Violeta Palchik, a MAIS in folklore studies student, has accepted a position as Director of Folklife for Staten Island Arts.
During her time at Mason, Palchik worked with the Virginia Folklife Program to organize programming for the Richmond Folklife Festival and the Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase in Charlottesville. Additionally, she worked with the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage as a participant and project manager for a cultural exchange program with artists from West Bengal, India. She trained in the folklore program’s Cultural Documentation School, worked on the Summer in the Parks Oral History Project organized for the National Parks Service, and made a documentary film—her first—about Uyghur foodways in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
More recently, Palchik was hired to be the festival director for the 19th Annual Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival, based out of the Museum at Eldridge Street in the Lower East Side of New York City, hosting programming for 11,000 people. Palchik hopes to use these experiences as she begins her role as Staten Island’s folklorist, by bringing together the diverse communities of Staten Island through their food, music, art, and poetry.
Palchik said, “GMU gave me a great foundational understanding about the field of folklore that covered a broad range of topics.” Palchik said she appreciated the flexibility of the folklore program, which allowed her to study cultural heritage theory as well as provided her with real-world experiences. Her advice to current students: take advantage of GMU’s close proximity to D.C and don’t be afraid to reach out to people and get connected.
December 01, 2019