the area based on the 1790’s original land survey lot descriptions and witness trees, and ecological communities present today based on his field inventory work using the New York Natural Heritage Program sampling protocol. The audience is invited to bring questions.


Lectures take place rain or shine. We will meet inside if it rains. All lectures will last approximately one hour. There will be opportunities to interact, with questions welcome and participation invited. Wooden benches and folding chairs are provided; your favorite lawn chair is welcome. The Lecture on the Lawn series is free to the public, but donations are appreciated. At the conclusion of each lecture, attendees are invited to browse the beautiful crafts created onsite and by local artists, which are on display in the East Hill Gallery.

The Folk Art Guild is an intentional community and craft center located in the heart of the Finger Lakes in Middlesex, NY, with a mission to offer support and nourishment to all who are searching for a more conscious, creative, and responsible way of living. For over 50 years, Guild artisans have been producing fine crafts including pottery, woodworking, weaving, natural fiber clothing, and folk toys. Residents live on-site year-round, sharing meals and working together in an effort to live more sustainably. As a non-profit institution, the Guild offers education in traditional crafts through classes, residencies, and apprenticeships. The 350-acre farm is home to the East Hill Gallery, open May through October and displaying the work of Guild artists.

Learn more online here.