Katrina Ji

Community Coordinator Katrina Ji

What does it mean to be a Northwest Folklife Community Coordinator? Great question! This is a group of dedicated individuals from all walks of Northwest life. These people give of their time and resource to bring their own cultural traditions to the greater community through Northwest Folklife.

Katrina JiToday, we’d like to introduce you to Katrina Ji, the Artistic Director, Choreographer, and lead dancer of Culture Shakti, a dance studio that bridges the gap between east and west, providing dances classes for Belly Dance, Bollywood, Bhangra, Rajasthani, Garba, and more. Katrina is the Northwest Folklife Community Coordinator for the Bollywood Showcase at the Northwest Folklife Festival.


What cultural traditions do you share with the greater community?

The Bollywood Showcase highlights a variety of high octane Bollywood dances from India including Bhangra, Garba, Tollywood and more.

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

Not only have I been contributing to the Bollywood Showcase each year, I initiated the Bollywood Showcase. In addition, I also program a Bollywood Dance Party with DJ Kazan and other local DJ’s along with a dance lesson by myself. Plus this past year, I programmed a Bollywood Kids Showcase on the new outdoor stage.

What does it mean to you and to your community to be connected to Northwest Folklife?

I am thrilled to be an advocate for promoting Bollywood and Folk Dances of India at the Northwest Folklife Festival. I have been the community organizer for five years now. Being part of the Festival has helped our company gain visibility for larger opportunities including the Democrats of Washington Holiday Party and the F.U.S.I.O.N. Gala Auction Fundraiser.


Can you recall a performance memory that had an impact on you?

One of my fondest memories at the Northwest Folklife Festival was seeing a group of young girls that I had been teaching through Aki Kurose. (Group Healths’s Teen Youth Mentorship Program) on the stage. They were so proud. I am so happy they were provided the opportunity to participate as a school field trip. They were so excited for the opportunity to dress up in the costumes that I provided them on the Armory Stage. 


Find Katrina Ji on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or online at CultureShakti.com. 




Warm Welcome To Mark Crawford

Northwest Folklife’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Mark Crawford to serve as Interim Executive Director upon the upcoming retirement of current Executive Director, Rob Townsend. Crawford and Townsend will work for two weeks together in transition before Crawford assumes the role on October 1.

Crawford brings to Northwest Folklife over 25 years of nonprofit executive leadership experience in the region in both long term and interim roles. He has served as Interim executive with Bellevue Arts Museum, The Arc of King County, Foundation for Early Learning and others.

“Northwest Folklife is fortunate to secure Mark’s services to lead the organization through this leadership succession. His experience will help assure leadership continuity and a solid future for Folklife,” says Rafael Maslan, Northwest Folklife’s board president. Crawford’s charge will be to maintain current operations and funding, conduct a thorough organizational review, and support the search process for a new permanent executive director.

Crawford’s leadership features strategic development initiatives and his ability to create and execute the operational business plans necessary to realize those strategic visions. Says Crawford, “I am very pleased and excited to have been offered this opportunity to work with such a wonderful organization, staff, Board and the many, many volunteers and community representatives.”

Crawford is associated with Third Sector Company, a firm dedicated to the continuity of nonprofit leadership. Third Sector will provide resources that will further assure a positive succession process.

Townsend will leave his role on September 30 after almost nine years, but will volunteer for Folklife’s third annual Seattle Children’s Festival on October 9.


Pictured: Ana Montes’ Flamenco Danzarte performs at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival Discovery Zone. Photo credit: Christopher Nelson.

You Make It All Possible 🎵🎶

Pictured: Ana Montes’ Flamenco Danzarte performs at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival Discovery Zone. Photo credit: Christopher Nelson.

Pictured: Ana Montes’ Flamenco Danzarte performs at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival Discovery Zone. Photo credit: Christopher Nelson.

This is what it means to be a Friend of Folklife: you make it all possible.

