Folk School of St. Louis, 2010
I interned at the Folk School of St. Louis, a non-profit organization located in St. Louis, Missouri devoted to building community by providing programs and resources that promote the renewal and perpetuation of traditional music and folk arts. Along with providing several group classes focusing on specific instruments and styles of traditional music, the Folk School also hosts a variety of educational programs including workshops led by traditional artists, concerts presenting well respected musicians, children's programs promoting folk music, and regular jam sessions, open mic nights, and public performances by Folk School students.
My main responsibilities at the Folk School included advertising, fundraising, diversification of programming, and administrative tasks. In order to promote the Folk School, I posted fliers advertising Folk School programs, and utilized my skills as a photographer and videographer in order to provide media which the Folk School can use for both fundraising and advertising. One of the products that I produced was a promotional video which can be presented to potential contributors. In order to diversify the programs at the Folk School and thus target a larger demographic, I researched ethnic communities in the St. Louis area and began making connections with traditional artists in those communities. Based on these connections, the Folk School can begin to promote a variety of different cultural traditions alongside Anglo-American traditional music. I also helped host the Joe Newberry and Mike Compton concert at the Folk School, catalogued the Folk School's library of materials, created databases of students and donors, and indexed files.
Overall, my experience at the Folk School of St. Louis was incredibly rewarding. My time with the Folk School gave me many insights into the inner workings of a 501(c)(3) non-profit. I learned a great deal about many vital aspects of public folklore including the grant writing process, advertising and promoting, and fundraising.
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