Web Chats for OrganizersIn June 2018, CDSS began a new Web Chat series to support organizers of dance, music, and song communities across the continent and beyond. For each Web Chat, a pertinent topic is chosen and guest organizers from communities having success with that topic are invited to share their valuable experiences and suggestions (Q&A included).

Join us for our next Web Chat:
Details coming soon.

Questions? Contact resources@cdss.org

Building Cultural Equity in Communities

Tuesday, October 25, 2022
An online discussion to support organizers of dance, music, and song groups

This Web Chat provided firsthand experiences from organizers who have used CDSS grants to provide diversity, equity, and inclusion training for their groups. We heard about ways they have been applying what they’ve learned from these valuable workshops, and what’s next for their groups. We also included plenty of time for Q&A. Our special guests were:

  • Cindy Culbert and Rich Dempsey: Country Dancers of Rochester (Rochester, NY)
  • Janet Yeracaris and Vince O’Donnell: New England Folk Festival Association (New England region)
  • Lauren Keeley: DanceFlurry Organization (Albany, NY)

Let's Talk About Reentry, Part 7: Singing Together Safely

May 3, 2022
An online discussion to support organizers of song groups

In this Web Chat, we heard first-hand experiences from two organizers about keeping their song groups alive and well through the pandemic by hosting in-person and online singing events. Our third guest provided the latest COVID-19 news from her public health perspective, offering suggestions especially pertinent for song group organizers. We included Q&A with all three guests:

  • Janice Hanson from Golden Link Folk Singing Society in Rochester, NY
  • Steve Deering from Vancouver Folk Song Society in Vancouver, BC
  • Dr. Kimbi Hagen, public health professor from Atlanta, GA

Help us launch a new reentry resource!

During the February 2022 Web Chat, we introduced a new online resource from CDSS: Groups that Have Resumed In-person Events. If your group is considering reentry, check out this page and access firsthand experiences from groups that have reopened their events. If your group has resumed and would like to pass along what you’ve been learning, please take our survey. Questions? Email resources@cdss.org.

Let's Talk About Reentry, Part 6: Prioritizing Safety at In-person Dances

February 28, 2022
An online panel discussion featuring organizers of dance events

CDSS Executive Director Katy German had a conversation with three contra dance organizers who have resumed in-person dancing. We heard what adjustments they’ve made to their “normal” processes, what impacted their decision to resume, what they’re asking of participants, and what they recommend to others. We also presented a new online resource from CDSS to help organizers share how they are resuming their events and connect with others who are trying similar strategies.

Our brave panelists:

Sherry Nevins, Seattle, WA
Coordinator - Lake City Contra Dance

Eric Schedler, Bloomington, IN
Co-organizer - Weekly community contra dance, Bloomington Old-Time Music and Dance Group (BOTMDG)

Janine Smith, Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, MD
Organizer - independent contra dance series

Weathering the Winter Together

November 1, 2021
An online discussion for organizers of music, dance, and song communities

As we prepare for another pandemic winter season, we know many of you are considering how to keep your groups safe and connected. So we’ve used this Web Chat to generate lots of ideas for keeping communities engaged during the coming months. We shared some suggestions from Affiliates and used breakout rooms to allow small groups to brainstorm further ideas. We also heard current news and perspectives from a public health professor, Dr. Kimbi Hagen, about how the pandemic is progressing.

Let's Talk About Reentry, Part 5:
News from Groups That Have Resumed In-person Events

Thursday, August 12, 2021
An online discussion for organizers of music, dance, and song communities

We've heard from numerous organizers that there is strong interest in hearing news from communities that have already resumed in-person events. This Web Chat provided valuable experiences and suggestions from two dance and song organizers ​who are already navigating their reentry, as well as perspectives from a public health professional.

We know caution is still high, especially as reports of virus variants fill our newsfeeds. Whether your group is still waiting or has a reentry event on the horizon, we hope that hearing other folks' experiences will provide information that helps in your planning.

Note: If your group has reopened your events and would like to pass along your experiences, please fill in this form. We’ll be posting results from this form on the CDSS website, and many organizers will benefit from your input. We’re all in this together!

Please see our extensive Reentry Resources for Organizers, designed to answer all your questions about returning to in-person events.

