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Funding Sources

  • National Endowment for the Arts

  • NYS Council on the Arts/Special Arts Services

  • NYS Council on the Arts/Folk Arts

  • NYS Council on the Arts/Literature

  • NYS Council on the Arts/Technical Assistance

  • NY Foundation for the Arts

  • NY Council for the Humanities

  • Poets & Writers, Inc.
Farmworkers isolated in migrant camps have little opportunity to participate in visual and performing arts, or to share their own arts traditions with outside audiences.

The CAMPS (Creative Artists Migrant Program Services) program began in 1973, when a Geneseo artisan, Constance Thomas, volunteered at a farmworker camp to assist her friend, Sylvia Kelly, who was teaching there. Mrs. Thomas demonstrated how to make a small hat out of crocheted "granny squares." It was such a popular icebreaker that the Center asked her to travel from camp to camp, teaching crafts. Funding from local and state Arts Councils has since supported the program, which in 1997 served 427 workers.

CAMPS brings artists and performers in a wide range of arts - crafts, painting and drawing, photography, music, mime and juggling, and drama - to the camps. It also provides field trips to arts events. The Center's "All Camps Day" gatherings for farmworkers often showcase arts performances, both by migrants and outside professionals.

Family and community ceremonies bind Latinos together, at home and on the stream. The ceremonies, their decorations and their music, are deeply rooted in Spanish and ancient indigenous traditions.

Seraphin Muñiz applies his craft, learned in the cattle country of San Luis Potosi, to leather and horn. Whips find use on the ranches back home. A knife in its sheath is a skilled cabbage- or lettuce-cutter's pride.

Mexican artisans fold and cut paper for rituals marking the stages of life and the calendrical cycle of community fiestas. Aurora Guerrero from Michoacán, Anel Hernandez (born in California to parents from Zacatecas), and Olga Rodriguez from Tamaulipas are skilled in the making of piñatas, streamers, and floral decorations.


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