CDSS Centennial - Community 100

It's Story Time!

Over the coming year, we will announce several ways to share your stories. Today, we want to tell you about the CDSS "This I Believe" essay. These stories will become the core and foundation of the CDSS Story Project. There are three steps to participate:

THINK: You love to dance. Come rain, sleet or snow you make it to your weekly shape note sing. You plan your year around the Playford Ball. You spend valuable time sweeping the floor, setting up the chairs, and closing the hall. Your life is incredibly busy; there are a million choices for how to spend your time, and you have chosen this. Why?

WRITE: In a short, written statement (about 500 words) tell us why song, music and/or dance are your chosen activities and why are they important to you. What personal value does participating in these activities hold for you? Tell us YOUR story about how you reached this belief.

Our Centennial Goals

  • Raise the visibility of traditional dance, music and song
  • Reach and connect people in and outside our community who were not connected before
  • Affirm that our participatory arts can change lives

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More...

Read about the Centennial Tour

Give to our Centennial Fundraising Campaign

We're using the well-known structure of the This I Believe essay. This simple way of structuring an essay has resulted in profoundly moving, and meaningful statements about people's lives and beliefs. We are asking about beliefs, but we are not concerned with any religious form.

SHARE: Once you have submitted your essay to CDSS, it will be included in a collection on the CDSS Centennial website and some featured pieces may appear in the CDSS news and blog. We rely on you to spread the word about this project beyond this mailing list. We also encourage you to engage your local community to participate en masse. Perhaps hold a group writing session, or set up a live reading for people to share their essays with each other once they're finished.

Please tell us how you're participating in CDSS "This I Believe" so we can tell the world! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at: community100@cdss.org

"I believe in music: its spirituality, its exaltation, its ecstatic nobility, its humor, its power to penetrate to the basic fineness of every human being." ~ Henry Cowell, composer

To submit an essay click here.

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One of the most exciting and important Centennial activities is:

The Centennial Tour

In the video we showed you, in a visual way on our dancing map, where the Tour Stops are and how the teaching artists will be coming from all over the country to take part in this keystone Centennial program. Bringing artists to Tour communities with fresh perspectives and energy, along with expert skills, is a major aspect of our planning.

Here are the words of Nils Fredland, Tour Artistic Director and Manager, which articulate a bit more about our Tour goals:

"Each CDSS Centennial Tour stop is an opportunity for the local participants to come together and create a more vibrant participatory arts community, building on strengths that already exist. Think of the Centennial Tour stop as a community residency: planning and implementing the Centennial Tour vision [created by each Tour community] provides a period of time during which the community can focus on and celebrate what's right, and address and work on the things that need improvement. The community guides the programming process in partnership with CDSS, and CDSS-hired Tour staff that come to the community are there to teach to the programming needs; it's collaborative. If there are local people who have the skills to address a particular need or issue brought up the programming, it's part of the Tour staff's job to help that local person give voice to their expertise. It's not always the staff that are the experts in this model: the staff are there to help community members see that THEY are the drivers... The CDSS Centennial Tour should help community members build their capacity as experts, and foster the confidence to step up and ensure a sustainable future for the local participatory arts community."

Learn more about the Centennial Tour.

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What Can You Do Right Now?

  • Start working on your "This I Believe" essay! Ask people in your community to participate. Share your essays with CDSS and with each other.
  • Eagerly await the next Centennial news blast to learn about more ways to take part in the celebration.
    If your community has already decided to have an event in celebration of the CDSS Centennial, let us know! We'll help spread the word and we'll place this on our events calendar.
  • Email us: community100@cdss.org
  • E-mail us anytime with questions or ideas: community100@cdss.org


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Spread the Joy!

Want to help us make all of this happen? You can support our Centennial fundraising campaign, Spread the Joy!, by making a gift today. Join us as we leap forward into the next 100 years!

Save the Date!

In 2015 the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) will celebrate 100 years of supporting traditional dance, music, and song with roots in English and North American culture. In honor of our Centennial, CDSS will be releasing new publications, organizing a coast-to-coast North American tour with stops in seven communities, and creating a website where the celebration will be visible and shared by all. This is our invitation to you to join the party throughout 2015.

CDSS has grown and thrived for a century because communities like yours keep our beloved traditions alive. By honoring our past, celebrating our present, and visualizing our future, together, we will broaden our reach as we kick off our next 100 years.

Read more...