judson fosterMary Judson and Brad Foster

CDSS has developed a new educational initiative — the Mary Judson/Brad Foster English Dancer Teachers Fund. 

Mary Judson taught English country dance in Pasadena, CA and beyond, acting as a mentor for a generation of English dance leaders. She was a director of CDSS programs at Pinewoods, served on the founding committee for BACDS's Mendocino camps, and was an Honorary Member of CDSS. Read more about Mary.

Brad Foster began folk dancing in his teens in Pasadena, where he met sisters Ellen and Molly Judson.  In 1968 their mother, Mary, introduced Brad to English country dance, and remained his teacher and mentor as he developed into an internationally renowned dance caller and community leader.  Brad served as Executive and Artistic Director of CDSS for 28 years, continues as Executive Director Emeritus, and was the 2015 recipient of CDSS’s Lifetime Contribution Award

In honor of Mary’s impact on English dance in this country, Brad’s dedication to the Society, and of Brad’s and Mary’s mentor-teacher relationship, CDSS has launched this initiative to create a new cohort of dance leaders in our community, continuing our 100-year commitment to preserving English dance traditions, supporting the communities in which they seek to thrive, and investing in the development of new leaders. 

The Fund has been seeded with a generous donation from Mary Judson's daughters, Ellen and Molly.

2017 Recipient

megan wilsonMegan Wilson
(photo by Jeff Bary)
We are proud to announce the 2017 recipient of the Mary Judson/Brad Foster Award, dance leader and organizer Megan Wilson, of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Megan will further her development as an English dance leader by studying with Joanna Reiner Wilkinson at CDSS English Week this coming summer. Read more about Megan.

The Fund Advisory Committee will meet this Fall to invite applications for the 2018 award.

Past Recipients

2016 — Louise Siddons

How can I contribute to the Judson/Foster Fund?

You can contribute to the Mary Judson/Brad Foster Fund online here. Thanks to the generous friends who have already contributed to this Fund. Many have made their gifts in memory of Mary, in honor of Brad, or in honor or memory of a mentor or fellow teacher in their own lives.

You may also write a check to CDSS, specifying that your donation is for the Mary Judson/Brad Foster Fund. Send your tax-deductible donation to the Country Dance and Song Society, 116 Pleasant St #345, Easthampton, MA 01027. You may also contribute to the fund by making a pledge to donate a certain amount over a period of time.

CDSS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (taxpayer ID#04-3031125).

Award Criteria

CDSS will choose a recipient for the Judson/Foster Fund based on these criteria:

  • supporting a promising teacher to extend existing and/or develop new skills
  • teacher training workshop(s)
  • publications to support teachers
  • research to support teaching

The specific award can and will likely change each year, at least in the short term. The Advisory Committee shall determine the scope and focus of each year’s award.

Restriction & Time Frame

The fund is intended to be long-lived but not necessarily permanent, and the founding donors recognize that priorities and needs may change. This fund is therefore set up as a donor restricted fund for a period of 30 years. After that time, the restrictions end, and the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) can reassign the purpose and use of the funds.

Management & Control

The fund itself and the funds raised and invested are managed by the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) and under its supervision and control. An advisory committee shall be formed of 2 to 4 people to recommend, each year, both the next year’s focus of the award and its recipient(s), subject to CDSS’s approval. The initial Advisory Committee shall include Brad Foster for a term of at least three years; further details of the makeup and terms of the committee shall be determined/decided by CDSS.

Spending Rate

Between 5% and 10% of the fund shall be allocated for awards each year. This spending rate may exceed the total return for the invested funds, and the assets of the fund may decrease over time.

Donors to the Judson/Foster Fund

David & Platt Arnold
Nancy Boyd & Art Munisteri
   in honor of Brad Foster and Ellen Judson
   in memory of Mary Judson
David Chandler & Beverly Francis
Karen Cornelius
Bob Dalsemer
   in honor of Brad Foster
Robert & Ruth Anne Fraley
Sharon & David Green
   in honor of Robin Hayden
Bruce Hamilton
   in memory of Mary Judson
Ellen Judson
Molly Judson
Kirston Koths
Chris Levey & Barbara DeFelice
   in honor of Pat Talbot
Elly Lindsay & Randy Boniface
David Means & Sandra Strand
Charlene & Jonathan Morse
John M Ramsey & Berni Meyer
Judi Rivkin
   in memory of Ruth & Herb Rivkin
Sue A Salmons
Mike Silver & Christine Ratekin
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