Meet Our New Executive Director!

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The Board and Staff of the Vermont Folklife Center are thrilled to announce the appointment of Kathleen Haughey as the Center’s new Executive Director.

“I cannot imagine a better qualified and positioned person to lead this vital storehouse of Vermont’s collective memory,” said Melinda Moulton, chair of the VFC board. “Kathleen is also superbly suited to taking our education and traditional arts apprenticeship programs across the state to the next level. We are excited for the Center.”

Haughey came to VFC in 2015 as education director; she quickly engaged with the New American and refugee communities of greater Burlington, establishing strong, lasting relationships with, among others, Bhutanese-Nepali refugee communities.

Former co-directors Gregory Sharrow, folklorist emeritus, and Andy Kolovos, director of archives and research, have led the Center since 2011. Haughey’s appointment allows for Sharrow’s long-planned retirement next year, after 30 years building the Folklife Center’s reputation and reach. Kolovos has now refocused his expertise on the Center’s renowned archive and research programs.

“The Folklife Center’s mission is perhaps more timely and relevant today than ever before,” said Haughey. “Our statewide partnerships and programs demonstrate the profound impact that deep listening and thoughtful conversation can have on our communities, especially in uncertain times. It is an honor to lead the Folklife Center’s efforts to document, sustain, and present the diverse cultures of Vermonters,” she said.

Haughey’s background in education, ethnomusicology, collaborative ethnography, and public humanities administration makes her well suited to her new role. As a PhD student in ethnomusicology at Brown University, Kathleen co-led an audio and video documentary project with Guarani musicians in southern Brazil. Since moving to Vermont, Kathleen has been working with musicians and dancers in Burlington’s Bhutanese-Nepali refugee communities to help sustain their cultural traditions. Kathleen received a BA in Spanish Literature and a BM in Cello Performance from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA. She received her MA in Ethnomusicology at Brown University, where she is currently a PhD candidate.