Archive for October, 2009

Mike Seeger Scholarship Fund Announced

Folk Alliance International is pleased to announce the establishment of the Mike Seeger Scholarship Fund.

Created in memory of Mike Seeger, who as a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers received a 2004 Folk Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award, this fund will pay for transportation and an honorarium to bring a traditional musician or other tradition bearer to attend the FAI Conference each year to participate in panels and performances; the artist’s conference registration fee and hotel accommodation will be donated by Folk Alliance International.

Mike Seeger spent his entire life tracking down many strands of Old Time Music tradition, including singers, dancers and instrumentalists from many corners of the United States and from dozens of cultural and racial groups. He collected material wherever he went, and taught the music in person and on a succession of vinyl records, cassette tapes, VHS and DVD recordings. As much as anyone could, Mike got people to learn to play, and gave exposure to the old music and musicians at the same time.

We propose to continue that practice within Folk Alliance, for the same reasons and in the same ways. There are two invited recipients of the first Mike Seeger Scholarship: 93 year old Violet Hensley of Yellville, Arkansas, fiddle player/fiddle maker; and Sharde Thomas, the late Otha Turner’s 19 year old granddaughter, who carries on the traditions he taught her of making and playing cane fifes.

Those wishing to contribute to the Mike Seeger Scholarship Fund to support bringing traditional artists to future conferences can make a donation at any time to Folk Alliance in any amount, via credit card, PayPal, or check made payable to Folk Alliance; please indicate “Mike Seeger Scholarship Fund.” More information is available at


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Nobel Peace Prize should go to Pete Seeger, not President, says Bruderhof pastor

RIFTON – Nothing against President Obama, but a pastor with the Bruderhof in Rifton says folk singer and pacifist Pete Seeger of Beacon should win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Obama was named this year’s recipient last week. Pastor Johann Christoph Arnold, who knew and marched with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., said people like him, who gave his life for peace, should be honored with the award.

“To me it’s sad that the requirements have been so diluted that now it’s mostly politicians getting the prize instead of people like Pete Seeger,” he said. “Pete has given his entire life to peace. If anyone should deserve the Peace Prize in my eyes, it would be Pete Seeger.”

President Obama has fostered a “new climate of diplomacy and openness in Washington and in the world, a vast improvement over his bomb-first, ask-questions-later predecessor,” said Pastor Arnold. “But, campaign promises and political realities aside, he has yet to demonstrate a commitment to a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan.”

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