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Folk music and dance are alive in Kansas! You can participate in these living traditions.

Music | Dance | Poetry | Storytelling | Festivals | Arts Communities | Suggest a link!

Music (See also festivals)

The Americana Music Academy Lawrence and Topeka, Kansas. A non-profit organization with classes, weekly jam sessions, and workshops teaching traditional acoustic music.

The Birdhouse Concert Series at the Manhattan Arts Center.

CrossCurrents of Culture An organization dedicated to people creating their own culture.  Includes: Folk Music Council, Willow (Women's Music), Songwriter's Circle, Theater Council, Dance Council and Banjo Council.

The Great Plains Dulcimer Alliance meets monthly in Wichita, with workshops, etc.

The Kaw Valley Shape Note Singing Association Four-part singing for everyone, northeast Kansas.

Kansas Bluegrass Association Promote bluegrass music in central Kansas. Monthly pickin' picnics April-October. Monthly jams in Wichita.

Iron Horse Concert Hall Presenting concerts in El Dorado.

Mandolin Cafe An on-line resource for mandolin players, hosted in Lawrence.

The Prairie Window Concert Series at the Dyck Arboretum in Hesston.

Scandinavian Music and Dance Resources Ingevalds Spelmän music, dance and other Scandinavian social activities. Contains many informative links to Scandinavian music and dance websites.

Tuesday Concerts A songwriter/traditional music showcase in Lawrence, at the Lawrence Arts Center.

West Side Folk Presented local and national performers in concert in the Lawrence and Kansas City area, ending in 2017.

On radio and television ...

Note: Most of the radio stations below may be listened to over the internet as well as on-air. Most carry some nationally-produced programs with at least some folk content, usually on the weekend. Some also produce local folk content.

High Plains Public Radio Region: western Kansas. On-line calendar of regional events. Includes locally produced content.

Kansas Public Radio Region: most of eastern Kansas. Look for (and listen to) locally-produced Trail Mix on Sundays. Also has an online event calendar featuring folk, bluegrass, and Celtic events.

KKFI-FM Region: northeast Kansas. With locally produced content, including "Foolkiller Folk", Sunday 11am-1pm.

KMUW-FM Region: south central Kansas. Saturday and Sunday evenings, including New Settlers' Radio Hour 7:00 - 8:00pm Saturdays, with recordings of the best acoustic performers in local venues. On-line calendar of regional events.

KRPS-FM Region: southeast Kansas. On-line and on-air calendar of regional events. Most folk programs are Sunday evenings.

RadioKansas Region: most of central Kansas. On-line calendar of regional events.

Sunflower Journeys Produced by KTWU in Topeka, this program is also carried by many other public television stations in Kansas, and frequently contains folk and Kansas heritage content.

Dance (See also festivals)

Kansas Contra Dance Dance contras and squares to live music, in a number of Kansas cities.
     Kansas City | Lawrence | Wichita

Scottish Country Dance in Kansas
    Kansas City

English Country Dance in Kansas

International Folk Dancing in Kansas Dances from around the world.
     Lawrence | Kansas City | Manhattan (Grapeviner International Folk Dancers) | Wichita
     (above links also contain non-city-specific international folk dance content - explore!)

Lindsborg Folkdanslag   A Swedish folk dance group in Lindsborg, Kansas.

Scandinavian Music and Dance Resources Ingevalds Spelmän music, dance and other Scandinavian social activities. Contains many informative links to Scandinavian music and dance websites.


Poet Laureate of Kansas Official site.

Storytelling (See also festivals)


Festivals and Annual Events

Haskell Indian Nations University Pow Wow in Lawrence. Native American music, dance, and crafts. May 11-12, 2012

Heritage Dulcimer Camp in July.

The Kansas State Fiddling & Picking Championships in Lawrence, the fourth Sunday each August.

Kansas Storytelling Festival the last weekend in April.

The Nordic Heritage Festival in Lawrence each October.

Prairie Lake Pickin' Party organized by the Kansas Prairie Pickers Association, the second weekend in June, at Prairie Lake, near Holton.

St. John's Mexican Fiesta in Lawrence each June. A celebration of Mexican culture with authentic Mexican food, live entertainment, and games. One weekend each June at St. John's Church 1204 Kentucky Street. Phone 785-843-0109 for info.

Svensk Hyllningsfest A biennial Swedish festival in Lindsborg.

The Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, each September.

The Wichita Winter Bluegrass Festival in Wichita, February 16-17, 2018. More info: 316-777-1091

Arts Communities

Hashinger Hall Residence Center for the Creative Arts at the University of Kansas, offers special facilities for students interested in creative arts, music, and dance.

Nothing nearby your town? Here are some national organizations that can help.

Country Dance and Song Society
The Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) is an association of people and groups with a common interest in English and Anglo-American folk dance, music and song. Its  members are recreational dancers, musicians, singers, teachers, callers, dance historians and people just having fun. The activities of their affiliated groups include dances, concerts, song gatherings, festivals and residential camps.

Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine
Sing Out! is a quarterly journal, published since May of 1950, which includes lead sheets for over 20 traditional and contemporary folk songs, feature articles and interviews, instrumental teach-ins, recording and book reviews, folk festival and folk camp listings, and regular columns on the folk process, songwriting, storytelling and children's music.

Folk Alliance
Founded in 1989, Folk Alliance's members are performers, agents, media, record companies, merchandisers, presenters, back-porch players, song circle leaders, folklorists, arts administrators, and other organizations and individuals actively promoting and fostering culturally diverse traditional and contemporary folk music, dance, storytelling, and related performing arts in North America.

The Lloyd Shaw Foundation
The Lloyd Shaw Foundation is dedicated to the preservation, restoration and teaching of the folk dances of America.  Its goals are to share a diverse range of dance and music with an intergenerational audience, develop leadership in dance and music to ensure its continuity, retain records which document the past, present and future of our American dance and promote fellowship and enjoyment through the production of dance events,music, and dance materials.

Folk Dance Association
Links to a page that presents a list of Kansas folk dance groups, the kind of folk dance, and the times when they meet.  Folk Dance Association provides information and services for folk dancers, folk dance leaders and folk dance groups throughout the United States and Canada.

Help support and promote the arts in Kansas. Learn how at www.kansasarts.org!

Kansas Citizens for the Arts Logo
Also check out the progressive Kansas Arts Movement on facebook: www.facebook.com/KansasArtsMovement
Kansas Arts Movement

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