About

Welcome, members! Voting on the 2021 bylaw changes is now closed. The bylaws were amended on September 21, 2021, and a summary is below.

 

CDSS 2020 Annual Report coverClick here or on the image for a flipbook of the 2020 Annual Report to read online.

You can also click here for a PDF.

Additional Financial Information and Reports

Our 2020 990 is posted on Guidestar and will appear on the MA Public Charities website when it is processed.

Last updated March 17, 2021

CDSS is delighted to introduce you to our Cultural Equity Advisory Group! We are convening this group to help us move forward in our commitment to cultural equity, and we are excited to work with this group of people on this important project. The group will meet regularly over the course of a year, and will analyze the organization from an equity perspective and provide recommendations for things that we need to change.

Here's a look at some of our ongoing work to enact our core value of Inclusivity and combat racism:

  • In February of 2020, the Board initiated development of an inclusivity statement for CDSS. Staff members researched inclusivity and equity statements from organizations similar to ours, began drafting, and solicited feedback from select members of our community who could provide a variety of perspectives. Right now, we are incorporating that feedback and settling on a final version that we will share with our wider community. Staff has established a team to develop plans for implementing this statement throughout our programs and operations.

  • In April 2020, we had our first equity training session for the full Board and Staff, and we are committed to continuing with additional sessions.

  • We are amplifying the work of Black traditional music and dance artists on our Facebook page. Send us a message there; we’d love to share your favorite artists, too!

  • In August 2020, we created a new inclusivity section of the Resource Portal. This section includes links to articles, podcasts, videos, and other resources about the intersection of race and traditional dance and song. This section also includes resources about different intersections: gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, etc. You can submit a resource to be included.

  • Recognizing that true change must include the whole community, CDSS Community Grant funds can now be used for equity and anti-racism training for local dance organizer teams. Priority will be given to CDSS Affiliates. Moving forward, we will expand this funding to other capacity-building efforts.

  • We are owning our history. Cecil Sharp’s work teaching English country dance and documenting songs and dances from people in Appalachia (1916-1918) inspired a group of Americans to create the organization that later became CDSS. Sharp was a passionate student of English and Anglo-American folk traditions who traveled to white mountain communities and collected music with ties to his native England. Sharp’s racist and anglo-centric worldview caused him to ignore and exclude traditions, including Black traditions, that he deemed less valuable. These actions set a false narrative of single-influence traditions that many song collectors and folk dance historians later adopted without question, and that was later reinforced and legitimized during the folk and dance revivals.1 This is just one example of how the full history of traditional music and dance has been obscured for many years. We are committed to elevating resources that represent a broader, more accurate understanding of traditional dance, music, and song on this continent.

  • We are open to feedback. The vast majority of our staff, Board, and community is white. We will mess up. We will listen. We will keep going. Thank you for being here with us.

Here are ways you can further this work in our communities:

  1. Commit to learning more! Most of us know a very whitewashed history of the traditions we participate in. There are loads of things to read, watch, and listen to that can help us see a more full picture of the ongoing history of traditional dance and song in North America. A selection of these resources is below, and more will be listed in our Resource Portal ASAP. We’d love to include your favorite resources on these topics! Submit those here.

  2. Listen to Black, Brown, and Indigenous people singing and playing a variety of American folk traditions. Buy their music!

  3. For Organizers: Publicly state your support of anti-racism work. Share anti-racism resources with your community. Organize equity training sessions for your board and volunteers. And remember that if you apply for a CDSS grant, we’ll help you pay for it!

  4. For Participants: Get involved! Find out if you can join your local organization’s board, or volunteer in another way to help your community engage in this work. And talk about the things you’re learning with the folks you sing and dance with!

For further reading and listening:

  1. 8 Ways to Become a Decolonizing Agent, from Decolonizing the Music Room
  2. Community and Connection, Rhiannon Giddens’s Keynote Address at IBMA 2017
  3. Sing, Don’t Shout—An Alternative Approach, from Crys Matthews
  4. Addressing Racism as a Dance Community, from Portland Intown Contra Dance
  5. Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics, by Phil Jamison

1 Filene, Benjamin. Romancing the Folk: Public Memory and American Roots Music. University of North Carolina Press, 2000.


