The Flushing Town Hall Family: Gabrielle M. Hamilton

This fall, we are introducing you to our family, the folks who make Flushing Town Hall tick. You may know some of them, or simply see them hard at work maScreen Shot 2015-09-21 at 11.21.13 AM king sure you enjoy a great show, program and workshop.

But rather than just share their bios with you, we thought we’d have some fun, and so we posed a bunch of offbeat questions to the staff. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Gabrielle M. Hamilton.

Gabrielle joined us as Director of Education & Public Programs in August 2011. She is a folklorist with extensive expertise in the Indigenous and Latino traditions of the Americas. From 1999 to 2011, she served as Project Director at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, where she conducted research and developed programs in collaboration with master artists in New York’s Colombian community and launched the Center’s Community Cultural Initiative: Folk Colombia Música y Danza.

Previously, she founded and directed Pachamama Peruvian Arts, which develops the Peruvian traditional performing arts in partnership with local community organizations. She has served as the Acting Manager/Senior Researcher of the Repatriation Office at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, and as a consultant for Blood Tribe of the Blackfoot Confederacy, where she is an honorary member.

Gabrielle serves as the President of the Board of the New York State Folklore Society, where she launched the Annual Graduate Student Conference.

In her role at Flushing Town Hall, she programs, presents and manages school shows, workshops, and residencies, as well as those with senior centers throughout Queens, and our weekend family festivals, workshops, and shows. Occasionally, she curates exhibitions, too.

This image was part of the Inside Out Project that Gabrielle brought to Flushing Town Hall. The Inside Out Project is a global art project “transforming  messages of personal identity into works of art”.
This image was part of the Inside Out Project that Gabrielle brought to Flushing Town Hall. The Inside Out Project is a global art project “transforming messages of personal identity into works of art”.

What is your favorite feature at Flushing Town Hall?

The back spiral staircase.

What is your favorite song?

It’s so hard to choose!  But if pushed, I’d say the traditional Napolitano song ‘O Solo Mio,  “My Sunshine” is my favorite.

What was your childhood hobby?

Collecting dolls of world and reading about other cultures in National Geographic, mostly in the fall and winter. In the spring and summer, I’d be watching Jacques Cousteau and body surfing! If I weren’t a folklorist and educator, I’d be an oceanographer.

What’s your hobby today?

Anything that gets me away from the dreaded computer, but especially hiking and swimming (oceans, not pools).

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