Funding for community events, projects, and publications featuring participatory dance, music, or song

Update, June 2024

As of June 27, our 2024 general grant funds have been awarded. We still have funding and are accepting applications for:

  • dance, music, or song research
  • training for English country dance leaders
  • training for English country dance musicians

CDSS grants help

  • create new participatory music, dance, and song events (including series, weekends, and week-long programs)
  • boost existing participatory series or events
  • train callers, musicians, singers, and organizers (including equity and anti-racism training)
  • encourage youth involvement
  • publish instruction materials (print, web, audio, video)
  • conduct and disseminate research on traditional dance, music, and song
  • sponsor attendance at non-CDSS programs for training purposes
  • create related endeavors that will have a lasting effect on dance, music, and song communities

Eligible applicants

  • Individuals and organizations promoting traditional dance, music, and/or song with English and North American roots

  • All are welcome to apply. Preference is given to applicants who have not previously received funding and to CDSS Members and Affiliates.

Funding requests

  • Up to $500 (occasional larger grants for projects with a broad impact)
  • For program-related expenses (callers, musicians, workshop leaders, etc.) rather than operational expenses (publicity, supplies, etc.)

For questions about the suitability of your application, contact

When to apply

  • For events: 1-2 months before starting your publicity
  • For other projects: 1-2 months before funding is needed
  • Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

Requirements for recipients

Click here to find out about requirements for grant recipients, including logo usage.

Apply Now

You will be notified when we receive your application. If you have not received notification within a few days, contact

Recent Recipients

  • Circle Up zines

    Circle Up Calling Zine

    Creating a collection of square dances and thoughts toward promoting inclusivity

  • Brattleboro Bal Folk dancers

    Brattleboro Bal Folk

    Guilford, VT
    Hosting a series of bal folk dances with live music

  • Musicians of the Fiddlehead Field Kids Orchestra in Renaissance garb

    Fiddlehead Field Kids Orchestra

    Campton, NH
    Hosting a community Renaissance dance to showcase young musicians and callers

  • Dancers at Housatonic Family Contra Dance

    Housatonic Family Contra Dance

    Housatonic, MA
    Starting a new dance series for all ages

  • Dance caller at John C. Campbell Folk School

    John C. Campbell Folk School

    Brasstown, NC
    Hosting a community dance series using positional calling

  • Musicians from Moab Community Dance Band

    Moab Community Dance Band

    Moab, UT
    Hosting a series of workshops for new callers
    Funded by the Mary Kay Friday Leadership Training Fund

  • Participants creating a triangle-shaped sword lock

    Nobska Lights/S’wap Sword Dance Workshop

    Woods Hole, MA
    Hosting a workshop/figure swap between youth rapper sword teams and adult rapper and longsword teams
    Funded by the May Gadd/Phil Merrill Fund

  • Dance musicians at TADAMS

    Traditional American Dance and Music Society

    Richmond, VA
    Hosting workshops for dance musicians
    Funded by the Chuck Ward Musicians Training Fund

  • Dancers at Squirrel Moon Contra Dance Weekend

    Squirrel Moon Contra Dance Weekend

    Dodgeville, WI
    Continuing a contra dance weekend post-COVID
    Funded by the May Gadd/Phil Merrill Fund

  • Participants singing in a room with a forest view at Raise the Rafters in Oregon

    Raise the Rafters

    Rhododendron, OR
    Creating a youth-oriented traditional singing event in the Pacific Northwest
    Funded by the Mary Kay Friday Leadership Training Fund

  • Musicians playing in a circle at RiverJam Romp

    RiverJam Romp

    Marlboro, VT
    Hosting a weekend of community dances and workshops for musicians

  • Dancers among glowing lights at Yuletide Frolic

    Yuletide Frolick

    Lawrence, KS
    Hosting a festive dance weekend and callers’ workshop

Past Recipients

  • Burlington Family Contra Dance

    Burlington Family Contra Dance

    Burlington, VT
    Creating a community family contra dance for all ages and abilities
    Funded by the May Gadd/Phil Merrill Fund

  • The Marley Project

    The Marley Project

    Archiving the full set of historic Marley family dances, from the Vaudeville era
    Funded by the Anthony Barrand Research & Stewardship Fund

  • Workshop participants working together at table

    Make Every Space Safer in Trad Music Communities

    Nasons, VA
    Creating a set of community agreements that people in our music communities can commit to

  • Participants in the Bloomington Callers Workshop, 2021

    Bloomington Old-Time Music and Dance Group

    Bloomington, IN
    Hosting a workshop for new contra dance callers
    Funded by the Mary Kay Friday Leadership Training Fund

  • Fiddle Orchestra of Western Massachusetts

    Fiddle Orchestra of Western Massachusetts

    Northampton, MA
    Providing online lessons with New England musicians

  • DanceFlurry

    DanceFlurry Organization

    Albany, NY
    Participating in online diversity, equity, and inclusion training

  • Stars in the Rafters

    Stars in the Rafters

    Brattleboro, VT
    Creating a podcast to provide comfort and community connections through traditional music, song, and poetry

  • Workshop participants sit in a circle

    Madison Contra Collective

    Madison, WI
    Hosting an open band workshop for the Madison Contra Collective Band
    Funded by the Mary Kay Friday Leadership Training Fund

CDSS grants are funded by our incredible community of donors.