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All Living Tradition community center events have been cancelled until further notice.

To promote public health and safety in light of COVID-19, the City of Anaheim has temporarily closed the Downtown Anaheim Community Center and other community centers.

We are completely supportive of the City's action, which we believe will help protect the health of the community.  Therefore, we have cancelled our community center concerts, jams, and dances until further notice.

We are planning online events during this time when we cannot offer indoor concerts, jams, or dances. 

Visit our Online Events page for information about virtual dances, jams, and concerts.

Stay tuned for future announcements.

In the meantime, keep yourself healthy and safe!


What is The Living Tradition?

The Living Tradition is a non-profit organization working to support and preserve traditional music and dance in Southern California.  We host contra dances, contemporary and traditional folk music concerts, and traditional music jams nearly every month at the beautiful Anaheim Downtown Community Center at 250 E. Center St., in Anaheim, California

All of our events are family-friendly and are open to the public.  Admission prices for dances and concerts are modest, and children under 18 years are free with a paid adult.  We ask a $2 per person contribution for our music jams to defray rental costs.  Bring your friends, make new friends, get some exercise (dancing), or just relax and enjoy traditional American music.

Important Announcement from Patty McCollom, President of The Living Tradition

Regarding our Schedule Changes in Response to the Coronavirus

To:  The Living Tradition Community

March 14, 2020 

The news about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is developing so fast that actions, which once seemed reasonable, suddenly seem inadequate.  As event planners, we can tell you that at the beginning of an emergency, we worry that we are over-reacting unnecessarily and weigh our actions very carefully.  Our greatest worry, though, is that we will look back after the emergency is over, and realize that we did not do enough.

Recently the City of Anaheim announced that due to COVID-19 concerns, the Downtown Anaheim Community Center and other community centers would be temporarily closed starting March 14.  We are in total agreement with this action, which we believe will help protect the health of the community.  Therefore, we are canceling our March 2020 concert, jam, and dance.

We certainly hope that we will be able to resume bringing dances, concerts, and music jams to the community, sooner, rather than later.

Please do your best to stay safe and healthy. 

All the best,


Our Concerts, Dances, and Jams

We sponsor some online events while the community center concerts, jams, and dances are not possible.  Check the Online Events page for virtual event details.

The Living Tradition concert series presents international and local artisans of contemporary and traditional folk music for a modest cost in an intimate setting. 

Our contra dances allow folks of all ages to dance to live music and enjoy easy-to-learn traditional dance - without a partner. 

Our traditional music jams bring musicians (and singers) together in a relaxed atmosphere where all levels and talents are welcome, including those who simply want to hear traditional music or song.


Special Events

The Living Tradition also supports a variety of special events.  See Special Events for more information.


General Questions for The Living Tradition

If you have questions about The Living Tradition, contact the President, Patty McCollom at mccollomp@sbcglobal.net.  To view additional contact links for the The Living Tradition, click Contact Us.


Membership: Why Join The Living Tradition?

Members of The Living Tradition enjoy and preserve traditional music and dance in Southern California.  Benefits of membership also include discounts for most of our concerts and dances.  To become a member, simply print and complete the membership form, then mail the completed form and a check for membership dues to the address listed on the form.  (Note that this form is a PDF file; viewing or printing it requires Acrobat Reader to be installed on your computer.)

Thank you for your support.

More About The Living Tradition

Founded in 1982 by Carolyn Russell, The Living Tradition is a group of people bound together by the desire to share traditional music and dance.  The Living Tradition brings us a sampling of today’s brightest traditional music entertainers, provides family-friendly, community-oriented contra dances, and hosts popular monthly jams.

Go to Our History page to read A Brief History of The Living Tradition written by Patty McCollom, and to view a transcription (PDF file) of James Hutson's 1995 interview with Carolyn Russell.

Our contra dances provide an evening of fun – without a partner or formal instruction.  These dances are fun, good exercise, and build a sense of community with other contra dancers.  Many fine bands have graced our dances, and well-known dance “callers” provide lively prompting.  Bring your friends, make new friends, get some exercise, or just enjoy the lively sounds of traditional music.  Our dances are beginner-friendly because each evening begins with a group lesson, and the actual dances are explained and prompted by the “caller”. 

The Living Tradition concert series  presents international and local artisans of contemporary and traditional folk music nearly every month in the beautiful Anaheim Downtown Community Center.  These intimate concerts are reasonably priced and a great way to get together with friends or meet new friends.

We also sponsor regularly scheduled music jams to provide a forum for those who play an acoustical instrument, sing, or simply enjoy listening to traditional music and song.  Our jams are open to all levels and talents, and offer an opportunity for anyone who loves traditional music to participate in a relaxed atmosphere. 

The Living Tradition is all of this and more.  We serve as a catalyst for the preservation and promotion of traditional music and dance and ensure that traditional music, dance, and song will thrive for years to come.

To see this article about The Living Tradition, with more details about our history and concert series, go to the January / February 2001 issue of the FolkWorks newspaper and scroll down to page 13.

Special Thanks Go To . . .  

The Living Tradition extends sincere thanks to John Davidheiser for designing and implementing the original format of The Living Tradition Web site. 

Thanks also go to Tim Steinmeier, who designed The Living Tradition logo.

“A Bit More About Us” was written by Ellen Swope (and updated by Mindy Belli).



Visit The Living Tradition on Facebook.