Cultural Equity Advisory Group

Dena JenningsDena Ross Jennings
(Group Facilitator)

Dena Ross Jennings (she/her) is a human rights activist, musician, instrument-maker, and a medical doctor, and brings over 20 years of experience working on conflict transformation with her organization Imani Works.

You can find out more about Dena’s work on her website.

Hannah AssefaHannah Assefa

Hannah Assefa (she/her) is an elementary educator who has worked with children for most of her life, whether it be through private instruction in traditional fiddle or as an educator in the classroom. She grew up in Northern Vermont playing Scottish and Cape Breton style fiddle. Hannah has taught in various classroom settings from early childhood education to elementary and, in each environment, she has worked to make a classroom community in which each student is celebrated, nurtured, seen, and heard.

Hannah currently teaches kindergarten at Milton Elementary School. She holds a Master of Education degree in curriculum & instruction from Southern New Hampshire University (2016) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music & elementary education from Saint Michael’s College (2013).

Cayley BucknerCayley Buckner

Cayley Buckner (she/her or they/them) will be graduating from the University of Florida in May 2021 with a B.A. in English and a B.S. in natural resource conservation and a minor in education. She is passionate about outdoor education. She fell in love with contra dancing in August 2016 at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC.

Cayley is the 2020-2021 president of the Gainesville Oldtime Dance Society, where she has been a strong advocate for gender neutral calling, especially positional calling. She is also the co-founder of the Safety Team (a group of individuals who ensure that all feel welcome and secure) and the I.D.E.A. (inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility) subcommittee (which brings a diverse group of individuals together to address social justice issues within our community).

Rima DaelRima Dael

Rima (she/her) has over 25 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations in public media, arts, education & the human service sectors. She is currently the general manager at WSHU Public Radio in Fairfield, CT, having previously worked at New England Public Radio in Springfield, MA. Rima is passionate about the essential role of public media in our communities and the transformational power of the arts. Rima was the executive director for the Country Dance & Song Society during its centennial celebration in 2015, transitioning the membership organization to a capacity building, arts service organization through a multi-city community residency model to build resilient dance, music, and song communities and improve skills of dance organizers. Rima was also a founding faculty member in the Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy master's degree program at Bay Path University. She continues to enjoy teaching online as an adjunct professor in the program.

Originally from the Philippines, Rima spent her early years in Connecticut, and in several Southeast Asian countries with her family attending international schools. Living overseas also exposed Rima to military coups in Thailand, the People’s Revolution in the Philippines, and she participated in the Tiananmen Square protests in Hong Kong as a teenager. These foundational experiences brought forth Rima’s interest in working in mission driven organizations that promote social justice and community advancement.

Rima received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology and theater arts from Mt. Holyoke College. Her master’s degree is in nonprofit management from the Milano School of Management & Urban Policy at the New School University, where she was a Community Development Finance Fellow.

Ezra FischerEzra Fischer

Ezra (he/him) started making the trip from his home in New Jersey to Pinewoods for Campers’ Week 30 years ago. Since then, that trip has become a regular part of his life and much shorter since he moved to the Boston area where he now lives in Arlington, MA. He was particularly thrilled to work for CDSS as a Salesforce admin and consultant over the past few years because of the opportunity to contribute to an organization that has been such a steadily positive influence on his life. Ezra dances with Still River Sword, sings with Boston Harmony, and studiously does not play either the trombone or concertina.

Nadia GayaNadia Gaya

Nadia Gaya (she/her) was the little kid sleeping under the piano at her fiddle-playing parents' gigs and grew up immersed in the traditional music and dance community of Western New York, where she was raised. Nadia currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, and was on the organizing board of Brooklyn Contra from 2012-2015. Nadia currently dances and plays diatonic button accordion with the Ring O' Bells Morris team, plays piano for the CDNY in-house band, the Contrapolitans, and plays piano accordion with the scottish-inspired contra dance band, Torrent. When she's not playing, dancing, singing or crafting, Nadia is a tax attorney/accountant for an advertising technology company and is busy raising her 4-year old daughter in whom she hopes to foster a lifelong love of traditional music, song and dance.

