About the Folk Arts Center of New England


The Folk Arts Center of New England is run by the FAC Executive Director, Office Manager, Program Manager, Board of Directors, and coordinators of events and projects.

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Get to Know Our Staff

Marcie Van Cleave, Executive Director (since 1988)

Marcie first caught the dancing bug after college when she learned how to waltz on a first date. The romance didn’t stick, but a love of dance was born. She first learned how to teach folk dance from her mentor, Marianne Taylor, founder of the Folk Arts Center. Marcie now serves as the Executive Director of the Folk Arts Center, a non-profit dedicated to promoting traditional folk art. She has spent time teaching at various folk festivals and camps throughout the world including the Jasan Bonuš and Obrok festivals in the Czech Republic and Pinewoods Camp in Plymouth, MA.

Katy Bishop, Office Manager (since 2019)

Katy, a native of Nahant, MA, is an avid vintage dancer and historic costume specialist. She and her late husband, Ben, started the Nahant Victorian ball in 1990 and continued the annual sumemr event for 30 years.
Her dressmaking skills, love of dance, and sense of fun come from her Viennese mother, and her Serbian and Hungarian father from Budapest instilled in her a love of history and a desire to preserve her family’s heritage.
She came to vintage dance for the love of costumes — but stayed for the love of dance. She a costume historian, vintage dressmaker, vintage dancer, was a long-time member of The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers and on the organizing team of their Newport Vintage Dance Week for decades. She is also the mother of three kids who are developing a love of their heritage, dance, and appreciation of the humor in life. Her boys, Nick and David, are known to FAC as "Team Bishop" as they jump in to help the office with videos, website work, and other technical tasks. Her daughter Nora is a talented artist and vintage dancer.

Anna Alter, Program Manager (since 2023)

Anna Alter (she/her, they/them) is an organizer, musician, folk dancer, and craft maker based in New England. Anna has spent much of their life exploring music from around the world, creating their own, and supporting organizations that utilize music and art to build community and strengthen our connections with one another.
From September 2021 to August 2022, Anna was the Program Assistant and co-program curator for the Daily Antidote of Song (DAS), a free and accessible daily virtual singing event that focuses on community building through song and social activism.
Anna has served on the Pinewoods Camp, Inc. (PCI) Board since 2020 and currently chairs the Scholarships Committee. This past summer, they also volunteered as an administrative assistant in the PCI Office; in July and August, they worked full-time as the CDSS Auction and Bookstore Manager.
From 2020-2022, Anna published and maintained Some Alternative Roots, a creative resource website dedicated towards connecting art-makers and art-lovers by sharing virtual programming (like FAC online events) and ways to support artists and arts-related organizations during the pandemic.
Anna is excited to continue supporting arts- and music-related programming and building welcoming and inclusive community spaces, both virtually and in-person.

The Folk Arts Center of New England’s co-founders Conny and Marianne Taylor started their first weekly international folk dance series on Wednesdays in July 1955 at the Cambridge YWCA’s Hannum Hall in Central Square. The series switched to Thursdays the following year, then added Fridays in 1960.