PASSIM’S 60TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT
FEATURING PATTY GRIFFIN, JOSH RITTER, DAR WILLIAMS & SPECIAL GUESTS
With special guests Peter Wolf, as well as Sol y Canto with Alisa Amador, and Rose Cousins — Grammy Award-Winner Joan Baez to Present Passim’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Betsy Siggins
More About Betsy Siggins
Honored with a proclamation from the City of Boston in February 2019, Betsy Siggins has mentored and promoted the folk music community of New England since the 1960s.
Betsy started her career as a pioneer of music and culture. Managing Club 47, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, throughout its seminal years at the heart of the Folk Revival, she presented some of the century’s most significant artists and broke new ground, helping to redefine what folk music was and could be for future generations.
She has advocated for the central issues of that era as well, working for human rights, equality, and peace. During a time of segregation and social unrest, noted cultural historian Ralph Rinzler hired Betsy to travel south to accompany black musicians to New England for local performances. Often unable to find them lodging because of their skin color, Betsy still found them beds, even if beds meant her living room couch.
After leading and shaping the music and culture of Club 47, Betsy next moved to New York. There, she worked in soup kitchens, food pantries, and founded programs for homeless people with AIDS. She also began to connect social programs with performing artists, drawing on the deep community she’d nurtured at the Cambridge club. Now, together, they worked to bring awareness — and donors — to the causes about which they cared. Tom Rush, Joan Baez, Odetta, Judy Collins, Taj Mahal, Lori McKenna, and many others, have participated in her fundraising pursuits.
Upon her return to Massachusetts, Betsy returned to the place it all began, becoming the executive director of the Passim Folk Music and Cultural Center. Again, and as always, she mentored new artists. She expanded the club and its contributions to the community by adding musical education, archives, and programs that brought school children into the story of folk music and the people making it.
Today, Betsy continues to advocate for her beliefs in this ever-changing world. She continues to work with the archives that emerged from her years in the music community; she has secured their safekeeping at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Never one to move far from the music, Betsy has become an advisor and mainstay among the venues and performers of her hometown on Cape Cod. She is writing her memoirs.