Meet the EEFC Staff
Rachel MacFarlane, General Manager
Rachel MacFarlane has been intrigued by Balkan languages, folk music, and domestic arts for over 35 years. Her activities have included performing with groups such as Seattle's Radost Folk Ensemble and the San Francisco Bay Area's Macedonian folk band Debela Mačka, the construction of Balkan folk costume reproductions, translation and transcription of Balkan folk song lyrics, creating beaded-crochet snakes, and exploring Balkan and other international cuisines. She served as EEFC's General Manager and Program Director for many years, and in 2013 returned as EEFC's Workshop Manager.
In addition to her managerial duties, Rachel is cutting her editorial teeth with the EEFC, having been on the Kef Times production staff since its inception, and more recently as a member of the Forum Folkloristika editorial team. She is also a regular contributor to the Forum's "Balkan Savories" culinary series.
Rachel resides in Oakland, California, where she played baritone horn for over a decade with the Bay Area's late, lamented Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band. She is currently happily engaged in new Balkan brass adventures with Fanfare Zambaleta.
Jenna Shear, Administrative Assistant
(biography and picture coming soon)
Workshop Support Staff
Corinne Sykes, Mendocino Site Manager
(biography and picture coming soon)
Nancy Butowski, Iroquois Springs Site Manager
Nancy has loved dancing all of her life, spending her early years through high school taking dance lessons two to three times a week, signing up for every kind of dance class that was offered. In college, Nancy switched her dance energy to karate, and it wasn’t until she moved to Pensacola, Florida, that she was introduced to international folk dancing. After her first night at the University of West Florida’s folk dance group, her thought was, "where has this been all of my life?" She was immediately hooked! Since then, for her it has been a long, wonderful journey exploring music and dance. She had fantastic opportunities to dance on the West Coast in the early 80s, enjoying Aman, Mendocino, and many other California workshops. Moving to the East Coast provided her additional fun and learning at Buffalo Gap, Ashokan (the first East Coast Balkan camp), and many years at subsequent East Coast Balkan camps. There were many years when career and family were her top priority and folk dancing took a backseat, but once Nancy's daughter turned 4 years old they started attending camp annually.
Nancy considers herself lucky to have worked over the years in a variety of work-exchange positions at East Coast Balkan camp, starting in the kitchen, then working as the Ride Coordinator, Administrative Aide, Site-Manager-in-Training, and finally as Site Manager. These opportunities gave her important insights into how camp runs, grows, and changes. Although overseeing the day-to-day logistics of East Coast camp is a big responsibility, Nancy is always amazed at how everyone works together to ensure a wonderful week-long music and dance experience. She is thankful for the amazing gathering of folk dancers, singers, and musicians—such talent! It’s no wonder it gives a person the energy to learn, dance, and play from morning till the wee hours of the next morning—and continue on for a whole week!
In her everyday life, Nancy works as a fishery biologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and as a reading and math tutor. She loves the outdoors and nature and spends many happy hours a week walking her two dogs along the Chesapeake Bay. Besides dancing, Nancy enjoys playing the pennywhistle and trying her best at the fiddle (not an easy instrument to pick up as an adult). She swims, takes yoga classes, and quilts as often as she can.