Did you enjoy the 45th Northwest Folklife Festival? It is but a portion of the opportunities that you create with your philanthropy: people of all ages, cultures, and means join together in self-expression and participatory arts. Renew your gift today.

Community-powered all-ages cultural showcases at the Folklife Festival numbered a record 152 this year, including Blues Dance, Fiddle, Rhythms of India, Japanese, Mexican Folklorico, Maritime, Morris Dance, Filipino, Reggae Rising, Stand Up Comedy, and more. The 2016 Cultural Focus: Power of the Human Voice through Song brought countless folks together for participatory singing and chorales. Dancers enjoyed 83 hours of dance opportunities at Warren’s Roadhouse and in The Armory!

Your summertime gift sustains Northwest Folklife leading up to our new fiscal year on October 1, when we start fresh with the Seattle Children’s Festival on October 9.

Become a Friend of Folklife

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. New highlights this year include opportunities to learn American Sign Language; join in the Movement Series with Irish Set Dancing, Kid’s Yoga, Family Dance, and more; and a great variety of interactive performances presenting world cultures.

A whole sampling of ‘Folklife Presents’ workshops and performances bridge the Northwest Folklife Festival and the Seattle Children’s Festival, along with new arts and culture connections for Friends of Folklife. Through intergenerational, multi-cultural exchange, we are promoting greater social understanding. The more we celebrate one another the better.

Your gift sustains Northwest Folklife’s 45-year tradition of celebrating our big neighborhood.

Pictured: Ana Montes’ Flamenco Danzarte performs at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival Discovery Zone. Photo credit: Christopher Nelson.

Pictured: Ana Montes’ Flamenco Danzarte performs at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival Discovery Zone. Photo credit: Christopher Nelson.

You make the Folklife magic happen: we can’t do it without you.

Please renew your support today.

Learn More

P.S. You are invited to Become a Friend of Folklife, and Thank You for being one! We hope to see you for these new adventures: Arts and Culture Connections for Friends of Folklife.

*P.P.S. Two dedicated donors have offered to match your gift in a campaign called ‘1,000 for the Future.’  New gifts of $1,000 from corporations and individuals will be matched through 9/30/2016!  Please contact Sheila Siden at 206.233.3953 or sheila@nwfolklife.org to learn more. Your support makes our cultural community thrive. Thank You!

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Northwest Folklife Executive Director Robert Townsend To Retire in Fall 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.04.13 PMNorthwest Folklife Board of Directors today announced that the nonprofit’s executive director Robert Townsend will retire after nearly a decade at his post. Townsend’s tenure has been a remarkable period of inclusion and evolution for the organization that has actively kept pace with the evolving cultural communities of the Pacific Northwest. 

“Robert Townsend’s leadership has made Northwest Folklife relevant and inclusive over the past nine years,” Board President, Rafael Maslan comments. Townsend believed in the importance of reflecting the region’s cultural evolution in the implementation of the organization’s mission. “Rob has laid the foundation for us to move boldly into the future.”

The organization will work to continue strengthening the community through arts and culture as it approaches Northwest Folklife’s 50th anniversary in 2021. The Board of Directors will work strategically to maintain current operations and to recruit a new Executive Director who is committed to the vision of the organization, which is to engage the greater community in sharing and celebrating our respective arts and traditional cultural practices.   

“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead Northwest Folklife,” Townsend comments. “The organization’s crown jewel is and always will be the annual Northwest Folklife Festival, the country’s largest community-powered arts and culture Festival. With the enduring support of our dedicated donors, and by working in close private-public partnership with Seattle Center, we’ve been able to maintain our deeply held ethos of all-access. Today, we have grown beyond the Northwest Folklife Festival and we are fulfilling our great capacity to be the go-to resource for multi-cultural programming through our complement of performance events and community partnerships. While the organization continues its upward trend, the time is right for me to move on and to transfer Northwest Folklife’s helm to a new generation of leadership. I look forward to working with our stellar staff and our dedicated Board of Directors during the succession period through the end of September, and then to volunteering at the third annual Seattle Children’s Festival on October 9.”

