Donate to fund the Door County Folk Festival


Greetings Friends of Traditional and Contemporary Folk Dance, Music and Singing:

DCFF is asking for your help in reaching the 2022 fundraising goal of $8,500 between September 1, 2022 and November 30, 2022.

Hello, I’m Paul Collins, Director of Door County Folk Festival (DCFF)a dance and music festival held annually in northeastern Wisconsin (1980-2019) – and held in the Virtual Dance Hall since the pandemic (2020-2022) – (click here for the DCFF website)
I am also the director of Virtual Dance Hall (VDR)formed at the start of the pandemic to provide a safe online forum where the International Folk Dance (IFD) community could continue to celebrate traditional and contemporary folk dances and folk music from countries and ethnic groups around the world – (click here for VDR website)

I started this GoFundMe campaign for the Door County Folk Festival (DCFF)

Here’s how your donations will be used (more details below):

  • Repay outstanding DCFF 2022 debt
  • To raise start-up funds for DCFF 2023 (facility/equipment rental)
  • To complete accounting/legal work for 501(c)(3) nonprofit and tax-exempt status
  • Negotiate terms/deposits with accommodation partners (motels, campsites)
  • Rebuild funding for the DCFF Work Fellowship Program which allows students and others with limited means to participate at reduced rates in exchange for administrative work
  • Revise pricing models that keep DCFF affordable for a wider range of participants
  • Develop contingency plans for unexpected charges and price increases
  • To reinvigorate DCFF’s community service program that provides entertainment to Door County seniors’ residences
  • To rebuild DCFF’s cultural awareness and creativity programs for local youth, including the Northern Door YMCA and local schools
  • Develop and maintain stronger relationships with regional International Folk Dance (IFD) groups that assist and support the DCFF
  • Improve DCFF marketing and social media messaging with key DCFF audiences
  • Investigate ways to improve virtual participation in on-site activities and improve the overall experience for remote attendees

Audience DCFF

DCFF is reaching out to ask for support from diverse audiences passionate about honoring and maintaining America’s diverse cultural heritages, including:

  • Previous and Past Festival Participants and Donors
  • Members of dance communities who have not yet participated in the DCFF
  • Fans of ethnic and contemporary folk dance, music and singing, and lovers of contra/square dance
  • Members of ethnic communities who appreciate how DCFF honors and preserves their traditions and cultures

Donation Methods and Acknowledgments

You can donate online publicly (by sharing your name) or privately (anonymously) via our GoFundMe page:

  • DCFF GoFundMe page (you are already here)

You can donate offline by sending a check (payable to DCFF) to:

  • DCFF – PO Box 25548 – Chicago, Illinois 60625

We ask that you leave comments (on the GFM page) describing your most memorable experiences at DCFF and forward this GFM review to friends and colleagues who may be willing and able to help you.

No amount is too small or too big – we appreciate all donations.

We thank everyone who donates.

Under’s new terms and conditions, no sweepstakes, sweepstakes, gifts or promotions may be offered in exchange for any campaign contributions.

Learn more about the DCFF and the GoFundMe campaign below…

DCFF Background

2022 marks the 43rd anniversary of the DCFF. The Door County Folk Festival was founded in 1980 by Gerhard Bernhard (Sister Bay, Wisconsin), assisted by Paul Collins (Chicago, Illinois). Gerhard and Paul became partners and co-directors in 1982, and the Festival was transformed into an extremely “friendly” extended weekend of dance and music. In some years the DCFF offered a variety of activities in several locations (Sister Bay, Ephriam and Baileys Harbour) before moving most activities to Baileys Harbor Town Hall. DCFF presented a variety of activities including Folk Dance Workshops, Contra/Square Dance Workshops, Singing Workshops, Cultural Sessions, Panel Discussions, “DCFF Folk Dance Olympics”, Concerts, pier walks, memorable dance parties with live and recorded music, silent auctions, and more.

Since the pandemic – DCFF 2020-2022

The pandemic has disrupted the plans, schedules and finances of many of our favorite dance groups, weekend festivals, camps and workshops. I believe the DCFF was the first weekend workshop to take the initiative to go live (July 10, 2020) after the onset of the pandemic. At that time VDR had produced over a dozen weekly Friday Dances, and I had produced DCFF since 1980, so hosting a virtual DCFF seemed like a natural task for VDR. Despite the high risk, we did the “big experiment”, a free event based solely on donations and we had a PLOT learn. The VDR organized a second online DCFF (July 9-10, 2021).

Pandemic restrictions on group gatherings made us want to get back to in-person dancing, which is why in late 2021 we secured venue commitments for a 2022 in-person DCFF (July 28-31 ). However, in the spring, both venues changed their policy to only rent to local Door County bands.

After many calls and emails, DCFF secured the only summer dates available at Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin (June 30-July 1). However, delays in confirming a venue and dates have undoubtedly contributed to lower than expected bookings and some cancellations. A smaller number of confirmed attendees made a 2022 in-person event economically unfeasible, so we canceled the in-person event.

After producing online festivals for two years, we had a viable plan B for DCFF 2022. Go virtual! Despite the late cancellation, we were not held responsible for the full cost of facility rental and accommodation and remained on good terms with Egg Harbor and our accommodation partners. On short notice, we revamped DCFF 2022 to include fourteen dance teachers, six discussion leaders, fifteen party hosts and six live music groups.

Next year – DCFF 2023

Egg Harbor is looking forward to the DCFF coming to the Kress Pavilion in person for 2023 and recommended that we reserve a space as soon as possible – while dates are available. We are considering a 3 day weekend event July 7-9 (most likely) or July 14-16, 2023 – both weekends are currently open. The main hall of the Kress Pavilion has many amenities, including a spacious dance floor, panoramic views from the veranda, high-speed internet connections and a large projection screen.

We will need to pay the full rental fee in advance to reserve these dates. We must also: (1) plan and budget the expenses of the dance teacher, musician, and staff for transportation, lodging, and meals; (2) negotiate terms and deposits with hosting partners; (3) complete our application for 501(c)(3) status (not-for-profit, tax-exempt).

As an online Zoom event, the DCFF is free of charge and our ability to meet expenses depends on the effectiveness of our requests for financial support. We failed to raise funds for the 2022 event as we did in 2021, and our need for working capital for 2023 has increased, hence the rationale for this GoFundMe campaign.

In 2021, DCFF Online received 130 donations from 400 registrants and employees, for a net operating loss of $1,200, covered by VDR funds, Paul Collins’ personal funds and an anonymous benefactor.

In 2022, DCFF Online received 59 donations from 390 registrants and staff, for a net operating loss of $2,696. Part of the DCFF’s pre-net loss was covered by VDR funds, Paul Collins’ personal funds and an anonymous benefactor.

With your help, we look forward to producing a great 2023 DCFF at the beautiful Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor. We invite participants from near and far to join us in Door County, known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest. We invite those unable to make it to Door County to join us virtually throughout the festival.


Paul Collins

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