Mission and Vision
- Celebrate America’s rich legacy of folk music.
- Deepen public understanding of its contribution to American culture and society.
- Promote today’s vibrant folk music scene and musicians.
- Provide and support a new cultural hub in the Hudson Valley. In partnership with kindred organizations, the Center will combine performance, research, education, and stewardship of folk music’s material and recorded legacy to tell the story of American Folk Music imaginatively and compellingly to the widest audience.
Why the Hudson Valley?
- Beacon, nestled amid the natural beauty of the Hudson River Valley, is just 60 miles north of New York City, with over 19 million residents in the metro region.
- It enjoys easy transport access including Metro-North Railroad from Grand Central and Harlem stations, Stewart Airport, Interstate highways, and the Hudson River Ferry.
- With a strong folk tradition, it is home to the Clearwater Festival, among others, The Towne Crier, and a wealth of esteemed folk musicians.
- The Hudson Valley is a growing and vibrant tourist destination, with almost 60 million visitors in the region annually.
ACFM will feature a range of programs for visitors of all ages and with all levels of familiarity with folk music, from the novice to the professional. It will give them the opportunity to engage with the past, present, and future of American folk music.
- Exhibitions – Immersing visitors in the history, sounds, and culture of American folk music in a core exhibition, bringing its origins, traditions, and stories to life through video, photographs, artifacts, sound, oral histories, and interactive multimedia. Limited-engagement exhibits will complement the core experience and focus more deeply on specific folk heroes, themes, and historical moments.
- Performance and Teaching – Programming live folk performances, films, lectures and panel discussions, and youth education concerts.
- Festivals – Organizing an annual American Folk Music Festival that builds upon the successful Clearwater Festival presented in the Hudson Valley annually.
- Hall of Fame – Hosting a permanent tribute to those, both famous and obscure, who contributed to the evolution of folk music.
The Pete Seeger Education Center & Research Archive
Featuring a range of innovative educational resources and programs tailored to learners of all ages – education is central to the ACFM mission:
- A permanent digitized collection, archive, annual publications, lectures, and symposia – an invaluable resource for folk scholars.
- Folk music lessons and concerts for children and families.
- Education programs for K-12 students that support Common Core Curriculum topics.
- Jobs and economic development, supporting tourism, hotels, and local businesses.
- Performance and teaching space, complementing and supporting music and history education.
- Opportunities for local, national, and touring musicians.
- Building on the success of Dia:Beacon, Storm King, Bard College, Vassar College, SUNY New Paltz and other cultural institutions, the ACFM will attract additional visitors to the area’s many restaurants and small businesses.
- A comfortable café will feature a simple, creative, uniquely American menu and local, sustainable Hudson Valley foods.
- A museum store will offer a well-curated assortment of folk music, books, gifts, instruments, and memorabilia.
- A beautiful, state-of-the-art event space overlooking the historic Hudson River and Highlands will be available for rent, generating income for ACFM and meeting a critical need for more community meeting and event spaces.