Announcing Our New Leadership Structure

Experience Folklife Festival 2017Coming off of a year of tremendous support from the greater Pacific Northwest community, Northwest Folklife, a 47 year old arts and culture non-profit, embarks on a journey forward to envision its future in new and dynamic ways – maintaining the core ideals that have been present since its founding.

Thanks to this support from our community and with the goal of building a strong foundation in which to grow, the Board of Directors of Northwest Folklife is announcing a restructuring of the professional management of the organization, the appointment of Kelli Faryar as the first Executive Artistic Director of Northwest Folklife and the launch of a search for the organization’s first Managing Director.

The New Structure

“Northwest Folklife is evolving its leadership structure to best meet the challenges and opportunities we face today and in the future. We are committed to our role as a community centric organization, working in partnership with artistic and cultural communities to co-create and co-curate opportunities for all to share, celebrate, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest,” said Rafael Maslan, Board President. “By committing to a dual leadership and partnership model, we invest in executive leadership in our community engagement and artistic excellence as well as in administration, resource development and financial management.”

Appointment of Kelli Faryar as the first Executive Artistic Director

Effective August 27, 2017, Ms. Faryar will assume the position of Executive Artistic Director. Ms. Faryar has served as the Programs Director at Northwest Folklife for 4 years in her 9 years working for the organization. Under her programmatic influence and leadership, Northwest Folklife has mounted 9 Northwest Folklife Festivals with the creation of the Indie Roots program and specific cultural focus on the Traditional Roots of Hip Hop, Power of the Human Voice through Song and Festal Turn 20, celebrating Seattle Center’s 20th anniversary of Festal. Ms. Faryar has expanded the programming of Northwest Folklife to now include our annual Seattle Children’s Festival (this will be the fourth year of presenting this child and family centered festival on October 8, 2017) and led the organization’s commitment to be in direct partnership with over 100 cultural and artistic communities.

“Kelli is the perfect choice for assuming the position of the first Executive Artistic Director in Northwest Folklife’s history” said Michelle Demers Shaevitz, Chair of the Outreach Committee. “Her influence on how we have evolved artistically and culturally over the past four years, her passion and vision for the future, her commitment to engaging and partnering with our communities, and her demonstrated ability to make those dreams a reality have inspired the entire organization and we are thrilled to have her assume this role.”

Managing Director Search

At this juncture, Northwest Folklife is embarking on a new Managing Director search. The Board will build upon it’s relationship with the Third Sector Company to manage the search for the Managing Director. The Third Sector Company has been working with Northwest Folklife for the past year to provide Interim Executive Director services and provided support at the 2017 Board Retreat.

“We seek a special person as our Managing Director – someone who has the capacity, passion, and the wisdom to partner with the board, the Executive Artistic Director, and the community to envision a bold, exciting and attainable future,” said Evan Woods, Board Vice President and Chair of the Search Committee. “We are excited to launch this search, find the best candidate to partner with Kelli as our executive management team, and move into the next phase of Northwest Folklife’s amazing journey with our community.”

More information about the Managing Director position can be found here.

Why Give Children the Opportunity to Perform?

Northwest Folklife introduces children to music, arts, and culture. When children are Festival performers we see them developing confidence and skills. We wondered what more take-aways and benefits children might experience with the opportunity to share their artistic and cultural practices through their own performances.

John Leder’s Ukulele Olio students took part in the Ukenalia Showcase on Monday May 29 at the Exhibition Hall during the 46th Northwest Folklife Festival. The Thorton Creek Elementary School students joined SUPA – Seattle Ukulele Players Association with Neil Diamond on the Ukulele, and The Castaways – Seattle’s Loudest Ukulele Band.

Here, John shares his insights on how his young musicians experience the opportunity to perform and share the Ukenalia Showcase with experienced adult ukulelists.

