Downeast Friends of the Folk Arts (DEFFA) is a non-profit membership organization whose goal is to nurture and promote the living traditions of folk music and dance in Maine. In normal times we publish a monthly newsletter with news, calendar listings, information, and other items of interest to the Maine folk art, music, and dance community. Since the onset of the pandemic the newsletter has been on hiatus (though if you could be interested in becoming the new editor, contact us…), but the event calendar is available!
Joan Sheldon, an early and avid DEFFA supporter, passed away July 21st of this year.
Joan was editor of the DEFFA Newsletter from Sept ’89 to March ’91. This was during the “cut and paste” era when the Newsletter was compiled by area correspondents (roughly 7 of them at that time), mailed (USPS) to the editor who then either typed the info or cut the text and pasted the whole thing together, an effort of love if ever there was one. She also was actively involved in English Country Dancing, sponsoring dances in Thorndike and the Freedom Grange Halls. She was with us on the DEFFA history festival-replacement zoom session in 2022, bringing old memories.
Here is a link to her obituary: https://www.penbaypilot.com/article/joan-nevin-jardine-sheldon-obituary/176763
Joan Sheldon, among
Calling folk culture enthusiasts! Are you a Maine resident who would like to help nurture and promote the living traditions of folk music and dance in our state? Are you looking to connect with others who share these interests? Do you have some time in your schedule to be a volunteer? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, Downeast Friends of the Folk Arts (DEFFA) wants to hear from you!
DEFFA is always looking for new folk to serve on its Board of Directors. If you are interested, we encourage you to fill out this brief online survey. Or if you know others who might fit the description above, please pass the link to the survey to them as well!
Black Lives Matter
DEFFA stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the fight to end the racial injustices built into our government, institutions, arts, and cultural narratives. Traditions of folk music and dance have been influenced by these same forces of racism and oppression. Read DEFFA’s full statement and find links to further resources.