Cityfolk’s Board of Trustees voted Monday to suspend its 2014 season of events, but it’s not necessarily the end of the road for the arts organization. The non-profit organization says it will cancel its annual Cityfolk Festival and its educational Culture Builds Community program.
Cityfolk Board President, Matt Dunn says, “The community is generally sad. I think there was a general love of Cityfolk, both as an organization and of the festival.”
Dunn says the weather, during the last two festivals, severely affected attendance to the events, and decreases in sponsorships and ticket sales to other events played a part in their decision. Cityfolk attempted to address those issues by reducing staff and a developing a partnership with the Dayton Art Institute.
Dunn added that some of the reaction he’s seeing is from, “people who didn’t understand that we were an organization with year round programming, and they maybe think that we’re just the festival that blew it, you know, that we ran our course.” He continued saying, “they didn’t understand that we are a non-profit organization with a staff and year-round programming, and the festival wasn’t an entity unto itself, but it supported a larger vision.”
Dunn says Cityfolk will still continue its work in the community, in name and presence. They have a dedicated funding source that will allow them to continue jazz programming and they will proceed with two scheduled performances with the University of Dayton.
The annual Cityfolk Festival was born out of the National Folk Festival that landed in Dayton in 1996 and stayed for three years. Cityfolk's history goes back even further. The organization is thirty-three years old.