A quarterly e-blast for traditional music, dance, and song organizers
August 2018 News for Organizers
Welcome to Shop Talk - the new e-blast for organizers of traditional dance, music, and song (TDMS). The Country Dance and Song Society is launching this quarterly email blast to support, inspire, and connect local organizers throughout North America and beyond. There’s a lot of wisdom and know-how out there, and our goal is to connect the folks who make it happen with the people and resources you need to make your events a success. 
Welcome from CDSS's Executive Director
We are thrilled to be launching this initiative as part of our renewed commitment to support local organizers. We want to see your individual communities thrive as part of our vision of growing vibrant traditional dance, music, and song communities throughout the US and Canada. We are excited to share information and help build connections that will support you and other organizers doing this amazing work.

Please share this issue of Shop Talk with others in your organization and local region --> encourage them to get connected. If this issue was forwarded to you, you can join the list at bit.ly/2sqQr4B .


The world needs more of this!

Katy German
CDSS Executive Director
Join the Next CDSS Web Chat - September 20th
This summer we launched our new web chat series. These live hot topic discussions are one way that CDSS can help facilitate organizer networking and spread expertise throughout North America. Our first web chat in June focused on boosting attendance. For a recording, click here .

Our next web chat will be on Thursday, September 20 at 8:30 PM EDT . The focus will be Creating a Thriving Open Band . Please join us if your group encourages sit-in musicians at your dances, or if you’re interested to learn more about including this opportunity at your dances. We'll hear from open band leaders in Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, and Massachusetts, and have a Q&A at the end.

To join the web chat (by computer or phone), submit this RSVP form by SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16TH . You will receive instructions via email on Monday, Sept 17th about how to join the call. Please fill out the form even if you can’t join us but want to hear about future webchats.
Introducing the Portal!
In this inaugural issue of Shop Talk , we are highlighting a resource that CDSS launched this summer — The Organizers Resources Portal. The goal of The Portal is to hold as many of the best resources as we can find, so that local organizers can easily access information from many sources that will help them in their planning and decision making. Topics vary from how to increase attendance, to working with talent, to developing the type of community culture/vibe you envision for your group.

Currently The Portal houses CDSS-created organizer resources as well as key resources from other organizations and events. However, over the next number of months, we will be seeking and adding many more resources to The Portal. This will include resources from groups such as yours, including examples of successful ideas and strategies that local groups use.

Check out The Portal here and revisit it often to benefit from the ongoing updates.
Share Your Ideas and Resources on The Portal
Updating The Portal will be an ongoing project, and we are asking YOU to contribute resources, ideas, samples, or stories which you think other organizers would find useful. For example… do you have a really good handout you provide to brand new participants? Do you have great signage or decorations for your hall? Do you have a creative pricing scheme for your events that works well for you?

For this issue of Shop Talk , we’re specifically asking for ideas or resources that either:
1. Help bring new people to your event and/or
2. Encourage new people to come back and become regulars

Whatever you do well - please share it by filling out this form .
Hot Off the Press! Results from Our US Survey of TDMS Organizers
In January 2018 we released the final report from our extensive Canadian survey of traditional dance, music, and song organizers. Read an article about the study or view the full report .

Following that study, we conducted a follow-up survey of organizers from CDSS affiliate groups in the US to examine whether the Canadian findings resonated with US organizers, and where there might variation. While there were a few differences, the similarities were dramatic. For instance, as with the Canadian organizers, US organizers are currently most concerned with issues around attendance. 


Both of these studies included questions about the types of resources organizers would find most helpful for the work they do. The creation of this e-blast and The Portal are the direct result of what organizers told us.
Join CDSS!
Finally, we close this first issue of Shop Talk by encouraging you and your group to become members of CDSS. Joining as an individual member or Group Affiliate member not only provides you with specific supports (e.g., access to grants, CDSS News), but it also provides CDSS with financial support to create resources like this. It also allows us to approach large funders from a strengthened position, showing the reach of traditional dance, music, and song in North America.

Please consider joining and encourage others you know who love these traditions to join. Click here for more information .
Our next issue of Shop Talk will be out in late fall.

Happy dancing, singing, and playing trad music!

Emily Addison (Consultant) & Linda Henry (CDSS Community Resources Manager)

P.S. If you have suggestions about Shop Talk or material to contribute to The Portal, email emily@cdss.org . For specific requests or advice, email linda@cdss.org .
Country Dance and Song Society | 116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA 01027 | cdss.org