Your Gift Ensures the Northwest Folklife Festival’s Lifeline

The 46th annual Northwest Folklife Festival is a community treasure that your gifts have created. The excitement and the pace of work continues to mount as we prepare to host over 100 cultural communities, 5,000 artists on 25 stages, the crafts booths, food vendors, and opportunities to participate such as over 90 hours of participatory dance, hands on activities for kids in the Discovery Zone, and jamming with musicians. It is going to be a blast.

Today, we are asking for your help to continue the tradition of artistic and cultural inclusion accessible to everyone. Please take a moment to give, renew and even increase your support as a Friend of Folklife donor.

Your support of Northwest Folklife is actually a gift to the entire community. Here, we share in our rich arts and cultural traditions: dance communities flourish at Warren’s Roadhouse, we witness Native American cultural practices and a powwow, and folks young and old mingle over music.

Northwest Folklife’s roots are deeply embedded in cultural inclusion. Recently, Phil Williams, one of our founders passed on. His widow Vivian shared with us that “Phil figured everybody should have a chance to get to know people from other communities, whether it was quilting or playing bluegrass or Japanese koto. His resistance to fences included a sensitivity to refugees in Seattle who’d had their fill of barbed-wire fences and being closed in. He thought some people wouldn’t be comfortable with that. He was very, very inclusive.” Your gift continues this vision which remains as relevant today as it was in 1972.

As you know, it takes resources to make this happen. Costs rise for everything and Northwest Folklife is not immune to that. We pledge to you that we will be effective and efficient stewards of your support! And there is a sober note to share. The Northwest Folklife Festival is one of the few remaining all-access arts and culture festivals in the country.  While other Festivals have folded, or adopted an admission charge to offset rising costs, we remain committed to the founding principle established 46 years ago, that this annual celebration shall be open to everyone in our community. The Festival belongs to everyone in our community – not just those who can afford a ticket.

Your generosity helps weave this community fabric of cultural inclusion. Only your continued support and support from others will ensure the lifeline of this community treasure.

Please consider a meaningful gift and make your donation today.

Your Support Creates Opportunities

In 2017, the Northwest Folklife Festival Feels Especially Significant

On Memorial Day Weekend, Northwest Folklife will present the 46th Northwest Folklife Festival – a signature event for this region. Once again, we will host 800 performing groups, 5,000 artists and 152 cultural communities. The past 45 years have only been possible because of gifts of support, and we thank our contributors and Friends of Folklife!

While this celebration of our folk arts and traditions has long heralded the start of summer, in 2017, the Northwest Folklife Festival feels especially significant. In this era of our polarized society, when distrust, fear and anger is so prominent, we need to find those places where we share space, engage with one another and build community.

Northwest Folklife’s mission is to create opportunities for all to celebrate, share and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest. This annual gathering allows us to share our traditions of music, dance, storytelling and food. And through this sharing, we come to understand each other much more deeply.

We may find the steps to our dances differ. The beat or tempo of our music and the spices we use in our foods vary. But we find that we all dance! We all express ourselves through our music. And we all know that warmth of gathering around tables with familiar smells and tastes warming us as we reconnect with friends and families.

In these four days each year, we re-embrace those differences which actually show us how much alike we are. In these four days, together we create a community of communities. Come dance, play music and eat food with each other. Find shared delight in each moment and find the common threads that weave together to become the fabric of a civil and caring society.

If you believe in this community of communities and if you believe that this opportunity must be equitable and open to everyone without the economic barrier of an admission fee, we need your support right here in the Pacific Northwest. While we face challenges and needs that can be addressed on the national stage, effective change and progress occurs “at home.” Northwest Folklife is local, it is community powered by those of us who live here.

Applications are already streaming in from performers, all seeking the opportunity to share of themselves and their art with you. To make this possible, there is so much work to be done between now and Memorial Day weekend. To balance our budget and pay the necessary expenses, this year we must raise $662,100 in contributed income. Northwest Folklife is an independent not for profit organization and we value every contribution and commit to each of you that we will use your support as efficiently and wisely as is possible.

