Ford: About the Artist
Ellen Ford is a folk life artist and educator who travels the country
creating programs that remind us of our past and encouraging audiences
to honor their own stories, songs and games.
She is the author of
a children's picture book,
The Day Mom Stopped the Bus, a musician extraordinaire
on the hammered dulcimer, a folk dancer specializing in historic games
and marches, and a storyteller.
Ellen Ford is an Ohio State University alumna with a degree in Music
Education, Masters in Adult Education and post-graduate courses in
drama, dance and children's literature. A rich background in counseling
and special education makes Ellen particularly sensitive to her audience.
While performing with the Boston Symphony as a member of the Tanglewood
Festival Chorus, Ellen also studied at the Boston Conservatory of
Music. She taught vocal and instrumental music for several years in
Ohio, Boston and Germany. In her leisure she began to collect the
music, dances and stories that enhance her program.
Ellen is a member of the Ohio Village Singers, a 19th century repertory
company specializing in the music, dance and theatre of the Civil
War. She and Priscilla Hewetson, another member of the company, perform
as a hammered dulcimer-violin/fiddle duo around Central Ohio.
2005, Ellen was accepted as an Ohio/Kennedy Center Artist
as Educator, a program that extends
professional development and other Kennedy Center resources through
a state-based distribution system.
My art form emerged on a cold winter's day when I was walking the
dog. I was bemoaning the fact that, here I was: a music major who
appreciated Italian opera, but loved Irish folk songs; enjoyed ballet,
but was moved by the story of a Jewish wedding dance--read Shakespeare,
and my heart was touched by my neighbor's coal mining stories.
I suddenly saw the web of how the songs, stories and dances of ordinary
people intertwined. As a folk life artist, I am an artist who listens,
collects, then leads an activity enabling the listener to recall and
remember their own stories and family traditions.