Aravind NatarajanAravind Natarajan

Aravind Natarajan (he/him) is a contra dancer and identifies as a cis-hetero male from India. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, and is passionate about fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in academic spaces. He founded the Science Blender podcast to capture the experiences of scientists from diverse backgrounds and identities. He loves how music and dance bring people together and is eager to make this joy more widely accessible.

Stephanie Marie VoncannonStephanie Voncannon

Stephanie Marie Voncannon (she/her) is a contra dancer and caller in the Charlotte, NC, area. She has been dancing mostly in North Carolina since 2009 and calling regularly since 2013. Stephanie attended Lisa Greenleaf's week-long caller class at Pinewoods Camp in summer 2016. She has called at both mainstream and gender-free dances. Stephanie also enjoys helping others discover a love of dancing, whether calling or dancing at home. Stephanie was also very involved in the LGBT community in Charlotte, including planning the Transgender Day of Remembrance from 2008 to 2010.

Bailey WaltonBailey Walton

Bailey Walton (she/they) is a community organizer, research ethicist by trade, and banjo player from Missouri. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s in public administration, and currently studies studio art. She is passionate about community-building, growing and sharing food, and connecting people with resources. She is excited to have the opportunity to provide her input in this advisory group as a relative newcomer to the traditional music community.

Earl WhiteEarl White

Earl White (he/him) has been a prominent member of the music and dance community for more than 50 years. He is an original and founding member of the famed Green Grass Cloggers. He is one of few Black Americans perpetuating Appalachian music, which was once an important part of Black communities. Now retired from healthcare as a Registered Respiratory Therapist, he continues to play music as a semi-professional, and co-owns and runs the Big Indian Farm sourdough bakery in Floyd County, VA.

CDSS is convening a Cultural Equity Advisory Group to help us move forward in our commitment to cultural equity. We are asking ourselves: In a CDSS with a fully realized core value of cultural equity, how would things look/feel different? How would we know that we were successful in an ongoing way?

We recognize that our organization and leadership do not currently have the kind of representation - particularly of non-white people - needed for this work. We want to make decisions informed by the voices of the people most affected; however, we don’t want to tokenize anyone by placing the expectation of labor solely on them.

We are asking the Advisory Group to give guidance within the broad framework of our existing mission. We seek to support and promote the living traditions that are dear to us in ways that are actively anti-oppressive. We want to understand the ways that harm was done in the past and work to stop perpetuating that harm. We want to make sure that, in our work and play, we carry out our mission of strengthening and supporting communities in a way that builds more equitable relationships.

We are engaged in the process of analyzing how the ways that we operate – both historically and currently – contribute to inequity. We are re-evaluating our programming, research and scholarship, education, access, marketing, relationships with other organizations, organizational structure, and compensation. We are committed to investing labor and financial resources into this work.

Composition

The Cultural Equity Advisory Group will consist of a contracted facilitator and 6-10 people, drawn from our current communities as well as the larger participatory arts community and beyond. The group will prioritize the voices of those who have been marginalized and/or erased in the history and current practice of North American folkways. The group should also include a diversity of skill sets, including non-profit experience, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) work, and historical scholarship.

Scope and Goals (what are we expecting the CEAG to have done by the end of their term)

  • The CEAG will be a primarily internally-focused group, evaluating the operations and programs of CDSS.
  • CEAG will provide CDSS with recommendations to improve cultural equity in these areas:
    • Help CDSS prioritize these recommendations and suggest action steps.
    • Reflect on our self-analysis and point us to areas and issues that we have overlooked.
  • CDSS will publish a report of the group’s recommendations as part of our accountability to the community.

CDSS commits to supporting the CEAG’s work, including in the following ways:

  • Conducting a critical internal analysis of current operations and programming
  • Sharing information with openness and transparency
  • Providing the CEAG with a critical summary of CDSS history
  • Providing access to staff and board leadership
  • Being accountable through public reporting and ongoing work informed by the CEAG’s recommendations
  • Providing opportunities to observe and participate in programs as well as office and board work.

Term of Service

We are asking that Advisors commit to 1 year of service, which will include attending monthly remote group meetings, and some research and preparation between meetings. The Facilitator will work with the Cultural Equity Task Group (staff and board) to create a timeline and benchmarks.

