History of the Organization
Bulgarian Folk Formation "Ripni Kalinke" was founded in San Jose, California (Silicon Valley) on 26 October, 2010 (St. Dimitar’s day, which in Bulgarian Folklore marks the beginning of winter). The group was created through the effort of a few enthusiasts who did not know each other, but shared a love and passion for Bulgarian folklore.
The original goal of the formation was to create an environment where anyone who likes Bulgarian folklore can join, have fun dancing, relax and be among friends - not just as another dance formation, but as a group of people who care about and help each other, who have the need to be together and feel like part of a family. The true treasure of the formation is the camaraderie and love for what we all have created; a group that fulfills for all of us the need to feel and be Bulgarians outside the borders of our country. Anyone who likes the Bulgarian folklore or wants to get a feel of it is welcome to become a part of our family.
The goal of the organization later evolved further, and while keeping the original priority to create and maintain a close community of Bulgarian folklore enthusiasts, it expanded towards developing the performance group, and in 2012 the group started formally presenting custom choreographies on stage at various festivals and celebrations.
In 2013 the organization formally incorporated as a non-profit corporation and filed for 501(c)(3) status with IRS. The mission of the organization further expanded to include all areas of Bulgarian culture, and while the group kept in full force its core focus on Bulgarian folklore dance study, choreography development and formal presentation, it added other areas like folklore singing, Bulgarian movies, traditional and modern performing arts, Bulgarian traditional cuisine, visual arts etc.
Bulgarian Cultural Center "Ripni Kalinke" also puts significant importance on cooperation with other Bulgarian organizations in the area presenting Bulgarian culture in its various forms, and actively supports and fosters cooperation in whatever form is appropriate - joint events, dance presentations at other events, inviting services from other organizations, communicating and endorsing event by other Bulgarian organizations.