Thornton Creek Elementary is an alternative, expedition based learning environment, with a focus on the arts and performance.  The opportunity for 2nd and 3rd graders playing the ukulele at the Northwest Folklife Festival is a BIG DEAL for them and a wonderful opportunity for the teachers to involve their students in a community of performance outside of the school.  It’s usually the kid’s first opportunity to perform on a public stage outside of the school.  We focus at least as much on the etiquette and discipline needed to be good citizens both backstage and on stage as we do on the performance itself.  I also use it as an opportunity to teach and emphasize the need for and to demonstrate how to perform within our given time limits so that all other groups assigned to a given set get their full time on stage.  In addition, it is an opportunity to teach kids about adapting music that they are learning in other classes to something that can actually be played on the ukulele and performed on stage – a big surprise when we don’t do something exactly the way the singing teacher does.  While I, as the ukulele teacher, am responsible for developing the program and teaching the kids the songs that will be played, the classroom teachers incorporate the teaching moments in their classroom curriculum.  Thornton Creek is unique in that ukulele is an element of the daily curriculum in which the teachers are directly involved, not an after school program.  Finally, as the ukulele teacher I ask for and welcome input and ideas from the students on what we do, so this gives them a chance to develop their own sense of artistic expression – sometimes we have a little bit too much democracy :), but what a great learning experience. This is why we are always eager to get an opportunity to perform at Folklife.  Oh, and the kids love getting the performer buttons!

Among other things I am president of SUPA, and personally know two of the members of The Castaways, one of whom is the SUPA secretary.  My Thornton Creek kids all know this, and it makes it even easier for me to emphasize and teach things like stage timing, backstage behavior, etc.  They are not phased by playing in the Ukenalia Showcase with the others because we prep them well for this.  I even get to add a little humor in regard to making mistakes.  I always teach them how to respond to mistakes that might occur on stage and I do a post-performance analysis with the kids on this.  The best musicians among them can tell me exactly what mistakes were made and how we moved through them.  Another great take-away.

So yes, there are lots of take-aways for both students and faculty.  We look forward to having the opportunity to perform at Folklife, and hope that other youth organizations might have the same.

Thank you for performing dear Ukulele Olio students, and for your leadership John Leder!

Thank you to our Friends of Folklife for the opportunities that your donations create.

Give a Child the Gift of Discovery

Curious students learn more and learn better. It’s a fact. Sparking curiosity is serious fun.

Your summertime gift supports youth and families discovering all the neighbors and cultural practices of Our Big Neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest. Make your gift today to give a child the gift of discovery.

Our Big Neighborhood youth and family program spans the Seattle Children’s Festival and the Northwest Folklife Festival, bringing you and your neighbors together through arts and culture. Through inter-generational, multi-cultural exchange, we promote social understanding.

We introduce children to the world in the most accessible ways possible: through music, dance, cooking, nature, and being good neighbors.

Northwest Folklife’s inter-generational, multi-cultural program sparks children’s curiosity about the world. Young minds and bodies grow through movement, rhythm, and song. In Our Big Neighborhood everyone can participate in workshops, performances, and hands-on activities.

A main event in Northwest Folklife’s Our Big Neighborhood youth and family program, the Seattle Children’s Festival is a day dedicated to sparking children’s curiosity about the world and developing young minds and bodies through movement, rhythm, song, and hands-on activities. Discover the Seattle Children’s Festival. Families can experience all kinds of folklife, from traditional Chinese dance to beat boxing. And so much more!

The more we celebrate one another the better. Save the Date! The 4th Seattle Children’s Festival will be held at the Seattle Center on Sunday October 8, 2017.

Your Support Creates Opportunities

Thank You For Keeping Northwest Folklife Alive!

It is with a sense of deep gratitude that we can tell you that you – the community who attends and loves Northwest Folklife and the Northwest Folklife Festival – that when the final counting is done – and that takes a few more days – that we believe we will hit the $350,000 goal we set for donations at this year’s Festival.

We told you that the festival was in danger, that over the years, costs had been rising but revenue had not. We told you that we were worried that people had confused the complete accessibility of this festival – open to everyone in the community without a ticket price or financial barrier – that this had been confused with the idea that the festival was free. We shared, as openly and candidly with all of you what it really takes to put on this festival – including a cash budget of $1.3 million.

We believed that if we were open with you – that if you understood that this treasure you value so highly was our collective responsibility, that you would understand and would become part of the solution. And you did.  We made the goal and now, the Board will meet at the end of June to initiate discussions on how Northwest Folklife should move forward in the future. A new process begins and we look forward to engaging with the community as an essential part of that process.

It is one of the great challenges of Northwest Folklife that so many of our donors are anonymous event attendees. They come to the festival, give their cash donation and we have no way of staying in touch unless they join our mailing list or give us their contact information. We are so glad that they are helping to defray the costs of the event itself but it is impossible to connect with them afterwards.

But we have this amazing group of supporters – our Friends of Folklife who give to us throughout the year because they passionately believe in our mission and vision and they understand that supporting Folklife all year long is necessary. We are so pleased to announce that our Spring Campaign Goal has also been met and we are so very grateful to all of those donors as well. You made it possible for us to get to the opening day of the Festival and the opening day of the Children’s Festival in October. Thank you.