We ask you, our friends and supporters, to do two things.

First, please make or renew your contribution.

Second, please share and forward this message via email and your social media networks to like-minded people you know and ask them to support Northwest Folklife as well. Sharing your voice and your belief in the importance of this annual gathering with others is the best way to build the broad base of community support necessary to keep Northwest Folklife and our Festival in this community.

Next Memorial Day Weekend, as you sit on the grass surrounded by others all listening to music, or venture into Warren’s Roadhouse to join hundreds of others dancing together, you will be so glad you did. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Mark W. Crawford
Interim Executive Director

Photo Credit: Doug Plummer. Meet Doug in our first This is Folklife Spotlight.

Arpan Arts

Your Gift Amplifies the Voices of our Cultural Communities

Joe Seamons and Ben Hunter

Pictured: Joe Seamons and Ben Hunter carry on the American songster tradition.

Your support allows Northwest Folklife to change lives. People and cultures come together to share of themselves and celebrate one another. Please consider making a year-end gift or a monthly sustaining gift today.

Your support powers all we do to amplify the many voices of our Pacific Northwest cultural communities. The voices of our community thank you. Here’s what they want you to know. Your gift does all this and more:

Traditions thrive.

‘We share cultural traditions of rural, northwestern Oregon, and we represent the current manifestation of the songster tradition as “Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons.” Northwest Folklife has created a forum, the Festival, where my community is encouraged to come together and share the work of our students and our teachers, and that means a lot to us.’ ~ Joe Seamons, Rhapsody Project

Cultural heritage is celebrated.

‘The Northwest Folklife Festival is an opportunity for us to conserve and present the richness of our diverse Mexican cultural heritage. It is not only entertaining and educational; it is also a place for community-building, where different cultures are shared and accepted through the medium of art. ~ Edgardo Garcia & Jacque Larrainzar, Directors, Day of the Dead Committee

Communities unite.

‘The Folklife Festival helped to bring together and unite the Hawaiian hula community, and today Hawaiian Hula is alive and well in the Pacific Northwest.’ ~ Gloria Napua Fujii Nahaueau, 40 years of teaching and performing with Halau Hula O Napualani

Art forms are shared and discovered.

‘Our efforts are an offering (Arpan) to the entire community right from the inner depths of a diverse cultural melting pot that is India. We are honored to share our art form with you!’ ~ Joyce Kakariyil Paul, Founder and Director of Arpan Arts

With your continued support, together we will build our community, share your traditions and evolve new expressions. Make a year-end gift or a monthly sustaining gift here.

Sincerely,

Rafael Maslan                                                                Sheila Siden
President, Board of Directors                                     Development Director

P.S. Please remember to check with your employer for any matching gift policies! Make your gift multiply! Questions? Contact Sheila Siden at 206/233-3953 or sheila @ nwfolklife.org

Your Support Creates Opportunities

Become a Friend of Folklife

Explore Fine Artisan Chinese Teas, Friends of Folklife

If you were to time travel to China any time after 10BC, you are likely to find tea. Tour the world by any means these days, and you are likely to find tea.  Statistics say that fifty-one per cent of Americans drink tea every single day.  Tea is enjoyed in a countless variety of settings: as a personal moment, as an afternoon ritual with cakes, as a choreographed tradition such as the Japanese Tea Ceremony, and as a special tea tasting for Friends of Folklife at the Northwest Tea Festival!  Please RSVP to attend.

Tea is folklife, folks!

The Northwest Tea Festival has extended a special invitation to Friends of Folklife to enjoy a private tea tasting presented by Catherine & Ned Heagerty of Silk Road Teas. As tea purveyors, Catherine and Ned are well known for their tea discoveries, relationships with artisan growers, and their excellent quality tea finds. So, this will be a big treat!

teafestivalSession Description:
During this session Catherine & Ned will talk about their quest to find rare Chinese teas and make them available in the United States. Attendees will learn about this process and will have the opportunity to sample a selection of these teas, expertly brewed for their enjoyment. There will be ample time for questions and Catherine & Ned will be happy to share some of their vast knowledge about tea.

