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Your Support Creates Ties Behind the Scenes

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With so much to see, do, and experience at the Northwest Folklife Festival, have you ever been amazed at all there is to miss? Much of the Festival programming is the culmination of year-round creative work behind the scenes in the Northwest Folklife offices. Your support is at work all year to create opportunities to build partnerships and collaborations with folks in the arts, culture, heritage, and education eco-systems. That is what makes the Northwest Folklife Festival unique: we collaborate behind the scenes directly with communities to showcase their culture and traditions, then build connections between artist and audience. So, even if you don’t get a chance to see every performance and showcase, you can be sure that your gift makes something truly momentous happen for many folks of all ages.

Your donation creates opportunities for a lifetime.

Meet Leija Farr. Named the City of Seattle’s first Youth Poet Laureate at Folklife Festival 2015 after fierce competition with eight 14-19 year old finalists, Leija calls poetry a form of “self-healing.” She’s spent the past year on tour throughout Seattle as a young poet, and she received a book deal to publish her first manuscript of poems. Come hear Leija share her ‘year in the life’ story at Folklife 2016. Experience plentiful poetry as this year’s youth poet laureate competition follows Leija’s presentation, featuring talented literary artists with a passion for civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, human relations, diversity and education throughout Seattle.

Your support strengthens communities through arts and culture.

Folklife Festival Showcases expand on the idea of a performance, to present a genre or culture in depth. In partnership with Community Coordinators, Northwest Folklife collaborates to find the appropriate blend of creative components that express the essence of the genre or culture. Folklife 2016 features 152 showcases! New collaborators include Japanese, Peruvian and Polish communities along with Festival Sundiata – Black Arts Fest and Idaho’s Treefort Music Fest for indie roots.

Your gift illuminates living traditions.

Come participate and learn the folklife side of opera. You might wonder why the Seattle Opera is planning a participatory opera, ‘Our Earth,’ to present at the Northwest Folklife Festival 2016. Well, opera is actually one of the great living traditions with deep roots and rejuvenating branches, an exceptional form of folklife.

Would you like to make Northwest Folklife strong for our continually evolving community? ‘1,000 for the Future’ is one way to do so!

Two long-time Friends of Folklife have created a way for you to do just that with a matching gift opportunity: ‘1,000 for the Future.’ Our Friends have pledged to match new gifts to Northwest Folklife of $1,000 or more, or $1,000 over your previous year’s giving, up to $25,000. With their gift, they are demonstrating their belief that participation in the arts is as important as observing them. Will you join them?

Your gift makes the Folklife magic happen!

Your donation creates opportunities for a lifetime. Discoveries at the Northwest Folklife Festival are personal, shared with neighbors from near and far. These unique shared cultural experiences connect people with one another through opportunities that you just don’t find elsewhere.

Youth become inspired. Elders become mentors. Your gift is important to sustain Northwest Folklife and its iconic Festival celebrating cultural traditions, this year and for future generations.

Become a Friend of Folklife today.

We welcome hearing from you! Please contact our Development Director Sheila Siden at 206.233.3953 or sheila @ nwfolklife.org to learn more about these programs, and to have your questions answered.

Community Powered!

Samba OlyWA

What is Community Power?

The Northwest Folklife Festival is a phenomenon. Do you think it could get off the ground if we tried to start it today? Here’s the pitch: Let’s put on a participatory arts and culture Festival featuring the folklife (a word actually missing from most dictionaries) and living traditions of all the Northwest communities we can possibly reach out to, newcomer and native alike. Let’s work one-on-one with hundreds of communities and artists to share and celebrate their arts and cultural traditions the way they want to have them presented. If a community is not quite ready, let’s find a small step they can take to participate in a meaningful way, and get them connected to the greater community. Then, with these 5,000 or so musicians, dancers and artists, let’s put on a four-day Festival and not charge admission! We want everyone to have access. Let’s make it a massive pay-what-you-can art event. Do you think the Northwest Folklife Festival idea could fly if we started it today?