There is the greater point to be made. For Folklife to continue for the next 46 years – it will take a continued concerted effort. It takes the deep conviction and support of the Friends of Folklife who give us the resources to work all year round. It absolutely takes the support of the community and audience that attends the events – that recognize that “Access for All” is not the same as “Free”. We made a good start on that this year and we must keep that message strong and always present.

It also takes the support of institutional funders in the public, corporate and foundation worlds who know that Northwest Folklife is not just a great “EVENT” that occurs once a year but that Northwest Folklife is a “CAUSE” committed to strengthening our communities through the sharing and experiencing of our arts, culture and heritage.

And yes, it will take the continued “daily donations” of the hundreds of thousands who attend the events who must come to understand that the continuation of Folklife will always depend upon their support as well.

So thank you to all who have made the future possible. We are so grateful and so excited.

Rafael Maslan

President – NWFL Board

Mark W. Crawford

Interim Executive Director

The Friend of Folklife Experience 2017

Willa S., Ebony M., Sheila S., Lisa G.

L-R. Willa S., Ebony M., Sheila S., Lisa G.

Good to see you, Friends of Folklife! We enjoyed meeting you at the Friend of Folklife Headquarters on the Fisher Terrace and at the Friend of Folklife Donation Station on the Fisher Green. Welcome to ALL of our new Friends of Folklife. We had fun with Donor Goody Bags, daily Micro-Receptions, and Donor Drawings. And, we had a wonderful time experiencing the 46th Northwest Folklife Festival, the arts and culture of our big neighborhood, and phenomenal sunny four days this Memorial Day weekend.

Many Thanks to our Friend of Folklife Goody Bag & Donor Drawing Sponsors:

Ballard Brothers Seafood & Burgers
Dang! Coconut Chips and Onion Chips
KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn Company
McMenamins: Pubs, Breweries and Historic Hotels
NighTraiN Seattle
Northwest Dance Network
Orkestyr Farfeleh
Pagliacci Pizza – Seattle Area Pizzeria and Delivery
Petticoat Junction Dance Shop
Redhook Brewery | Seattle Original since 1981
Seattle Balkan Dancers | Come dance with us!
Swansons Nursery – Seattle’s Favorite Garden Store Since 1924
Ten Mercer Dinner + Drinks
Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant & Satay Bar
World Spice Merchants

Pacific Northwest Getaways in the Donor Drawing!

  • Vacation Home in Oceanside, Oregon: Thanks to Sue S and Lanny M
  • Bed and Breakfast near Roseburg, Oregon: Thanks to Woody L and Jeri F
  • Bed and Breakfast in Vancouver, B.C.: Thanks to Beth W and Brian R

Special Thanks to our Board Members who contributed to the Donor Drawing: Luther Black, Harvey Niebulski, Brian Roberson, Danielle Stephenson, Selena Whitaker-Paquiet, and Karen White.

Whether you forgot to give or wish to give more in support of Folklife’s rich tradition of arts and culture programs accessible to all, please take a moment to give, renew, and even increase your support as a Friend of Folklife donor. Thank you to all for sharing our message of building support for this community-powered treasure, and for your many gifts.

Share your experience with us here.

View from Friend of Folklife HQ photo credit: Sheila Siden

Whether you forgot to give or wish to give more in support of Folklife’s rich tradition of arts and culture programs accessible to all, please take a moment to give, renew, and even increase your support as a Friend of Folklife donor. Thank you to all for sharing our message of building support for this community-powered treasure, and for your many gifts.

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH US HERE.

How To Give to Make the Festival Live

This year, Northwest Folklife Festival –goers are being asked to decide the future of the Northwest Folklife Festival. Please support the Festival with a donation at the entrance, and consider becoming a Friend of Folklife. Our fundraising goal is $350,000.

Give at the Gate!

Make a daily donation of $10/person, $20/families. You will receive as Thanks a 2017 Festival Button. Wear it with pride. Add a Count Me In ribbon for an additional donation.

Say ‘Count Me In!’

Make your Count Me In donation at any Donation Station or Friend of Folklife Headquarters.

Receive a ribbon to wear and to tie on to the Count Me In Donor Wall at the Friend of Folklife Donation Station, Fisher Green.

  • $11 to $49 – Aqua
  • Friend of Folklife donors ($50 to $249) – Emerald
  • FolkStarter Friends ($250 and up) – Purple
  • 1,000 for the Future Donors – Red

Become a Friend of Folklife

  • Donate at any Donation Station with Cash, Check, or Credit Card.
  • Visit the Credit Card Kiosks at the Friend of Folklife Donation Station on the Fisher Green.

