Folkus Project of CNY
great acoustic music, pure and unpasteurized


Rebecca Colleen in ConcertWhat is the Folkus Project?

The Folkus Project was created in the fall of 2000 as a community arts organization presenting folk music concerts and workshops in the Syracuse (N.Y.) area. Its founder and programming director was Joe Cleveland, who was one of Syracuse's hardest working advocates for folk music before moving to Boston in 2009.

"Folk music is not a money-making endeavor," said Cleveland at the time, "and so we can't depend on venues that are trying to earn a living to sponsor it. Folk and other non-commercial musics are all about grassroots, community support. With the Folkus Project, we now have a way to harness that support to make music in and around the Salt City."

The Folkus Project was created with the help and support of Syracuse's legendary Happy Endings Cake & Coffeehouse. For the 10-plus years that it existed, Happy Endings, and owners Shelby and John Crowley (shown at right), Crowleysprovided Syracuse's most welcoming, supportive, and stable home for folk and acoustic music. The Folkus Project's concert presentations today, though no longer staged at Happy Endings, directly continue a legacy begun by John and Shelby and the whole Happy Endings cosmos. (Shelby passed away in September 2005. All of Syracuse folkdom misses her.)

Today, the Folkus Project is a legally registered nonprofit organization, sponsoring folk/acoustic shows at May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society on East Genesee Street in Syracuse (just this side of Dewitt). Also, Folkus helps present and promote a monthly "second Saturday" series at the Westcott Community Center (corner of Euclid Avenue and Westcott Street). Between Labor Day and Memorial Day each year, approximately 30 shows are presented. In addition, occasional workshops are sponsored (such as banjo performance workshops by Tony Trischka), in coordination with concert appearances by artists who do such things.

The Folkus Project's current board of directors includes:

  • Dana Cooke, president, booking coordinator
  • Paul and Marilou Murphy, production coordinators
  • Jane Hoteling , treasurer
  • Diana Luscombe, volunteer coordinator
  • Steve Pfanenstiel, publicity/promotion volunteer
  • Susie Weiss, memberships/sponsorships
  • Lynn Oatman, press relations, secretary
  • JoAnn Cooke, concessions director
  • Jackie Downing, lead volunteer
  • Jeff Pelletier, lead volunteer
  • Doug Randall, lead volunteer

We are almost always searching for new volunteers and board members. Won't you join us? Folk music exists outside of the commercial mainstream and needs the focused attention of a community to survive. E-mail


Address questions about this website to Dana Cooke,

Folkus Contacts
For booking inquiries, e-mail Dana Cooke at

Lynn Oatman,

Diana Luscombe,

Susie Weiss,

Dana Cooke,

Folkus's Address
Folkus Project, PO Box 197, 4465 E Genesee St.
DeWitt, NY 13214. (Agents and artists: Please do not send unsolicited materials to this address.)

Who Appears in Folkus?
In recent years . . .

Dar Williams
Lucy Kaplansky
Tony Trischka
John Gorka
Ebony Hillbillies
Richard Shindell
Tim O'Brien
Joanne Shenandoah
Ellis Paul
Karen Savoca
The Burns Sisters
Dana & Susan Robinson
Chris Smither
Maggie & Suzzy Roche
The Parkington Sisters
Mustard's Retreat
Jonathan Edwards


Honey Dewdrops
David Wilcox
Red Molly
Bill Staines
Cliff Eberhardt
Peter Mulvey
Roy Book Binder
Jonathan Byrd
Rod MacDonald
Toby Walker
Joe Crookston
Seth Glier
David Francey
Michael Jerling
Patty Larkin
Jamie Anderson

. . . among many others.

Plus we make a point of booking some of the best local folk/acoustic acts, such as Lost Time, John Cadley, Andrew & Noah VanNorstrant, Mike Powell, and Rebecca Colleen.