Let’s Talk About Reentry, Part 4:
Addressing Legal and Other Burning Questions

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

For this fourth Web Chat in our Let’s Talk About Reentry series, CDSS hired a lawyer to address some of our broader community’s legal questions. Other guests on our panel provided resources and considerations to help organizers chart your group’s course for safely emerging from the pandemic. Ultimately, each group needs to ask your own questions and find answers that are right for your location, type of event, and community. We’re all in this together!

Please see our extensive Reentry Resources for Organizers, designed to answer all your questions about returning to in-person events.

Note: During the Web Chat, this Waiver Template was shared by attorney Ann Marie Noonan for educational purposes. This template does not constitute legal advice, and individual organizations should consult their legal counsel. Attorney Noonan noted that waivers do not prevent groups from being sued; however, they may be helpful in the event of a lawsuit. She further reminded us that this is an emerging area of law and subject to change, and organizations should continue to stay on top of changes in federal, state, and local guidance and laws.

Let's Talk About Reentry, Part 3:
An MD Discusses Vaccines, and We Discuss Our Sector’s Needs

Monday, March 1, 2021

In this third installment of the "Let's Talk About Reentry" Web Chat series, we featured presentations and discussions about how the pandemic has altered our communities' needs and how we can best prepare for returning to in-person dancing, singing, and music-making.

We used the "transcript" function for the first time, which allowed participants to access subtitles during the Web Chat as needed. This feature also made it possible to provide the following written transcript of the entire Web Chat.

Singing and Playing Music in REAL TIME!
An online discussion for organizers of song communities and open bands

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Members of the Sacred Harp group FaSoLa Philadelphia (PA) and the Phoenix (AZ) Traditional Music & Dance Society joined us for this conversation. During this Web Chat, they shared their successes with using the computer program Jamulus to enable their groups to sing and play music in real time!

We know a return to in-person singing and jamming is on the horizon, but it will still take some time before it’s safe to gather in groups. Find out how these groups have tackled the challenge of creating online real-time song and music sessions.

Let’s Talk About Reentry: Working Together Now for a Strong Return to Dancing

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

So much of what we love is on hold or shifting to online formats. But there will be a time when we dance together again. And there is work we can be doing during this down time to ensure a joyful and fulfilling return to the dance floor! In this second installment of the Let’s Talk About Reentry series, we talked about our evolving expectations for reentry, the changes we need to prepare for, and the important role organizers can play in preparing our communities for a bright future.

Supporting Song Communities Across the Continent

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Many organizers of song communities are finding creative ways to keep your community engaged and connected during the pandemic. In this Web Chat, we heard from organizers about experiences that are working well in their song groups. We featured a few guest speakers and took time for Q&A, open conversation, and breakout rooms.

Let’s Talk About Reentry: Recommendations and Q&A for Organizers

July 8, 2020

This Web Chat was hosted by Katy German, CDSS Executive Director.

We addressed the BIG questions on organizers’ minds: How can we keep our communities safe in a pandemic? When can we dance and sing in the same place again? What does it mean to be a dance/music/song organizer when we can’t be together?

We were joined by several guests who provided their perspectives, including a dancing MD, a COVID contact tracer, a professional freelance musician, and music, dance, and song organizers from far and wide. We also included time for Q&A and open conversations in breakout rooms.

Yes we CAN keep in touch!
Connecting Our Communities During the Pandemic

April 29, 2020

This exciting Web Chat connected 135 music, dance, and song organizers from far and wide! We’ve started a new online resource to share many of the creative ideas contributed by these communities. We invite all groups to submit entries describing your experiences to help us build these global connections!

Diversifying Income: Thinking Outside the Money Basket

February 12, 2020

Connecting Community Sing Organizers

October 16, 2019

Building Safe Dance Communities

July 11, 2019

Family/Community Dance Organizers Unite!

April 4, 2019

Increasing Youth Involvement

January 16, 2019

Creating a Thriving Open Band

September 20, 2018

Boosting AttenDANCE

June 21, 2018

  • PowerPoint Slides
  • Video Recording (also embedded to the right) - Note: We didn't capture the beginning of the chat. The recording begins with Jo Mortland of Chicago Barn Dance Company speaking.

Because the beginning of the Web Chat wasn't captured, we're offering the entire narrative from our first guest speaker on this page.

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