FSGW Election    

The FSGW Election Committee is pleased to announce the proposed slate for the 2021-2022 Board of Directors election. Ballots will be emailed/mailed on or about April 28th. 

President - Charlie Pilzer
Vice President - Caroline Barnes
Treasurer - Will Strang
Secretary - Amanda Muir
Dance Chair - Amy Mills
Program Chair - Charlie Baum
Membership Chair - Noel-Marie Taylor
Publications - Jim McRea
Officers At Large - Jerry Blum, Alyssa Hemler, Lucia Schaffer

Candidate Statements

President - Charlie Pilzer

This past year was a challenge to be president of FSGW. Who could have anticipated that there would be no in- person events since March of 2020. And likely not until 2022. Yet, there is a full online program of weekly concerts and English Country Dances, workshops, monthly Storytelling and Sings. There have been online annual events like the Getaway, the mid-winter festival, New Year’s Eve cosponsorships and there will be a online concert celebrating the Washington Folk Festival.

FSGW is in a good financial position. As president, it is my intention this next season to lead the FSGW Board in strategic planning, a review the bylaws to ensure that FSGW is responsive to its members’ needs and desires and to assist FSGW in resuming in-person concerts, dances, storytellings and annual events when it is safe to do so.

I am the current president, a life member of FSGW, a member of Folk Alliance International, CDSS, a member of AFM Local 1000, a volunteer and a performer.

Vice President - Caroline Barnes

I am a dancer, caller, and organizer and have been involved in the local folk scene since 2014. I enjoy calling and dancing a variety of genres, and I’ve served on the Friday Night Dance board and the Chesapeake Dance Weekend committee. After a year of participating in the folk arts much less than usual, I am more grateful than ever for this community, and I am excited about the prospect of joining the FSGW board and helping move the organization forward.

Treasurer - Will Strang

I am in my 2nd year as treasurer, and running for a 3rd. During my 1st year, we achieved the critical goal of balancing our budget, ceasing to need withdrawals from reserves. The Covid lockdown has of course been challenging for FSGW, with no in-person programming. After some initial learning, we have successfully been presenting many programs online via Zoom, using a donations model in place of admission fees. Considering the challenges of the past year, we are doing very well financially. I have led some improvements in FSGW operations through developing more software support, and there is more of that coming.

Secretary – Amanda Muir

During this challenging year, I dove further into the FSGW community as secretary. While acquainting myself with the other board members via zoom, I undertook the task of revamping the minutes template for future individuals in the secretary position. My contribution to the organization during the pandemic also includes the founding and running of the new Orpheus Workshop, a culturally diverse place for our members to continue learning new art forms. I hope to continue to support FSGW in all their endeavors and bring youthful perspectives and creative enthusiasm for the board.

Dance Chair – Amy Mills 

From Balkan to Scandinavian, flatfooting to swing, I’ve been involved in traditional and participatory dance communities my whole life. My deep passion for traditional arts led me to studying anthropology and folklore. I have worked professionally as a folklore specialist and event organizer with Northwest Folklife, Western Folklife Center, and National Council for the Traditional Arts, as well as volunteering on the East European Folklife Center and Balkan Festivals Northwest boards among others. As FSGW’s dance chair, my goal is to contribute to a strong, welcoming dance program that engages new and experienced dancers in coming together with joy and creativity.

Program Chair - Charlie Baum 

Over the past year, I’ve adapted to pandemic realities by developing programming using the Zoom platform that is unique in offering interactive and social “workshop” experiences not found in other available on-line concerts. As we transition back to a less socially-distanced “normal,” I’m excited to meet the challenges of gradually restoring in-person events as it becomes safe to gather (may the day come soon), while maintaining the virtual events that are not possible in real life, and creating hybrids in formats that we can’t yet imagine.

Membership Chair - Noel-Marie Taylor

What makes a good Membership Chair? I have no idea — but I’m willing to do my best to figure it out! I’ve been involved with FSGW and other local folk organizations for more than half my life. Whether attending dances and concerts, organizing events, or being on the Board, I’ve always enjoyed the sense of community that these groups bring. The past year has definitely tested that — never have we been so thankful for online methods of interaction! At the same time, however, we have to wonder what happens next? When “all of this is over”, we will definitely need to see what our Membership needs most. Yes, we’ll want to interact in person, but should we also be continuing to have online events that can reach an audience that isn’t always able to show up in person? As Membership Chair, I look forward to figuring out what YOU all want, and seeing what FSGW can do to make it happen.

Publications - Jim McRea

I am a long-time participant in FSGW dances and activities, since 1991. I depend on FSGW for current information about the local folklore scene, shows, and live music. I have extensive experience in desktop publishing and the printing arts I bring to bear on keeping the FSGW publications optimized for our membership.

As your Publications Chair for the past two years, I ask your support for another year as Publications Chair. I will continue to bring you the monthly newsletter, our FSGW Meetup group, and ensure we are getting maximal returns on the investment your membership brings to the Society.

Officer at Large - Jerry Blum

I am a candidate for a Member At-Large position on the FSGW Board because I have been doing called dancing most of my life. I have enjoyed dancing at FSGW dances for the last several decades, and I would like to continue to contribute my efforts to making FSGW an even better organization. I am also very familiar with other FSGW activities from my wife's participation on the Board over the past fifteen years, my being on the Board the past two years, and my volunteering at the FSGW Mid-winter Festival.

Officer at Large - Alyssa Hemler

I’m grateful to the FSGW nominating committee for including me on the slate. I grew up going to the FSGW family dances and have been an avid dancer ever since. I have served on planning committees for multiple dance weekends including Dandelion Romp (Oberlin, OH), Chesapeake Dance Weekend (Edgewater, MD), and #dance Weekend (Glen Echo, MD). FSGW events provide such value to the community, especially during this recent time of isolation. I would love to continue to further its mission as we transition out of the pandemic and seek ways to reconnect with one another in person through traditional music, dance, and storytelling.

Officer at Large - Lucia Schaefer 

I’m excited to be included in the running for the position of Member At-large. I am a new member of FSGW but have been a member of the DC Square Dance Collective (DCSDC) for the last four years organizing and calling adult and family dances. If elected to the board, I would devote my energy to expanding family dance programming in the DC Metro area, championing the use of gender-neutral calling terms, and making every FSGW event a welcoming and inclusive space for all interest levels, races, gender identities, ethnicities, and religions.

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