CDSS has been distributing Outreach Funds since 2008 (see list of recent recipients). In the following map, each pin represents an individual or organization that has been offered CDSS outreach funding to date— in all about 235 music, dance and song communities throughout the U.S. and Canada! To apply, please refer to the online guidelines and application.


Yellow pushpin Yellow 2020   White pushpin White 2015
Teal pushpin Teal 2019   Red pushpin Red 2014
Purple pushpin Purple 2018   Pink pushpin Pink 2013
Orange pushpin Orange 2017   Indigo pushpin Indigo 2012
Magenta pushpin Magenta 2016   Green pushpin Green 2011

View CDSS Funds at Work in a larger map.

2020 Grants at Work During the Pandemic

Despite COVID-19, our CDSS Grants were busy during 2020. Prior to the pandemic, this funding primarily supported in-person events and was offered in early February, June, and October. Since COVID-19 was fast approaching around the time of our February 1 application deadline, many of the events that received our funding for that grant cycle were postponed to 2021.

In early May we started accepting grant applications on a rolling basis, which will continue for the foreseeable future. (Visit grant application materials for updates.) The following events and projects received CDSS grants in 2020:

  • Feb 15: Project to create self-sustaining Community Dance Series, including 5-Year Anniversary Dance (Arlington, WA)
  • April 16 through present: Stars in the Rafters - podcast series to provide comfort and community connections through traditional music, song, and poetry (online from Brattleboro, VT)
  • May 24: Zoom ECD Callers Workshop - training to help local callers convert to calling virtual dances (online from Folklore Society of Greater Washington, DC)
  • Dec 15: Move Together Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Training - virtual training sponsored by the DanceFlurry Organization for their board, staff, and volunteers (online from Latham, NY)
  • Jan 14-April 1, 2021: Workshop series with New England musicians - virtual lessons for the Fiddle Orchestra of Western Massachusetts (online from Northampton, MA)
  • Jan 2021: Cultural Equity Training - for CDSS Affiliates in the MI, PA, OH, WV, and NJ region (online)
  • Nov 5-7, 2021: Raise the Rafters - inclusive, accessible weekend for singers of all ages interested in traditional folk songs, singing styles, and their cultural context (Olympia, WA)

The following events received CDSS grants in 2020 and were postponed to 2021 (dates TBD):

  • Callers Workshop sponsored by Lawrence Barn Dance Association during weekend of their monthly dance (Lawrence, KS)
  • Double Dance - afternoon English Country and evening Contra Dance event in lieu of dance weekend (San Luis Obispo, CA)
  • Community-Family Dance - new intergenerational dance series at Carousel Museum (Bristol, CT)
  • Caller Intensive for ECD Leaders - regional training event to improve calling skills including program planning and calling at local evening dance (Asheville, NC)
  • Dare to Be Square - scholarships to attend weekend of square dance, music, and calling workshops (Berkeley, CA)
  • Dual Dance - advanced dance in afternoon, dinner, evening dance for all to revitalize contra dance series (Troy, MI)
  • Transylvania Square Dance series to help student music groups experience traditional music in the context of square dancing (Brevard, NC)

October 2019

  • Nov 8-10: Scholarship for Dare to Be Square West– funding to attend square dance calling workshops (Olympic Peninsula, WA)
  • Dec: Old Time Dance Party publication– instruction booklet with accompanying CD for callers, teachers, and organizations interested in learning to call square dances for their communities (Vancouver, BC)
  • Jan-Mar 2020: North Bay Country Dance Project – two new community dance series: square/contra for all ages and workshops for adults with disabilities (North Bay, ON)
  • Feb 5-Apr 25, 2020: Contra Dance training – project to introduce groups of middle and high school students to contra dance and music, culminating in community dance for entire school (St. Paul, MN)
  • Feb 29-Mar 1, 2020: English Country Dance workshops – training for ECD team that performs Regency Era dances, which boosts attendance at local English dance (Rochester, NY)
  • Apr-July 2020: Community Dance series – new program at senior center bringing together older adults, families, and young children (Baltimore, MD)
  • April 18-19, 2020: Madison Open Band Workshop – musicians' workshop to improve level of musicianship and include new musicians (Madison, WI)