Townsend’s commitment to self-expression and participation for all has created Northwest Folklife’s culture of inclusion in which communities and artists are encouraged and invited into key planning processes. He was the key driver for Northwest Folklife to establish the Seattle Children’s Festival, now in its third year. The organization believes that inspiring a child’s cultural IQ is an important factor in strengthening communities and families. In all, Townsend’s leadership has created space for Northwest Folklife’s evolution to reflect and engage all people of all ages and backgrounds, enhancing quality of life and creating a big neighborhood of the Pacific Northwest. 

Northwest Folklife’s Board of Directors will work with Third Sector Company, a firm dedicated to the continuity of nonprofit leadership, to hire an Interim Executive Director in the short term to conduct the process of selecting Townsend’s successor. They will consider both local and non-local candidates for the position.


Greeters at Northwest Folklife 2016

A Limerick Souvenir of the 45th Folklife Festival

Northwest Folklife Festival 206

Elinor’s Limerick 

Northwest Folklife Fest 45
With music and arts so alive.
Ate elephant ears,
Danced with no fears
Contra, hip hop, swing and jive.

“Feel free to be giving” – the plea
Donations our lifeblood, you see.
Ten dollars helps pay
For cables they say;
Your gifts make us all jump with glee.

Thanks to the hardworking board
Their efforts ensured visions soared.
Had great expectations
Now congratulations
For all Folklife Fests you have scored!

By Elinor M. Vandegrift, Scottish Country Dance
Community Coordinator & Friend of Folklife, 2016

2016 pre-Festival Training

Elinor and her group create a skit to put the FUN in fundraising.

Many thanks to Elinor Vandegrift for her interpretation of the 45th Northwest Folklife Festival as a limerick! Elinor participated in our pre-Festival Training with Kevin Joyce of En-Joy Productions where we all got creative together, in preparation for four days of welcoming folks to the 45th Northwest Folklife Festival. Elinor’s interpretation of the Festival as her limerick was presented at our Thank You Party, hosted by past-president of the Board and avid contradancer Luther Black, pictured above, in his official capacity as Greeter Extraordinaire.

Listen in to one of Elinor’s favorite Celtic musicians Kilmany, and explore the plethora of recordings from the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival on SoundCloud.

Consider becoming a Friend of Folklife today. As a donor, you support Northwest Folklife in creating opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Friends of Folklife make the magic happen.

Balkan Performers

Mary Sherhart Shares Her Joy for Folklife 2016

Balkan Performers

L-R Aglika Ivanova VanHorn, Violeta Tihova, Penka Encheva. Photo by Mary Sherhart.

The Northwest Folklife Festival was particularly joyful for me this year and that’s saying something, as I have been involved as a performer in almost every Folklife Festival over its 45-year history. Folklife always offers an opportunity to see friends from near and far as all the different communities in my Balkan music and dance scene converge – Croatians, Bulgarians, Balkan dancers, Balkan choirs and more. Whether it’s meeting for a beer in the beer garden, attending friends’ performances or getting on stage myself, so many new and joyful memories are created each year.

What was so extra special about this year? For one, I was invited to emcee the cultural theme showcase concert at Bagley Wright Theatre, “The Power of the Human Voice through Song,” fabulously curated by Folklife Programs Director Kelli Faryar. As a life long singer, choir director and singing teacher, this theme is particularly close to my heart. This is one of a very few universal themes that unifies humans in a ever more divided world. It was so much fun meeting the artists before the show to ask them questions mining for interesting tidbits to use in my introductions. Icing on the cake, I couldn’t have been more proud to introduce my own choir, Bulgarian Voices of Seattle Women’s Choir, as part of the show. Golly, I was practically bursting with pride. All the women in this choir were born in Bulgaria. They range in age from 25-82 and have developed a close bond through singing and sharing our lives. They looked so beautiful in their traditional costumes and sounded fabulous in that excellent theater. 72-year-old Penka Encheva even received a standing ovation from the audience for her solo. What a moment!

