I’ve just finished the absorbing and humbling exercise of editing the list of 2012 Donors to CDSS. You can see the full list here. Its impressive amplitude is a testament both to the generosity of our supporters and to the depth of feeling that traditional dance, music, and song evoke in those who participate and in the communities they form.
I was particularly struck this year by the number of gifts made in memory of or in honor of someone special. Interspersed in the full list, you’ll see the names of leading lights of traditional dance, music, and song – some long gone, some recently departed. A gift in their memory speaks of a wish to honor their contributions, and in many cases reflects a cherished personal history between the donor and the honoree.
Others have shined a light on leaders and communities who matter to them now, today, with a gift in their honor. And many of you made gifts to honor friends and family members who left us this past year. Making such a gift is a way of doing something positive and forward-looking in a time of grief and loss. It is also a public gesture of love to bereft families and friends that says, “I remember, and I will long remember.”