• California Traditional Music Society (CTMS) California Traditional Music Society (CTMS)


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Mission Statement

The CTMS Mission The California Traditional Music Society (CTMS) is dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the traditional folk music, dance, and related folk arts of America's diverse cultural heritage. Our goals are to broaden public involvement with folk music, celebrate ethnic traditions, and promote cross-cultural understanding. Through its year-round activities, CTMS furthers its primary objectives: à  à · Public education - To increase public understanding of the value and variety of folk music and dance. To increase what is written about folk music in order to document its cultural and historical significance, preserve traditional methods, and highlight emerging trends. à  à · Clearinghouse of information - To provide a bridge between folk artists and organizations and the general public. à  à · Musicianship - To support master folk artists through performance and teaching opportunities. To encourage broad "hands on" involvement among the general public in playing traditional folk music instruments, folk dancing, folk singing, and learning and telling folk stories. à  à · Professional development - To strengthen the effectiveness of folk music and dance organizations through training, technical assistance consultation, and conferences. à  à · Advocacy - To serve as an advocate for the role of folk music and dance in the art world. To assist the media, educators, and private and governmental providers in understanding the functions and achievements of folk music and dance. à  à · The power of folk traditions - In a pluralistic society, the folk arts sustain cultural identity through artistic expression. In an age when ethnic and cultural differences are often sources of tension and conflict, folk music and dance are also vital ways of learning to appreciate our many unique cultural traditions in a positive, celebratory context.


The CTMS Programs CTMS works in partnership with artists and communities to vigorously promote high quality, diverse folk arts programs and services. We reach over 100,000 people a year through an extensive schedule of events. Each year CTMS produces an international folk music festival. For 13 years we published a 56-page Journal once a year with a wealth of information on how to get involved in folk music, dance, and other arts. CTMS presents a wide range of ethnic and cultural traditions: Appalachian, Cajun, Native American, Bluegrass, Blues and Gospel, Latin American, Quebecois and Canadian, British Isles, Western and Eastern European, Yiddish, West African, Japanese and other Asian, and contemporary interpretations of folk music and dance. Annual Summer Solstice Folk Music, Dance and Storytelling Festival The annual Festival is the largest teaching-oriented gathering of its kind in the nation. Held in June for the past 18 years, it attracts over 5,000 individuals, families, and friends for a weekend of "hands on" workshops, jam sessions, master classes, performances and over 300 events. Because of the abysmal cutbacks in public education, the Festival is the only opportunity most children have of learning about the folk music and songs of America or any other cultures. There is no other vehicle for hands-on exposure to multi-cultural folk music and dance available in the region. In 1992, CTMS inaugurated a special children's area that offered youngsters the chance to explore such things as introductory guitar, folk singing and dancing, storytelling and workshops on making instruments from recycled materials. CTMS obtains numerous loaner instruments so that children can touch and try unfamiliar instruments and learn about folk music by actually playing. These newer programs augment the Festival's family-friendly atmosphere, where children are invited to participate in all events (please note: children under 12 are admitted to the Festival for free and all of the Festival facilities are handicapped accessible). Workshops are designed for family involvement so that children, teenagers, and parents can participate together. This is rare in modern America, where families are normally divided in their artistic preferences and what they like to do in their leisure time. Because all of the children's workshops have overflow attendance, we have expanded the number of programs. We have also doubled the storytelling workshops to meet audience demand. One series features multi-cultural storytellers sharing their folk tales. Another is designed for parents, librarians, and children to learn how to tell stories, how to create and collect stories, etc. We have added intensive classes for more experienced folk musicians as a result of audience comments in past years. The Festival also offers technical assistance workshops to assist folk artists and organizations in such things as marketing, fundraising, and production. It provides an opportunity to exchange methods that can help sustain and strengthen the field. The Festival reaches hundreds of thousands through extensive media support. For three years, KCSN broadcast the Festival live for two full days. KPFK, KNJO, and KCRW schedule feature stories, interviews with many of the featured concert artists, and live broadcasts of performances. CBS, NBC, and ABC have provided television coverage. In addition, many radio stations throughout the state broadcast portions of the Festival concerts and interviews. Semi-Annual Journal Beginning in 1983,we published the Journal that reached over 18,000 readers nationally. It featured profiles of master or emerging artists; record, book, and concert reviews; and reports of special interest to the folk music community, such as government tax policies for artists or how to obtain working visas for ethnic musicians travelling from other countries. Special issues were devoted to music of the Civil War, the history of the Appalachian Dulcimer, and women in folk music, for example. The 56-page Journal served as a clearinghouse of information on where to find folk music recordings, instruments and accessories, and lessons. It announced traditional music concerts, contests, conferences, festivals, etc. throughout the United States and included a listing of bookings in local community locations and clubs to assist in audience development. With the press of attention to our Festival, the Journal became the Tabloid that announces the Festival schedule. For advertising and publication information please contact us directly by following this link. Monthly Concerts For 17 years, the Society sponsored 12 - 14 concerts a year of nationally and internationally recognized folk musicians. Younger or lesser-known artists were also featured. After the concerts, the audience would be invited to discuss the performance and join in a musical "jam session" with featured artists. We currently schedule timely folk concerts at the Folk Music Center when exceptional artists are available. The Country Store The Country Store began as an earned income project in 1987. In addition to sales of an array of items (e.g., tapes and records, T-shirts, hats, mugs, tote bags), the volunteer coordinators manage used instrument consignments, a record and tape exchange, and recording facilities at the Festival. Items are sold through mail order in the Journal and sales at all Society sponsored events. Volunteers staff booths at other regional fairs and festivals. Since its inception, the Store has doubled its income in support of the Society's programs. The 20th Anniversary Festival will be held on the weekend of Friday June 21, 2002 through Sunday June 23, 2002, at the Soka University site. Please see the CTMS web site link to "Volunteer Opportunities" for more details and on-line volunteering support.



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