The Northwest Folklife Festival thrives and continues to evolve with the people of the Pacific Northwest because it is community-powered, and has been for 45 years. Here’s how:

Samba OlyWA

The heart of our community power is the thousands of individuals who contribute their talent and time to participate in Northwest Folklife programming. For the Folklife Festival, that starts with a call for artist applications every fall. Last year, Northwest Folklife implemented a call for Cultural Focus as well. Communities’ and individuals’ responses to these calls are the basis for programmatic themes going forward.  Northwest Folklife programming staff sort proposals by genre and discipline, looking to represent the arts, cultures and traditions of all who apply. A committee of arts practitioners additionally guides Cultural Focus programming. (Learn more about Northwest Folklife’s Cultural Focus program and the communities we’ve worked with through the years.)

Northwest Folklife’s community power is all about self–expression. Performers, participants, patrons: we all believe that participation in the arts is as important as observing them. Northwest Folklife creates opportunities, and over 1,000 musicians, dancers and artists answer our call for participation. The notion of celebrating, sharing, and participating in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest captures the imagination of folks who want to be part of a movement; a community undertaking, in which we envision strong communities through arts and culture. Volunteers help paint this canvas by fulfilling important jobs. And, as an organization, Northwest Folklife makes it so, behind the scenes, nurturing relationships and exploring possibilities all year.

Community Power comes in the form of our public-private partnership with the City of Seattle. Northwest Folklife, an independent 501(c)-3 nonprofit organization, partners with Seattle Center, a department of the City of Seattle, to produce the annual Folklife Festival and the Seattle Children’s Festival. Northwest Folklife is a member of the Festal community of ethnic festivals. The City of Seattle’s in-kind investment in Northwest Folklife’s work supports around 45% of direct expenses, powering Northwest Folklife and our capacity to strengthen communities through arts and culture. Programs are further supported by Friends of Folklife and other donors, funders, sponsors, vendors, and craft and food merchants.

Community Power is everything. Northwest Folklife stands for the belief that the arts invigorate and revitalize interpersonal connections and sense of community. When people share aspects of their culture, opportunities are created to dissolve misunderstandings, break down stereotypes, and increase respect for one another. We invite YOU to participate in dance, workshops, jams, and the choral courtyard when you attend the Folklife Festival. Come and meet your neighbor!

Community Power is about everyone joining together to create strong communities through arts and culture. Join us. Get involved. Or, just come on down, drop in this Memorial Day weekend: May 27-May 30 to explore the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest at the Northwest Folklife Festival.

Community Powered!

Warren's Roadhouse 2015. Photo Credit: Doug Plummer

Thanks To Help From Our Friends

Do you Sing? Dance? Play? Do you believe that art can change lives? Your gifts create a very special community that does all that and more. Your support creates a haven for self-expression and countless opportunities to hear new voices and share your own.  Today, we are asking for your help to continue the tradition. Please take a moment to make a donation today: show your love for Folklife as a Friend of Folklife donor.

Warren's Roadhouse 2015. Photo Credit: Doug Plummer

Warren’s Roadhouse 2015. Photo Credit: Doug Plummer.

A celebration of the many cultural roots that nurture our community … the Northwest Folklife Festival encourages everyone to get at least a little taste of something outside their usual world …                       ~ Jerry Large – The Seattle Times

You can champion Northwest Folklife’s future, too! Two dedicated Friends of Folklife will match new gifts of $1,000 or more from corporations and individuals, or $1,000 over your previous year’s giving, in a campaign called ‘1,000 for the Future’ through 9/30/2016! With their gift, these Friends are demonstrating their belief that participation in the arts is as important as observing them. Will you or your business join them? Please contact our Development Director Sheila Siden at 206.233.3953 or sheila @ nwfolklife.org to learn more.

Support from Friends of Folklife has created a home for all cultures and traditions, celebrating its 45th year! As the cultural landscape of our region evolves, so does Northwest Folklife. To do that, we collaborate with community coordinators all year. In 2016, Northwest Folklife will program over 5,000 performers in 65 different genres of music, from Hawaiian to Hip-Hop. Dance performances will represent cultures from Ireland to India. Come join fellow dancers swinging at Warren’s Roadhouse!