Baba Penka

Baba Penka

Speaking of Grandma Penka, here’s another reason I found Folklife so extraordinary this year. She was featured in two more events! First, she taught a traditional Bulgarian singing workshop attended by 67 people. It was deeply moving to see her surprise and delight. This is a woman who came to the United States in 2010 at age 67, leaving everything and everyone behind in Bulgaria, to help care for her grandsons in Renton. She had been a singer in Bulgaria as a young woman, but followed a different professional path, becoming a middle school biology teacher in Bulgaria. She thought her singing life was long over, but joining our choir brought it back to her. Can you imagine how it felt for her to see 67 mostly Americans turn out to learn songs from her, to receive a standing ovation at a major festival AND have a documentary film about her screened at SIFF.

The Bulgarian Cultural and Heritage Center of Seattle and I produced a 30-minute documentary about Penka entitled “Tazi Baba / This Baba” directed by the talented local filmmaker originally from Bulgaria Bogdan Darev. Folklife screened the film on Monday after Penka’s singing workshop. She was absolutely beaming as she answered questions from the audience in a panel with Bogdan and me. All of this is like a miracle to our Penka.

Finally, it was an incredible privilege to be able to share my insights and experience on a panel entitled, “Building Community By Singing.” Janet Stecker, Fred West, Earle Peach and I have years and years, basically our entire lives, worth of creating and leading people in song. How wonderful to have the opportunity to speak on something that we believe in so deeply. Where else but Folklife?

Come Monday night I was completely exhausted, saturated, fulfilled and basking in a rosy glow. Thank you to the staff, board, artists, volunteers, donors, sponsors, audiences and families. We are so lucky to have this community-powered festival in Seattle!

Balkan Performers

Balkan Performers. Photo by Mary Sherhart.

Blog post by Mary Sherhart, Friend of Folklife. Mary Sherhart is one of America’s leading teachers and performers of traditional Balkan vocal music. Learn more about Mary’s folk art.

Become a Friend of Folklife

View from Friend of Folklife HQ

Thank You, Friends of Folklife

View from Friend of Folklife HQ

View from Friend of Folklife HQ

Art Xchange Gallery GoodyGood to see you, Friends of Folklife! We really enjoyed meeting up with our extraordinary donors at the Friend of Folklife Headquarters this 45th Festival. All whose Festival schedule allowed got together daily at 4:15 – 5:15 to hobnob and have our drawing. It was fun, and we had a great view of the Festival from the Fisher Terrace. Would you like to be invited to hang out at the HQ and receive your Festival Guide by mail before the Festival, all while sustaining Northwest Folklife? Become a Friend of Folklife.

One of our highlights every year is designing the tote bag, and finding goodies to put in it for Friends! We thank our in-kind donors and Friend of Folklife program partners!

Friend of Folklife Tote Bag

This is community-power.

Art Xchange Gallery
Center for Wooden Boats
Dang! Coconut Chips
Liberty Orchards
Nature’s Bakery
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Seattle Mariners
World Spice Merchants

We unveiled our Friend of Folklife Invitational Multi-Cultural Arts Experiences Program. Please update your email so we can invite you to make new discoveries!

Meet our program partners:

ArtXchange Gallery
JOIN US in September for an Artist Talk with Humaira Abid: her work examines women’s roles, relationships, and taboos from a cross-cultural perspective. This contemporary intercultural art gallery at Pioneer Square inspires cultural exploration and exchange of ideas through art, exhibiting art from around the world that reflects the diversity of influences shaping the Seattle community and contemporary global culture.
ACT – A Contemporary Theatre
An interactive community where artists and the public witness, contemplate and engage in dialogue on today’s thought-provoking issues, ideas and art, presented with intelligence, insight, and humor.
Center for Wooden Boats
The Center for Wooden Boats is a place where history becomes something you can touch, build, and sail. Experience the history that’s written in boats, reconnecting with the physical world and preserving traditions and skills that have survived through the ages.
Pratt Fine Arts Center
JOIN US Saturday, September 24 for Pratt’s Open House: Experience folklife forms like blacksmithing/forging, small-scale jewelry forging, and a molten bronze pour; wood-working, glass blowing, and studio arts. Pratt welcomes artists working in glass, sculpture, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, drawing and printmaking.
Seattle Theater Group
STG enriches, inspires, challenges, and expands our world through the arts.

