The Tradition Bearers

The Tradition Bearers is a portrait photography project documenting community members who carry on arts, cultural, and societal traditions in Chemung, Steuben, and Schuyler counties of Upstate New York. 

The Tradition Bearers is a response to the normalization and elevation of voices of intolerance and divisiveness. By utilizing language and tactics of fear and degradation, these voices seek to dehumanize entire constituencies of people and reinforce and legitimize hatred. Often acting with impunity and in antithesis to the common good, they seek to destroy community. 

Rooted in the Southern Tier’s historical tradition of unique cultural traditions and social justice activism, The Tradition Bearers celebrates those who seek to create community. By practicing and carrying forth societal and cultural traditions, they affirm such community making as essential to creating empathy and building connections. They bring people together, honor their forebearers, give comfort and care, create a pride of place, and innovate, lead, and steward. 

For more information, please download the detailed project description.

If you are interested in participating in this project, or would like to recommend someone, please complete this participation interest form.

The Tradition Bearers is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, administered by fiscal sponsor The Rockwell Museum.