June 2019

  • May 31: Community Dance – special event to bring people of all ages together to honor the passing of a valuable community member (Newtown, CT)
  • July 20: Sunderland Square Dance – new dance series with goal to work with other square dance organizers in the region to create sustainable dances (Sunderland, MA)
  • Sept 2019-April 2020: Caller Continuing Education Pilot Project – series of video/internet coaching sessions for local callers in Anchorage, AK offered remotely by Lisa Greenleaf from Bolton, MA
  • Sept 6-8: Hands Across the Water Callers’ Workshop – 3-day workshop led by Bruce Hamilton for regional ECD callers during annual dance weekend (Victoria, BC)
  • Sept 2019-Mar 2020: Community Sing Meet-ups – series of singing events at local Senior Center for participants with dementia and their care partners (Northampton, MA)
  • Sept 2019-Feb 2020: Revitalizing Providence Contra Dance – outreach project to include more youth, families, seniors, and LGBTQ community, plus building connections with local organizations (Providence, RI)
  • Oct 25-27: Dancing America Rapper Tournament (DART) – funding to support contra dance open to local community during annual sword dance weekend (Washington, DC)

February 2019

  • Feb 22: Community Dance – funding for caller and musicians to introduce disadvantaged families and all community members to family dancing (Waukesha, WI)
  • Mar 17: Rapper Dance Workshop – training for young dancers on Maple Leaf Morris team to build skills and repertoire (Norwich, VT)
  • Mar 26-27: Dare to Be Square - Kentucky – workshops for square dance callers and musicians, including professional development opportunities for public school teachers. Free admission for students from afterschool music program (near Whitesburg, KY)
  • Mar 30: Family Friendly Contra Dance & Musicians Workshop – adding family dance and "Playing for Contras" workshops to Spring Breakdown Dance Weekend (Jefferson City, MO)
  • May 19: Musicians' Workshop – group class with Jacqueline Schwab on playing for dancing, emphasizing English Country Dance music (Charlottesville, VA)
  • June 28-July 5: Compassionate Communication Contra Dance Retreat – Training for dancers, organizers, callers, and musicians to learn and practice communication skills for cultivating safety and respect on the dance floor (during Contradancers Delight Holiday dance week in Mountain City, TN)
  • Aug 23-24: Portland Social Dance Festival – first annual festival in public square to cross-pollinate dancers from different genres including contra, swing, tango, etc. (Portland, ME)
  • Oct 4-6: Community Forum – Scholarships to help leaders from ten communities in WA, MT, OR, ID and BC gather to address issues from their dance groups (during Lady of the Lake - Fall Music and Dance Weekend in Couer d'Alene, ID)
  • Nov 1-3: Additions to Dumplin’s and Dancin’ Weekend – including workshops in square dancing, singing, and stringed instrument skills (Hindman, KY)

Here is a sampling of the types of events that have received CDSS support over the years:

Training Events

  • Sun Assembly Spring Dance Weekend - English country and contra dance weekend with new aspect of including workshops for callers of both genres (NC)
  • Dancing Between the Lines - Midwest leadership conference for callers and dance organizers (OH)
  • All Contra, All Day, the Right Way - contra workshop for dancers of all levels for building skill and community (BC)
  • Contra Callers' Workshops - series of mentorship workshops for new callers with opportunities to call at local dances (NM)
  • Open Contra Dance Band Practice/Workshops - several workshops for musicians leading up to playing for final dance (RI)
  • 2nd Annual Dare to Be Square - weekend of square dancing and calling workshops (VA)
  • Impropriety Weekend - English country dance and music workshops in 3 cities in Bay area (CA)

Events with Family or Youth Focus

  • World on a String Day - cross-cultural workshops to introduce young classical music students to the wide world of traditional music (DC) - see photo at left
  • Wallowa Fiddle Tunes Camp - adding contra dance to existing week-long music camp for families (OR)
  • Youth Traditional Song Weekend - youth-focused (not youth-exclusive) participatory singing event including leadership training (MA)
  • Fall Has Sprung - backing to help annual contra festival increase youth attendance by offering sliding scale to dancers 30 and under (CA)

New Events

  • Swan's Island Community Dance - new contra dance to revive dancing on remote island (ME) - see photo at left
  • Mountain Dance Trail - revitalizing dances in 10 communities throughout West Virginia (WV)
  • Jim Thorpe Country Dance Series - start-up funding for new monthly contra/square dance (PA)

Scholarships to Non-CDSS Programs

  • Festival of American Fiddle Tunes - scholarship to attend week-long festival to participate in fiddle, piano and calling workshops (WA)
  • Cumberland Dance Week - scholarship to attend callers workshop at music and dance week including contras, English country dancing, rapper, etc. (KY)
  • BACDS American Week - matching youth scholarships for dance week including contras and squares, couple dancing, music workshops, etc. (CA)
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