Columbus Folk Music Society
The Columbus Folk Music Society (CFMS) is a nonprofit society committed to folk traditions and its modern day singer-songwriter forms and the people who want to share in them. We are a membership organization that provides:
The Columbus Folk Music Society, Inc. is organized to operate exclusively as a not-for-profit corporation for educational, cultural, and charitable purposes.
The society's goals include, but are not limited to, the following:
Who are we?
Our members come from all walks of life – we are accountants, tradespeople, teachers, photographers, lawyers and members of all ages. We are folk musicians, singer/songwriters, dancers, storytellers, poets, historians, performers, and listeners.
Our diversity is what makes our Society a strong, local touchstone. We welcome everyone with respect. In this way, we encourage the broadening of folk art knowledge, its performance, preservation, and public awareness.
A 26 U.S.C. 501 (c) (3) Organization
As a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization in the State of Ohio, the Columbus Folk Music Society, Inc. is listed with the IRS for tax deductible charitable contributions.
We are part of the Columbus Foundation's PowerPhilanthropy program, and are eligible for donations by credit card made through the Columbus Foundation website www.columbusfoundation.org.
We also receive other foundation and local corporate support as well as work with various service groups in Central Ohio. This allows us to fulfill our mission of expanding awareness of, and appreciation for, the folk arts in Central Ohio.
How We Got Started
Formed in 1991 and dedicated to preserving the folk arts, the Columbus Folk Music Society started with a core group of folk lovers who wanted to share their love and knowledge of the folk arts.
In this same year, the new society took over booking and management of the monthly Other Side Coffeehouse at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus in Clintonville, which provided a gathering place. The coffeehouse gathering place moved to the Areopagitica Bookstore from 2006 - 2010 and is now located at the Columbus Mennonite Church were it continues to thrive.
In 2018, the Society received financial support to expand its concert offerings under the title “CFMS’ Americana/Folk Concert Series,” which includes all the concerts at the FolkSide Coffeehouse as well as in other parts of the City.
Many new talents have been discovered through open stages and agent contacts. We have expanded our involvement in regional venues, outreach by our members, and by offering new opportunities to hear local, regional, national, and international talent.
Central Ohio Folk Festival
The Central Ohio Folk Festival (COFF) was founded in 1997 by the CFMS to make folk arts accessible to the public. The festival continues to grow, partnering with the Metro Parks to provide an outdoor location at Highbanks Metro Park, which harmonizes nature and music, is open to the community, and provides a venue for learning.
Membership Has Its Privileges
Membership in the Columbus Folk Music Society ensures you're in the loop with CFMS happenings, local folk activities, special events, and fundraising efforts. You'll receive the monthly CFMS newsletter, "A Different Strummer," to keep you informed. Local and regional folk activities are listed at the CFMS web site so you can plan your calendar accordingly. With your membership, you'll enjoy discounts at the monthly coffeehouse and you'll be the first to know about concerts and other special events throughout the year.
Monthly FolkSide Coffeehouse (Sept - April)
Last Saturday of the month: held at the Columbus Mennonite Church, 35 Oakland Park Avenue, Columbus, Ohio. Pre-performance jam session, open stage (free sign-up) followed by a concert with a featured performer. It is also a social and creative setting for discussing folk history, stories, music, and the latest current events in the folk world. Snacks and beverages available.
Plus Other Concerts (Aug - May)
Concerts in various parts of the City of Columbus with a featured performer and engagement with the local community.
Multiple open jam opportunities (see Google calendar under Events tab)
Annual Central Ohio Folk Festival
Held the 1st full weekend in May at Highbanks Metro Park. Open to the public, it features a multitude of activities for all ages with most events free. 30+ music workshops over the weekend for beginners and seasoned folk artists. A ticketed Saturday evening concert.
Free daytime concerts featuring local favorites as well as new artists. Dance tent presenting and teaching various forms of cultural dance. A jam group tent showcasing local jam groups and featuring a wide range of styles/genres. A drum circle both Sat and Sun, Metro Park nature displays, an instrument petting zoo, and other hands-on activities and sing-a-longs for kids. Closing song circle (everyone welcome).
Annual Fundraising Events
Summer yard sale, auction in October at the coffeehouse, festival benefit concerts, community support events, and local fundraisers for community causes.
How To Contact Us
To contact CFMS, leave a voicemail message at 614-470-3963, or any CFMS board member can give you more information about CFMS and joining our society. Visit the CFMS Leadership List.