News in “These Times”

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Previous editions can be found via History/Newsletter

Online event resources

CDSS online event listings – CDSS has compiled a list of online events, from song to dance to lessons to music performances – a website listing online dances, concerts, podcasts, workshops, even baking, curated for the folk dance and music community

Letters from the Board

June 12, 2020 update

Dear Members,

It’s hard to believe it’s already June, and over three months have passed since our last dance event. I hope you’re all keeping well and finding ways to connect socially and musically in the safety of your homes. I have a few important updates to share:

Due to some unforeseen challenges in switching our election and Annual General Meeting over to electronic versions, the Board has decided to postpone the AGM a month.

The Annual General Meeting will now be July 15 at 7PM, via an online platform. Like many of you, we are learning to work with lots of new tools this spring, and we appreciate your patience as we navigate this.

Polling will take place by a Google Form survey which you will be receiving shortly. And fear not, our intrepid membership secretary Terry Huffaker will be mailing paper ballots to those of our members who do not regularly read email. The Board will still hold our regular monthly meeting June 17, as there’s still lots of behind the scenes work to be done. If you have an item you’d like us to discuss or you’d like to make a proposal to the Board, please email me (President) by June 16 to be added to this month’s Agenda. We welcome your ideas and suggestions at any time!

Clara Stefanov-Wagner
President, CDS Boston Centre

April 23, 2020 update

Dear Members,
I’m really missing you all, and the magic that we share on the dance floor. I hope you’re taking good care of yourselves and each other as best you’re able, and finding new ways to keep music and movement in your lives.

I have a few announcements to share this week. As you have probably already expected, the Board voted last week to cancel the remainder of our spring 2020 dance season, including all PACC/Scout House Wednesday night dances, ACE dances, and Harvard Square dances in May and June. We are also not at this time booking for our summer series. Given the ongoing threat of coronavirus, the Board determined that it is safest to not make plans for gathering and dancing again soon. We will be keeping up with the latest news throughout the spring and summer, and will let you know here and on the website if we are able to resume in time for a partial summer season. If you ever have questions about whether an event is happening, please check our calendar.

Secondly, we have chosen a date for our Annual General Meeting: Wednesday June 17, at 7pm. This will be an electronic meeting, for which we will send you the web-location as soon as we figure out the details. We will also be sending ballots electronically, so please keep alert to your inbox for those details.

Finally, we have two openings on the Board. While the dances themselves are paused, the mission and the business of the organization continues. We’re looking for committed and creative individuals to join us in the work of keeping CDS-Boston healthy, carrying out our mission as best we can, and adapting to changing times and circumstances. If you’re interested in running for one of these places, please be in touch! And if you know someone who you think would be a great fit, please encourage them to reach out or pass along their name to President.

Clara Stefanov-Wagner
President, CDS Boston Centre

Supporting our performers

This spring and summer are an unprecedented time for our community, with our Pinewoods sessions cancelled and no firm date when we will be able to resume our regular dancing. As the reality of so many cancelled dances sets in, one of our first concerns is the many musicians, callers, and technicians who make our dances possible, and are now financially impacted by this national emergency. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the board of the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, is actively seeking ways we can support those performers and keep them and our whole community healthy for our eventual return to the dance floor.

We’ve identified a few ways that we—as a nonprofit and as individuals—can help out:

The CDS-BC Chapin Fund offers grants to support projects that promote dance and dance music related to our mission, namely English, contra and squares, morris, sword, and related traditions. Performers and others who wish to pursue research, record an album, run a class etc can apply for this funding. You can learn more about this and other funds at Donate and make a donation by check. We will be expediting the grant process to provide funds to applicants with suitable projects as quickly as possible, and we are especially interested in proposals that help to span the distance and keep our community connected. If you have a project, you can apply via our website or by contacting Hal Wagner at Vice-President.

The Country Dance and Song Society, our national umbrella organization, has assembled lots of valuable information on their website. You can view a schedule of online events at You can also locate performers in a listing at which will connect you to their websites, CD sales, and ways to give funds directly. These lists are of course not exhaustive, so we encourage you to contact your favorite performers directly to learn more about their events and ways you can stay in touch with and support them.

Finally, we are working with our performers to determine what help we can offer in the form of sponsoring and publicizing virtual events, and additional resources that they would like.

We urge you to be as generous as you are able in supporting the talented folks who keep us dancing week after week. If you have additional ideas for ways to support our performers, or things you’d like to see from the organization during this challenging time, please email Clara Stefanov-Wagner, CDS-BC president at President with your suggestions.

We look forward to dancing together again when we can!

–Clara Stefanov-Wagner

Reminder: Please make checks in support of the Chapin Fund out to:
Country Dance Society, Boston Centre
PO Box 3055
Acton MA 01720

Pinewoods 2020

Dear CDS-Boston and Pinewoods community,

It is with sadness that Pinewoods Camp, along with our five program providers, Country Dance and Song Society, Country Dance Society-Boston Centre, Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Folk Arts Center of New England, and the Folk Music Society of New York, announce the cancellation of the 2020 summer season. Your health and well-being are of the utmost concern to us, and it is with that in mind that we all feel that it is safer to wait until next year to resume dancing and singing under the pines.

This is not a decision we take lightly; our time together at Pinewoods is for many of us the best time in the year, and an essential part of the summer. However, gathering a large number of people together in one place to sing and dance in close proximity is the antithesis of social distancing. We considered the possibility of a delayed opening, if/when the epidemic subsides and the state bans on gatherings are modified, but the logistical complexity–and the financial risk of opening for a very short time–are not worth the slim possibility of a partial season. A full season closure gives us the best chance of returning strong and healthy in 2021 and keeping our organizations and our traditions vibrant in the coming years.

We wish you all the best, and look forward to dancing with you again as soon as it is safe.

–Board of Directors, Pinewoods Camp Inc.
–Board of Directors, Country Dance Society, Boston Centre