Folk music celebrated at Museum of the City of New York

UPPER EAST SIDE (WABC) -- The new show at the Museum of the City of New York on upper Fifth Avenue celebrates a time when our city showed the country a way forward. In the middle of a very conservative time, folks in Lower Manhattan were going in a different direction.

The times they were a changin' and rarely has music mattered more. The roots of the sound came from the soil, but folk music flowered here in the city during the 1950's and 60's.

"Greenwich Village was an oasis to many people: dissidents in the country to people who had non-conformist ideas," curator Stephen Petrus said.

Activism and art came together in civil rights movement, which drew strength from folk music.

"It was very much interracial, multi-cultural," Petrus said.

The new exhibit is a window into their world.

"It really does bring back that era," singer Heather Wood said.

An era when it looked like music just might change the world.

"We learned songs from each other. We told each other where to find songs. We listened to records," Wood said.

The song that became an anthem was written in just 15 minutes.

"We are looking at the original handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind' written in 1962," Petrus said.

The winds of change blew through Washington square park and small clubs packed with people. One place, long gone except for its sign, gave Stephen Petrus the title for his show.

"There's a tremendous synergy: a concentration of venues nurturing different ideas and movements in the arts and politics. So, the Village was a real focal point of important cultural trends," Petrus said.

Trends that have become our traditions.

The show runs from now until Thanksgiving and it's the perfect size: not too much stuff, not too little and anyone who wants to know more can check out a new book written by those who put together the new exhibit and available for sale at the Museum of the City of New York.

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