The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93449   Message #1804904
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
08-Aug-06 - 08:53 PM
Thread Name: EFDSS Role in the 21st Century
Subject: RE: EFDSS Role in the 21st Century
"Hallamshire Traditions" is not a song initiative, nor is it run by EFDSS; though Paul Davenport was a member of EFDSS NEC, and editor of English Dance and Song, until quite recently. He and his wife Liz are still members of the Society. You are confusing it with the Maltby Generations Project, initiated by Paul and Liz with backing from the South Riding Folk Arts Network (with which they are both also involved, along with me and others), from EFDSS, and (I forget in what capacity) Folk South West.

You need to read the information in the links I have provided you with before making incorrect assumptions and misleading comments based on them; obviously you haven't bothered so far. Try to understand, as I have told you more than once in these confusingly overlapping discussions, that folk arts organisations in England don't, in the main, act alone: they co-operate with each other. There are a few that see other organisations as a threat (chiefly to their personal income) but I don't work with people like that.

These days, regional projects are instigated by regional organisations. The majority, I would say, are assisted by EFDSS in one way or another; and that includes the currently fashionable degree course at Newcastle University (ask Vic Gammon, who heads it and has a long involvement with EFDSS, if you don't believe me). That is the model we have in England. We don't want a state monolith like Comhaltas laying down the law. We want, and are developing, a loose federation of independent regional organisations that work together where appropriate without treading on each other's toes. EFDSS needs to be an enabling body at the centre, providing resources and frameworks for communication; and that is what it is doing.

You won't find me "defending EFDSS uncritically", though I will certainly defend it against unfair or uninformed criticism, of which there has been a good bit in these three threads. I've been a member for 30 years and stuck with it through some pretty stupid times. The point is that I didn't give up on it as far too many did. In discussions of this kind, all those people have to say is based on what was happening 20 years or so ago; it is no longer relevant. The point is to give the Society its due based on its (considerable, though often ignored or forgotten) achievements over its long history, in the face of far worse odds than similar organisations in other countries have had to deal with; and, most particularly, on what is happening now, and that is what I have been trying to do. It's a pity that some refuse to listen and don't seem able to move beyond their outdated prejudices.