ABOUT THE FESTIVAL | MUSIC SCHEDULE | FOOD | DEMOS AND WORKSHOPS | CHINESE TRADITIONS | JEWISH TRADITIONS | PUERTO RICAN TRADITIONS | SPONSORS
Violeta Palchik | Festival Director and Lead Curator
Violeta Palchik is an independent Folklorist working with the Museum at Eldridge Street to curate and organize the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival. She received her BA from NYU in Cultural Anthropology and Food Studies and is completing her MA in Folklore Studies with a focus on public programming at George Mason University. She conducted fieldwork and oral history interviews as part of the National Park Service’s Summer in the Parks Oral History Project and completed her first short film on Uyghur foodways for GMU’s partnership with the Virginia Folklife Program. She has worked for several years as a festival coordinator for the Virginia Folklife Program at the Richmond Folk Festival and Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase. In 2018, she was selected to participate in an American and Bengali cultural heritage exchange program which led to working at the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage as a Program Manager for the Communities Connecting Heritage Program organized in partnership with World Learning and the State Department. She is a member of the American Folklore Society, the Association for the Study of Food and Society, and the New York Folklore Roundtable.
Elena Martínez | Puerto Rican Traditions
Elena Martinez is a Folklorist at City Lore and the Co-Artistic Director of the Bronx Music Heritage Center a gallery and performance space which presents programs celebrating the Bronx’s musical and artistic legacy. She received a MA in Anthropology and an MA in Folklore from the University of Oregon and has been a Folklorist at City Lore since 1997 where she has curated exhibits, organized public programs, did research/fieldwork for Place Matters, coordinated the City Lore Documentary Institute, and continues to oversee the City Lore image archives. Her work included getting Casa Amadeo (the longest continually-run Latin music store in NYC) nominated to the National Register of Historic Places (the first nomination relating to the Puerto Rican experience on the mainland); and nominated master Puerto Rican lacemaker (the art of mundillo) Rosa Elena Egipciaco for a NEA National Heritage Award. She co-produced the documentary, From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale, which aired on PBS in September 2006 and won the NCLR’s (National Council of La Raza) 2007 ALMA Award for Best TV Documentary. She was a producer for the documentary, We Like It Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo, which premiered at the SXSW Festival in 2015. She was also a producer on the short documentary, Eddie Palmieri: A Revolution on Harlem River Drive (Red Bull Academy 2016). Elena curated the exhibition, “¡Que bonita bandera!: The Puerto Rican Flag as Folk Art,” and was the Assistant Curator for the exhibit, “Nueva York: 1613-1945” at El Museo del Barrio (2010). She co-curated the exhibit, Las Tres Hermanas: Art & Activism, with Joe Conzo Jr. which was featured at the Bronx Music Heritage Center and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies in 2017.
Julie Tay | Chinese Traditions
Julie Tay co-founded Mencius Society for the Arts & its resident performing group, EastRiver Ensemble in 2003; since the nineties Julie has served multifaceted roles in the Chinese arts scene and assisted in curating/presenting programs for numerous NYC-based organizations including the Cantonese Anliang Group, CBA Cultural Arts, NY Chinese Music Ensemble, etc. In 1997, Julie led the first Chinese band to play publicly with the MTA, Music Under New York – an event broadcast on ABC World News for Asia TV. In recent years, Julie has focused on interlingual arts education as she bears witness to the erosion of local cultures. Julie is currently the Mencius interim executive director and serves on the board of the New York Folklore Society. She devotes her time to translation and cultural transmission as she hopes to groom the next generation to carry on the good work of Mencius. She also teaches translation with NYU School of Professional Studies.
Mencius Society for the Arts is named after the Chinese philosopher, Mengzi, who is known for his belief in human goodness through cultivation. Accordingly Mencius seeks to foster the spirit of deliberate learning with emphasis on social contract between master and pupil and the lifetime dedication of the true practitioner. Established in 2003 and based in New York Chinatown Mencius is devoted to the teaching and performance of folk and traditional arts and intergenerational connectivity through the arts. In the wake of globalization Mencius is committed to driving real time and place engagement and advocating for voice and visibility of local cultures in Chinatown.
Hanna Griff-Sleven | Jewish and Chinese Traditions
From 2002-2018, Hanna was the Director of Public Programs and Intern Coordinator at the Museum at Eldridge Street, where she conceived, developed and administered the Museum’s programs, including the Lost & Found Music Series, and the Museum’s signature event, the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival. After receiving her Ph.D. in Folklore and American Studies at Indiana University, she taught at Grinnell College and at Sanyo Gakuen University in Okayama, Japan. She has also been Director of the Folklore Archives at Indiana University, and has directed oral history projects about the Jews of Iowa and of Mississippi. Prior to coming to Eldridge Street, she was a Program Officer in Folk Arts for the New York State Council on the Arts. She is now an adjunct professor at the Eugene Lang College of The New School for Social Research and at St. John’s University in the Graduate Program for Museum Studies.
Peter Rushefsky | Jewish Traditions
Peter Rushefsky has served as CTMD’s Executive Director since 2006 following a successful career as a non-profit health care executive. A practicing klezmer musician, Rushefsky performs and records internationally with violinist Itzhak Perlman, the renowned Klezmer Conservatory Band and NEA National Heritage Fellows Andy Statman and Michael Alpert among others. He has been featured at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Hollywood Bowl, and performed on the air for NPR’s Prairie Home Companion, All Things Considered and PBS’s Great Performances. Rushefsky curated the Yiddish performing arts program for the Smithsonian Institution’s 2013 Folklife Festival on the National Mall, helped to found the annual Yiddish New York festival, and has taught and organized numerous Yiddish folk arts workshops internationally. He has served as a grant panelist for New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. A graduate of Cornell University and the University of Michigan, Rushefsky has authored a number of published articles and other writings on traditional performing arts.
Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival Staff
Bonnie Dimun | Executive Director
Violeta Palchik | Festival Director
Haley Coopersmith | Assistant Producer
Chelsea Dowell | Public Engagement
Rachel Serkin | Volunteer Coordinator/ Crafts Coordinator
Bradley Shaw | Volunteer Coordinator
Nancy Beiles | Crafts Coordinator
Eva Brune | Grants Manager
Mercedes Correa | Accounting
Sally Van de Water | Emcee
Collin Geis | Sound Engineer
Emmanuel Guillén Lozano | Videography
Emily Pederson | Photography
Aleksandra Pankratova | Photography
Aya Mohamed | Food Supervisor
Lucas Diniz | Poster Design
Jake Rosenberg | Festival Marketing Assistant
Joanne Tang | Festival Marketing Assistant