Welcome to the web home of the Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music!
This site lists information about folk music and related activities in the greater Atlanta area and the Southeastern U.S. It contains:
- General and recurring information in an expanded directory format
- Links to other folk resources
See the EVENTS Tab for Fiddler's Green and other AAFFM- sponsored concerts, workshops, and pickin' parties, as well as other events of interest in and around Atlanta.
In email blasts, you'll find details about current events and information on member-only activities like our famous "get-togethers". If you'd like to host a pick-'n-grin, let us know! See the EVENTS tab for upcoming concerts and pickin' parties.
Contact us at email@example.com to host a pickin' party, join our organization, find out about an upcoming concert, party or workshop, or to submit listings to the website.
See the 'History' tab for the history of the organization.
AAFFM sponsors a local monthly coffeehouse, Fiddler's Green, that features concerts that included traditional music, singer-songwriters, poetry and storytelling. It is held at Epworth Methodist Church. AAFFM Membership benefits include the email blasts (our mailing list will always remain private) and discounts on AAFFM sponsored concerts. Annual membership dues are $15 for individuals and $20 for families, $35 sustaining members. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for membership information.
AAFFM MOVES FIDDLER'S GREEN TO EPWORTH AT CANDLER PARK
Fiddler’s Green, the coffeehouse concert series presented by AAFFM since 1986, is changing venues once again. As of September you’ll find us at Epworth at Candler Park, the United Methodist church that will serve as home for the Frank Hamilton Folk School.
We’re deeply grateful to Steve’s Live Music for hosting us for nearly two years. Steve Grossman and his fine staff have been warm, generous, and accommodating to us; and the cozy venue is attractive and great for acoustic music. As individuals your AAFFM leaders will still be frequent patrons, and we encourage you to do so. Steve presents a wide variety of music and is especially passionate about fostering folk music in all its forms.
However, we on the AAFFM board and the Folk School founding committee believe both Fiddler’s Green and the school will benefit from having a consolidated presence in one location. And the hall Epworth is offering for both activities is ideal for our purposes. The church already presents the “5@5” coffeehouse performance series there each Sunday afternoon. In some ways the venue is reminiscent of our original, long-time home at the Garden Hills Community Center. We’ll have more control over our environment, without the distractions that are unavoidable in a restaurant/club. And the Candler Park neighborhood is demographically advantageous for cultivating audiences. We very much appreciate the warm welcome the church is extending to us.
We’ll return to our traditional 8:00 start time. Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be sold, and you're also welcome to bring your own picnic as well. But, unlike the old days at Garden Hills, alcoholic beverages will not be permitted.
So please plan to join us September 19th for our inaugural evening at Epworth, when we’ll proudly feature a twin bill of Brian Ashley Jones and the Apostles of Bluegrass. We think you’ll love it!
AAFFM TO SPONSOR FRANK HAMILTON FOLK SCHOOL
As our mission statement proclaims, AAFFM’s purpose is “to preserve and promote traditional and other folk music and arts in the Atlanta area” though activities at which “such music and arts can be performed, taught, mutually appreciated, and enjoyed.” Now we’re embarking on an exciting new adventure, fulfilling our mission with what we hope will be the most significant project in our history. Under AAFFM’s sponsorship the musician who co-founded one of America’s most successful folk music institutions nearly six decades ago in Chicago is spearheading an effort to do it all again – this time in Atlanta.
In October The Frank Hamilton Folk School will welcome anyone who wants to join a participatory community of people experiencing music as social bonding. Your AAFFM membership dues will help support this momentous new project.
You may well know, or know of, Frank Hamilton. But in case you don’t, Frank was a seminal figure in the American Folk Revival. He collected traditional songs in the field with Guy Carawan; joined the house band for the first American folk music nightclub, Gate of Horn; co-founded Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music; was a member of the Weavers in 1963; and performed with such folk legends as Pete Seeger, Odetta, and the Clancy Brothers. He even shares the copyright for We Shall Overcome. Frank has been an Atlanta resident for more than three decades.
