Perform at the 46th annual Northwest Folklife Festival!

Grace Love and the True Loves. Photo by Piper Hanson.

Grace Love and the True Loves. Photo by Piper Hanson.

Thank you for your interest in performing at the 2017 Northwest Folklife Festival. Applications closed on December 15th. There are many ways to participate in the festival – please visit our Get Involved page to be a part of the one of the largest community arts festivals in the nation.

Bringing your instrument to the festival? Great! There’s plenty of jamming around Seattle Center grounds and areas available for street performing. For more information about Street Performing, click here.

 

For Applicants – Additional Application Documents if needed: Please click on the following to download. Questions? Email programming@nwfolklife.org or call 206.684.4189

Stage Diagram – word document

Stage Diagram – pdf

Input List – word document

Input List – pdf

The annual Northwest Folklife Festival is Northwest Folklife’s signature event, gathering up to 250,000 people from across the region to participate in the four days of artistic and cultural illumination. The Festival is presented each year by Northwest Folklife, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all people to appreciate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Last year Northwest Folklife programmed over 5,000 performers in 65 different genres of music and dance, from Hawaiian hula to hip-hop and Ireland to India. Northwest Folklife believes everyone is a bearer of folk arts, and we encourage communities to share their cultural traditions, in the hope that interaction with new audiences will enrich the community as much as the audience.

Welcome, Shaun Mejia, Folklife’s Communications Coordinator

12694792_10153854868663286_5779620686928106301_o

We’re thrilled to welcome Shaun Mejia as the new Communications Coordinator at Northwest Folklife! Sean will bring his extensive experience working with the local arts community to the team, as he’ll be helping to tell stories of the arts and traditions that make up the cultural fabric of the Pacific Northwest.

A longtime Seattleite, Shaun graduated from Seattle Pacific University and has worked with a myriad of local nonprofit arts organizations such as the Vera Project, Seattle International Film Festival, Seattle Asian American Film Festival, and most recently the Wing Luke Museum. A lover of museums, live music, and film, Shaun is eager to help spread the unique stories of Northwest Folklife!

Community Coordinator Spotlight: Wes Weddell

Community Coordinators are an integral part of the Northwest Folklife’s mission and vision to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Their talent, time and expertise as a Community Coordinator create opportunities for folks of the Pacific Northwest to participate in arts experiences and learn about the living traditions that occur daily in our big neighborhood.

Today, we introduce you to performer, writer and teacher Wes Weddell. Whether it’s supporting folk duo Reilly & Maloney, collaborating with The Bushwick Book Club – Seattle, or gathering together the vast community of Singer Songwriters of the Northwest – you can find Wes leading the Emerald City Songwriters Circles at the Northwest Folklife Festival since 2009.

What cultural traditions do you or your group share with the greater community?

 The craft (and performance) of songwriting and original music

What does it mean to you and to your community to be connected to Northwest Folklife and how long have you been involved? What impact has the organization made on your community?

Singer/Songwriters have been part of Northwest Folklife from the very beginning, and we’re glad to remain a part of festival programming.  I have been Community Coordinator since the 2009 festival.  As we’ve developed the Emerald City Songwriter Circles at the festival, unamplified gatherings where anyone can come share an original song, it’s been fun to watch the culture of listening grow alongside the well-established Folklife culture of jamming.

How do you interact with Northwest Folklife outside of the Northwest Folklife Festival?

A lot of year-round preparation goes into planning the circles, recruiting new hosts, and growing/fostering appreciation for original music.

Please share a performance memory connected to Northwest Folklife that had an impact on you?

We’ve had many lovely moments in the Emerald City Songwriter Circles over the years.  From young children sharing their own original songs to off-the-wall, laugh-out-loud masterpieces from newcomers and established pros alike.  This past festival one songwriter shared how much the circles had meant to him during his recovery from serious health challenges – hard to find a more touching endorsement than that.

How can Northwest Folklife and its fans connect with you through social media?

Google your favorite local singer/songwriter and follow him/her!

What specific community in the Northwest do you hail from, how about your group? (If you are from Seattle, please give us the specific neighborhood – ex. Queen Anne or Ballard or West Seattle, etc.)

 I live in NE Seattle.  Our revolving-door cast of hosts hail from all over town and the region.

 Please share the Northwest Folklife events you have contributed programming for?

 I was part of programming-proper back in 2004…but wearing the Community Coordinator hat: Emerald City Songwriter Circles, 2009-present.

Connect with Wes here.

A Letter from Rob Townsend

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.04.13 PMDear Friends,

 

I write this as I am about to step away from the leadership position here at Northwest Folklife. I’m passing the torch to Mark Crawford, a talented, seasoned nonprofit leader who will serve as the Interim Executive Director and will ably shepherd the organization into its next chapter. The coming 2016-17 year is truly Folklife’s bridge to the future!

