Description & History
One of the nation’s pioneering folk arts organizations, the Center for Traditional Music and Dance has helped New York City’s immigrant communities maintain the vibrancy of their unique cultural heritage since 1968. Nationally renowned for programs that combine research, documentation, presentation and education, CTMD assists immigrant communities in passing traditions to new generations. Formerly known as the Balkan Arts Center and the Ethnic Folk Arts Center, the Center for Traditional Music and Dance has worked closely with dozens of diverse communities over the past forty years in creating a number of leading ensembles, festivals and community-based cultural organizations. Each year, CTMD serves thousands of New Yorkers through a full calendar of programs that provide unique opportunities to experience and participate in the City’s rich cultural traditions. CTMD has worked closely to assist a number of recipients of the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship Award, our national government’s highest honor bestowed on folk and traditonal artists. Past recipients include (with year of award): Adam Popovich, Serbian tamburitza musician, 1982; Dave Tarras, Jewish klezmer clarinetist, 1984; Martin Mulvihill, Irish fiddler, 1994; Pericles Halkias, Epirot Greek clarinetist, 1985; Ilias Kementzides, Pontic Greek lyra player, 1989; Giuseppe and Raffaela DeFranco, traditional Calabrian musicians, 1990; Jack Coen, Irish flute player, 1991; Fatima Kuinova, Bukharan (Central Asian) Jewish singer, 1992; Simon Shaheen, Palestinian violinist and oud player, 1994; Liz Carroll, Irish Fiddler, 1994; Donny Golden, Irish stepdancer, 1995; Juan Gutierrez, Puerto Rican bomba and plena musician, 1996; Mick Moloney, Irish musician, 1999 Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, Yiddish poet, songwriter and folk singer, 2005; Sidiki Conde, Guinean dancer and musician, 2007; and Sue Yeon Park, Korean dancer, 2008.