Give online at give.nwfolklife.org

Bring your Voucher or Receipt (phone or paper) to the Friend of Folklife Headquarters for Festival Benefits described on our donation page. Contributors ($50 donation) may pick up Friend of Folklife buttons at any Donation Station.

Your Support Creates Opportunities

 

As We Head into the Festival….

For the last several months, we have been talking with all of you – our community – about the crossroads in front of us. After 45 years, what is the future of Northwest Folklife, why does it matter today, and how important do we think it is for the future?

Northwest Folklife is as important today as it was 46 years ago when it was founded, maybe even more so. The Pacific Northwest has always been and continues to be a dynamic and evolving place, an intersection of communities and their arts, cultures and traditions. The premise of Northwest Folklife, the joyous cause that underlies all we do, is the building of a more caring, understanding, just and empathetic society. We believe in celebrating the wonderfully unique ways in which all of us, each of our myriad communities, live life each day, how we dance, sing, and tell our stories. In this celebration, in our watching each other, in listening and participating, we come to better understand each other and we come to better understand ourselves.

We want to say thank you to all of the people who have already declared that we can Count Them In by giving to Northwest Folklife before the festival itself. Whether in response to our Spring Campaign or the Give BIG campaign or because you knew you wanted to contribute and didn’t wait to be asked, so many of you have expressed your support and made a contribution.

Thank you on behalf of an entire region that benefits from your support. Thank you for supporting more than 100 communities and over 5,000 artists who present their art, culture and heritage at the festival and thank you from the quarter of a million attendees who will celebrate, share and participate together during the Memorial Day Weekend Northwest Folklife Festival. You have made this all possible – thank you.

Now, we go into the 46th annual Northwest Folklife Festival. The weather forecast is perfect, the performers have been chosen and have spent months preparing. The stages are set. Sound systems are in place. Booths and vendors are setting up. Volunteers are signing up and being trained. The excitement is mounting, the anticipation growing. This is how it should be.

Only with the support of every person who comes through the entrances and has the means to give their daily donation in support, will we be able to continue to create the opportunities for all of our communities’ voices to be heard. It will only happen if the people who enjoy the Festival give during the Festival. If you do, together we will continue to create this uniquely Pacific Northwest community of communities.

So, welcome to your festival. Welcome to our community. Have a wonderful time. May your days at the Festival be filled with joy, exploration, and discovery.  May the days that follow be brighter and may all of us, as neighbors, be closer.

Morris and BC Communities 🎵🎶 Anonymous donors want to double your gift.

The 46th Northwest Folklife Festival will be awesome this year, and we are doing all we can to expand support to make the Festival live to 47 and beyond. Anonymous donors have offered two opportunities to double your gift now through June 30.

Calling all Misty City Morris, Mossybacks, North by Northwest, Sound and Fury, and Vancouver Morris Men.  Anonymous donors are offering a Morris Challenge. They will match gifts 1:1 from Morris community dancers, musicians, past team members, team spouses, and their kids. Required: include the name of your team affiliation with your donation!

Calling all Vancouverites, lower mainlanders, Vancouver Islanders, and all residents of British Columbia. Anonymous donors are offering a BC Challenge. They will match gifts 1:1 from donors the BC community. Required: include your address and the words BC Challenge with your donation!

Calling all who wish to make a new gift of $1,000: Two dedicated donors have offered to match individuals’ and corporations’ new gifts of $1,000 through 6/30/2017!

Take a moment to renew and even increase your support with a one-time or recurring gift.

Please share these challenge match opportunities with your friends and let them know what Folklife means to you.

Mythbusters #1

Northwest Folklife Mythbusters

THIS IS NORTHWEST FOLKLIFE!

Over the years, certain myths, misunderstandings and/or misconceptions about an organization can develop. Every so often, it is important to tackle those myths and restate the Truths of an organization. For the past three months, Northwest Folklife has been tackling some of those myths.  Today, as we near the annual Northwest Folklife Festival, we are restating all of them together to reintroduce you to:

Northwest Folklife 

The Real Northwest Folklife 

Mythbusters #1

Mythbusters 2

Mythbusters #3

Mythbusters #5

These are our Truths. This is Northwest Folklife and this is the Northwest Folklife Festival.
 
This is your community. This is your Folklife.
 
