Old Town School of Folk Music

About

Mission: Old Town School of Folk Music teaches and celebrates music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse American and global communities. Founded in 1957, the Old Town School provides a wide range of music, dance, theater, and visual arts courses to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds with 650 class offerings, private lessons, and workshops that span a wide range of artistic genres. The School is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community & Precollegiate Arts Schools, one of only a dozen accredited community arts schools in the nation and the only one dedicated to teaching traditional and popular art forms from around the world. The School’s critically acclaimed concerts showcase some of the finest and most diverse local and touring artists in our intimate and acoustically superb hall. Ticket prices remain among the most affordable in the city and special events like the Chicago Folk & Roots Festival and World Music Wednesdays make music accessible to all with free and reduced-priced programs. The Old Town School is the largest independent community arts school in the United States with 300 staff and faculty members who serve an average 6,000 students per week, and is supported by 3,000 members, 400 active volunteers, and an events audience of 85,000 per year. Outreach programs serve 2,000 children in 20 public schools and care facilities across Chicago, and field trip concerts attract 9,000 students and teachers annually with interactive and educational performances. The School owns and operates two facilities situated in Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park that include 425-seat and 150-seat concert halls, 47 classrooms, two music stores, café, and resource center. Children’s classes are also held at three suburban satellite locations. Plans for an expanded, state-of the-art education facility are underway with groundbreaking scheduled for summer 2010 and the grand opening scheduled for late 2011.
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