Our team of educators, ethnographers, and media makers is here to support student learners as well as offer high quality, transformational professional learning opportunities for educators.
Mary Rizos, Director of Education
Mary was a high school and middle school Spanish teacher for twelve years before joining the Folklife Center. During that time, she also taught photography and Latin American Studies, and led students on international trips built around history, identity, community, and cultural exchange. Mary has a BA in Anthropology and Spanish from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and an MA in Journalism (with an emphasis on documentary photojournalism) from the University of Montana. She has produced multimedia work exploring the culture of bodybuilding, daily life on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and microfinance and water access in the Andes. Mary has also worked collaboratively with students on projects about their personal and educational experiences in rural Vermont.
Mary Wesley, Media Instructor/Education Outreach Coordinator
Mary studied Anthropology and Philosophy at McGill University, then returned to her native Vermont to work as a field archaeologist for the UVM Consulting Archaeology Program. After falling in love with the New England folk music and dance scene Mary learned to teach and call traditional contra and square dancing (building on the legacy of her grandparents, who were both square dance callers in their hometown of Middlebury, VT). She has taught and performed in schools, community centers, grange halls and at festivals and camps throughout Vermont and across the U.S. and Canada. Mary attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies to learn radio production and Multimedia Storytelling. In collaboration with the Country Dance and Song Society, she helped conceive and manage a community storytelling project, collecting oral histories in traditional dance and music communities around New England. She has worked with other Vermont non-profit organizations including Young Tradition Vermont and the Wake Up to Dying Project to create opportunities for community education and engagement. Mary’s was an intern with the Vermont Folklife Center in 2009 and in 2013 returned as the manager for the New Neighbors Music Project.
Mike Leonard, Media Instructor/Education Outreach Coordinator
Mike was born and raised in Woodstock, Vermont. After years of living and working abroad as an academic, teacher, and administrator, Mike has happily found himself back in the Green Mountains. He is a practiced ethnographer, having most recently conducted work investigating the sociocultural implications of the tourism boom in Iceland. Now that he is back in Vermont, Mike is working on a documentary film exploring the 251 Club - a club dedicated to visiting every one of Vermont's 251 towns and cities. He is excited to bring his years of experience as a teacher and an ethnographer to the Vermont Folklife Center's education program.
Kathleen Haughey, Executive Director & Ethnomusicologist
Kathleen has a diverse background in education, ethnomusicology, and collaborative ethnography and media making. As a PhD student in Ethnomusicology at Brown University, Kathleen co-led an audio and video ethnography project with Mbyá-Guarani musicians in southern Brazil. Kathleen also has years of experience as an educator, having taught in both K-12 and higher education settings. She has additional years of experience teaching early childhood music and cello in private music studios.
Kathleen received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature and a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, and a Masters in Ethnomusicology at Brown University in Providence, RI.
Ned Castle, Digital Media Instructor & Photographer
Ned is a native Vermont photographer who focuses on documentary and ethnographic subject matter. His work includes In Their Own Words, a collection of stories from refugees resettled in Vermont, Indigenous Expressions, comprising portraits of Native Peoples from the Lake Champlain Basin, and most recently the HIGHLOW Project, which is now touring the state. Ned attended photography school in Florence, Italy and New York City, and is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in Biology and Psychology.
Ned also is Program Director and Media Producer at the Vermont Folklife Center.
Evie Lovett, Education Outreach/Media Instructor & Photographer
Evie Lovett is a photographer, artist and teacher who describes her work as documentary portraiture. She was first exposed to the work of the Vermont Folklife Center when she collaborated with the VFC on an exhibition of her photographs of drag queens in Vermont, Backstage at the Rainbow Cattle Co., which culminated in a tour of Vermont’s 14 counties, with funding from the Samara Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation. She attended the Discovering Community workshop and now serves as a volunteer Educational Outreach/Media Instructor for the VFC in southeastern Vermont. She teaches photography at Vermont Academy and The Putney School and is currently working on an NEA-funded public art project for the town of Brattleboro, Vermont.
Her work can be seen at www.evielovett.com and http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/vision-voice/rainbow/. She lives in Westminster West, Vermont.