In 1990 we held a benefit concert to support a local AIDS organization in Ithaca, New York. Encouraged by the success of that night, we decided to create an annual festival dedicated to raising money for the fight against AIDS while supporting arts and education. With the help of countless volunteers, the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival has become an internationally recognized event with a focus on traditional and contemporary roots music and dance from all over the world. For four days every July the festival hosts over 60 performing groups on 4 stages at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds in Central New York near the university town of Ithaca.
Twelve years later we started the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival on a 75-acre farm in rural North Carolina near the triangle cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Twice a year, in April & October, thousands of people attend our event to revel in great music, sweat it out on the dance floor, celebrate the arts, and build community. The site has since become the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center, a non-profit organization created to strengthen the community through music, arts and education.
Ready to head south again, we have found an amazing site, the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, just off the coast of Miami Florida. For 5 years we have produced a four day festival at the site. In our 6th year we have decided to take a different approach. GrassRoots LIVE! will take place in the city of Miami from February 22-25th with nightly performances in local venues. We will return to the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park with activities February 25-26th. Camping will be allowed at Virginia Key February 21-28th Campers, Tents, and RVs will be welcome. Stay tuned for more information.
GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance is a mission-based (501-c3) organization that hosts four music/dance festivals and two sustainability fairs a year in three different states across the east coast. GrassRoots brings communities of multi-cultured backgrounds together through the magic of music, art, dance, education, wellness and sustainability.
GrassRoots nurtures local artists and talent while reaching around the globe to bring world music and culture to new audiences, creating environments that inspire creativity and foster community building. The impact of GrassRoots expands far beyond that which occurs during these four-day festivals. For over 25 years, GrassRoots has served to both engage and give back to the local and regional communities in which we exist by providing financial and organizational support to impact positive change.