CDSS Grants

Our Grant funds typically support events and projects that include in-person participation. Since demand for such funding is low during the pandemic, we are currently accepting applications for the following categories on a rolling case-by-case basis, as finances allow:

  • equity and anti-racism training for organizers or communities
  • publishing instruction materials (print, web, audio, video)
  • related endeavors that will have a lasting effect on dance, music, and song communities

For ​application information and updates, watch this space and keep an eye on the New & Noteworthy section on our homepage. Questions? Email

CDSS Outreach Funds are available to support a wide variety of programs and projects that foster the growth of traditional dance, music and song with roots in English and North American culture.

Who Can Apply for This Funding?

Individuals and groups who are:

  • organizing events (workshops, weekend events, conferences, festivals, etc.) for one or more of these purposes:
    • to offer leadership training for callers, musicians, singers and/or event organizers
    • to encourage youth involvement
    • to create new events
  • publishing instruction materials (print, web, audio, video)
  • in need of scholarships to attend non-CDSS programs
  • involved in related endeavors that will have a lasting effect on the dance, music and song communities.

Preference is given to CDSS members and group affiliates and to applicants who have not previously received CDSS funding. However, all are welcome to apply. For questions about the suitability of your application, contact or 413-203-5467 x105. See Our Funds at Work for glimpses of events and projects that have been supported by CDSS.

Things to Consider When You Apply...

  • CDSS support is offered as seed money in hopes that events and projects seeking this funding will become self-supporting. Preference is given to first-time applicants.
  • Since our funding is limited, the focus of the CDSS Grants Program is to help events/projects with program-related expenses (callers, musicians, workshop leaders, etc.), rather than operational expenses (publicity, supplies, etc).
  • We encourage applicants to pursue additional support from other sources prior to applying. These partnerships indicate that your project has a wider base of support, making it more sustainable over time.
  • CDSS funding is available in these two forms:
    • Grants are offered prior to an event or project, especially to help cover any advance expenses. Any amount that is not needed is returned to CDSS to support other worthy endeavors.
    • Financial backing, or “safety net” funding, is provided after an event/project if it does not break even. To receive this support, a follow-up report must be submitted to CDSS within one month after the event/project, including the financial outcome indicating how much funding is needed.
  • Since a set amount is budgeted for each application period, funding amounts vary depending on how many applications are received for any given deadline (February 1, June 1, October 1). Our typical range is $200-$500, with occasional larger grants for events/projects designed to have a broad impact.
  • Learn more about CDSS by perusing our website. Our 990 is available on Guidestar.


Before event:

  • Acknowledge CDSS support in any print and online publicity, including our logo and a link to our website. For example, “This event (or project) is supported in part by the Outreach Fund of the Country Dance and Song Society," Include the CDSS logo available on our website.
  • Arrange to have skilled photographers take quality photos during your event/project (and video if possible).

During event:

  • Make announcements to acknowledge CDSS support.
  • Make CDSS promotional materials available. (These will be sent from CDSS).
  • Have photos (and video) taken.

After event:

  • Submit follow-up report within one month, including successes, challenges, feedback from participants, financial outcome, etc. Include photos (and video) with corresponding names(s) of photographer(s), so we can provide credits.
  • Provide a list of anyone helping to organize your event/project, including contact information. Also return the mailing list sign-up included in your promotional materials.

CDSS Outreach Funds

The CDSS Grants Committee will consider your application and decide if your project/event is eligible for support from any of the following Outreach Funds for these purposes:

  • CDSS Outreach Fund and New Leaders, Good Leaders Fund: for events to train dance leaders, musicians, singers, and event organizers, and/or to foster youth involvement. Read more
  • May Gadd/Phil Merrill Fund: to help start new events (weekends, festivals, conferences, etc.); scholarships for CDSS programs. Read more
  • Mary Kay Friday Leadership Fund: 
for training dance leaders, callers, and musicians. Read more
  • Chuck Ward Musicians Training Fund: to support training programs for novice and experienced English country dance musicians. Read more

Grant Application Process

Application deadlines are normally February 1, June 1 and October 1, but we are currently accepting applications on a rolling basis. Since recipients are required to mention CDSS support in any publicity (see above), plan to apply for an upcoming deadline that is at least 1-2 months before you will start promoting your event/project.

Click here to access the online application form and follow the prompts. You will be notified when we have received your application. If you have not received notification within a few days, contact or 413-203-5467 x105. 

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