CDSS: Yes!

This series is supported in part by the Outreach Fund of the Country Dance & Song Society.

Saying that brings me warm memories of watching Mister Rogers and Sesame Street on PBS as a kid and hearing that the programming was made possible by a bunch of people... and (hey!) viewers like me. Me! Sitting on the carpet in front of the TV, chin on my palms and elbow perched on the floor, I was happy, and felt even then like I was part of something that people cared about.

We at PICD have been feeling just how much so many people are caring about Portland's community dance series. All of our volunteers, organizers, performers, idea-givers, car-pool opportunizers, and helpers of all other sorts have made this happen: our first dance on Thursday, June 16 was a mad success, bringing in about 125 dancers who beamed to the tunes of Audrey & Clayton and welcomed emerging callers Gretchen Carroll and Annabel Dryden to the stage.

 
Dancers swinging at the June 16, 2016 PICD dance. Dugan Murphy and Audrey & Clayton performing. Photo by Dela Taylor.

Dancers swinging at the June 16, 2016 PICD dance. Dugan Murphy and Audrey & Clayton performing. Photo by Dela Taylor.

 

And, yes, the wonderful thing is: it's not just us, our own community, who care about us - we're feeling the love from outside Portland, Maine, too. Just this month we were ecstatic to find out that the Country Dance & Song Society (CDSS) awarded PICD a start-up grant. They're a national organization invested in keeping dance, music, and song that is rooted in North American and English traditions vital and sustained in our culture. The grant they awarded us is about ensuring that PICD gets off to a strong start as one of the many hundreds of organizations bringing traditional art to life across the U.S.

PICD is a group affiliate of CDSS, which means that we are eligible for grant funding, we're able to get group discounts on insurance, we can hop-on to CDSS's non-profit status, and we have the chance to learn best practices in organizing alongside other dance groups from across the country.

But enough about us. Let's talk about *you* and CDSS. CDSS supports people like you who practice these traditions. They host events like skill-building camp weeks, provide resources, share information, give funds to organizations, give scholarships to individuals, and so much more. If you're interested in contra and and the wide, brilliant world beyond contra, CDSS can hook you into a glee-filled world where you're connected with leagues of others who care as deeply as you do. So check 'em out.

We'll be sharing resources from CDSS in the coming months. And, as PICD blooms, we're excited and proud to call CDSS our supporter. And we're proud that we're one of many, many linked groups bringing joy and connection to local communities.

Dela Taylor

Dela Taylor, PO Box 784, Portland, Maine 04104, USA