CDSS Outreach Funds — Helping Others Make Things Happen

The CDSS Outreach Funds Program is in its eighth year (see list of recent recipients). In the following map, each pin represents an individual or organization that has been offered CDSS outreach funding to date— in all about 235 music, dance and song communities throughout the U.S. and Canada! To apply, please refer to the online guidelines and application.

KEY:  White: 2015, Red: 2014, Pink: 2013, Purple: 2012, Green: 2011, Yellow: 2010, Blue: 2009, Teal Blue: 2008

View CDSS Funds at Work in a larger map

CDSS Outreach Funding has been offered to the following events and projects most recently:


Community English Country Dance Series – new series in region with no other English dances (IL)

Sea Shanty Documentary – short film to document singers who preserve sea shanties and maritime folk music (NY)

Gender Role Free Contra Dance – initial dance to start up gender role free dancing in new area (CA)

Music Curriculum – support to purchase elementary school curriculum for teaching music and dance skills (IA)

Bridgewater Contra II – dance on college campus to attract students and dancers from surrounding communities (VA)

JUNE 2015

Family Contra Dance at CT Folk Festival - funding to include family-oriented dance at state-wide event (CT)

Dance Musicians Workshop - day-long training for bands from Oklahoma City area (OK)

Perception: A Portrait of Tony Barrand - concerts to honor Tony Barrand including singing, morris dancing, and music (VT)

Book/CD set of Traditional American Dances - publication for teachers and community leaders including dance instructions, teaching tips, and short essays (WI)

Shakespeare’s As You Like It - production incorporating traditional English dances (RI)

Dance, Sing, and Jump Around! - support for turning intergenerational family/community dance into monthly series (VT)

New Contra Dance Series - start-up grant to bring contra dancing to new area (CA)

Hanover Christmas Revels mentorship - leadership training for children’s chorus director (NH)


Youth Scholarships for Chehalis Contra Dance Camp - scholarships to increase youth participation at contra-focused dance camp (BC)

An English Trifle: ECD Weekend - new ECD weekend at Timber Ridge Camp (WV)

Baltimore Square Dance - support for square dance become a series in new venue (MD)

Contra Dance Band Workshop - two band workshops to prepare music for contra dances in different locations (CA)

Outermost Contra - new contra series on Cape Cod (MA)

Participatory dancing during lecture - hiring fiddler to accompany dancing during lecture on contra dance through the ages (ON)

Teaching Contra at USA West Square Dance Convention - hiring musicians and callers to introduce contra at USA West square dance convention (MT)

Contradelphia - new youth-run contra series in center city (PA)

Sword dance teacher for May Day event - hiring sword dance teacher to teach 4th graders to perform at May Day (MA)

Brattleboro Square Dance Series - adding new square dance to contra series (VT)

Caller Mentorship Program - mentorship opportunities for new and intermediate callers (NY)

Red Barn Folk Festival - folk festival focusing on community-based traditions from New England (MA)


Here is a sampling of the types of events that have received CDSS support over the years:

Training Events

Sun Assembly Spring Dance Weekend - English country and contra dance weekend with new aspect of including workshops for callers of both genres (NC)

Dancing Between the Lines - Midwest leadership conference for callers and dance organizers (OH)

All Contra, All Day, the Right Way - contra workshop for dancers of all levels for building skill and community (BC)

Contra Callers' Workshops - series of mentorship workshops for new callers with opportunities to call at local dances (NM)

Open Contra Dance Band Practice/Workshops - several workshops for musicians leading up to playing for final dance (RI)

2nd Annual Dare to Be Square - weekend of square dancing and calling workshops (VA)

Impropriety Weekend - English country dance and music workshops in 3 cities in Bay area (CA)

Events with Family or Youth Focus

World on a String Day - cross-cultural workshops to introduce young classical music students to the wide world of traditional music (DC) - see photo at left

Wallowa Fiddle Tunes Camp - adding contra dance to existing week-long music camp for families (OR) 

Youth Traditional Song Weekend - youth-focused (not youth-exclusive) participatory singing event including leadership training (MA)

Fall Has Sprung - backing to help annual contra festival increase youth attendance by offering sliding scale to dancers 30 and under (CA)

New Events

Swan's Island Community Dance - new contra dance to revive dancing on remote island (ME) - see photo at left

Mountain Dance Trail - revitalizing dances in 10 communities throughout West Virginia (WV)

Jim Thorpe Country Dance Series - start-up funding for new monthly contra/square dance (PA)

Scholarships to non-CDSS Programs

Festival of American Fiddle Tunes - scholarship to attend week-long festival to participate in fiddle, piano and calling workshops (WA)

Cumberland Dance Week - scholarship to attend callers workshop at music and dance week including contras, English country dancing, rapper, etc. (KY)

BACDS American Week - matching youth scholarships for dance week including contras and squares, couple dancing, music workshops, etc. (CA)