On Tuesday and Wednesday I was in London for a series of discussions with Tom de Rooij from Kunstfactor (the Netherlands organisation for the amateur arts) and Kaat Peeters from Forum voor Amateurkunsten (the equivalent organisation in Flanders, Belgium). Tom is the new President of Amateo – the European network for active participation in cultural activities and Kaat is the Amateo Vice President. On Tuesday afternoon we were joined by Aled Rhys-Jones, the Voluntary Arts representative on the Amateo Board, to talk about the 2012 Amateo Conference which Voluntary Arts is going to host in London next June. We visited Cecil Sharp House, the home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), which is going to be the venue for the Amateo Conference. Katy Spicer, the Chief Executive of EFDSS, gave us a tour of the building and told us about the remarkable history of EFDSS which was formed in 1932 by the merger of the Folk-Song Society and the English Folk Dance Society, itself formed by Cecil Sharp in 1911 (see: http://www.efdss.org/front/History/history-of-the-english-dance-and-song-society/24).
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