2017 Annual Appeal:
Our World Needs More of This!

Dear CDSS Friends,

Tarter Patty FWP2017 1 CMYK Crop smPhoto: Patty Tarter

As 2017 draws to a close, I know that many of you, like me, will be reflecting on the year, on the blessings in your lives, and on what you’ve put into the world.

Before the year-end shuffle begins, I invite you to pause for a moment and think about the ways in which your life has been made sweeter by raising your voice in song, making music with others, and connecting with friends on the dance floor. And I urge you to think about how vitally important it is for us all to invest in the type of future we want to see. I believe that our world needs more of this! More twirling and turning! More rousing choruses! More hands working to make music! More creative JOY!

Bary Jeff CAM2017 69 smPhoto by Jeff BaryCDSS is dedicated to providing the resources, support, and connections that nurture local dance communities all across North America. Whether through 
insurance coverage, training for dance organizers, historic and academic 
resources in our e-library, grant funding to help new ideas take shape, or immersion experiences at camp, CDSS is here to keep the traditions you love going strong.

Your membership and financial support are what make it all possible. So if you’ve experienced the joy of connecting through traditional dance, music and song, and if you believe — as I believe — in the compounding goodness they create in the world, then make your end-of-year contribution today. We can’t do it without you.

Warmest wishes,


Katy German
Executive Director

P.S. If you prefer, you can mail your donation to Country Dance and Song Society, 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 345, Easthampton, MA 01027

Dear Friend,

If you’re reading this, it’s because you’re already a supporter of CDSS. You feel the pull to be part of something larger than yourself. You’ve thought about all the ways that traditional dance, music, and song have transformed your life and the lives of those you care most about, and you believe it’s important that others have the opportunity to experience that joy – the more, the better! And you understand that by supporting CDSS you’re making sure that someone is paying attention to that bigger picture.

As an organization, CDSS has dedicated its existence to ensuring that all communities who love these traditions have the resources they need to thrive. Your support for CDSS gives us the resources to help folks who are struggling to start a dance where there is none, or train up new callers and musicians, or keep a small organization of exhausted volunteers going.

In particular, by supporting CDSS, you help us:

  • serve as the central hub of information on these traditions, maintaining a vast, curated website of current, historical, educational, and archival resources, available to all
  • provide affordable insurance and nonprofit tax-exempt status for groups
  • offer organizational expertise to group leaders facing funding crises, in need of Board training, or confronting difficult situations
  • support leadership training – locally, at our own camps, and through collaborative regional gatherings and networks
  • work with schools, teachers, and social service agencies to incorporate traditional dance, music, and song into their curricula, exposing a new generation of young people to the joys and benefits of these community arts

We, like you, believe that traditional dance, music, and song thrive when communities are strong, sustainable, and connected, and we are committed to advocating on your behalf for support of these community arts among influential cultural leaders and potential funders.

All of these big picture initiatives depend, year after year, on your generous support and that of thousands of others in our community who care passionately about traditional dance, music, and song. Please send your tax deductible gift to CDSS today, and join us in advocating for these traditions – and stewarding them well – for the next 100 years.



A. Rima Dael, Executive Director

Dear CDSS members, friends, and supporters,

I’m writing to share some truly amazing news.

In a bold gesture of support for the participatory arts, the Sage Foundation, a grantmaking organization in the Pacific Northwest, has awarded the Country Dance & Song Society an unrestricted grant of $1,000,000 to continue our programs, services, and advocacy on behalf of traditional dance, music, and song traditions.

cdss spread the joy brochure

Centennial Campaign Brochure
This gift catapults the Spread the Joy Centennial Campaign well beyond our initial goal of $1,000,000. The Sage Foundation joins the 900+ individuals and organizations who have already contributed to the campaign, bringing the total raised to more than $1,665,000.

This support, from you and hundreds of friends like you, was absolutely crucial in demonstrating to the Sage Foundation that CDSS is an organization worth supporting! Because of your generosity, we were able to fund programs like the Community Residencies/Centennial Tour and The Playford Assembly, and to approach a major funder with a compelling story of our success, the value of our mission, and our readiness to grow given sufficient support.

The Sage Foundation, affiliated with Sage Arts in Arlington, WA, gives grants that support arts, music, education, healthcare, and the environment. “We believe in supporting homegrown music,” says a spokesperson for the Sage Foundation.

The extraordinary gift – the largest in CDSS’s history – will allow us to fully pursue the goals of the campaign.  It will fund ongoing Education and Outreach programs and North American Community Residencies.  It will allow us to invest in long overdue technology and infrastructure upgrades. And perhaps most significantly, as the 5-year pledge is fulfilled, it will allow us to build a substantial operational reserve.

So THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts, for your faith in us, and all you’ve done to get us to this point. You will be hearing more from us in the coming months about the impact of the campaign and our plans for the future. In the meantime, we welcome your questions and congratulations!

With great excitement and gratitude,

rima signature

Rima Dael
Executive Director

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