The CLEVELAND FOLK ARTS ASSN. was formed in 1950 by the 24 nationality groups that organized the first annual Cleveland Folk Arts Festival on 28 Jan. 1950 at the Music Hall. The purpose of the association was "to gather and disseminate information through the media of arts and literature what each nationality, racial and cultural group had contributed and is contributing to the U.S. of America." THEODORE ANDRICA, for many years the nationalities editor for the CLEVELAND PRESS, was elected first president and still filled that office when the association and the Press cosponsored the 30th annual Cleveland Folk Arts Festival at Lakewood Civic Auditorium on 2 Nov. 1980. In each of those 30 years, more than 500 performers, dressed in traditional costumes, presented songs and dances from their native lands; through 1980, more than 128 local groups had participated in the festival. In addition to the folk arts festival, the association, in Mar. 1952, began publishing the Folk Arts News, a newsletter publicizing the festival and other events in the various local ethnic communities. In 1960 it used the proceeds from festival ticket sales to establish the Folk Arts Corner in the Foreign Language Div. at the CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY. The association purchased several display cases, in which were exhibited traditional costumes and craftwork donated by association members or other groups. Although the association was disbanded by the time of Andrica's death in 1990, its goals have been continued in the Intl. Holiday Folk Festival sponsored by the Nationalities Service Center (see INTERNATIONAL SERVICES CENTER) and the PLAIN DEALER.
Theodore Andrica Papers, 1928-56. WRHS.