Where Have All the Young Folk Gone?

In many parts of my daily life, I have the same conversation: Where is the next generation? At church, with various arts organizations, professional groups, and at folk music concerts. I attended plenty of concerts this year that offered quality music with a wide range of appeal and I often found myself scanning the room for young people. When I saw them, I rejoiced. But (with the marked exception of Nickel Creek), every audience was overwhelmingly made up of people who experienced the folk revival first hand. It’s great that these folks still love the music and support artists of different generations, but what about 10 years from now? Folk music is an art form that almost by definition survives by being passed down from one set of hands to the next. Where will the musicians come from if the children of today have never been exposed to folk music in the first place? There’s still time. Do you have any ideas on reaching out to the teenagers and college students who are just waiting for “real” music to love and pass on to another generation?

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