Festival Staff

The Great Lakes Folk Festival is produced by the Michigan Traditional Arts Program/Michigan State University Museum

Marsha MacDowell: Festival Founding Director

C. Kurt Dewhurst: Festival Founding Director

Jilda Keck: Festival Associate Director, Administrative Services and Development

Mike Secord: Festival Associate Director, General Operations and Management

Julie Levy-Weston: Festival Associate Director, Technical Operations
Veronica French, GLFF Marketplace Manager
Micah Ling, Program Assistant for Michigan Artists
Patrick Power: Coordinator, Music Programs and Photographer
Stephanie Palagyi: Assistant, Marketing and Communications

Lynne Swanson: Curator for Folklife Programs
Mary Worrall: Curator for Folklife Programs
Sunny Wang: Coordinator, Computer Technology Services

Pearl Yee Wong: Coordinator, Documentation and Photographer

Sue Schmidtman:  Assistant, Administrative Services
Matt Woolman: Sound Coordinator

Annika Otto: Volunteer Coordinator

Tim Bugenske: Assistant, Technical Operations

Dan Secord: Coordinator, Food Operations

Ami VanAntwerp: City of East Lansing Festival Liaison

Additional assistance provided by:
John Beck, Beth Donaldson, Annie James

Tom Ball, Bob Blackman, Wanda Degan, Ron Eggleston, Steve Kwiecinski, John Moe, Doug Neal, Yvette Robinson, Eileen Roraback, Corrina Van Hamlin, and Mary Worrall.

The Michigan Traditional Arts Program at the Michigan State University Museum, a partnership program with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, advances cross-cultural understanding and equity in a diverse society through the documentation, preservation, and presentation of folk arts and folklife in Michigan. For more information, call 517-355-2370, email pr@museum.msu.edu or write Michigan Traditional Arts Program- Michigan State University Museum, 409 West Circle Drive, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1045.

GLFF Music Selection Advisors

Selection of performers for the Great Lakes Folk Festival is made by Patrick Power (photographer and former booking coordinator for the Ten Pound Fiddle) but he is advised by a group of music and cultural specialists from Michigan State University, Elderly Instruments, and The Ten Pound Fiddle, as well as other local and national advisors who are well acquainted with a wide array of traditional music forms and have extensive experience with the music forms GLFF audiences enjoy hearing. Advisors include:

Rootsmon Bird, D.J. and producer/host emeritus, The Natty Dreadlock Rock Show

Bob Blackman, former host of The Folk Tradition on WKAR-FM

Dr. Joanna Bosse, Assistant Professor, MSU Residential College for Arts and Humanities

Wanda Degen, Former East Lansing Arts Festival music programmer, musician and teacher http://www.wandadegen.com/bio.html

Dr C. Kurt DewhurstCurator of Folklife and Cultural Heritage and Director Emeritus,MSU Museum; Director, Arts and Cultural Initiatives, MSU Office of University Outreach and Engagement;  and Chairperson, Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center/Library of Congress.  He is founding director of the festival.

Ronald Eggleston, Capital Area Blues Society (http://cabsblues.com/)

Heather Frarey, Owner, Record Lounge

Irene J. Henry, Michigan Department of Management and Budget/Office of Design and Construction

Meegan Holland, Local Media

Dr. Isaac Kalumbumusician, ethnomusicologist, and faculty specialist, MSU International Studies

Dr. Peter Knupfer, fiddle musician and Director, H-Net

Steve Kwiecinski, polka music specialist

Dr. Michael Largey, Assoc. Professor, MSU College of Music (specialist in Haitian music and music of the African diaspora in the Caribbean)

Dr. Jim Leary, Director, Upper Midwest Humanities Center/University of Wisconsin-Madison; co-producer, "Down Home Dairyland" radio program

Micah Ling, musician and Michigan Traditional Arts Program assistant, MSU Museum

Dr. Yvonne LockwoodSenior Folklife Specialist Emeritus, MSU Museum

Dr. Marsha MacDowellCurator of Folk Arts, MSU Museum;Professor, Art, Art History, and Design, MSU; and Coordinator, Michigan Traditional Arts Program (a statewide arts partnership of the MSU Museum and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs). She is founding director of the festival.

Trae McMaken, musician and historian of Michigan fiddle traditions

Phil Nusbaum, musical performer and educator, folklorist, teacher, radio broadcaster and producer Bluegrass Review (www.bluegrassreview.com/)

Julia Olin, Executive Director, National Council for the Traditional Arts (http://www.ncta.net/)

Chris Rietz, Multi instrumentalist musician, Elderly Instruments (http://www.elderly.com)

Yvette Robinson, a musician and Director of the East Lansing Public Art Gallery (located on the 2nd floor of the Hannah Community Center, East Lansing, Michigan).

Dr. Chris Scales, Associate Professor, MSU Residential College of Arts and Humanities

Dr. Dan Sheehy, Director, Folkways, Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage; ethnomusicologist and mariachi musician (http://www.folkways.si.edu/)

Dr. Laurie Sommersethnomusicologist/folklorist; research associate, MSU Museum and faculty specialist

Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard, Professor, University of Michigan-Dearborn; Host, "Strong Inspirations," WJLB-FM 98; specialist in African-American gospel music

Dr. Nick Spitzer, Host, "American Routes" (http://www.americanroutes.org/)

Lisa Stafford, Programming Coordinator for Festival International de Louisiane

Dr. Mark Sullivan, Assoc. Professor, MSU College of Music and Residential College of Arts and Humanities


Stan Werbin, owner, Elderly Instruments  (http://www.elderly.com)



The Great Lakes Folk Festival staff welcome your suggestions of traditional artists you think would be good for the festival. The core selection committee will review suggestions and, if appropriate, adds those suggestions to the list of potential artists. Please feel free send your suggestions to Patrick Power, Booking Coordinator, at or glffbooking [at] gmail dot com