Emily Socolov, Ph.D. is a visual artist and folklorist based in New York City and Austin, Texas with a deep interest in life history and cultural imaginaries. She works with found and repurposed objects.
She was founding Executive Director of Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders, an arts and culture organization (501(c) 3) serving the Mexican immigrant community in New York where she designed signature programs, including annualized celebrations like the Posadas y Pastorelas Holiday Program, Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Celebration and Immigrant Heritage Week events. Her programming initiatives reflected a deep commitment to education, technical assistance for community-based creative artists and mentoring community stakeholders in nonprofit management. She has frequently collaborated with the Smithsonian Institution’s Division of Folklife and Cultural Studies’ Smithsonian Folklife Festival as a festival presenter and researcher on the US-Mexico Borderlands, Mexico and Colombia and was a workshop leader in El Paso/Ciudad Juárez. She has served as Project Director in the Community Cultural Initiatives program at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and has taught folklore and anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, The University of Pennsylvania and Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, She was a fellow at the Latin American Studies Institute at the University of Texas. Her Ph.D. from UPenn focused on Mexican dance drama traditions and the Santiagueros of Milpa Alta, Mexico City. She has a MA from NYU and is Licentiate from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History in Museography (Museum Studies). She has worked at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and has consulted at the Museum of American Folk Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She directed the youth program at the Boston Indian Council and has worked at the Gallup Indian Community Center in New Mexico. Emily is a frequent panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts in the Folk Arts and Art Education divisions and for the Brooklyn Arts Council. She is proud to have served on the Executive Boards of Mano a Mano and the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies.
Artmaking has been a constant in her life. Her assemblages are infused with a cultural and political sensibility. Before moving to Texas, she had a studio in Long Island City and participated in the Long Island City Open Studios in 2012 and 2013. She has been in exhibitions at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Women and Their Work Gallery in Austin, Texas and the Small Works Invitational at the Prince Street Gallery. Emily originated and teaches in the visual arts program at KlezKanada: A Festival of Jewish/Yiddish Music and Culture. Workshop themes have included: Amulets, Toy Theater (with Jenny Romaine and Tine Kindermann), The Culture of Childhood in Eastern Europe (with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett), The Law of Mosaics, Life History, Maskmaking, Words Like Ribbons, Jews and Birds, among other courses.