Honorarium

In recognition of the time and labor inherent in a working Advisory Group, CDSS is able to offer the Advisors an honorarium in the amount of $750. The Group Facilitator will receive a consulting fee of $3000.

Nominations

To nominate yourself or someone else for this Advisory Group, complete this form. Applications are open now. Group members will be selected by the Board/Staff Cultural Equity Task Group, in cooperation with the Group Facilitator.

For More Information:

Contact Crispin Youngberg at crispin@cdss.org.

June 12, 2020

Last week, we emailed you all with a statement of our support for the Black Lives Matter movement and some brief thoughts on how anti-racism work intersects with our own traditions and communities. We think it's most important to listen and learn from Black voices right now. We also want to remain accountable to our community, and encourage all of us to do this work together.

In the past week, many of you asked what CDSS is specifically doing to combat racism in our work. We agree that it’s important to share what we’re doing with you! We also acknowledge that we don’t have much practice at sharing about our work while we’re in the middle of doing it. More often than not, we like to complete a project and then tell you about it all at once. But anti-racism work is ongoing and complex. It's really important for us all to talk about the journey we are undertaking. We don't want to do this work alone, and progress will be greater if we work together, share what we are learning, and challenge each other along the way. That is how we move forward together.

Here's a look at some of our ongoing work to enact our core value of Inclusivity and combat racism:

  • In February of this year, the Board initiated development of an inclusivity statement for CDSS. Staff members researched inclusivity and equity statements from organizations similar to ours, began drafting, and solicited feedback from select members of our community who could provide a variety of perspectives. Right now, we are incorporating that feedback and settling on a final version that we will share with our wider community. Staff has established a team to develop plans for implementing this statement throughout our programs and operations.

  • In April, we had our first equity training session for the full Board and Staff, and we are committed to continuing with additional sessions.

  • We are amplifying the work of Black traditional music and dance artists on our Facebook page. Send us a message there; we’d love to share your favorite artists, too!

  • This week, we are creating a new inclusivity section of the Resource Portal. This section will include links to articles, podcasts, videos, and other resources about the intersection of race and traditional dance and song. We plan to have the section live next week and will send more info then! (This section will also include resources about different intersections: gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, etc.) In the meantime, you can submit a resource to be included.

  • Recognizing that true change must include the whole community, CDSS Community Grant funds can now be used for equity and anti-racism training for local dance organizer teams. Priority will be given to CDSS Affiliates. Moving forward, we will expand this funding to other capacity-building efforts.

  • We are owning our history. Cecil Sharp’s work teaching English Country Dance and documenting songs and dances from people in Appalachia (1916-1918) inspired a group of Americans to create the organization that later became CDSS. Sharp was a passionate student of English and Anglo-American folk traditions who boldly ventured into white mountain communities and collected their music with great care and respect… and… Sharp’s racist and anglo-centric worldview impacted the way he told the world about his journeys, and meant that he missed the opportunity to fully understand and document the complex evolution of dance, music, and song on this continent. Additionally, his incomplete understanding set a false narrative that many song collectors and folk dance historians adopted without question, and that was later reinforced and legitimized during the folk revival.1 This is just one example of how the full history of traditional music and dance has been obscured for many years. We are committed to elevating resources that represent a broader, more accurate understanding of traditional dance, music, and song on this continent.

  • We are open to feedback. The vast majority of our staff, Board, and community is white. We will mess up. We will listen. We will keep going. Thank you for being here with us.

Here are ways you can further this work in our communities:

  1. Commit to learning more! Most of us know a very whitewashed history of the traditions we participate in. There are loads of things to read, watch, and listen to that can help us see a more full picture of the ongoing history of traditional dance and song in North America. A selection of these resources is below, and more will be listed in our Resource Portal ASAP. We’d love to include your favorite resources on these topics! Submit those here.

  2. Listen to Black, Brown, and Indigenous people singing and playing a variety of American folk traditions. Buy their music!

  3. For Organizers: Publicly state your support of anti-racism work. Share anti-racism resources with your community. Organize equity training sessions for your board and volunteers. And remember that if you apply for a CDSS grant, we’ll help you pay for it!

