The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) is a vibrant, multi-faceted arts organisation, working locally, nationally and internationally.
Our work broadly covers three areas of activity – learning and participation, performance and artists’ development, and advocacy.
Learning and participation is huge! It encompasses all the activities of our Education Department, working with schools, colleges, young people, adults, children, families, teachers, animateurs, and resources. It is this department through which we work closely with, and support the work of Essex Music Education Hub.
The jewel of EFDSS is the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Bursting (literally) out of Cecil Sharp House with the quantity of materials contained in this multi-media, award-winning library, VWML is rapidly putting its precious cargo on to a searchable website. Its treasures are an invaluable source of inspiration not just for folk artists, researchers, historians and enthusiasts but for artists from across the arts genres – theatre, visual art, rock and pop, film.
The performance and artists’ development programme were re-introduced to EFDSS in 2009 by current Chief Executive, Katy Spicer. We aim to bring a diverse range of folk artists to perform at Cecil Sharp House and increasingly around England with venue, festival and promoter partners. Through creative bursaries and residencies, training projects and mentoring, and international showcases and creative opportunities we support the development of artists.
And through everything we do we try to advocate for the folk arts, to show people that it’s an extraordinarily rich and inspiring seam of culture, tradition and history, in which there is something for everyone.
Click here to visit EFDSS website