Your gift to Northwest Folklife makes the Folklife magic happen. Give online today at this link, or mail your donation to Northwest Folklife 305 Harrison Street Seattle, WA 98109. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rob Townsend, Executive Director & Friend of Folklife Donor; and, Rafael Maslan, Board President & Friend of Folklife Donor

P.S. Friends of Folklife enjoy perqs, like an invitation to enjoy the oasis of the Friends of Folklife Headquarters at the Northwest Folklife Festival in May and the Seattle Children’s Festival in October. Give Today, and join us for fun times this May!

Show Your Love for Folklife

Show Your Love for Folklife Benefit Concert

'Show Your Love for Folklife' Benefit Concert

Northwest Folklife has supported us and many others in becoming the musicians and artists that we are, and has for 45 years! So, we are ‘giving back’ by putting on this Night for Folklife benefit concert. We envision a microcosm of the Northwest Folklife Festival. One of the great things about the Festival is that everyone is welcome. Like the Festival, this concert mixes it up and invites bands from a lot of different musical sub-cultures. The program is an amalgam of musical genres: a snapshot of the music happening in Seattle. We each have our particular influences. We all have a passion for the whole musical community, and we see the same bands tending to play together. So this event is mixing and matching, creating a mosaic of the musical community like the Northwest Folklife Festival does.

14293_444827775576902_827139984_nShow Your Love for Folklife is our theme, in keeping with Valentine’s Day and the love everyone feels for Northwest Folklife. The evening will feature great bands including Whitney MongéTiny MessengersTekla WaterfieldHoney Mustard SeattleLuke Stanton – Music, and Angie Lynn! Karen Zamm of KZ Music Media will be our host.

We grew up as musicians at the Festival. A lot of us have been playing together for thirty years, and that is the only time we play together all year. The Festival gives us an aggregation of different cultures in Seattle, and musical sub-cultures. It’s fantastic when you have rock in one corner and folk in another, dancers in another, and everyone doing their thing. A story gets told there in our artistic expression: the story of our collective cultures. It’s not just a bunch of diverse modalities, Folklife is also an anchor and opportunity for the old and new to mix together.

We believe Northwest Folklife is worthy of our support and we hope people join us in giving!

See you on Friday, February 12! The show starts at 7 pm, $8 admission. You can expect surprise guests, a raffle, prizes, and other great stuff!  Proceeds support Northwest Folklife. Sponsored by the Seattle Acoustic Festival and generously hosted by the Conor Byrne Pub.

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RSVP to Show Your Love For Folklife

Can’t attend but want to donate? Become a Friend of Folklife today.

More about Nights for Folklife.

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Posted by Sheila, composed from an interview with organizer Tobias the Owl.

Gospel Choir

We envision strong communities, united by arts and culture.

Gospel Choir

Northwest Folklife stands for the belief that the arts invigorate and revitalize interpersonal connections and sense of community. When people share aspects of their culture, opportunities are created to dissolve misunderstandings, break down stereotypes, and increase respect for one another. Exposure to world cultures and the creativity of folks as a big neighborhood resonates for people of all ages, throughout their lives.

Participatory arts practices bridge boundaries of race, class, and ethnicity. Unique among all Festivals, the heart of Northwest Folklife and our Festivals is the community outreach, inclusion, and collaboration that transpires all year.

By preserving cultural heritage we promote its evolution. Everyone is a bearer of folk arts; and participation in the arts is as important as observing them.

We believe that inspiring kids’ cultural intelligence will create a kinder world, strong communities, and smarter kids.

Northwest Folklife relies on the diverse communities of the Pacific Northwest to inspire programs and collaborates with these communities to develop public presentations of their arts and culture. We see that interaction with new audiences enriches presenting communities and artists as much as the audience.

Northwest Folklife creates opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Join Us, Get Involved!

Community Powered!

 

Pictured: Universal Presbyterian Gospel Choir
Photo by Piper Hanson
posted by Sheila

Musicians play for Hanukkah 2015

Your gift creates one big neighborhood for us all

Musicians play for Hanukkah 2015

We hope this season of thanks and celebrations was rich with family, friends and folklife for you! As 2015 comes to a close, it’s a great time to make a gift of support. Your donation creates one big neighborhood for us all, uniting people through arts and culture.