In order to continue, to be here next year and for the years to come, Northwest Folklife needs your support. Please, make a donation each day you attend the Festival. Become a Friend of Folklife. This only happens with your support.
 
Can We Count You In?

Northwest Folklife Mythbusters #7

 

Not long ago, the national landscape was filled with large scale regional arts and culture festivals. These festivals were NOT national commercial, “headliner” music festivals, but celebrations of local arts and artists. That landscape has changed and the Northwest Folklife Festival is one of the last remaining major community owned festivals in the nation.

Our own Northwest Folklife Festival is one of even fewer that remains committed to the idea that this experience belongs to everyone – not just to those who can afford the price of a ticket. This is only possible now and can only remain possible in the future if our VERY modest costs are supported by our community. Either we want our festival to continue or we don’t.

Over the past 11 years, revenue has remained stagnant but costs have risen. During that time, Northwest Folklife has prioritized the resources for programming and cut every else. No programmatic costs have been drastically cut over the past eleven years. There are no more cuts and indeed, too much has been cut already.

Our Northwest Folklife Festival is one of even fewer that remains committed to the idea that this experience belongs to everyone – not just to those who can afford the price of a ticket. This can only remain possible in the future if our community renews its support. The Festival will not continue without your support.

As you know, while no ticket need be purchased to attend, the Festival is not free. This year, we must secure $1,300,000 in revenue to offset expenses. There is no other arts and/or culture organization that has found a way to bring over 5,000 artists on 25 stages representing over 100 communities to about 250,000 people for such a small investment. We are efficient, effective stewards of every dollar we receive.

We are an independent not-for-profit. We are not a City program with all expenses already paid for We will earn about $600,000 in booth fees, vendor commissions and sponsorships to help pay for these expenses. We must raise $700,000 more to offset remaining expenses.

We raise funds from individuals in two major ways – through specific funding appeals during the year to those with whom we have an ongoing relationship and annually at the festival by appealing to those who love the festival and attend.

At this year’s festival, we have set a goal to raise at least $350,000 to pay for the costs.

We ask for a modest daily donation of $10 per person per day or $20 per family at the entrances.  Last year, we estimate that only 17% of the people attending the festival made any voluntary donation. We received $205,120 in donations at the festival. That is less than $1 for each person who attended over the four day period.

We also know and we celebrate that there is no economic barrier and that making a donation can be very tough for some.  We are so glad you are all here and we are grateful for whatever you are able to “chip in”. But 17% is not enough to sustain this event. If more people do not support the festival, the festival will not continue.

For those who have the means and the passion for what this festival is all about, we, the Board, ask you to consider what the VALUE of this festival is to you, BOTH as individuals attending and as members of this community who believe in this awesome event and believe it must be open to all.

A Letter from the Board of Northwest Folklife

FRIENDS – WE NEED TO TALK… WE NEED TO DECIDE…
WILL FOLKLIFE AND THE FESTIVAL CONTINUE?

You are the people who keep our varied and unique cultures and traditions flourishing through your continued love and practice of the folk arts. You belong to organizations and groups who have gathered together in community to celebrate a particular artistic and/or cultural heritage or tradition. You are an essential part of the vibrant, lively scene that makes our Pacific Northwest such a special place. You are Folklife!

This Memorial Day, just as we have for 45 years before, we will be sharing these artistic and cultural traditions through our performances with our neighbors who will enjoy your music, cultural showcases, crafts, and foods representing communities from all over our region.

The question is “Will the Folklife Festival be back next year?”

Not long ago, the national landscape was filled with large scale regional arts and culture festivals. These festivals were NOT national commercial, “headliner” music festivals, but celebrations of local arts and artists. That landscape has changed and the Northwest Folklife Festival is now one of the last remaining major community owned festivals in the nation.

Our own Northwest Folklife Festival is one of even fewer that remains committed to the idea that this experience belongs to everyone – not just to those who can afford the price of a ticket. This can only remain possible in the future if our community renews its support. The Festival will not continue without your support.

This is not a “one year crisis”. Over the past 11 years, revenue has remained stagnant but costs have risen. During this time, Northwest Folklife has prioritized the resources for programming and drastically cut all else. To the best of our abilities, programs have been protected over the past eleven years. There are no more cuts and indeed, too much has been cut already.

What is the value of preserving, expressing and sharing our traditions and heritage? Do we value opportunities for all of our communities to have a place to express their voices and to be heard by others? Do we value the importance of guaranteeing access to all without economic barriers? Northwest Folklife is at a crossroads and it is time for the community to make a decision about how it values artistic and cultural inclusion, access and the future of the festival.