  4. For Participants: Get involved! Find out if you can join your local organization’s board, or volunteer in another way to help your community engage in this work. And talk about the things you’re learning with the folks you sing and dance with!

For further reading and listening:

  1. 8 Ways to Become a Decolonizing Agent, from Decolonizing the Music Room
  2. Community and Connection, Rhiannon Giddens’s Keynote Address at IBMA 2017
  3. Sing, Don’t Shout—An Alternative Approach, from Crys Matthews
  4. Addressing Racism as a Dance Community, from Portland Intown Contra Dance
  5. Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics, by Phil Jamison

1 Filene, Benjamin. Romancing the Folk: Public Memory and American Roots Music. University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

CDSS 2019 Annual Report coverClick here or on the image for a flipbook of the 2019 Annual Report to read online.

You can also click here for a PDF.

Additional Financial Information and Reports

August 27, 2020
This statement has been updated since its original publication.

Last week, we emailed you all with a statement of our support for the Black Lives Matter movement and some brief thoughts on how anti-racism work intersects with our own traditions and communities. We think it's most important to listen and learn from Black voices right now. We also want to remain accountable to our community, and encourage all of us to do this work together.

In the past week, many of you asked what CDSS is specifically doing to combat racism in our work. We agree that it’s important to share what we’re doing with you! We also acknowledge that we don’t have much practice at sharing about our work while we’re in the middle of doing it. More often than not, we like to complete a project and then tell you about it all at once. But anti-racism work is ongoing and complex. It's really important for us all to talk about the journey we are undertaking. We don't want to do this work alone, and progress will be greater if we work together, share what we are learning, and challenge each other along the way. That is how we move forward together.

Here's a look at some of our ongoing work to enact our core value of Inclusivity and combat racism:

  • In February of this year, the Board initiated development of an inclusivity statement for CDSS. Staff members researched inclusivity and equity statements from organizations similar to ours, began drafting, and solicited feedback from select members of our community who could provide a variety of perspectives. Right now, we are incorporating that feedback and settling on a final version that we will share with our wider community. Staff has established a team to develop plans for implementing this statement throughout our programs and operations.

  • In April, we had our first equity training session for the full Board and Staff, and we are committed to continuing with additional sessions.

  • We are amplifying the work of Black traditional music and dance artists on our Facebook page. Send us a message there; we’d love to share your favorite artists, too!

  • This week, we are creating a new inclusivity section of the Resource Portal. This section will include links to articles, podcasts, videos, and other resources about the intersection of race and traditional dance and song. We plan to have the section live next week and will send more info then! (This section will also include resources about different intersections: gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, etc.) In the meantime, you can submit a resource to be included.

  • Recognizing that true change must include the whole community, CDSS Community Grant funds can now be used for equity and anti-racism training for local dance organizer teams. Priority will be given to CDSS Affiliates. Moving forward, we will expand this funding to other capacity-building efforts.

  • We are owning our history. Cecil Sharp’s work teaching English country dance and documenting songs and dances from people in Appalachia (1916-1918) inspired a group of Americans to create the organization that later became CDSS. Sharp was a passionate student of English and Anglo-American folk traditions who traveled to white mountain communities and collected music with ties to his native England. Sharp’s racist and anglo-centric worldview caused him to ignore and exclude traditions, including Black traditions, that he deemed less valuable. These actions set a false narrative of single-influence traditions that many song collectors and folk dance historians later adopted without question, and that was later reinforced and legitimized during the folk and dance revivals.1 This is just one example of how the full history of traditional music and dance has been obscured for many years. We are committed to elevating resources that represent a broader, more accurate understanding of traditional dance, music, and song on this continent.

  • We are open to feedback. The vast majority of our staff, Board, and community is white. We will mess up. We will listen. We will keep going. Thank you for being here with us.

Here are ways you can further this work in our communities:

  1. Commit to learning more! Most of us know a very whitewashed history of the traditions we participate in. There are loads of things to read, watch, and listen to that can help us see a more full picture of the ongoing history of traditional dance and song in North America. A selection of these resources is below, and more will be listed in our Resource Portal ASAP. We’d love to include your favorite resources on these topics! Submit those here.

