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Dancing Well demonstration at a veterans health expo in Louisville, Kentucky

Dancing Well Offers Veterans with PTSD and TBI a Way to Ease into Civilian Life

By Rhonda J. Miller A dance program is offering Kentucky veterans with mental health issues a way to ease back into civilian life. The state’s Department of Veterans Affairs estimates thousands of Kentucky veterans...

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Labor of Love Has Roots in Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals

A labor of love can be sparked by a smile from a legendary blues musician. In Rhode Island, a 20-year-long community music gathering has roots in the Newport jazz and folk festivals. There’s...

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As the boundaries between journalism, social media and entertainment become increasingly blurred, folk music provides a stream of diverse voices essential for a healthy democracy

This is this the thesis statement for my Master’s Thesis in Media Studies at Rhode Island College. This thesis launched the research, website and collection of stories for Folk River.

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Crazy Heart Author Not The Weary Kind With Novel In Spotlight

With the movie “Crazy Heart” winning Academy Awards for best actor and best original song, Rhode Island author Thomas Cobb says the seeds of his book were planted in his own days as a...

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The Man Who Introduced Music Festivals to the World

George Wein changed the way Americans experience their music. The pioneering jazz musician and music producer launched the first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954. It was the first big outdoor music event of...

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Dancing Into Death

None of us knows when our heart will beat its last beat. For Rodolfo Akel that last beat came on the dance floor. Friends in the Cajun and Zydeco dance community in New...

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Ladino Songs Shed Light on Endangered Language of Jews

As the candles of Hanukah connect Jews around the world, holiday songs in Ladino shine a light on a language UNESCO rates as “severely endangered.”  Ladino is a language that’s been traveling with...

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Gloria Ascher Ladino class Tufts Univ.

Like Hanukah Oil, Endangered Ladino Endures Among Jews

As Jews around the world celebrate Hanukah, some in Boston are singing in Ladino, a language UNESCO rates as “severely endangered” in its 2009 Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. Ladino has...

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CommonFence EM&MF

School Shootings to Kazoos, Common Fence Venue Encircles Tragedy and Joy

While America continues to grieve over the massacre of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, the community at Common Fence Music finds emotional support in times of tragedy, rejuvenation in times...

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One Man Dancing Creates Cajun and Zydeco Festivals

The footprints of Franklin Zawacki are on the ground in California and New England, where he started out as one man dancing, but got thousands of people to dance with him.San Francisco poet...

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Michelle & Alan Bradbury (Photo credit: Rhonda J. Miller)

Cajun Music Heats Up New England Winters

Cajun music and dance is thriving in New England. The Cajun music community is welcoming group joined by dances around the New England states. A healthy contingent of Cajun-loving New Englanders are in...

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Route 40 Franklin County, Virginia

Virginia’s Crooked Road of Folk Music is Economic Engine

The tiny mountain town of Floyd, Virginia has one traffic light. Only 500 people live here year-round. But there’s a festival atmosphere on Friday evenings, especially in summer. The Floyd Country Store is...

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Mississippi Student Sings of Oil Spill Devastation

A Gulfport, Mississippi student did the only thing she could when oil ravaged the Gulf – she wrote a song.  Aubrey Hays was 17 when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. She saw...

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Newport Folk Festival Still Going Strong as a Venue for Diverse Voices

Speaking out against the madness has been part of the Newport Folk Festival since it began in 1959. This legendary music festival is still going strong with its expansive offering of traditional and contemporary...

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Songwriter TR Ritchie Sings to Help A Mighty River Flow

Songwriter TR Ritchie sang for a mighty river in a video shot by Alexandra Cousteau’s camera crew during a raft trip through Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River as part of Blue Legacy...

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Rhonda Miller WVTF edit studio Roanoke, Virginia 2

Welcome from Folk River Writer and Producer Rhonda Miller

Welcome to Folk River, the digital territory where you are invited to consider the importance of songs that come directly from the people, not intended to bring fame or fortune, but to offer...

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Pete Seeger Biographer Reflects on Folk Music, Journalism, Democracy

David Dunaway, author of “How Can I Keep from Singing:The Ballad of Pete Seeger,” reflects on folk music and its relationship to journalism and democracy. Dunaway also produced a radio documentary on Seeger....

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Journalist Bill Moyers Finds Lessons on Democracy in Woody Guthrie Works

Journalist Bill Moyers looks back at singer-songwriter Woody Gurthrie’s life and work, finding many points of irony and relevance given the current state of our economy and democracy. Is this land truly made...

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