While no one must buy a ticket to attend, the Festival is not free. This year, we must secure $1,300,000 in revenue to offset expenses. There is no other arts and/or culture organization that has found a way to bring over 5,000 artists on 25 stages representing over 100 communities to about 250,000 people for such a small investment. We are efficient, effective stewards of every dollar we receive.

We are an independent not-for-profit. We are not a City program with all expenses already paid for. We will earn about $600,000 in booth fees, vendor commissions and sponsorships to help pay for these expenses. We must raise $700,000 more to offset remaining expenses.

We raise funds from individuals in two major ways – through specific funding appeals during the year to those with whom we have an ongoing relationship and annually at the festival by appealing to those who love the festival and attend.

At this year’s festival, we have set a goal to raise at least $350,000 to pay for the costs. We ask for a modest minimum daily donation of $10 per person per day or $20 per family at the entrances. Last year, we estimate that less than 17% of the people attending the festival made a voluntary donation. We received $205,120 in donations at the festival. That is less than $1 for each person who attended over the four day period.

We celebrate that there is no economic barrier and we know that making a donation can be very tough for some. We are grateful for whatever you are able to “chip in”. But 17% is not enough to sustain this event. If more people do not support the festival, the festival will not continue.

For those who have the means and the passion for what this festival is all about, we, the Board, ask you to consider what the VALUE of this festival is to you, BOTH as individuals attending and as members of this community who believe in this awesome event and believe it must be open to all.

In addition to the festival goal, we have set a goal of $100,000 by May 26th for our Spring Count Me In Campaign. Please, answer the call and make your donation now and be counted in.

Please – give online at nwfolklife.kindbase.com where you can choose to make a one-time gift or recurring donation. Or send your check to Northwest Folklife at 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109. Consider making a gift of stock. Northwest Folklife is a registered not-for-profit so your gifts are tax deductible. Remember to request your employer’s matching gift!

Ultimately we must decide if Northwest Folklife will continue. Only YOU can make that happen. What you do today, when you decide to give or not give, will determine the future of this amazing festival. This is a choice about our future – does this wonderful event which distinguishes our region from everywhere else in the nation continue? Or will it become a memory of yesteryear?

Together, we celebrate this joyous festival, the opportunities provided, the experiences shared. We believe Northwest Folklife needs to continue. Do you?

The Board of Northwest Folklife– Rafael Maslan, President; Evan Woods (not pictured), Vice President; Ryan Davis (not pictured), Treasurer; Michael Richardson, Secretary; Luther F. Black, Immediate Past President; Kim Camara (not pictured); David Greenspan; Don Morgan; Harvey Niebulski, M.D.; Brian Robertson (not pictured); Michelle Demers Shaevitz; Karen Shaw; Jabi Shriki; Selena Whitaker-Paquiet; Karen White (not pictured)

Northwest Folklife Mythbusters #6

For 45 years, Northwest Folklife has brought the Northwest Folklife Festival to Seattle Center and celebrated the incredible and diverse arts and cultures of the Pacific Northwest.

  • We have brought the four-day Northwest Folklife Festival to about 250,000 people, a quarter of a million, to celebrate the incredible and diverse arts and cultures of the Pacific Northwest.
  • We present about 5,000 artists, who volunteer their performances on 25 stages. Over 100 communities, representing the rich diversity of our community – artistically, ethnically, and culturally – work all year round to bring these performances to you at this Festival.
  • We have done all of this WITHOUT CHARGING ADMISSION, not even once.  We are committed to not having the economic barrier of a ticket prices, we are committed to making this celebration as accessible as possible to the greatest number of people.

While there is no admission charge, the Northwest Folklife Festival is not free. It takes a full year and a $1.3 million budget to produce the Festival and other programming. This is NOT a city program it is not all paid for in advance. It has only been made possible and can only continue with the support of those who come to experience it. 

What is the value of a day (or two or three or four) of music, dance, storytelling, crafts and food? What does this experience mean to you and to your family? Your children?

This year, we need to raise $700,000 to pay expenses and we need to raise at least half of that – $350,000 – at this Festival. We depend on individual donations at the Festival.

Sadly last year, less than 17% of all attendees made a donation. That is not enough and this lack of support puts Northwest Folklife at risk. Without your support, we cannot continue.

There will be between 200,000 and 250,000 people who attend the festival this year. It is your Festival. This is not up to someone else. It is up to you.  Help keep Northwest Folklife alive.

CAN WE COUNT YOU IN?