I'm A Friend

Posted by Sheila. Questions about Friend of Folklife and Northwest Folklife giving programs? Call 206/233 3953 or write sheila @ nwfolklife.org

Sarrah Danzinger HI RES

Indie Roots programming at the Festival

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Rabbit Wilde.

The 2016 Indie Roots showcases combine elements of traditional music with today’s popular sounds. New this year is a showcase programmed in part by Treefort Music Fest, featuring head turning performances from Rabbit Wilde, Karl Blau, and Hillfolk Noir. These artists put their individual spins on folk music, sharing with audiences a unique sound.  Each showcase has been curated in part by community groups such as 91.3 KBCS, Seattle Living Room Shows, Underwood Stables, and Treefort Music Fest. An incredible line-up is programmed this year including Naomi Wachira, Luz Elena Mendoza, Hurray For The Riff Raff, and The Sweet Lowdown. There are nine showcases and over 30 bands performing throughout all four days of the Festival. Find these bands on four different stages including the Fisher Green Stage, the Fountain Lawn Stage, Vera Project Stage, and the Folklife Café.
Indie Roots programming for 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival includes:
Kickin’ Up Dust Showcase
Featuring The Lucky Shots, The Gortexans, Johnson Country, and The Fentons
6:00 – 9:00 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
Next Generation: Indie Roots
Featuring Crow’s Share, Dark Madrona, The Banner Days, and The Bruised Hearts Revue
7:00 – 9:55 p.m., Vera Project
Seattle Living Room Showcase
Featuring The Cloves, Lanford Black, The Hollers, and Sarah Gerritsen and the Shadow Catchers
12:30 – 3:15 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
91.3 KBCS Acoustic Showcase
Featuring Naomi Wachira, Luz Elena Mendoza, Hurray For The Riff Raff, and The Sweet Lowdown
12:30 – 3:20 p.m., Fisher Green Stage
Sarrah Danzinger HI RES

Hurray for the Riff Raff to be seen in the 91.3 KBCS showcase. Photo Credit: Sarrah Danzinger.

Ear to the Ground: Indie Roots
Featuring Murfitt and Main and Fish and Bird
2:00 – 3:25 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
Folk, Redefined
Featuring Familiar Wild, Shelita Burke, Intisaar, and Aimee Wilson
3:00 – 6:00 p.m., Vera Project
Kinfolk: Ancient Voices
Featuring Jean Rohe and Meghan Yates
1:00 – 2:10 p.m., Folklife Cafe
Underwood Stables Show
Featuring Caleb and Walter, Denver, Silverhands, and Country Lips
6:00 – 9:00 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
Treefort Music Showcase
Featuring Hillfolk Noir, Rabbit Wilde, and Karl Blau
3:45 – 5:45 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
Indie Roots programming is sponsored by KEXP 90.3 FM – kexp.org

Volunteer Spotlight: Wayne Severson

How long have you been Volunteering at the Northwest Folklife Festival?

Approximately 15 years.

What position(s) do you take on at the Festival?

Volunteer Check-In, Hospitality, Volunteer Party, Info Booths, and Raising Donations from festival visitors.

What keeps you coming back?

The opportunity to see old friends and the opportunity to make a lot of new ones. The pleasant atmosphere. The great music and shows.

Name a favorite food, craft, art or music that you enjoy at Folklife.

Elephant ears are one of my favorite foods. It’s so huge and it tastes so good! I enjoy craft gazing and music listening.

Please share a funny story, good memory, or tip for new volunteers!

