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1958 Folk Festivals


Folk music legend Odetta headlined the student-organized Swarthmore Folk Festival in 1958.  Past featured performers included Leadbelly in 1946, Woody Guthrie in 1949, and Pete Seeger in 1953. The festivals were held from 1945-1967 in the spring and equally featured folksinging and folk dancing.

In 1997, Odetta returned to the College as a visiting professor of music. Her class, Music as Social History, blended folk music and discussions on how the genre makes connections among diverse peoples and societies.