 

It has been my privilege to be at the helm since 2008. We’ve all enjoyed nine Folklife Festivals in that time, but we’ve also seen the birth of our Seattle Children’s Festival, soon to enjoy its third edition. We’ve seen the resilience and strength of the organization through our country’s trying financial period, and now look forward to a brilliant future together.

 

I have seen the strength of Northwest Folklife from my privileged position: that strength is you! Our organization is a prime example of community power in action. It will continue to flourish and grow only with your continuing help in all ways – through programming, community awareness, volunteerism and with your financial support. I hope as we all look forward to Folklife’s 50th year in the not-so-distant future, we will see Folklife maintain its position as a cultural beacon for all in our region.
Thank you all, so very much, for your wisdom, your support, and your participation in all that makes Northwest Folklife so unique and special.

 

Warm regards,

 
Rob Townsend

 

Tips for Exploring the Seattle Children’s Festival

CC0A7188Northwest Folklife’s Seattle Children’s Festival is just around the corner. This one-day, multi-cultural, inter-generational festival that “Celebrates Our Big Neighborhood” takes place on October 9th. Fun for all ages, bring your family and friends down to the Seattle Center for a day of singing, dancing creating, learning, and more!

Here’s how to be a smart traveler through the Festival while exploring a world of cultures:

  1. When you arrive at Seattle Center, stop by a Donation & Information Booth and pick up an Event Passport. Use this as a guide as you choose your adventure throughout the Festival.
  2. Browse through your Passport and find out what workshops, performances and crafts await you in the schedules listed! There is a plethora of cultural performances to see — if your group is feeling energized, find the next Movement Series workshop or Dance Workshop to get movin’.
  3. Ready to get your hands dirty? Stop by on of the TWO Discovery Zones at the Festival, both featuring a variety of hands-on workshops and activities. Looking to learn how to eat healthy? Stop by the Armory balcony and see Chef T teach about using the fruits and vegetables from y our neighborhood.
  4. Before you leave, don’t forget to turn in your Passport About Me page at the Donation & Information Booth for the chance to win a prize!
  5. Your donation makes the Folklife magic happen. Please give today and add your color to the Giving Gateway! Suggested donation is $10 per person, $20 per family. Or visit give.nwfolklife.org

Folklife is the everyday and intimate creativity that all of us share and pass on to the next generation.  Inspire a Child’s Cultural IQ: Give Kids the Gift of Community.  Thank you!  It’s because of you and our sponsors that we can keep this festival FREE!  Even more importantly, that we nurture the artists, doers, and organizers of our community so we can come together and celebrate each other.  So, thank you!  You are very much a part of this!

 

Welcome to Our Native Land Powwow and Coastal Day Celebrations

MetisNorthwest Folklife will host the 3rd Annual Coastal Jam and Traditional Powwow on Sunday and Monday of the upcoming Northwest Folklife Festival. This exciting two-day programming will include participatory Native American Powwow and Coast Salish dances, drumming, singing and storytelling, along with traditional crafts and Totem Pole teachings. Featured participants will include Coastal canoe families, powwow participants, elders, veterans, artists, singers, performers, youth, families, and tribal leaders.

A highlight of this year’s programming will be the Honoring of Metis Nation Chief and President Bruce Dumont from British Columbia. President Dumont is President of over 70,000 Metis Nation members in Canada and the Pacific Northwest and his visit to Folklife is sure to be a momentous occasion.

The Native-led Welcome to Our Native Land Group collaboratively partners with Northwest Folklife to offer ways for communities to join in cultural celebration, and to program, produce, promote, and facilitate these celebrations. Both days create a supportively respectful place for local Native community and Northwest Folklife Festival attendees alike, thus strengthening a Native presence while offering cultural traditions, practices, protocols, and teachings that will benefit all who participate and observe. Working together, leaders from both organizations strive to deepen collaborations, develop partnerships, break down stereotypes and foster understanding.

 

 

 

 

Join Us for a Song and a Beer

2015 Festival Crowd. Photo by Piper Hanson.

2015 Festival Crowd. Photo by Piper Hanson.

This year at Folklife, join us for a pub sing along in the Fisher Green Beer Garden all four days of the Festival! Special guests will lead a themed sing-a-long as part of our Cultural Focus “The Power of the Human Voice through Song.”

On Friday catch “Fields Under Clover” from 4:00pm – 5:00pm singing Irish Pub Songs, tunes, and more. Saturday John Bartlett and Rika Rubesaat will be leading “Salty Songs and Shanties” from 4:15pm – 5:15pm. Don’t miss Bruce Baker, David Perasso, and Wendy Joseph singing at the beer garden on Sunday from 4:15pm – 5:15. And finally David Perasso and David Kessler will be closing out with “The Last Pub Sing” on Monday from 4:30 pm – 5:30pm.

