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Tapestry Folkdance Center creates opportunities for participation in the joys of dance and music from around the world.
Tapestry serves the Twin Cities’ metropolitan area and greater Minnesota through diverse programs of dance and music. The cultural differences and similarities between these dance forms comprise an arts ecosystem of mutual support, consideration, and enhancement. The context within which the organization operates is to build community through dance. This creates a vibrant community of approximately 37,000 individuals that are introduced to dance traditions through participatory education rather than through performance so that each individual has a direct and meaningful arts experience. For many new participants, dance is an entry point to also gain understanding and appreciation for a range of cultural traditions.
Tapestry contracts with approximately 200 artists from the Twin Cities’ metropolitan area and greater Minnesota per year. The teachers, callers, and musicians, who provide instruction and music for dancers, are a vital part of the arts community. They ensure continuity of history, leadership, and instruction. Special events and workshops featuring national and international artists also invigorate the regional arts community. Tapestry serves a unique role by dedicating a majority of admissions revenue as remuneration to artists further supporting the community.
The organization has evolved over the last 25 years from offering a few dance forms including Contra, International, and English Country to an expanded and diverse array of traditions such as Cajun, Hungarian, Middle Eastern, Salsa, and Swing. Since the purchase and renovation of facilities located in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, Tapestry has also been able to support similar dance communities and nonprofit arts organizations in a partnership by providing affordable rehearsal space. Because some of the dance traditions are not featured at other venues in the area, Tapestry also serves a vital historic purpose by ensuring that these dance communities remain viable.
Historically, Tapestry was inspired in part by Jane Farwell, a recognized folk dance scholar and educator. The organization’s name was determined by the following statement attributed to her: "Each folk dance is a living tapestry, a continuous interaction between music, dance patterns, and people." Since 1983, Tapestry has been dedicated to programs that both improve the quality of life and provide a path to a more humane world through education, preservation, and participation in diverse dance heritages. Additionally, the organization is deeply committed to supporting established and emerging artists in their roles as cultural advocates for dance traditions.
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