Mark Dvorak to receive Lantern Bearer Award at October Midwest Conference

CHICAGO IL – The Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) Board of Directors has named folk singer Mark Dvorak as the 2013 Lantern Bearer Award recipient. The award will be presented at the annual conference on October 24 at the Sheraton Westport Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.

“The Lantern Bearer recognition is given to an individual who has contributed locally and regionally to folk performance arts and the folk and dance community for twenty-five years or more,” said Robert Hofbauer, President of the FARM Board of Directors. “Mark’s body of work as a performer, song writer, educator and community builder is most impressive, and we are so pleased he’ll be joining us for the conference, and pleased to honor his work in the community over the last twenty-five years.”

Dvorak has helped launch no less than five grass-roots arts organizations in the Chicago area, most notably The Plank Road Folk Music Society, now in its twenty-seventh year. He became a key member of the faculty at the Old Town School of Folk Music when that venerable institution was revitalized in the 1980s.

“I feel lucky,” said the singer. “I came to the Old Town School of Folk Music and came into this work at a time when there wasn’t a lot going on. Everywhere I turned, I found people working together to learn music, and to provide the space for music to happen. It’s been an interesting ride so far and I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”

As a performer, Dvorak has given concerts in almost all the United States and made visits to Finland and Ireland. He has released sixteen albums to date, of traditional and original music. His songbook ranges across the American heartland, his performances are characteristically informative and inspirational.

He has won awards for children’s music, journalism and was honored in 2008 with the Woodstock Folk Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Chicago Tribune has called him “masterful;” the Fox Valley Folk Festival describes him as, “a living archive of song and style.” Last year WFMT Midnight Special host Rich Warren named him, “Chicago’s official troubadour.”

For more information on Mark Dvorak, visit his website at For more information on the annual FARM conference log on to