When you want someone to donate you have to be joyful. You can’t shy away because the opportunity will pass you by. Be assertive, and be willing to chat with anyone coming or going will guarantee you a bill in the till. I’ve had people say to me that they are just passing through, or tourists, or just want to get to the other side of the Center. All you have to do is tell them that, “No matter what the size (amount) of their donation turns out to be – you will discover during your short visit was worth it, tenfold.”

I'm A Friend

Celebrating Friends of Folklife

A Community-Powered Drawing for Friends of Folklife 2016

Community Powered Banner

Friends of Folklife are the donors who make it possible for Northwest Folklife to create opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Board and Staff celebrate Friends of Folklife by inviting their participation in a special Donor Drawing to be held every day of the 45th Northwest Folklife Festival during scheduled ‘micro-receptions’ at the Friend of Folklife Headquarters. Donors must be present to enter the drawings. Schedule of prizes to be drawn each day will be made available to Friends of Folklife.

Many thanks to these in-kind donors who power our 2016 Donor Drawing.

Fine Food & Dining

Solo Bar and Eatery
This restaurant features locally-sourced fare, seasonally rotating and always with a focus on comfort, class, and in-house craft. ($25 gift certificate: 200 Roy Street, Seattle; near Seattle Center)

Chihuly Garden and Glass and Collections Café
This museum in the Seattle Center showcases the studio glass of Dale Chihuly. The Collections Café offers an original, fresh and uniquely northwest dining experience for lunch, dinner or an afternoon bite. (2 admission tickets to the museum plus a $25.00 gift certificate to the Collections restaurant)

Burgerville is built on a tradition of serving fresh food made with local ingredients. It partners with neighboring farms and businesses that share their commitment to quality food and regional vitality. ($25 gift certificate: 818 Harrison Ave, Centralia, WA—this location only)

Skagit Valley Food Co-Op
This community-owned natural market promoting cooperative values in the Skagit Valley since 1973, is owned by thousands and open to all. It features a wide variety of natural foods, a bakery, and an outstanding deli with on-site eating. ($25 gift certificate(s) + ice cream coupons: 202 South First Street, Mount Vernon, WA)

Thank You, Michelle and Ben!
Wine Lover’s Basket
Bottle of fine wine and accouterments. (Must be present to win)


ACT Theater
A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) is dedicated to producing relevant works on contemporary themes. ACT nurtures new and seasoned artists, collaborates with promising playwrights and local performing artists working in a variety of media, and connects audiences to many stages of the creative process. (2 tickets to any show during 2016: 700 Union Street, Seattle)

New Century Theater Company
New Century Theatre Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to superlative storytelling and providing an environment for community among artists and audiences through two mainstage productions per year and a free monthly play reading series at Solo Bar in Queen Anne. (2 tickets to their fall show: 1515 12th Ave, Seattle)

Music & Dance Supplies

Dusty Strings
Dusty Strings is the premiere acoustic music retailer of the Pacific Northwest, carrying new, used, rare, and vintage acoustic guitars, electric guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, banjos, harps and hammered dulcimers, books and DVDs, accessories, and more! ($50 gift certificate; in-store only: 3406 Fremont Ave N, Seattle)

Petticoat Junction Dance Shop
Petticoat Junction has shoes and apparel for all types of dancers. ($50 gift certificate: 14523 WA-99, #1 Lynnwood, WA)

Pacific Northwest Vacation Home Getaways

Thank You, John and Nathan!
CarltAnn House Bed and Breakfast
Walla Walla, WA
This 1906 home is a block from the beautiful Whitman College campus, a short walk to downtown restaurants and tasting rooms, and has easy access to excellent cycling routes through the Walla Walla Valley.Three large rooms, a hearty breakfast buffet, and an eclectic garden for your enjoyment and relaxation. Offer expires 10/31/ 2017. (3 rooms for 2 consecutive week or week end nights.)