About Silk Road Teas:
Silk Road Teas is known as a purveyor of rare and artisan teas from China.  Each spring, they travel in the tea-rich southeastern provinces to source their teas.  Visiting tea markets, small farms, specialty tea companies and tea brokers, they find the finest varieties of white, green, oolong, black and Pu-erh tea.

Silk Road Teas are grown and processed by true artisans of the leaf.  They purchase most of their teas in picking-teasmall lots that are single origin and often handmade.  It is their belief the best tea is harvested early in the spring, when the days are warming and the nights cool. In that brief harvest window, known as “before the rain” teas, the fresh and tender leaves offer nuanced flavors and tastes.  These teas are limited in supply and are recognized as some of the finest teas in the world.  Once plucked and processed, many of their teas are not blended and they preserve these unique small lots for their customers’ enjoyment.

Time: October 2nd at 11:00am-12:00pm
Session Title: Fine Artisan Chinese Teas
Session Leaders: Catherine & Ned Heagerty of Silk Road Teas
Admission to the Northwest Tea Festival is $10, and there is no additional charge to Friends of Folklife for this special invitational tasting. RSVP by the end of day Sept 26th.

Become a Friend of Folklife

Humaira Abid's Fountain Head

ArtXchange Gallery To Host Humaira Abid’s Artist Talk & Mingle for Folkstarters

Humaira Abid

Humaira Abid can make wood look as flexible as a rubber hot-water bottle or as hard as a cast-iron faucet. She can make it curve and curl — or turn into shoes and shoelaces. She can even transform it into a shirt, trousers, jacket and dress that hang with convincing limpness from stainless-steel hangers in an open clothes closet…  But Abid, a Pakistani artist who divides her time between Seattle and Lahore, also packs a visceral punch with her content.  – The Seattle Times (Michael Upchurch, “Review: Seattle sculptor Humaira Abid blends dazzling craft, potent content in Red”, April 2011)

Humaira Abid is inspired by a folk art form that many enjoy: woodworking. She has combined it with a craft of her native Pakistan: miniature painting as illustration. What followed is Abid’s unique story as an artist. Using her chosen art forms for social commentary and personal self-expression, Abid has honed her skill and techniques to make these materials sing and rise to become fine art.

Sculptor Humaira Abid will present “From Ordinary to Extraordinary,” a talk about her inspiration and artistic process, situating her work in the context of feminism, international women’s issues, and the landscape of contemporary Pakistani artists for Folkstarter Friends of Folklife on September 22.

A selection of Abid’s work opened at ArtXchange Gallery on August 4 and is currently featured at the Tacoma Art Museum. Humaira Abid takes ordinary objects from everyday life and makes them extraordinary. Some of her work is humorous, some ironical. Abid turns, carves, and constructs in wood, combined with various mediums using great skill and detail.

Abid is one of a small number of female sculptors to rise to the top of her field. Her commitment to her artistic career is illustrated by her continuous pursuit and participation in art residencies, art exhibitions, symposiums and workshops.

Abid’s work has been reviewed by the Seattle Times, the Stranger, KUOW Public Radio, the Seattle Weekly and the Huffington Post. She has appeared in the Stranger’s Arts & Performances Quarterly magazine, Sculptural Pursuit, American art collector magazine and in-flight magazine of AIR INDIA. Documentaries have been produced on Abid’s work by PBS KCTS9 TV Chanel (which got nominated for NW Emmy Awards) and Bellevue Arts Museum, WA, USA.

Abid has exhibited her exquisite work nationally and internationally including in Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Mauritius, Nepal, Kenya, Dubai, Bolivia, Germany, Russia, UK, USA and won many awards and grants.

About Art Xchange Gallery

ArtXchange Gallery is a unique art gallery exhibiting artists who explore culture, social issues, and heritage. We work with local, national and international artists who reflect diversity of influences shaping the Seattle community and contemporary global culture. ArtXchange aims to spread appreciation for the beautiful art and craft traditions that continue to inspire and inform artists today, as well as provide exposure for artists whose work educates audiences, asks questions, and creates dialogue about our world.