Folks work all year to take advantage of Northwest Folklife’s opportunities to share their arts, culture and traditions, thus strengthening their community and the enrichment of us all. School and extra-curricular bands and orchestras, intergenerational ethnic heritage arts groups, community dance societies, musicians: ‘folklife’ creatives live arts and culture as a way of life. Northwest Folklife provides rich opportunities for them all to inspire and engage you and the greater community.

Here are highlights of all that your gift supports in 2016:
• Northwest Folklife’s Cultural Focus for 2016 The Power of the Human Voice through Song will explore the exceptional vocal traditions of the Northwest.
• Crossroads Cultural Art Series in Bellevue will feature monthly performances every third Saturday.
• The Northwest Folklife Festival will celebrate its 45th year, thanks to YOU, Friends of Folklife.
• The Seattle Children’s Festival will give kids and families many opportunities to celebrate, share and participate in our big neighborhood’s multi-cultural arts and traditions, for the third year!
• Friends of Folklife are invited to enjoy the oasis of the Friends of Folklife Headquarters at the Northwest Folklife Festival in May and the Seattle Children’s Festival in October.

Your year-end donation makes the magic happen in 2016! Please donate today.

In the picture above, musicians* play for Hanukkah. In early December, JoAnne Rudo’s dazzling ‘Chanukah, Hanukkah Potluck Party’ celebrated Northwest Folklife in its first ‘Night for Folklife’ of the fiscal year. Guests entered JoAnne’s home balancing musical instruments, traditional dishes and family menorahs to revel in the seventh night of Hanukkah with klezmer music, latkes, menorah lighting, singing, dancing, dreidel games, and hat parade, with cheerful and fun chaos. Funds raised broke previous records, making our benefactor exclaim: “It’s our Festival. I am happy to support Northwest Folklife with this tradition of folklife and giving!” Interested in organizing a ‘Night for Folklife’ in 2016? Learn more.

* Carla Wulfsberg, violin; Bernice Maslan, clarinet; Harvey Niebulski, accordion; Marianne Tatom, clarinet; and Thaddeus Spae, guitarron. Photo by Martin Ng.

Thank you for your support. Wishing you a Happy Harmonious New Year to you and yours! 

Posted by Sheila

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Happy Holidays from Northwest Folklife!

Happy holidays from all of us here at Northwest Folklife! As the weather starts to get colder and we all huddle up around the fire it’s the perfect time to share your traditions, music, and songs with those around you. Here at Folklife we are preparing for our 2016 Cultural Focus, The Power of the Human Voice through Song. With this Cultural Focus we will explore the power of the human voice and its role among communities through many different forms of vocal expression.

You may have seen our holiday card in the mail recently and we would love to introduce you to some of the amazing vocal performers from past Festivals featured on that card.

 

Womens Chorus2The Seattle Women’s Chorus singing at the 2012 Northwest Folklife Festival. The Seattle Women’s Chorus is a staple of Seattle’s choral community and is a perennial Folklife performance group. A leading voice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, Flying House Productions and The Seattle Women’s Chorus offer 30 outreach events and main stage concert performances annually. To learn more about the Seattle Women’s Chorus, you can visit their website here and find out about future performances. Photo by Ben Shaevitz.

 

 

 

sojourners-6A soulful gospel trio hailing from Vancouver, BC, The Sojourners are pictured here performing at the 2013 Folklife Festival. The Sojourners light up the stage wherever they are performing and have an incredible live show that can’t be missed! To learn more about The Sojourners, please visit their website here. Photo by Dan Thorton.

 

 

 

 

Hungarian community vocal performanceA young girl sings during one of the 2012 Folklife Festival performances by our Croatian community partners. The Seattle Junior Tamburitzans are a youth performance group that tours all over the Northwest showcasing traditional Croatian music, dance and costume. It is through the work of community coordinators and performers like these that Folklife is able to present the scale and quality of festival that we do and we are very thankful for the work that they do in order to make the Northwest Folklife Festival what it is today! To learn more about the Seattle Junior Tamburitzans, click here. Photo by Samuel Lin.

