Dear dance, music, and song organizers,

We hope that you’re doing as well as possible given these unprecedented times. 

CDSS is HERE FOR YOU! Our team is working hard to support CDSS Affiliate groups and the broader community. Our hope is that by working together, we will all emerge from the pandemic in a strong position to move forward.

This issue of Shop Talk focuses primarily on resources that are helpful during this time of COVID-19 physical distancing. 

We will send occasional Shop Talk updates in the weeks to come as we have
new resources that we think would be helpful to you and your communities.
Quick Recap on Current CDSS Covid-Related Resources

Cancelling events: As cases of COVID-19 began to emerge in North America, CDSS responded quickly to provide a series of updated statements to help local groups make decisions on cancelling events. We are also maintaining a list of cancellations . Add your cancelled events here .

Online events: We are hosting a North American-wide list of online events such as concerts, workshops, sings, etc. These events are fun and meaningful ways to connect with other members of the traditional song, dance, and music community. Enjoy and share with your local communities. Add your online events here .

Resources and Support for Freelancers: We are compiling a variety of resources for freelancers in our community, along with a list of those folks who could use our support. Check out our directory of gigging artists to send some kindness, business, or funds to the callers, musicians, singers, and sound technicians who make our lives so sweet.
Upcoming CDSS Web Chat!

As we navigate the impacts of COVID-19, CDSS is hosting a web chat for supporting ALL communities: 

Yes We CAN Keep in Touch!
Connecting Our Communities During the Pandemic
Wednesday, April 29, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EDT
Amidst this period of physical distancing, many music, dance, and song groups are finding creative ways to keep their community members connected. We’d love to help you hear from many organizers far and wide about inspiring experiences that are working in their local communities. So we’re hosting a special web chat using a new format to bring you innovative ideas for ALL communities—song, music, dance (ECD, contra, Morris, square, dancing with kids, etc.). We welcome your ideas!
by 4/24 to share your group’s experience (provide brief description in registration form)
by 4/28 to join as a listener
Please share this message with friends and help us spread this virtual quilt of ideas over the entire continent and beyond! Questions? Contact
Take Your Organizer Meetings Online

We’ve heard that many groups that have taken their meetings online -- this is a great way to keep conversations and planning moving forward!

If you haven’t yet held meetings online, here’s some information to get you started:
CDSS is holding effective meetings of 15+ people using both Zoom and GoToMeeting . We have also heard of groups using Skype and Google Hangouts .

Zoom seems to be a commonly used tool for a variety of reasons: 
  • Meetings are free for up to 40 minutes and can immediately be relaunched after the first meeting expires. Another option is to pay a monthly fee and for unlimited time.
  • Individuals can participate via phone, computer audio online, or by computer video. We highly recommend computer video if possible!
  • There are lots of how-to videos on YouTube to you get started. Here is a good one
  • There have been some recent concerns about internet trolls disrupting Zoom meetings. To address this issue, Zoom put into place some new security features last week.

You may also want to consider using Google Docs to work on documents together (live!) or share meeting agendas. Here is one of the many how-to videos on YouTube.

There are lots of other other programs to help people connect during this time. Many online articles that compare the pros and cons of each, so take a close look to learn which online tools work best for your needs.
Connect with Other Organizers NOW Through Online Groups

Wondering what other organizers are thinking and doing through this unusual time? Join one or more of these groups to connect with organizers in North America and beyond. Great conversations are happening in these groups, and they will be enriched by your questions and ideas!

JOIN US as a CDSS Affiliate!

Our shared network of traditional dance, music, and song communities is strengthened with every group that joins as an Affiliate. If you’re not already an Affiliate, you can make a huge difference right now by adding your wisdom and experience and bringing that of over 300 other Affiliates to your community.

Here’s some recent news: 
  • Just this month, we updated the Affiliate joining process so that membership, 501c3 status, and insurance can all be signed up for at once, on the same form!
  • The renewal date for all Affiliates is now May 1st. Join now to get your full year of Affiliate membership.
  • We understand that this is an uncertain time for many groups. If your group’s finances don’t make it possible to pay the full fee, please email us at so we can discuss your options.

These times are challenging for CDSS as well as local groups. 
Let’s work together to strengthen our network across North America and beyond!
Launching Annual Affiliate Survey in May!

This is a quick heads-up that the annual CDSS Affiliate survey will open May 15th. We will be asking Affiliates for input about their groups, their thoughts on our services/resources, AND the impacts of COVID-19 . The survey results will guide our future efforts to better support organizers throughout North America.

If your group is an Affiliate, your CDSS contact will be receiving notification about the survey in early May, so watch for that!
Stay tuned for Shop Talk updates with more information. 
In the meantime, we’re sending well wishes to all!

Emily Addison (Consultant) & Linda Henry (CDSS Community Resources Manager)
For specific requests or advice , email Linda at .
If you have suggestions for the next Shop Talk, email .
We appreciate feedback! Please email your comments to .
During this time of uncertainty, we are committed to continuing our work fostering connection. Your financial support would mean a lot, and will help to ensure that we emerge from this crisis as strong as ever. Make a gift, or become a member.