ShowcaseOrganizations

Susquehanna Folk Music Society

The Susquehanna Folk Music Society (SFMS) has been Central Pennsylvania’s grass-roots voice for folk music and dance for 36 years. We are excited to partner with the American Folklore Society and welcome AFS conference participants to Harrisburg. We’d like to show you some of the diverse folk arts practiced in our region.   

A montage of 16 small photos captures the essence of  Susquehanna Folk. Four violins hang side by side. Two grinning contra dancers mug for the camera. An older couple play fiddles outdoors. Two bearded men holding guitar and banjo. Two men holding a mandocello and mandolin. A heavyset man strums a cigar box guitar, his specialty. A man plays a harmonium with a woman playing flute. Our jam co-hosts Joe and Fred sit together. A fiddler and other musicians play at a SFM jam session. A woman onstage playing an electric bass. A display of hand-dyed wool yarn. A cellist and fiddler jam outdoors. An older man host an outdoor jam at Fort Hunter Day, holding his guitar and wearing a straw hat. A man and woman smile as they contra dance. A bare-chested young man with long wavy blond hair plays his banjo. An African man and woman sing in a SFMS performance.

SFMS supports folk artists in Dauphin, Lebanon, and Cumberland counties through our Susquehanna Folk Arts Center, as a partner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. 

SFMS presents a busy calendar of events all year round, featuring artists from around the globe as well as hometown performers. Our events range from jams, coffeehouses and intimate workshops to concerts and dances to big festivals. 

Join us each summer for the Susquehanna Folk Festival, a celebration of music, dance, storytelling and traditional arts. It features nationally known acts and hometown folks, family activities, several stages and a fantastic dance hall.

Love traditional arts? Visit us at SusquehannaFolk.org

Folk Arts Center

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) partners with organizations across the state to support practitioners of traditional arts. We are proud to be the Folk and Traditional Arts Partner for Dauphin, Lebanon and Cumberland counties.

The Susquehanna Folk Arts Center provides a “virtual home” for traditional arts resources. We have hosted educational workshops, intimate seminars with artists, and all-day residencies, both virtually and at community venues.

SusquehannaFolk.org/folkarts

Folk Artists Gallery

Our Folk Artists Gallery showcases traditional musicians, craftspeople, storytellers, dancers, and other guardians of cultural heritage. Traditional arts in this showcase range from Vietnamese recipes to quilting, from Irish tune sessions to Bharatanatyam dance, from gospel harmonies to colorful woolen rugs.

See our Folk Artists Gallery

PCA Folk Arts Apprenticeships

Traditional artists can apply for funding to support a year-long apprenticeship to either learn skills or teach their skills to someone else. We are proud that the Spiritual Warriors Messengers of God, a gospel ensemble featured in our Gallery, has been awarded a Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant from the PCA!  One of this conference’s program sessions features the Spiritual Messengers.

See Folk Arts Grants

Every Community has a Story

We love hearing from traditional artists — “art” meaning any skills, practices or knowledge that are passed down within families and neighborhoods. This video, created for our Gospel Traditions residency, illustrates the wide range of  traditional arts practiced within our three-county region.

Our Events Calendar

Susquehanna Folk presents a busy year-round calendar of traditional arts events.  We present concerts with nationally and internationally known performers — intimate workshops, seminars and residencies — coffeehouse concerts — family events — educational programs in schools and libraries — international and American folk dancing — performers at community events — and more. 

Our 2020-2021 season included folk icons Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, John McCutcheon, Tom Paxton and Reggie Harris. Alongside those big names were an array of local favorites and newer touring artists, established and rising stars.  We are proud that SFMS is considered a staple on the traditional music circuit, known to performing artists and music lovers worldwide.

Our virtual programming has drawn praise from audience members in the US and overseas, but we’re still eager to see our in-person audiences in York, Harrisburg and Lancaster. 

Visit our website to see what’s happening in fall 2021.

SusquehannaFolk.org/events

Susquehanna Folk Festival

Join us each summer for the Susquehanna Folk Festival, a celebration of music, dance, storytelling and traditional arts. It features nationally known performers and hometown folks, fun family activities, several stages and a fantastic dance hall. 

Logo for the Susquehanna Folk Festival.  The words are in two rows, with “Susquehanna” in teal and “Folk Festival” below it in red To the left is a gold disc representing the sun or the moon, and superimposed on that is a silhouette of a stylized fox standing upright and playing a fiddle.

In 2021 we created a whole new kind of music festival, with virtual and in-person events taking place from May to September.  The richness of our in-person festival translated well into virtual form, with the added benefit of being accessible worldwide.  Many of the programs are now available for viewing anytime,and others will be offered as YouTube premieres in the coming months. 

Watch our website next spring for news about the 2022 Susquehanna Folk Festival, which we hope will be back at Roundtop Mountain Resort in late July.

SusquehannaFolk.org/festival

A montage of 24 small photos captures the essence of the Susquehanna Folk Festival.  Two young men strike a rock-star pose as they perform. A Black male African dancer crouches fiercely, wearing a straw  head-dress and feathery armbands. Other photos show  audience members enjoying the music; people of all ages trying new instruments; contra dancers, jugglers, jam participants, a female performer grinning at the camera, and graphics for our Liars Contest and Emerging Artist Showcase.

SFMS is very proud that its high-quality programming is recognized and supported by many funding sources, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Cultural Alliance of York County.

The SFMS Folk Arts Center is supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Additional support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, through a grant made as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Many thanks to these photographers for the use of their images: Randy Flaum, Karen Mitchell, Clay Shaw, Bob Yahn, Blair Seitz, Fred Heagy, and others. Thanks also to the photographers of the artists who appear in our Events montage.

Susquehanna Folk Music Society

Central Pennsylvania’s grass-roots voice for folk music and dance

Learn about us and see upcoming events at SusquehannaFolk.org 

Contact us at (717) 745-6577

Susquehanna Folk Arts Center

Every community has a story

For info about our Folk Arts Center, please visit SusquehannaFolk.org/folkarts

Or contact Amy Skillman [email protected] or (717) 919-3122