 

 

 

Upon acceptance to Seattle’s Northwest Folklife Festival in 2010, Onefourfive came into being with their distinctive style, singing exclusively Georgian folk songs. Onefourfive has continued since then, with members of the group traveling to Caucasus Georgia to learn songs, technique, styles, and of course, Georgian language and culture. Click here to learn more about onefourfive and listen to their music. Photo by Christopher Nelson.

 

 

 

NWFolk2015_Sunday_PiperHanson-12Banda L M, also known as Banda Le Mejor, is the best banda in town and they’re usually pretty busy playing for the Mexican communities here in the Northwest. Here they are playing at the Mural Amphitheater during the 2015 Folklife Festival, and if it’s your first time hearing Banda, then this will be a real treat. Banda is the ebullient and infectious brass-band dance music of Mexico and California, originally from Sinaloa in N. Mexico, huge in Mexican and Mexican-American communities. For more information about Banda L M, click here. Photo by Piper Hanson.

 

We can’t wait to bring you more of the incredible vocal traditions of the Northwest in 2016. Everyone at here a Northwest Folklife wishes you a wonderful holiday season and a harmonious New Year!

-The staff and board of Northwest Folklife

Anna Buxton

Meet Anna Buxton!

Anna BuxtonFolklife is thrilled to be welcome our new Programming team member, Anna Buxton. Anna has just returned to Seattle from Montana where she worked at the Missoula Art Museum. We are delighted to have her aboard as she brings 8+ years of arts administration experience to the organization.

“I’m thrilled to be joining a team which celebrates the multicultural makeup of the Northwest through such a dynamic assortment of art forms. I’ve always been impressed with the caliber of artists and performers at Northwest Folklife representing a wide array of cultures and traditions, and have many fond memories of attending the Festival with my family as a child. I’m looking forward to working with this talented community to create a spectacular Festival in 2016!”

Photo Credit: Piper Hanson

Why give? Discover Northwest Folklife

Joyas Mestizas t the Seattle Children's Festival

Joyas Mestizas at the Seattle Children’s Festival

“I believe that the cultural arts are essential to building vital, healthy communities. Northwest Folklife offers rare opportunities for musicians and artists to showcase their work in an accessible, intimate way. Folklife combines the very best of community spirit, creativity, friendships, music, dance, and arts and crafts. Northwest Folklife gives a lot to me. I feel it’s only fair to give back to Northwest Folklife.” – Catherine Lenox

Thanks to donors, volunteers, communities, performers, Festival sponsors and vendors, and participants, Northwest Folklife touches many lives. Since our humble beginnings, we have:
• Engaged hundreds of regional cultural groups in our year-round and Festival programming
• Delivered Cultural Focus programs that delve into an art form, exploring a topic in depth, through special performances, panels, workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations, and activities
• Created the largest community-powered arts & culture Festival in the country

Photo by Piper Hanson

Photo by Piper Hanson

Your gift makes the Northwest Folklife magic happen. Here are some examples of where your money goes:

Your gift of $150 brings musicians, dancers, community groups, artists, storytellers, and workshop instructors from the Northwest region, including Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Western Montana to perform and participate in the Northwest Folklife Festival. Did you know that all performers on Festival stages donate their time and energy in this remarkable community-powered phenomenon? Your donation of $150 provides resources for Northwest Folklife to offer travel reimbursements to performers and artists from the greater Pacific Northwest: the key to unlocking the wonder that is folklife throughout the Northwest.

Photo by Piper Hanson

Bahia in Motion. Photo by Piper Hanson

Your gift of $250 or more amplifies Northwest Folklife’s multi-cultural initiatives and programs throughout the year. Folk Starters’ support provides resources for Northwest Folklife to connect with artists and cultural communities all throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Western Montana. For example, in 2015, we worked with 20 partner artists and organizations to develop the 2015 Cultural Focus on Hip Hop: Beats, Rhymes and Rhythms: Traditional Roots of Today’s Branches. We engaged with more than 80 communities throughout the year to plan and present 63 genres of music and dance at the Northwest Folklife Festival. Basque, Tahitian, Vietnamese and Filipino communities had a new presence, due to enhanced outreach. We also expanded our hands-on showcase of fiber art and visual art. Northwest Folklife’s Seattle Children’s Festival and ‘Folklife Presents’ programs provide even more opportunity to showcase the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Folk Starters support year-round multi-cultural programs!

