East European Folklife Center
Balkan arts and culture
The East European Folklife Center (EEFC) is a nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to educate the general public about traditional Balkan music, dance, and culture through promotion and sponsorship of activities that honor and celebrate the richness of these cultures. EEFC sponsors and produces two annual workshops each summer, one outside of Medocino, California, and one in upstate New York. Each workshop offers unique opportunities to study and celebrate traditional music and dance of the Balkan region in an informal and supportive atmosphere.
At each workshop, more than 25 highly-qualified musicians, dance teachers, and scholars gather to provide instruction and encouragement to about 150 participants, including adults, young adults, and children. In addition to instruction, teachers demonstrate their expertise through performance, participation in ensembles, and through presentations on topics central to their experiences and professional focus. Many staff members have been involved with EEFC for years (or even decades) as both students and teachers, and have learned from ethnic artists both in North America and the Balkans each year to provide additional depth to the workshop experience.
In 2012, EEFC received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to support the continued refinement of the organization’s website in order to share enhanced information on Balkan traditional and folk arts with a much wider audience than is currently served through its workshop-based activities. The website is envisioned as a clearinghouse and center, free from prejudice and without any political agendas, for sharing cultural knowledge of the region.