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At the heart of English folk
Shape the Future

New fundraising campaign launched for Kennedy Hall

At our Festive Gathering on Sunday 21 December, EFDSS Chief Executive Katy Spicer launched our new Shape the Future campaign for 2015. Following our successful campaign in 2013, which enabled Cecil Sharp House to become fully accessible, lighter, brighter and more spacious environment, our new campaign focuses on the largest space in the house, the magnificent Kennedy Hall.

Over the years Kennedy Hall has played host to some of the biggest names in folk and popular music including Martin & Eliza Carthy, Davy Graham, Shirley Collins, Maddy Prior, Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman and Kate Rusby. Kennedy Hall has also hosted hundreds of dances, family events, classes, courses, conferences, lectures, exhibitions and more recently weddings.

Through using and sharing this space (often and generously), as well as hiring it to others, we are struggling to keep Kennedy Hall fit for purpose to host these events. We have a duty to preserve, improve upon and make safe the vital assets of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) in Kennedy Hall for future generations to enjoy and benefit from.

This is what’s needed to restore Kennedy Hall to its 1950s glory:

Conserve and repair the Ivon Hitchens mural: the paint is flaking, the surface needs to be cleaned and past re-touchings have discoloured.

Improve and reglaze the windows: single-glazed windows are cracked in places, letting in pollution and dirt.

New air filtration system: the current air system does not remove dust and dirt.

Replace the curtains: the current curtains are stained, disintegrating, do not close properly and offer no sound absorption or insulation and limited fire protection.

Refurbish fabric wall panels: these are stained and discoloured.

Restore the wood panelling: existing polish needs to be stripped out, the panels re-waxed and resealed.

Restore the applique cushions: re-stuff, remove stains and repair frayed edges and holes.

Replace semi-sprung floor: following years of sanding and varnishing, the floor is now very thin.

Install infrared hearing loop: these are needed in all our rooms in order to cater for those who are hard of hearing.

Ceiling: this needs to be repainted.

We would love for you to help us Shape the Future of Kennedy Hall and support our campaign to continue improving the facilities at the House, providing a dynamic environment for audiences, participants, artists, volunteers and staff.

You can donate online, via text message, email, post or telephone. You can find all the details on the Support Us page of our website.


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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There's never been a better time to donate to EFDSS - between now and 2019 your donation will be matched by Arts Council England!