Join us as we work to encourage traditional music, dance, and performing arts!

Who We Are

We are members of the Northern California folk music and dance community.  We are performers, teachers, students, and enthusiasts embracing countless musical styles and cultural traditions. We work together to present, preserve, and encourage wider participation in traditional music, dance, and performing arts. While Lark Traditional Arts is very new as a nonprofit organization, many of us have known and worked with each other for more than three decades to keep traditional arts thriving throughout California. This organization brings new talents, new energy, and new ideas to this work – work that we intend to continue long into the future. See who is on our Board and Leadership Staff.

Our Events

LTA hosts Lark Camp, the annual eight-day music, song, and dance camp held in the Mendocino Woodlands. Lark Camp began in 1980 and over the years it has grown to encompass all three Woodlands camp areas and attracts over 600 campers from all over the world to teach, learn, play, and create cross-cultural magic that enriches us all.

We also host several affiliated events. These include the Jug Handle Campout, Lark in Ennis, and Occidental World Music & Dance Day.

During the time of COVID, LTA has also hosted Virtual Lark Camp in late winter, Lark Camp Online during the period when in-person camp would ordinarily be held, and the Lark Cabaret – a series of streamed concerts. All of these events were intended to fill the need for musical interaction during periods of lock-down or when we could not hold camp safely. Videos of these events can be viewed on our YouTube Channel.

How We Got Here

The community of talent and spirit supported by Lark Traditional Arts has been growing for over 40 years in Mendocino. Mickie Zekley – the founder of Lark Camp – is only one of an incredible group of eclectic musicians and dancers who found themselves on the California coast, came together, and proceeded to introduce new music, new instruments, and scores of new world cultures to eager audiences throughout the West. Mickie’s personal take on how it all started is an amusing and engaging tale you can find as an iTunes podcast titled “Adventures of a Street Musician”.

Over the years, the traditional scene in Mendocino has never failed to be active and exciting. Dozens of Mendocino folk and traditional arts enthusiasts have worked to present music workshops and residencies that feature touring musicians from everywhere, including The Boys of the Lough, Sylvia Woods’ Harp Extravaganza, Irish fiddle legend Tommy Peoples, and the first American Uilleann Pipers Convention. The local band, Mooncoin, featuring Mickie Zekley and multi-instrumentalist Michael Hubbert, was only one of countless homegrown performers and bands who kept the scene hopping and maintained Mendocino’s long-standing reputation as a haven for traditional arts.

Mickie Zekley started Lark Camp as a Celtic and American musical weekend retreat. Under his direction, it evolved into a weeklong, world music education event that includes traditional dance, instrumental, and vocal music. When he retired as the organizer of Lark Camp in 2019, Lark Traditional Arts was formed with his guidance to ensure the continuation of camp. A sad loss for our community, Mickie passed away on October 28, 2022 – but not before he was the recipient of a much-deserved WESTAF Lifetime Achievement award in 2021.

Our Mission

Our mission statement reads as follows:

“Lark Traditional Arts is an organization dedicated to creating educational events and assets that bring people together through traditional song, music, dance, and arts.”

Lark Traditional Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN 83-2424940).