Belfast Flying Shoes has received a $3,500 grant from the ME Expansion Arts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation to expand awareness of and engagement in traditional participatory dance and music in midcoast Maine. The organization will use the grant to fund three new outreach programs: a film series, including a focus group for local youth to share their experiences and perspectives on contra dance; a musical stage performance based on the life of famed New England contra dance caller and musician Dudley Laufman and featuring local dancers; and a rock-and-roll contra dance.
Belfast Flying Shoes Board President Lee Stover says, “A contra dance brings a room full of people aged 8 to 75 together for live music, dancing, and lots of fun for three hours. This grant will allow Belfast Flying Shoes to present programs on the history and tradition of contra dancing that also highlight its relevance in today’s world. We’re especially excited to involve local young people, both new dancers and those who’ve already made dancing an important part of their social lives.”
Founded in 2005, Belfast Flying Shoes is a nonprofit organization with the mission of bolstering the spirited dance community in midcoast Maine. In addition to its outreach programs in schools and the community, BFS produces monthly contra dances in Belfast for dancers and musicians of all ages and experience levels.
The Maine Community Foundation, through its offices in Ellsworth and Portland, works with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the Foundation, visit www.mainecf.org.