Thank You, Karen and Larry!
Vacation Home in the Cascade Foothills
This vacation home is in a gated community about 2 hours from Seattle between Sedro Woolley and Concrete. It has a private lake for boating (non-motorized), swimming, and fishing (no license needed because it is private). There are 2 swimming pools, 2 hot tubs, tennis courts, miniature golf, and a clubhouse that sometimes has social activities. It sleeps up to six folks, in a bunk bed, a sleep sofa, and a private bedroom with a queen sized bed. It is available almost any time, but with agreement between the donation winner and home owners. (Long week end or mid-week stay.)

Thank You, Sue and Lanny!
Vacation Home in Oceanside, Oregon
Located in Oceanside (a small, quiet coastal community west of Tillamook on the Three Capes Scenic Loop), this hillside house has a spectacular view and is a ten-minute walk to beach. The all-wood interior is in immaculate condition. It sleeps 7 in beds; 3 separate sleeping areas with two baths. Everyone loves this place! No pets, no smoking; no shoes. Leave it as you find it. (Housekeeper can be hired for this.) Carry out your own trash. (2 week end nights or 4 week nights from 10/1/2016 – 6/30/2017 excluding holiday week ends.)

Thank You, Beth and Brian!
Bed and Breakfast in Vancouver, B.C.
Two nights in a lovely private home in the Kerrisdale area of the city, with full breakfast included. Large bedroom with comfortable queen bed, WIFI and smart TV, and adjacent guest bathroom. Second bedroom with comfortable queen bed also available for second person or couple. Within a block of two separate public transit routes. (Not available from July to early August; all other dates check availability.)

Thank You, Nan and Fred!
Port Townsend Vacation Stay
Quiet, private upstairs apartment, full of light and nestled in the wooded part of the eclectic North Beach neighborhood of Port Townsend. Peek-a-boo view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Whidbey Island from the bedroom. 1 bed sleeps 2. No smoking. Pets only on approval from owners. (2 nights from 10/1/2016 – 10/31/2016 or from 1/15/2017 – 5/15/2017.)

Friends of Folklife

Volunteer Spotlight Julia Brewer

Volunteer Spotlight: Julia Brewer

Volunteer Spotlight Julia Brewer
How long have you been Volunteering at the Northwest Folklife Festival?

Well technically I have been volunteering every year since 1997, but I was 2 at that age so I basically just helped/hung around with my mom while she volunteered. As I got older I was able to take on more responsibilities and really contribute to Folklife.

Another form of volunteering is performing at the festival. I have been performing at Folklife with Melody Xie Chinese Dance Institute since 2002-2013, which I have really enjoyed.

 What position(s) do you take on at the Festival?

Over the years my mom and I have done various volunteer positions, such as greeter, button selling and vendor assistant. But our favorite position is volunteer registration. My mom and I usually take the first shifts possible. We get to the grounds around 8am, so that after the shift we can possibly volunteer for more shifts if needed or we have the whole day to enjoy the various activities the festival holds.

The volunteers and staff members that I get to work with are just amazing and I get to meet others who enjoy giving back to the festival as well, which makes getting up so early not as bad.

 Please share a funny story, good memory, or tip for new volunteers!

A good memory I have is sharing my love for Folklife with my boyfriend and friends. I have also taught several of my friends and my boyfriend how to Contra dance. So few young individuals know what Contra dancing is or how to do it, so I think it is important to teach as many of the younger generation how to Contra dance so that it does not die out. I also love staying late every day of the festival so that I can get as much Contra dancing in as I can.

A tip for new volunteers would be, to remember to smile and to just have fun with the experiences. Folklife is the friendliest festival in Seattle, so you should just sit back and enjoy your time the best you can. Even though Folklife needs the volunteers, I would also suggest that high schools students that are trying to complete their service learning hours, to try not to procrastinate to until the end to get all their necessary hours; although it is funny trying to jam as many shifts as possible into their day.

Interested in Volunteering at the Festival? Sign-up HERE today!

Your Support Creates Ties Behind the Scenes


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.

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