Stella Marek Cushing



Stella Marek Cushing


Stella Marek Cushing married Samuel Truman Cushing in 1917.

A folk dancer, writer, and musician, she founded the Cosmopolitan Club's recreational international folk dance (RIFD) group in 1931 in Montclair, New Jersey. The Cosmopolitan Club met monthly from October to May, devoted its meetings to discussions about international affairs, and invited renowned speakers as well as students from New York City's International House. Each meeting had a theme and performance to a live band. The club members prepared costumes, songs, folk dances, and dramatizations of folk customs, festivals, and holidays. Membership quickly grew to 600, and there was a permanent waiting list.

From the Burlington Hawk Eye newspaper, Wednesday, January 16, 1929: "Mrs. Stella Cushing of New York City gave a splendid lecture-recital at the public library auditorium Monday evening (January 14, 1929). Mrs. Cushing played several violin numbers composed by men from Czechoslovakia, her native land, and sang several vocal selections and folk songs, all in costume."

From the The Inn Diaries, Universalist Minister's 28th Annual Retreat, Monday, January 25, 1932: "As guest artist of the Retreat, Mrs. Stella Marek Cushing appeared with her violin. Mrs. Cushing (Stella Marek) is well known in and about Boston for her costume recitals of Czechoslovakian song and violin selections. She played with an exceptionally strong, broad, tone, and is particularly good in melodies by the Czech composers. Her singing voice is pleasing, and her whole personality is one of enthusiasm and love for her work."

In 1934, Stella visited the Towanda High School to present a program on Jugoslavia.

Stella Mark Cushing died in 1938, and her student, Rose Grieco, then 23 years old, took over the Cosmopilitan Club.