The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Folk Arts (APPGFA) is one of a vast number of cross party interest groups (APGs) set up by and for the use of members of the House of Commons and House of Lords. Kevin Brennan, MP for Cardiff West and Shadow Minister for Schools, is the current Chair of the group.
The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) works with APPGFA to help raise the profile of the folk arts within the Palace of Westminster through events, there or in Portcullis House, and by inviting the members to folk events around the country.
In 2012, in association with BBC Radio 2 and EFDSS, the Group organised a reception for all Parliamentarians at the House of Commons. Performances were given by Norwegian band Katzenjammer, who had played the previous day at Radio 2’s concert in Hyde Park, and EFDSS organised performances from Lisa Knapp, Gerry Diver, Jack Harris and Kirsty Merryn, flying the flag for UK folk. There was an excellent turn out from the parliamentarians, together with some VIPs from the folk world, and music continued late into the night in the bar (so we’re told!).
While APGs have no official status within Parliament and are not accorded any powers or funding by it they are a very useful way of being in touch with like-minded politicians. Other members of APPGFA are MPs Jenny Chapman and Sir Bob Russell (Vice-Chairs), Pete Wishart (Treasurer) and Chris Ruane (Secretary).
The full list of APPGFA members can be found on the UK Parliament website.
If you have a folk-friendly MP, make sure they are a member of the group.
Get in touch with Katy Spicer, EFDSS’ Chief Executive, and let us know:
English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS)
Cecil Sharp House
2 Regent’s Park Road