The California Traditional Music Society began in 1978 as a small amateur folk music club founded Clark and Elaine Weissman. Incorporated in 1983, CTMS has evolved into an important resource to both the local and national folk arts community. Its signature event in Los Angeles is the annual Summer Solstice Folk Music, Dance & Storytelling Festival. The Solstice Festival is unusual in that in addition to featuring performances, it is a “teaching” festival: Participants can learn the genres of music they experience through dozens of workshops on various instruments and singing styles. In 1989, the Weissmans and CTMS organized a meeting of several dozen national folk arts leaders to form the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance (“Folk Alliance”www.folk.org) that now has over 2,000 members and a large annual conference. CTMS is housed in the Center for Folk Music in Encino Park, a facility of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. In addition to the Solstice Festival, other programs have include:
•Artists in the Schools Program serving thousands students annually
•“A Taste of Folk Music & Dance” free open house held in October in Encino Park
•Concert Series bringing nationally-known artists to our Center and partner venues
•The Elaine Weissman L.A. Treasures Awards Program providing small grants to traditional artists for events in needy communities [This program currently on hiatus pending funding]
•New Years Camp folk music and dance intensive workshops and performances
•Classes and jam sessions at the Center for Folk Music.