  2. Listen to Black, Brown, and Indigenous people singing and playing a variety of American folk traditions. Buy their music!

  3. For Organizers: Publicly state your support of anti-racism work. Share anti-racism resources with your community. Organize equity training sessions for your board and volunteers. And remember that if you apply for a CDSS grant, we’ll help you pay for it!

  4. For Participants: Get involved! Find out if you can join your local organization’s board, or volunteer in another way to help your community engage in this work. And talk about the things you’re learning with the folks you sing and dance with!

For further reading and listening:

  1. 8 Ways to Become a Decolonizing Agent, from Decolonizing the Music Room
  2. Community and Connection, Rhiannon Giddens’s Keynote Address at IBMA 2017
  3. Sing, Don’t Shout—An Alternative Approach, from Crys Matthews
  4. Addressing Racism as a Dance Community, from Portland Intown Contra Dance
  5. Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics, by Phil Jamison

1 Filene, Benjamin. Romancing the Folk: Public Memory and American Roots Music. University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

Contacts and Hours

The CDSS office is closed until further notice, and all CDSS staff are working remotely. Email is the best way to reach us; you'll find our addresses below. 

Phone: 413-203-5467
Fax: 413-203-5471

116 Pleasant St., Suite 345
Easthampton, MA 01027-2759

Most weeks, our office and store are staffed Monday–Friday, 9:30–5:00.

Driving Directions

Sending Us Updates?

TopicEmail
Update your CDSS Group Affiliate contact info Email
Submit an event listing Email
Submit an article, ad, or letter to the News Email

Meet the CDSS Team

NameTitleEmailPhone
Katy German  Executive Director Email x100
Robin Hayden Director of Development Email x107
Steve Howe Director of Camp Programs Email x102
Joanna Reiner Wilkinson Director of Programs Email  
Julie Brodnitzki Director of Finance Email x111
Sarah Pilzer Director of Operations Email x103
Anna Mach Accounting Manager Email x113
Linda Henry Community Resources Manager Email x105
Nicki Perez Membership & Development Coordinator Email x104
Crispin Youngberg Office & Registration Manager Email x101
Ben Williams Sales & Insurance Manager Email x106
Kelsey Wells Marketing & Communications Manager Email  
Anne Campbell Webmaster Email  

Katy GermanKaty German

Executive Director

x100

A native of Berea, Kentucky, Katy grew up immersed in traditional song, dance, and music. Her first involvement with CDSS was as a camper at CDSS Family Week at Pinewoods as a teenager, where she fell in love with the work of CDSS. Over the years she’s continued to support the organization as a CDSS member, donor, camp instructor, camp program director, and board member.

Before becoming the Executive Director of CDSS in 2017, Katy spent 6 years in clinical trials data management, and 7 years in food banking, where she supervised a remote team that worked with 200 partner agencies to end hunger in western North Carolina. Today Katy is blending her previous professional experiences with her love of traditional dance, music, and song, as she leads CDSS in becoming a high-functioning remote team, rooted in a strong mission, and harnessing today’s technology to bridge geographic distance.

Outside the office you might find Katy paddle-boarding with her family, singing with others, driving her two kids around to any number of activities, working in the yard, reading novels, or planning some big gathering or adventure.

Robin HaydenRobin Hayden

Director of Development

x107

Robin started dancing when she arrived at Swarthmore College in 1983, and soon after, following only a few years of teaching 4th grade, began working for CDSS as a volunteer when both she and the office (coincidentally) moved to Western MA. What began in 1987 as a volunteer Membership Secretary role grew, as CDSS grew over the next 33 years, into Robin’s deeply fulfilling work as Director of Development, in which she is grateful to be able to offer CDSS’s many friends the opportunity to support our important work through membership and generous giving.

After 22 years of residing and raising her two children in Amherst, MA, she settled in a quiet house of her own in Greenfield. A widely-traveled English country dancer and leader, she recently retired from 25 years as the organizer of the weekly English dance in Amherst.

Steve HoweSteve Howe

Director of Camp Programs

x102

Steve started dancing while in high school in Charlotte NC, and, with his parents and siblings, was involved with the nascent Charlotte Country Dancers. Later, backstage theater work led to behind the scenes dance camp work, full time with CDSS since 1989. Steve oversees all CDSS camp sessions and is Camp Director for the six weeks at Pinewoods.

