Our Board members share the love of folk music and dance. We came together in 2000 to help promote folk and traditional music and dance in the greater Los Angeles area. At the time, we felt the best way to do this was to publish a newspaper that gave exposure to all the events, organizations, musicians, dancers and storytellers that were overlooked by the mainstream media. Since then we’ve produced numerous concerts, participated in the organizing of the CTMS festivals and moved from the hard copy newspaper to this online e-zine. With the advent of social media, we also have a presence on Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter.
Our goal is still the same as we began: to spread the word of these folk/trad/roots happenings in our community.
Harriet Udin Aronow grew up in a musical, activist, family. Singing union, civil rights, and anti-war songs at home, picnics and parties, meetings, and demonstrations was part of the fabric of her upbringing. In Boston and Cambridge she was part of the 1960s and 1970s folk scene and an officer in the Folk Song Society of Greater Boston. After moving to Los Angeles, raising a family, and forging a career in health care research, she has come back into the more formal promoting of folk music through her volunteer involvement in the Ash Grove Foundation and Folkworks. She plays several instruments, none very well, and mostly to accompany singing – her true passion.
Michael Frey is a professor at Cypress College, teaching astronomy and physics. He has always enjoyed a wide variety of music, and in recent years has taken up playing mandolin and exploring more deeply in the world of folk music. He is happy to be helping bring the joy of music to others.
Kay Gilpatric has held positions in health care management for over 30 years. As an admirer and supporter of folk music, she has served on the FolkWorks Board as Secretary since its inception, and has participated in the annual FolkWorks dance weekend (1990-2000) produced under another organization – same staff) as a staff member for 15 years.
Roger Goodman has played music since he was a teenager. Influenced by diverse musicians such as the Beatles, Hank Williams, Bill Monroe and Sonny Terry, his interests include folk, rock, blues, bluegrass, country, old time and a range of ethnic music. He plays fiddle, guitar, banjo and mandolin—actually he can find his way around almost anything with strings on it. He’s also an exceptional harmonica player and fine singer. A Los Angeles native, Roger has been active with the Los Angeles music scene since the 1960s becoming a regular participant at the various contradances throughout the area during the 1980s. He joined FolkWorks at its inception as a regular columnist and wrote a music theory column, Keys to the Highway, for every issue. It is available online in the archives.
Gitta Morris has been around the old-time music scene over 35 years either performing or jamming with the locals. Best known as the energetic stand-up bass player for Old Mother Logo all woman string band, she also plays guitar. She has served on the FolkWorks Board for more than 10 years and can usually be found helping out at concert performers’ CD tables.
Becky Nankivell is a longtime lover of traditional music and dance, and has been a singer, player, dancer, caller, teacher, and organizer. A relative newcomer to the Los Angeles scene from Arizona, she's helping with FolkWorks website, as well as other Board duties.
Milt Rosenberg has been on the FolkWorks Board since 2005. Folk music has been his primary source of musical fulfillment since the late 1950s. He supports folk/roots music through his work on the Board as well as supporting other like organizations.
Stefani Rosenberg grew up in a musical family. Her father was the youngest of seven brothers and one sister, all of who played an instrument or had wonderful singing voices. Many evenings were spent around the piano singing from The Fireside Book of Folksongs. Her musical influences come from every corner of the world. She sings melodies of the Baka people (formerly of equatorial Africa), sea shanties, British folk songs, bluegrass, old time music and political and satirical topical songs. One of her specialties is the music and poetry of Robert Burns.
Since retiring, Stefani has been teaching a beginning level international folk dance class at the Griffith Park Adult Community Center.
Mimi Tanaka says that her love of fiddle music started with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s description of her father…”and Pa’s blue eyes twinkled as he raised his bow to play.” Mimi has been involved as a dancer, singer and mandolin player since the 1980s — helping to keep the folk community alive and well fed. She has been on the FolkWorks Board since its inception, though she has been in the FolkWorks “Family” for 20!
Steve Shapiro has been involved in folk music since he was a teen having been introduced to singing and dancing as an active participant at summer camps. He taught himself to play guitar and was influenced by the likes of Dave Van Ronk, Rev. Gary Davis and Elizabeth Cotten. This introduction has led to a lifelong love for and exploration of the many worlds of folk music. In the 1970’s, he discovered Contradancing and this became a springboard for a deeper involvement in the folk community. From the 1980s onwards Steve played in a variety of contra dance and Celtic bands. He also plays Appalachian fiddle, 5-string banjo and mandolin. He is president of FolkWorks organization and co-publisher of FolkWorks website.
Monika White has been an active presence in the music and dance community since the late-1970s as a performer, head of one of the regular contradances and a member of the California Dance Co-operative Board for five years. She led the legendary Mother Logo all-woman old-time string band that performed and toured extensively for ten years in the late ‘70s and ‘80s recording two albums in the process. She was the piano player in the original Four Potatoes, Los Angeles’ first formal contradance band. She plays several instruments including the banjo, guitar and spoons and is well versed in traditional, old-time banjo and fiddle music. She joined the FolkWorks Board at the inception of the project and continues to participate in local events. A human service professional, she brings years of experience in the non-profit arena and lends this expertise to the organization.
Leda Shapiro, Executive Director, is experienced in non-profit arts management. In the 1980s she conceived of and co-founded the California Dance Co-operative. This organization has promoted folk dance and music including on-going contradances, English Country dances and Cajun dances as well as concerts and festivals. She has also been an active participant as both a dance caller and dancer. With over 30 years experience, Leda has served as Treasurer for California Traditional Music Society (CTMS) and the California Dance Cooperative. She is responsible for all financial aspects of FolkWorks. In addition to work on the FolkWorks website, Leda has been responsible for producing numerous concerts and dance festivals under the FolkWorks umbrella.
Mary Pat Cooney