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Cityfolk

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126 N Main St Ste 220, Dayton, OH 45402
http://www.cityfolk.org
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(937) 223-3655 Additional Contacts
 
History : It started with a vision and a love for the arts and diversity. From there, Cityfolk has turned into Ohio's only full-time, professional presenter of traditional and ethnic performing arts. In 1980, Phyllis Brzozowska and four other resident...read more
History : It started with a vision and a love for the arts and diversity. From there, Cityfolk has turned into Ohio's only full-time, professional presenter of traditional and ethnic performing arts. In 1980, Phyllis Brzozowska and four other residents of Dayton's Five Oaks neighborhood envisioned the first Cityfolk Folk Arts Series. It was a five-event series funded by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) and Ohio Humanities Council's Joint Program in Folk Arts and Culture. The all-volunteer staff coordinated an Irish music concert, Greek dance workshop, Appalachian square dance, African drumming and dance workshop and the creation of a mural in a neighborhood park. The grassroots effort attempted to bring together the cauldron of cultures that call Dayton home to showcase diversity in the arts. The combination worked, and the organizers realized that the success of the first year pointed to an important need existing in the community--the need for the arts and creative expression of all of Dayton's ethnic and cultural groups to be displayed in a professional manner. The years between 1981 and 1984 were busy for the organization. Cityfolk organized and presented over 70 events, featuring diverse traditions including Jewish traditional music, Cajun music and storytelling workshops. By January 1984, Cityfolk had grown in scope and complexity to the point where a full-time staff person was needed if the organization expected to continue to grow and still maintain standards of quality, consistency and continuity. That same year, the OAC added Cityfolk operating support to its existing project support. This was matched by a grant from the Dayton Foundation and Cityfolk was able to hire its first paid staff person. Thus Phyllis Brzozowska became Cityfolk's first executive director. 1984 also marked the first Cityfolk Celtic Series, a program of Irish and Scottish traditional music that has become one of the most popular annual presentations of Cityfolk. The first concert series included Stockton's Wing, Boys of the Lough, and Kevin Burke and Michael O'Domhnaill. Cityfolk was growing...right out of Phyllis' house, which had served as Cityfolk headquarters during its formative years. The organization moved to 212 Belmonte Park East and began marketing the Cityfolk events as a season. In 1986, following the successful design of the Celtic Series, Cityfolk sponsored "The Jazz Tradition Series," a three-part concert series at the Dayton Art Institute that displayed the historical development of jazz as an important musical legacy. This project was for Cityfolk not only a broadening of its definition of "traditional arts," but a way to provide high quality programming utilizing minority artists and servicing the African American community of Dayton. Cityfolk jazz concerts are coordinated by David Barber and the Cityfolk Jazz Committee. In February 1988, Cityfolk learned that the organization had been selected for inclusion in a book identifying 21 presenting organizations in the United States exhibiting quality, leadership and innovation in the presentation of the performing arts. 21 Voices: The Art of Presenting the Performing Arts by Naomi Rhodes alerted a national audience to the amazing work those in the Miami Valley were already enjoying. As Phyllis Brzozowska says in the book, "Many people who are involved with traditional arts see themselves as different from the rest of the arts world. But I always felt differently, partly because the funding was there, partly because I was seeking legitimacy for the traditional arts. I always wanted Cityfolk to be accepted, just like the ballet, the philharmonic, and the opera. We had every right to be, and that became a goal to work toward. That's why we set up a sound structure and a business-like approach to all we did." That business-like approach included moving into the Metropolitan Arts Center in September 1991. With a central downtown location, Cityfolk was looking even more like tho
 
 

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History : It started with a vision and a love for the arts and diversity. From there, Cityfolk has turned into Ohio's only full-time, professional presenter of traditional and ethnic performing arts. In 1980, Phyllis Brzozowska and four other residents of Dayton's Five Oaks neighborhood envisioned the first Cityfolk Folk Arts Series. It was a five-event series funded by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) and Ohio Humanities Council's Joint Program in Folk Arts and Culture. The all-volunteer staff coordinated an Irish music concert, Greek dance workshop, Appalachian square dance, African drumming and dance workshop and the creation of a mural in a neighborhood park. The grassroots effort attempted to bring together the cauldron of cultures that call Dayton home to showcase diversity in the arts. The combination worked, and the organizers realized that the success of the first year pointed to an important need existing in the community--the need for the arts and creative expression of all of Dayton's ethnic and cultural groups to be displayed in a professional manner. The years between 1981 and 1984 were busy for the organization. Cityfolk organized and presented over 70 events, featuring diverse traditions including Jewish traditional music, Cajun music and storytelling workshops. By January 1984, Cityfolk had grown in scope and complexity to the point where a full-time staff person was needed if the organization expected to continue to grow and still maintain standards of quality, consistency and continuity. That same year, the OAC added Cityfolk operating support to its existing project support. This was matched by a grant from the Dayton Foundation and Cityfolk was able to hire its first paid staff person. Thus Phyllis Brzozowska became Cityfolk's first executive director. 1984 also marked the first Cityfolk Celtic Series, a program of Irish and Scottish traditional music that has become one of the most popular annual presentations of Cityfolk. The first concert series included Stockton's Wing, Boys of the Lough, and Kevin Burke and Michael O'Domhnaill. Cityfolk was growing...right out of Phyllis' house, which had served as Cityfolk headquarters during its formative years. The organization moved to 212 Belmonte Park East and began marketing the Cityfolk events as a season. In 1986, following the successful design of the Celtic Series, Cityfolk sponsored "The Jazz Tradition Series," a three-part concert series at the Dayton Art Institute that displayed the historical development of jazz as an important musical legacy. This project was for Cityfolk not only a broadening of its definition of "traditional arts," but a way to provide high quality programming utilizing minority artists and servicing the African American community of Dayton. Cityfolk jazz concerts are coordinated by David Barber and the Cityfolk Jazz Committee. In February 1988, Cityfolk learned that the organization had been selected for inclusion in a book identifying 21 presenting organizations in the United States exhibiting quality, leadership and innovation in the presentation of the performing arts. 21 Voices: The Art of Presenting the Performing Arts by Naomi Rhodes alerted a national audience to the amazing work those in the Miami Valley were already enjoying. As Phyllis Brzozowska says in the book, "Many people who are involved with traditional arts see themselves as different from the rest of the arts world. But I always felt differently, partly because the funding was there, partly because I was seeking legitimacy for the traditional arts. I always wanted Cityfolk to be accepted, just like the ballet, the philharmonic, and the opera. We had every right to be, and that became a goal to work toward. That's why we set up a sound structure and a business-like approach to all we did." That business-like approach included moving into the Metropolitan Arts Center in September 1991. With a central downtown location, Cityfolk was looking even more like tho