About the Fund

The Alex Wilson Folklife Fund was established in 2012 in cooperation with the Wilson Family to support folklife programs in and around the Boulder, Colorado, area. For the first five years the fledgling fund operated under the aegis of Boulder International Folk Dancers (BIFD). In October 2017 the Fund became a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Since its inception, the Fund has supported a wide range of projects in folk music, folkdance and story through small grants (usually $500 to $2500) in folk dance, folk song and story in the Boulder, Colorado, area. Please note that all projects funded prior to 2018 were done when the Fund was operating under the auspices of BIFD. Read fund reports

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Apply for an Alex Wilson Legacy Fund grant

About Alex “Tink” Wilson

Alex “Tink” Wilson (July 28, 1929-May 13, 2012) was a guiding light of the folk dance and singing community In Boulder, Colorado.

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Born Alexander Ross Wilson in Syracuse, New York, he was known for years as Tink among his many friends in Colorado, where he resided for 55 years. Late in life he asked his friends to start calling him Alex rather than Tink. Alex came to Colorado to pursue rock climbing, skiing, folk dancing, and singing, which he had been introduced to during his undergraduate years at Syracuse University. Throughout his life he worked in the building trades until his retirement at age 79 as a carpenter with the Boulder County Government.

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What he will be best remembered for is his contribution to the international folk dance community and to the many ways folk song thrives in Boulder. He led a weekly international folkdance recreational group for many years, teaching attendees dances that he learned by attending workshops and out-of-state folkdance camps. He attended other recreational folkdance groups in Boulder as well. He became a highly accomplished folk dancer, particularly in Hungarian and Scandinavian styles. He traveled to Hungary and Romania to study traditional dance. He performed in Narodno Ethnic Folk Dance Ensemble and the Boulder Scandinavian Dancers. He loved to sing, regularly participated in song-circle groups in the area, had a huge repertoire of folk and old-time songs, and at any party he would always have a harmonica ready.

Alex provided inspiration for the founding the of the Village Arts Coalition in 1989 and leasing the Pearl Street (dance) Studio a year later. As a skilled carpenter he rebuilt the interior of that drab, cinderblock building in to a pleasant dance space for the folkdance community in Boulder. He was passionate about including all who wanted to dance as well as encouraging those who wavered on the sidelines. He brought wonderful creativity to designing events, ranging from dance parties with titles like, “A Festival on the Danube,” to dance workshops, to a three-day “Celebration of 45 Years of the Good Life in Boulder” in 2004.

“There are thousands of ways for people to be miserable,” he wrote in 1988. “We have only to look about us and see the circumstances of people’s everyday lives. I love to conceive and create moments, events, environments that delight people, that enlarge and deepen their view of life, that make life glow, that make people feel good about themselves and others.”