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8 May 2024

Katy Bishop, Editor

Events Coming Up

Friday Night Folk Dancing

May 10 • Arlington, MA • 8pm

It seems like forever since we last danced together on a Friday night - the beginning of April seems like a dog's age ago! Let's make up for lost time this coming Friday, shall we? If you bring your hopes for a good time along with smiles and laughter, you won't be disappointed!

After Friday, we have three more dates left before a summer break: May 31, June 7, and June 14. Yes, three Fridays in a row ... with the last two featuring live music!

June 7 will be an annual favorite, "Romanian Night" - an all-Romanian dance program with music by Tom Pixton and the Pinewoods Band.

Our final series dance on June 14 will herald the return of the newly-revived Cambridge Folk Orchestra! One of the earliest live music groups in the Boston area, CFO was founded in the 1960s and hosted its own monthly dance series starting in the mid-70s. Welcome back, CFO!!!


SOFA Series Returns!

Speaking of seeming like forever .... when it rains, it pours (says she, looking out at the dreary drizzle while searching for writing inspiration) ... after a sabbatical of too long, we have TWO presentations coming up at the end of May - and may I humbly suggest that you simply must clear your calendar for both Thursday evenings?

May 23 - We welcome back Alex Cumming, who has graced our SOFA stage many times. This time he will focus on the women who worked side by side with Cecil Sharp in their research on traditional song and dance traditions. Mary Neal, Maud Karpeles, and Olive Dame Campbell are just three of the researchers Alex will spotlight when he shares archival materials as well as performing some of the tunes they uncovered.

May 30 - Sacrebleu! Torrid tango dancing leads to a trial in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1914! Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Or, rather, listen as Ruth Evans regales us with all the scandalous details of this dancing drama!


Summer Dance Series

Dancing on the Greenway

in July and August

The Folk Arts Center has been presenting outdoor summer participatory dance programs for over 50 years, and we are thrilled to once again offer this series in downtown Boston on the Rose Kennedy Greenway!

Dancing on the Greenway is an eight-week FREE series on Tuesday nights, beginning July 9. Each week will feature a different type of dancing, taught by highly respected leaders and teachers, accompanied by fantastic musicians from around New England (and occasionally by classic, traditional recordings).

Genres we are presenting include: New England contras and squares, Scottish Ceili dancing, Cajun/Zydeco dancing, International folk dancing from a variety of countries, and a few other genres to be announced soon!

We invite you and all of your friends and family to come dance with us on the Greenway this summer!

Visit our website for more details.

--Anna Alter

FAC Fundraising Auction

The auction is now live!

Bidding closes on Thursday, May 16 at 8pm

note: for items with active bidding at 8pm, time will be extended in two-minute increments.

Share the link with friends and family!

Some important things to know about how MaxSold auctions work.


  • All bidding starts at $1.
  • Most of the bidding competition takes place in the last day or two - so don't be dismayed if what you donated has a low bid today!

Registration and Payment:

  • You must register prior to bidding.
  • You will be required to enter a credit card number when registering.
  • Your card will automatically be charged only if you are the winning bidder.
  • MaxSold charges a 15% buyer's premium, so be prepared to pay a little bit more than you bid (e.g., $1.50 on a $10 bid or $15 on a $100 bid).
  • MaxSold is currently offering their services free of charge to non-profits, so all the money we make goes directly to FAC.

Item pick up: Sunday, May 19, 12:00 - 3:00pm

  • If you are a winning bidder, you will sign up for a time slot between 12:00 and 3:00pm, when you (or someone you designate) must show your emailed receipt and pick up your items.
  • Pick up location: FAC Office (10 Franklin St., Stoneham, MA)
  • Neither MaxSold nor FAC will be involved in shipping.

Find all the details on the event page. Contact Janet with questions.

-- Janet Nelson

From the Executive Director

It's Raining, It's Pouring - the Old Man is Snoring

The cold rain is coming down in a serious pelt,

I feel I’ve transmogrified into a smelt.

I wish I was more like hardy daffodils

Standing straight, tall, and proud as the rain overfills

Gutters, and that spot ‘twixt collar and skin.

Rain really knows how to maximize our personal chagrin.

But the spring flowers just stand there, exuding beauty and calm,

Their devil-may-care attitude is the most perfect balm

To stop me from hunching and cursing under my breath,

And cease rubbing my hands like Lady MacBeth.

What’s a little rain?  I’m going to channel Dry Serene

Walk around with head high, a damp but sheen Queen!


Special Events

May 8 - 16: FAC Benefit Auction (online)

Bidding starts is now open!

Saturday, June 29: Documentary film showing with Efie Derksen: My Borrowed Heritage and Dance Party (Belmont, MA and online)

Dance, Music, and SOFA Series

Friday, May 10: Friday Night Folk Dancing (Arlington, MA)

Thursday, May 16: Thursday Night Folk Dancing with the Goats of May (Arlington, MA)

Saturday, May 18: Monthly Dance Party with Shining Moon (Belmont, MA and online)

Saturday, May 19: Cut a Rug with Marcie Van Cleave (online)

Thursday May 23: Inspirational Women: the Researchers Who Worked with Cecil Sharp with Alex Cumming (online)

Thursday, May 30: The 1914 Lowell Tango Trial with Ruth Evans (online)

Sunday, June 2: Mostly Waltz with Becky Tracy & Keith Murphy (Concord, MA)

Camps and Tours

June 20 - 27: Pinewoods International Sessions (Plymouth, MA)

August 30 - September 3: Labor Day Weekend at Pinewoods (Plymouth, MA)

October 12 - 14: Oktoberfest Weekend at Potash Hill (Marlboro, VT)

October 17 - 31: Autumn in Bulgaria Cultural Tour with Iliana Bozhanova and Todor Yankov

This week's contributors:

Anna Alter: FAC Program Manager

Nick Bishop: Tech troubleshooter, Updates proofreader

Lynne Janbergs: GASP Committee member, Updates proofreader

Janet Nelson: FAC Gala Committee and auction coordinator

Marcie Van Cleave: FAC Executive Director

The Folk Arts Center of New England is a nonprofit organization promoting participation in the traditional dance and music of many cultures. FAC sponsors community dances, annual camps, workshops, and other programs in the greater Boston area, elsewhere in New England, and online.

The Folk Arts Center thanks

the Massachusetts Cultural Council

for its generous support.