by Robin Hayden, CDSS Director of Development, Friday, August 10, 2012
(see Rima’s blog about Thursday’s trip)
Our day began with a metro ride into DC with our hostess, Stephanie Smith, an archivist at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Stephanie gave us a tour of the Center for Folklife offices, including a peek into the archives themselves!
In the midst of a very busy day at the Center, Curators James Deutch and Sojin Kim generously met with Rima, Stephanie, and me to brainstorm possibilities for collaborations between CDSS and the Center at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2015, CDSS’s centennial year.
We were also privileged to view the latest cut of the eagerly-anticipated English country dance documentary—a wonderful collaboration between Stephanie, NYU historian Danny Walkowitz, and award-winning videographer Charlie Weber of the Center for Folklife.
Later, we met up for dinner with longtime CDSS friend Charlie Pilzer, on the patio of the Irish Inn at Glen Echo Park. We had a lively conversation in which Charlie shared his thoughts about celebrating the Centennial in DC and across the continent. As always, his infectious enthusiasm and seemingly boundless well of ideas invigorated and inspired us!
We proceeded in high spirits to the Friday night contra dance in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park, arriving in time to see the end of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington’s excellent 45-minute beginner lesson.
In the center of the photo you can see FSGW leader Greg Frock taking great care to ensure that some 50 newer dancers have the basic skills and social expectations to be successful and well integrated as the hall—one of the largest you’ll ever see!—soon fills up with 200-300 regular contra dancers.
It also happened to be Open Band night, with than 40 musicians from the greater DC area playing on stage, for a wonderful evening of contras and squares led by caller Dave Colestock of Harrisburg, PA. A full day indeed!