Each beer garden will be serving Bonterra Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. As well as a wide selection of beer including: Trumer Pilsner, Bridgeport Brewing IPA, Blue Moon Belgian White, Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Fremont Summer Ale, and Crispin Cider.

Click here to RSVP for these events by creating your own personal schedule online!

 

We hope to see you there!

 

Submitted by Lauren DiRe

Getting to the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival

All of us at Northwest Folklife are getting very excited for our favorite weekend of the year, and we want to make sure your trip to the Festival is as smooth and hassle free as possible.  There are a variety of ways to get to the Seattle Center campus, whether you’re traveling on foot, bus, bike or car.

For those taking public transportation, there are over a dozen bus routes servicing Seattle Center from all over the greater Seattle area.  Public transportation to and from the Northwest Folklife Festival can be planned by going to SeattleCenter.com or King County Trip Planner.  And don’t forget about the Monorail!  The Seattle Monorail goes directly to Seattle Center from Downtown, and departs every ten minutes, running between Seattle Center station, adjacent to the Space Needle, and Westlake Center Mall station, at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street.

If you prefer to drive to the festival there will be plenty of paid lots available surrounding Seattle Center, but please be aware that lots can fill up by midday and rates could be high.  If you want to drive but don’t want to deal with the stress of parking, consider taking a Lyft!  We will have a pick up/drop off zone conveniently located on Mercer Avenue at the North end of grounds, and drivers will be ready to assist you.  If you haven’t yet signed up for Lyft, now is the time.  Lyft is offering a special Folklife rate of $10 for each of your first 5 rides!  You can sign up here or use the new user code FOLKLIFE16. 

If you’re planning to ride your bike to the Festival we’ve got you covered also!  Bike racks will be available at the Harrison Street entrance.

Visit our Getting Here web page for more information as you plan your weekend!

Looking forward to seeing you Memorial Day Weekend!

Join us for a PreFest Party!

Naomi Wachira

Let’s commence the 45th annual Northwest Folklife Festival with a soiree!

Please accompany us as we kick off this year’s Folklife Festival with some friendly folks and amusing entertainment. This 21 and over event is a sneak peek on what’s to come at this year’s Festival and will feature The Warren G. Hardings, Jacob Miller and the Bridge City Crooners, Naomi Wachira and Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons. You don’t want to miss out, because the PreFest Party happens this one night only!

The PreFest Party will take place at Seattle’s largest indoor / outdoor music venue, Nectar Lounge; located in the Fremont district on 412 N 36th St, Seattle, Washington 98103. Doors open at 8:00PM. Music starts at 8:30PM. Tickets are $8 in advance and $12 at the door.

Buy tickets and RSVP now on our Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1729847697261459/

 

 

 

 

Did you apply to perform at the 2016 Folklife Festival?

Folklife 2014 - FridayThank you for applying to perform at the 45th annual Folklife Festival – May 27 – 30, 2016. Applicants will be hearing back from the Programming team the second week of March! If you do not recieve an email by the end of March, please feel free to reach out to us at programming@nwfolklife.org. And thank you again for applying~!

The annual Northwest Folklife Festival is the largest community-powered arts festival in the United States. It is presented each year in Seattle by Northwest Folklife, a year-round nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all people to appreciate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Last year Northwest Folklife programmed over 5,000 performers in 65 different genres of music, from Hawaiian to hip-hop. We presented dance performances representing cultures from Ireland to India. We believe everyone is a bearer of folk arts, and we encourage communities to share their cultural traditions, in the hope that interaction with new audiences will enrich the community as much as the audience.

EMP Museum kicks off 15th Annual Sound Off! Competition

This weekend kicks off the fifteenth year of Sound Off!, the annual 21 and under battle of the bands competition put on by the EMP Museum. Semifinals will take place over the next three Saturdays with the winners from the semifinals, as well as the wild card band, facing off on Saturday, March 5th.

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Semifinals #1 featuring Copalis, COSMOS, Jazzy Tee, and Party Shark

Saturday, February 20, 2016
Semifinals #2 featuring Animal Camera, Crews, Paris Alexa, and Travis Thompson

Saturday, February 27, 2016
Semifinals #3 featuring Dre’zy and Too Smoove; Hello, I’m Sorry; Paralexis; and LEE

Saturday, March 5, 2016
Finals featuring the winning band from each Semifinals round plus the wild card winner.

Northwest Folklife is proud to be a part of this ongoing program and celebration of young artists in our community. You can catch two of the semifinalists from Sound Off! at Folklife this year on Saturday morning. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the festival.

Past competitors of Sound Off! include: The Lonely Forest, Manatee Commune, Sol, Dyme Def, Brothers from Another, One Above Below None, and many more.

To read artist bios or to purchase tickets for Sound Off!, CLICK HERE