About Folkstarter Friends of Folklife

Folkstarters support Northwest Folklife’s sustainability and growth, and year-round multi-cultural programs with annual gifts of $250 and over. To RSVP and for more information, please contact sheila@nwfolklife.orgAll gifts make the Folklife magic happen.

Become a Friend of Folklife

Next Friend of Folklife Meet Ups
Mark your calendar for new opportunities to experience arts, culture, and community.

October 2 at the Northwest Tea Festival: Friends of Folklife are invited to RSVP to a free tea tasting on October 2nd at the 2016 Northwest Tea Festival (October 1st and 2nd).  Sample several delicious international teas prepared and served by industry experts while meeting and mingling with your fellow Friends of Folklife.  Limited to the first 20 RSVPs, festival admission not included, information for attendees will be sent out early September.  To RSVP and for more information, please email sheila@nwfolklife.org.

Sunday, October 9: 3rd annual Seattle Children’s Festival at the Seattle Center. This multi-cultural, inter-generational festival will feature music, dance, activities, and exploration from around the globe. No admission charge, thanks to your donations.

Saturday, November 12: Friends of Folklife meet the Clay Club: fun and neighborly times with Pottery Northwest and Northwest Folklife. $10 for Friends of Folklife and Clay Club members.

TobiasTheOwl

A Night of Music, Painting & Dance

Tobias The Owl

Friends of Folklife are invited to meet up for First Thursday on September 1 at AXIS Pioneer Square. Visual art, live music, live mural painting, and dance are all part of this immersive Seattle sight and sound show. The first 15 Friends of Folklife who ‘check in’ will receive a 2016 Festival T-Shirt. Join or renew as a Friend of Folklife on the spot.

AXIS Pioneer Square presents “Audio/Visual”, a group exhibition hosting Seattle artists from a variety of disciplines collaborating to create a unique sensory experience. Focusing on the past and present Seattle music community, Audio/Visual will showcase a diverse representation of art, music, and visual performance. The show is sponsored by Northwest Folklife, Seattle Acoustic Festival, and New Amsterdam Vodka with a portion of art sales benefitting Arts Corps.

Three noted local artists Ryan Henry Ward, Ten Hundred, and Wakuda will showcase their collaborations with sculptor Katie Kurkjy and will also display their individual creations.

Along with visual art, the event will feature solo and collaborative performances by some of the region’s most acclaimed musicians, including Daniel Blue (Motopony), Andrew D.B. Joslyn (Macklemore), Tobias the Owl (pictured above performing at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival) and others.

Sponsored by New Amsterdam Vodka, complimentary drinks will be on hand for those 21+! The event is free and open to the public.

RSVP at EventBrite or Facebook.

AXIS Pioneer Square

AXIS Pioneer Square

Become a Friend of Folklife.

Arts & Culture Connections for Friends of Folklife

Hobnobbing at Friend of Folklife HQ. All photos by Christopher Nelson.

Hobnobbing at the Friend of Folklife HQ. All photos by Christopher Nelson.

Friends of Folklife gathered for a good time at the Friend of Folklife Headquarters, meeting up with life-long friends and making new ones,  at the 45th Folklife Festival. These convivial moments have inspired even more opportunities for Friends of Folklife to connect through music, arts, culture, and folklife.

‘Our Big Neighborhood’ Programs: North, East, and West Everyone Welcome!

Saturday, August 20:

  • CHOMP! Dig Northwest Folklife’s multi-cultural programming at CHOMP! Marymoor Park: Halau Hula O Napualiani, Seattle Women’s Steel Pan Project, Rhythms of India, Anzanga Marimba Ensemble, and Ocheami. First 15 Friends of Folklife who ‘check in’ with your 2016 Friend of Folklife Button at the Folklife table at CHOMP! will receive a 2016 Festival T-Shirt.
  • Cultural Arts Series It’s a casual evening of participatory Sound and Fury Morris dancing at Crossroads Bellevue’s excellent international food court, 6:30pm.
  • Arts in Nature Festival at Camp Long in West Seattle, in partnership with Nature Consortium.

