FSGW Election

As provided for in the By-laws the Folklore Society of Greater Washington conducts annual elections for the Board of Directors. The term of office is one year beginning July 1 through June 30. In January of each year the Board approves the appointment of an Election Committee to administer the election process.      You may offer your nominations for the FSGW Board at the Mari Black World Fiddle Ensemble concert on March 23  (at the John Kendall Recital Hall at Potter Violins) and at the Sunday contra dance on March 31.  These events are official Folklore Society meetings for the purpose of receiving nominations for the Board from the membership. Nominations may also be submitted directly to the Election Committee (prior to April 1) by petition signed by five current FSGW Members.  You can contact the Election Committee at elections@fsgw.org.  Ballots (both electronic and paper) will be distributed to members before May 1.

Listed below are the candidates for the various Board positions for the July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 term along with statements submitted by the candidates:


Charlie Pilzer

The Folklore Society of Greater Washington was created over 50 years ago “to further the understanding, investigation, appreciation, and performance of the traditional folk arts.” My goal as president is that FSGW should be successful for another half century and more in fulfilling it’s mission. I envision FSGW continuing to produce concerts and dances and to sponsor events produced by others and to be a primary resource of folk events in the Greater Washington, Maryland, and Virginia regions.

It is healthy for an organization to change with the times. FSGW has started the process of examining what aspects of FSGW programs are successful and those that are in need of improvement. It is my intention to work on short term and long term strategic planning. As part of that, I will lead a review of the mission and the bylaws and the current policies to ensure that FSGW is responsive to its members’ needs and desires.

I see a need for board education on the topics of good corporate governance, consistent policy and fiduciary responsibility including a need to develop plans and processes for financial sustainability; a need to recruit board members and additional volunteers; a need to ensure that tasks are completed in a timely and thorough manner; a need to enhance the internet presence of FSGW through the website and social media; and a need to make sure FSGW events are accessible to all and supportive of all.

I think that FSGW should strengthen our partnerships with other organizations such as the Folk Alliance, the Country Dance and Song Society, and Local 1000 of the American Federation of Musicians. This also includes our likeminded neighbor organizations such as Baltimore Folk Music Society, Carpe Diem, TADAMS, Shepherdstown Music and Dance and Washington Revels. In addition, I think FSGW should foster stronger ties with the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the National Council of Traditional Arts.

A little on my background and qualifications: I am a life member of FSGW, I have attended and performed concerts and dances produced by FSGW, volunteered at the Washington Folk Festival, coordinated the Mid-Winter Festival (Minifest), and have previously served on the Board of Directors. FSGW has provided much to me over the years and I feel I can give back to the organization. I have served on the executive board of Local 1000 of the AFM, on the Board of Governors of the Washington DC Chapter of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, on the Board of the Directors of Folk Alliance and on the City of Takoma Park Arts and Humanities Commission. As a touring musician, I have performed at concerts and dances throughout the United States, in Canada, and in many of the European countries. My day job is Chief Engineer at Tonal Park (formerly Airshow), a recording studio in Takoma Park, Maryland . I have worked on hundreds of recordings in the folk genre, both historical and new recordings. Many of these recordings are for artists who are members of FSGW or performers for FSGW.


Ingrid Gorman

I have been serving on the FSGW board for four years now. The first three as Publicity Chair and this current term as Vice President. I adore the FSGW community and have been involved for decades, whether helping with festival logistics in the early days, to recently attending the Getaways, and now serving on the programming committee for the Washington Folk Festival as well as programming a room at Mini-Fest, for the last three. I enjoy making connections in the community between performers, programmers, local print and radio media, and other music organizations in the area. Oh, and occasionally I sing, and sometimes even in public, when I get up the nerve. This will be my last year on the board as the term limit requires, and I aim to help guide FSGW into the future with a new strategic plan in place for fiscal year 19/20. I heartily support the mission of FSGW to further the traditional folk arts in the DC metro area for generations to come and look forward to serving another year, if elected.


Will Strang

I was an FSGW member in the 1980s, then joined again in 2004. I have been a FSGW webmaster since 2010, and was deeply involved in the 2017-2018 transfer to the new web site on Wild Apricot. As webmaster and English Dance bookkeeper, I have had substantial involvement in FSGW financial operations. I frequently attend the FSGW Contradances and English Country Dances, and occasional concerts. I served on the English Country Dance management committee for 8 years, and on the Contradance door team for 3 years. I have been on crew 3+ times for WFF and MiniFest. We need active contributors on the board, and I think I can contribute. I think our membership decline, finances, and bylaws all need attention. I also want to make the web site more useful to FSGW and its members.


Open - Interested?  contact elections@fsgw.org

The Secretary serves as Secretary of the Board and is responsible for the maintenance of the Board's minutes, corporate records, and such other records as may be specified by the Board. He/she is responsible for reserving the meeting location for board meetings, notifying members of all meetings of the Board by posting those meetings on the FSGW website, and is responsible for correspondence as required by the Board.

Membership Chair

Jen Furlong

Program Chair

Don Fahey

Publicity Chair

Open - Interested? contact elections@fsgw.org

The Publicity Chair for the Folklore Society of Greater Washington oversees promotion for FSGW events, including the weekly email production, social media presence, advertising on local media outlets, and production of collateral material such as postcards and flyers. Most of the effort is devoted to the largest events: festivals and weekends. The Chair may coalesce a committee to assist with the various sub-functions. Being well-connected in the local community, having a knack for design and messaging, possessing communication savvy and desire to meet new people, in addition to being passionate about folk music and dance, are all attributes that promote success in this position.

Publications Chair

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 concerts. Ready to give back to the community, I have extensive experience in desktop publishing and the printing arts I can bring to bear on keeping the FSGW publications optimized for our membership.

Dance Chair

Ben Sela

Officers-at-Large (3 positions)

Jerry Blum

I have been a dancer at Glen Echo and a member of FSGW for decades, and I have helped at the FSGW Mid-Winter Festival for the last 15 years, and attended occasional FSGW concerts. I believe FSGW is an important organization that offers much of value to the general public as well as to its members. I would like to continue working on the FSGW Board to improve its finances, update its By-Laws, and increase its outreach to the public.

Renee Brachfeld

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