Steve dances with Marlboro Morris and Green Mountain Mummers, looks for any excuse to dance longsword and to play with different expressions of the Abbots Bromley antler dance, and is now a sporadic ECD and contra dancer. He is married to clog and morris dancer, Meg Ryan, and their three adult children are regular social and display dancers.

Joanna Reiner WilkersonJoanna Reiner Wilkinson

Director of Programs

Although many people in our community know Joanna as an excellent dance leader, what makes her perfect for this role is her expertise in nonprofit financial management and experience working with cultural organizations on data-driven program design. Joanna joins CDSS from SMU DataArts, where she evaluated cultural organization needs and designed organizational strength trainings for adult learners in the cultural community. She lives in Cheltenham, PA.

Julie BrodnitzkiJulie Brodnitzki

Director of Finance

x111

Julie grew up in Barkhamsted, CT and after graduating from the University of Central Florida moved out to Missoula, MT for a brief period before moving back to Barkhamsted to raise her three children. She has a M.S. in Accounting from the University of Connecticut and B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida. Prior to joining CDSS, Julie worked at several nonprofit organizations in CT. She joined CDSS in December of 2019 as the Director of Finance and is responsible for the organization's finances and human resources.

When Julie is not at the office, she is enjoying the outdoors, running, skiing or hiking with family and friends. She loves traveling and was fortunate to enjoy a month-long RV trip across the United States with her family in 2018. She visited 28 states and drove 9529 miles.

Sarah PilzerSarah Pilzer

Director of Operations

x103

Sarah is a New England transplant from Takoma Park, MD, now living in Greenfield, MA. Her first involvement with CDSS was as a young camper at Family Week. She went on to join the Governing Board as a college student, and then later in 2016, was hired to work in the office in Easthampton. Sarah has worn many hats at CDSS over the years, but currently serves as the Director of Operations, guiding the smooth functioning of the organization’s systems and processes.

Sarah grew up in a music & dance family and has been involved in the folk community her entire life. She has a rainbow of morris vests from the various teams she has danced with but most recently can be found wearing either red with Marlboro Morris & Sword or gray with Oxbow Morris. Sarah is a graduate of Oberlin College and Boston University and holds a M.A. in Marine Biology (ask her about talking to fish!). Other hobbies/interests include: board games, crochet, flower gardening, and parades.

Anna MachAnna Mach

Accounting Manager

x113

Anna grew up in Canada and went to the University of Manitoba for her B.S in Accounting and Mathematics. She now lives in West Springfield, MA with her husband and two children. Prior to joining CDSS, she started and ran her own business for 5 years in Canada, and then worked for Girl Scouts of Pioneer Valley as their Accounting/Finance Manager. She joined CDSS in December 2011. As Accounting Manager, she oversees organization accounting activities and processes.

During most of her time off from CDSS, she is busy driving her two kids to their activities and taking care of her mother both remotely and in Canada. She loves traveling and learning about different cultures from the places she visits. She was fortunate enough to be able to give her children their first overseas trip to Asia last summer. She hopes she will be able to continue her travels after the kids are all grown up.

Linda HenryLinda Henry

Community Resources Manager

x105

Linda grew up in five southern states and first encountered contra dancing in Asheville, NC in the early 80s. As her love for dancing grew, she started and played piano for monthly dances in her community. This led her to a move to Boston and immersing herself in the dance scene there. In the early 90s she moved to western Massachusetts and joined the CDSS staff. She started a local contra dance in Amherst, MA that she co-organized for 14 years, including playing piano and leading an open band. For many years she also organized a local family dance series.

After wearing various CDSS hats over the last thirty years, Linda especially enjoys her current role as Community Resources Manager. She loves using her dance organizing experience to understand the needs of organizers and connect them to the vast resources now available through CDSS. Her work includes administering our Grants Program, hosting Web Chats, administering the Resource Portal, and offering one-on-one coaching chats. If your music, dance, or song community could use some support, feel free to contact Linda at resources@cdss.org.

