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Recommendations Sought for Lifetime Contribution Award

Your help is needed!

  • Do you know someone who has made a long-term and exceptional contribution to the mission of CDSS?
  • Has this contribution benefited more than one geographical area and/or generation?
  • Has the person worked in conjunction with CDSS for more than 20 years?

If the answer is “yes” to all of these, then you may know a future recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award (LCA).

Examples of a significant contribution include:

  • increasing the quality of what we do by inspiration, instruction, or excellent example
  • bringing what we do to new communities
  • expanding the repertoire of dance, music and/or song through scholarship or original composition;
  • working behind the scenes or enabling others to make these contributions

Nominations for the 2023 award are now closed. Please check back later this year to submit a candidate for the 2024 award.

Ed Stern smiling along with other morris dancersPhoto courtesy of Ted Hodapp

2022 Award Recipient

The Country Dance & Song Society is proud to announce that Ed Stern of Minneapolis, MN, is the 2022 recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award.

The Lifetime Contribution Award for Ed Stern will be celebrated at an event in Minneapolis on Saturday, June 11, 2022. Please email Ted Hodapp at tedhodapp@gmail.com for more information, or if you are interested in attending.

Ed’s passionate involvement with dance stretches back to the 1960s with international folk dance and morris dance in Chicago. Ed has lived in the Twin Cities since 1971, and several generations of Midwestern dancers have experienced the joy of dance that Ed infuses into his skilled teaching. He has taught numerous styles of dance, including morris, English country, contra, Scottish, international, ballroom, Scandinavian, Irish ceilidh, and more. Ed is a founder of Minnesota Traditional Morris, and morris dancers from many communities have learned the massed dances for Midwest Morris Ale from Ed.

Ed founded the Saltari Folk Dance Emporium in the late ‘70s and has taught at the Tapestry Folkdance Center in Minneapolis since its early days in the ‘80s. Ed actively recruits and mentors new callers. He happily admits that he became addicted to dance early on and is driven to ensure that dance continues to brighten the lives of future generations. Thank you, Ed!

“Over the past 40 years, Ed has been a steadfast and active member of the teaching leadership for the folk dancing population in the Twin Cities. People of all ages, from the youngest participants in our family folk dance program to those retirees dancing in the English country dance program, have been touched by Ed’s influence. In the morris community, Ed’s teaching of teachers and involvement in Minnesota Traditional Morris and so many programs at Tapestry shows his dedication to the art of folk dance and its continuation in upcoming generations.”

—Lydia McAnerney

“Besides the fact that Ed has been involved in varied dance and song communities for more than 50 years, he continues to joyfully impart his knowledge to those of us of all ages involved in these communities. He is also a patient, yet deliberate and exacting, teacher who has a vast base of knowledge to impart.”

—Hassan Saffouri

“From my perspective, Ed's involvement in folk dancing could never be separated from his desire for the traditions he is teaching to continue. Actively seeking out and encouraging new dancers and musicians is part of his fabric as a person who deeply loves and enjoys the traditions he teaches.”

—Amy Muldoon

“One of Ed's greatest attributes is his ability to introduce and teach the joy of dance to any generation. I have witnessed this many times and in many ways, including at my wedding. Ed is the reason I am involved in the dance community. His knowledge and passion for dance is unlimited and has influenced literally thousands of people and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

—Leif Petersen

“Ed continues to inspire individuals across many demographics, and his legacy will continue for decades to come. I find it hard to think of anyone who has had such a profound impact on traditional dancing as Ed Stern has, and I cannot think of anyone else who is more deserving of a lifetime contribution award than he.”

—Ted Hodapp

“My community, my dear friends, and many of my joyous experiences in life would not exist without Ed Stern's founding of Minnesota Traditional Morris. He really is the impetus of the Twin Cities Folk Dance community. When I think about all the things Ed has done for our community, it is the most selfless and admirable gift anyone can bestow upon others. I have danced in the street, I have danced at pubs, I have danced down Nicollet Mall in the heart of Minneapolis. I have sung around campfires with Ed and the rest of my Folk Dance Brothers. I have been to England and again danced in the street and danced in pubs. I am very grateful for Ed Stern's presence and commitment to Folk Dance in the Twin Cities.”

—Dean Muldoon

Past Award Recipients

* Made an Honorary CDSS Member before the origination of the Lifetime Contribution Awards.

Posthumous Lifetime Contribution Award

Submit recommendations online here.

CDSS has expanded its Lifetime Contribution Award to include the possibility of awarding it posthumously. It is intended to honor those who were deserving of and likely to receive the Lifetime Contribution Award (LCA) but who passed on before they could be honored. The Posthumous award will be given to honor the work done by such persons and to hold them up as exemplars of the attributes CDSS values. It is not intended as an annual award; there is no obligation to give the recognition every year and no more than one will be given in a calendar year.

Any CDSS member may make recommendations for this award at any time. Those recommending a posthumous candidate commit to finding someone to be responsible for organizing appropriate recognition. Recognition could be an event or participation in an existing event, a named scholarship, or a dance, music, song or publication in honor of the person. Recognition will be planned in coordination with CDSS.

Criteria for a posthumous award are the same as for the regular Lifetime Contribution Award with one addition, and include:

  • candidate has been deceased for at least three but not more than six years;
  • candidate has made a longterm and exceptional contribution to the mission of CDSS;
  • candidate’s work has benefited more than one geographical area and/or generation;
  • candidate has worked in conjunction with CDSS for more than twenty years.

A significant contribution may consist of:

  • increasing the quality of what we do by inspiration, instruction or excellent example;
  • bringing what we do to new communities;
  • expanding the repertoire of country dance, music and/or song, whether through scholarship or by original composition;
  • working behind the scenes, enabling others to make any of the contributions listed above (i.e., music or dance event organizing, sound production or programming).

The posthumous award began in 2015 as a new initiative, part of the CDSS Centennial. This first posthumous LCA recipient was Warren Argo.

You may submit recommendations for a posthumous LCA here.

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