The Frank Hamilton Folk School (Frank was too modest to choose the name – the founding committee talked him into it!) will seek to replicate in Atlanta an institution and program similar to the Old Town School of Folk Music. The Old Town School, which Frank and fellow folk musician Win Stracke founded in Chicago in 1957, is a teaching and performing institution that launched the careers of many notable folk music artists, such as Steve Goodman, Roger McGuinn, Bob Gibson, and John Prine. It began modestly by offering guitar and banjo lessons in a communal teaching style and hosting performances by well-known folk musicians. Currently the school has an enrollment of about 6,000 students per week, 2,700 of them children.
Together Frank and Win developed a classroom technique based upon traditional oral and folk teaching methods: listening, watching, trial and error, and playing by ear. Where other music schools taught sight reading and performance, Win and Frank wanted the Old Town School "method" to retain its emphasis on participation and development of aural skills.
"We wanted to make music accessible to everyone. We wanted to emphasize the social aspects of music,” says Frank. “We wanted to see involvement by people who wouldn't normally think they had musical talent, and bring out whatever they had.”
Atlanta’s Frank Hamilton Folk School will follow the same approach. And like its Chicago model, it will start modestly and aspire to steady, gradual growth. Frank and his fellow founding leaders, Bob Bakert and Fritz Rauschenberg, have put together an organizing team including some outstanding local musicians and teachers, a CPA, a grant writer, an attorney, and a retired Coca-Cola marketing executive.
The school will begin operation in October at the Epworth at Candler Park, a historic United Methodist church, with music classes in guitar, banjo and fiddle. The school will be a subsidiary function of AAFFM and enjoy the benefits of our non-profit 501-C3 status, including the tax deductibility of all contributions.
In the coming weeks and months we’ll be focusing strongly on gaining new and renewed AAFFM memberships. When you contribute to AAFFM, you’ll be supporting the Frank Hamilton Folk School -- a vital new way to teach and inspire young people to embrace folk music and foster a stronger folk music community in Atlanta.
To learn more about the school and the first classes, see the details here on our website and/or contact: email@example.com.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
January 15, 2014 - Yes, dear members, you're again receiving something much less than the complete monthly AAFFM newsletter. The fact is that we've once again lost our editor, and this time we have no prospects for a replacement. So we're turning adversity into an opportunity to bring our communications into the 21st century.
After some three decades we're discontinuing the newsletter. It's the end of an era -- but the beginning of another. We'll instead focus on three electronic vehicles to fulfill the information-sharing part of our mission.
First, you'll continue to receive a monthly email blast about Fiddler's Green and other activities in which AAFFM is directly involved. You'll find January's information below this message. If you're one of the few members who have still been receiving the print version of the newsletter by mail, and you simply don't have access to email, we'll print out the monthly notice and mail it to you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Secondly, we'll continue to carry much of the erstwhile newsletter material on our website, aaffm.org. Much content has been duplicated for some time anyway. And when you think about it, we're fulfilling our mission better when we share news of folk-music-related activities with the world -- not just with our members.
Thirdly, thanks to the tireless efforts of our invaluable webmaster Teresa Powell, we have an additional way to raise visibility for AAFFM, compensate for the lack of a newsletter, and to make it easier to share information and attract new listeners/members. We've upgraded our Facebook page. It's important that you visit the page at https://www.facebook.com/AtlantaAreaFriendsofFolkMusic and "like" it, as well as adding it to your interests list and select notifications. This will make it much easier to keep folks up to date with the Fiddler's Green Concert Series, and acoustic music venues including coffeehouses and house concert series are invited and urged to post their shows on the page. From now on this will be the mechanism for you to update your talent listings and other information that changes month to month. Be sure to also invite your music-loving friends to join the page as well!
Being a traditionalist (hey, I'm a folkie, after all), I'll miss the newsletter. Perhaps you will as well, and if you don't feel you're still getting your money's worth for your membership, we'll refund your dues. But we hope you'll agree with your AAFFM Board that members are richly benefited by the discounted admission at Fiddler's Green, the monthly email notice, and the satisfaction of knowing they're helping promote and educate about folk music and related activities in our region. We appreciate your support as we adapt to and try to take full advantage of the Digital Age.
P.S. Thanks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, writer Helen Cauley, and photographer Hyosub Shin for the wonderful January 10 article on Fiddler's Green and its move to Steve's Live Music. We've had a splendid response to it!
The Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music, Inc., is an all-volunteer IRS designated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional folk music and arts in the greater Atlanta and Southeast regional areas.