Nicki PerezNicki Perez

Membership & Development Coordinator

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Nicki grew up in Hanover, NH and now lives in Northampton, MA. Working as the Membership & Development Coordinator at CDSS, she’s the one who processes all your memberships and donations, mails your renewal notices, and more!

Nicki has been an avid dancer and singer since birth. Starting with Irish step dance classes, she later became involved with Revels North, Village Harmony, and Maple Leaf Morris & Sword in Norwich, VT. After touring with Northern Harmony in 2014, she moved to the Pioneer Valley, and has been working for CDSS since 2016.

Crispin YoungbergCrispin Youngberg

Office & Registration Manager

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Crispin grew up in Devon, England, and now lives in Greenfield, MA. He joined the CDSS team in June 2019. As Office and Registration Manager, Crispin works with Steve Howe administering CDSS’ camp programs (including working at Pinewoods for the six weeks of CDSS camp there), and with Sarah Pilzer on operations and admin in the main office.

Outside of his work for CDSS, Crispin has been involved in folk communities in the UK and now in the USA since he was a child. He dances with Marlboro Morris, plays fiddle, and organizes a monthly pub sing in Greenfield. He also enjoys knitting, hiking, and gluten-free baking.

Ben WilliamsBen Williams

Sales & Insurance Manager

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Ben Williams grew up in the suburbs of Boston and now lives in Northampton, MA. He began working for CDSS in fall of 2018. He’s responsible for CDSS’ publications, including digital publications and the online library. He also runs the store and coordinates insurance and 501(c)(3) services for Group Affiliates.

Ben has been a life-long singer and began contra dancing in Greenfield while he attended UMass Amherst for journalism and psychology (after a brief stint in chemistry). While not singing and dancing he enjoys playing games (board, card, and otherwise), woodworking, and other craft projects. He also helps run a local meditation center and a Buddhist summer camp for children ages 10-16.

Kelsey WellsKelsey Wells

Marketing & Communications Manager

Kelsey works for CDSS from her home near Nashville, TN. As Marketing and Communications Manager, she oversees News publications, designs camp promotions, writes social media content, and much more. Kelsey works with Robin Hayden and Nicki Perez on the Development team and with anyone else in the office who needs art! She joined CDSS in 2019 after having been a primary school music teacher, a university graphic designer, and a guitar builder.

Kelsey plays fiddle and banjo in the dance bands Turnip the Beet and Silver Sail, spending many weekends traveling to dance festivals around the country. She is the founder and co-leader of the Nashville Country Dancers community open band and served as the US delegate to the world folk music project Ethno Flanders in 2017. Outside of playing music, Kelsey enjoys making crankies and hiking with her pup, Isham.

Anne CampbellAnne Campbell

Webmaster

Anne lives and works in Orlando, FL. She graduated from Hampshire College in 1995 and has been designing and building websites ever since. In 2019, she joined the CDSS team as webmaster, taking care of updates, maintenance, and design on both the main CDSS site and the camp site.

Anne's dance career began and ended at age 4, when the ballet teacher told her parents not to bother sending her back. However, she enjoys group singing, and her time with CDSS has inspired her to dip a toe into contra dance. Her other interests include travel, cooking, needlepoint, and Star Wars.

CDSS 2018 Annual Report coverClick here or on the image for a flipbook of the 2018 Annual Report to read online.

If you prefer, when you get to the report, there's a PDF icon in the left sidebar that will let you download the report as a PDF.

You can also click here for a PDF.

Additional Financial Information and Reports

Comparative Statement of Financial Position and Comparative Statement of Activities

2018 Donor List

CDSS listing on Guidestar

MA Public Charities Annual Filing (search on Country Dance and Song Society)

 

2017 annual report cover

Click here or on the image for a flipbook of the 2017 Annual Report to read online. 

If you prefer, when you get to the report, there's a PDF icon in the left sidebar that will let you download the report as a PDF. 

You can also click here for a PDF

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND REPORTS

Comparative Statement of Financial Position and Comparative Statement of Activities

2017 Donor List

CDSS listing on Guidestar - Note: The 2017 990 Forms will be uploaded to Guidestar soon.

MA Public Charities Annual Filing (search on Country Dance and Song Society)

     
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