Thank you for building such an important tradition in Northwest Folklife, one that breaks down barriers between people and creates a path to peace through understanding.

Make a gift today. Learn more about how your donation supports Northwest Folklife.

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How Do We Make Northwest Folklife Strong for the Future?

It’s Community-Powered!

1,000 Cellos, Northwest Folklife Festival 2015. Photo Credit, Piper Hanson

Your gift makes the Folklife magic happen. Here’s where your money goes:

$10,000 sponsors a stage, sound engineer and stage manager. $5,000 creates opportunities for children and families to learn and grow. $2,500 supports year-round Cultural Focus programs. $1,000 provides professional production values to Community Coordinated showcases. $500 invests in strong communities through arts and culture. $250 amplifies our multi-cultural initiatives. Gifts in all amounts make Northwest Folklife community-powered and sustainable into the future.

“I support Northwest Folklife so that everyone can continue to enjoy this wonderful, community-building event. To keep the Festivals ‘free’, especially so that young families can experience this vivid display of cultures and traditions. Traditional folk music is the most profound reflection of the heart and soul of a people. It connects us with our past and provides the grounding for the future.” – Chuck Treser

Please make your year-end gift today, and consider becoming a Friend of Folklife.

Tell us why you give to Northwest Folklife!

Northwest Folklife creates opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Your gift creates strong communities, united by arts and culture. Thank You for Giving.

 

Posted by Sheila

Folklife 2014 - Monday

Folklife Defined

The next time you put out a pumpkin for Halloween, cut scraps of fabric for a quilt, or sing Happy Birthday, you will be practicing folklife.

Somali showcaseFolklife is a word with a past and a future. Much more than just folklore and folk music, “folklife is the everyday and intimate creativity that all of us share and pass on to the next generation.”

Northwest Folklife creates opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Everyone is a bearer of folk arts; and participation in the arts is as important as observing them.

In 1976, as the United States celebrated its Bicentennial, the U.S. Congress passed the American Folklife Preservation Act (P.L. 94-201). In writing the legislation, Congress had to define folklife. Here is what the law says:

“American folklife” means the traditional expressive culture shared within the various groups in the United States: familial, ethnic, occupational, religious, regional; expressive culture includes a wide range of creative and symbolic forms such as custom, belief, technical skill, language, literature, art, architecture, music, play, dance, drama, ritual, pageantry, handicraft; these expressions are mainly learned orally, by imitation, or in performance, and are generally maintained without benefit of formal instruction or institutional direction.

buttoned hatIn her article American Folklife: A Commonwealth of Cultures for The American Folklife Center, Mary Hufford’s synopsis is ‘Folklife is community life and values, artfully expressed in myriad interactions. It is universal, diverse, and enduring. It enriches the nation and makes us a commonwealth of cultures.’

Please join Northwest Folklife in celebrating, sharing and participating in the evolving traditions of our richly diverse communities’ folklife.

‘Folklife’ is arts and culture as a way of life.

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Donate your Lightly Used Clothes and Housewares and Benefit Folklife!

150609_Savers-0781_Muneca_Max_PaulNorthwest Folklife is teaming up with 2015 Festival Sponsor Value Village to host a donation drive running through December 11th, 2015.  Bring in your gently-used clothing, shoes, accessories, books, linens, and small household items (no furniture) to the Northwest Folklife offices located at 158 Thomas Street (right next to Seattle Center) and Value Village will pay Northwest Folklife for each pound donated.  This is a great way to recycle clothing and goods that you may no longer need while supporting Folklife!

Learn more about how your donations will be used here.  Tax receipts will be available for goods donated.  The Northwest Folklife offices are open Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm – feel free to give us a call if you plan on dropping goods off and we will have someone ready to assist you.   Please contact Katie McColgan at katie@nwfolklife.org or call 206.684.7043 with any questions.