You are invited to Become a Friend of Folklife, and Thank You for being one! We hope to see you for these new adventures:

Friend of Folklife Meet Up!
Thursday, September 1 at 6pm – 9pm:
Axis Pioneer Square First Thursday – A Night for Folklife
Experience Axis Gallery’s new space with an original multimedia performance featuring Katie Kurkjy, Andrew D. B. Jolsyn, Daniel Blue of Motopony, and Tobias the Owl. First 15 Friends of Folklife who ‘check in’ will receive a 2016 Festival T-Shirt. Opportunities to join or renew as a Friend of Folklife will be presented.

Special Invitation to Folkstarter Friends of Folklife
ArtXchange Gallery Humaira Abid’s Artist Talk & Mingle
Sculptor Humaira Abid presents “From Ordinary to Extraordinary,” a talk about her inspiration and artistic process, situating her work in the context of feminism, international women’s issues, and the landscape of contemporary Pakistani artists. Abid turns, carves, and constructs in wood, combined with various mediums using great skill and detail. A selection of Abid’s work opens at ArtXchange Gallery on August 4 and is currently featured at the Tacoma Art Museum. E-vite coming soon to Folkstarters for this September get-together.

Autumn Heads-Up…

  • October 1 & 2: Northwest Tea Festival will offer a special international tea tasting for Friends of Folklife. Participants pay regular $10 admission, and are invited to enjoy a special tea tasting.
  • Sunday, October 9 from 10am-5pm: 3rd annual Seattle Children’s Festival at the Seattle Center. This multi-cultural, inter-generational festival will feature music, dance, activities, and exploration from around the globe. No admission charge, thanks to your donations.
  • Saturday, November 12: Friends of Folklife meet the Clay Club: neighborly times with Pottery Northwest and Northwest Folklife. $10 for Friends and Clay Club.

Subscribe to our eNews for even more opportunities to connect with the greater Northwest Folklife community. Join us on Facebook. Contact me any time with your ideas and questions.

All my best,

Sheila
Development Director

Friends’ philanthropy sustains Northwest Folklife and its 45-year tradition of celebrating our big neighborhood.  The more we celebrate one another the better.

The Uncommon Market on Fisher Terrace. Photo by Christopher Nelson.

Friend of Folklife Headquarters’ neighbor, The Uncommon Market on Fisher Terrace. Photo by Christopher Nelson.

All Friends of Folklife are invited to enjoy the oasis of the Friends of Folklife Headquarters at the Northwest Folklife Festival on Memorial Day weekend in May, and receive the Festival Guide by mail prior to the Festival (please be sure we have your current address!)

Renew your support as a Friend of Folklife.

The More We Celebrate Each Other The Better

Ryan Davis shares his personal perspective: It was Saturday night and I was watching The Banner Days perform at the Vera Project stage after having spent the entire day soaking in all the fantastic music and performances of the 2016 Folklife Festival.  In between songs singer Beth Whitney took a moment to thank the audience for “coming out to Folklife instead of staying home and watching Netflix.” The comment got a bit of a laugh and The Banner Days continued their fantastic set.

The Banner Days

Beth Whitney & Bradford Loomis are The Banner Days, soulful folk duo from shores of Seattle.

For whatever reason that simple statement about not staying home stuck with me. As I was enjoying the festival on Sunday it occurred to me that Beth was tapping into something bigger than Folklife or even Netflix. She was making a comment and thanking the audience for being present and celebrating The Banner Days’ music as a part of the larger celebration known as The Northwest Folklife Festival. It’s something I’ve thought about a bit lately. Before mass media, human beings entertained and celebrated each other with intimate performances to small audiences for thousands of years. They were called tribes, and all human needs had to be met within them including entertainment. Those thousands of years of conditioning created a yearning to be recognized by our peers and to celebrate them in a much more intimate manner than we tend to do these days. Rather than celebrate each other, we have celebrities: people we are highly unlikely to ever meet let alone actually have a relationship with, but there we are watching Netflix and other media and celebrating people we can’t know. This is detrimental to our relationships and how we view each other. Certainly we enjoy very high quality entertainment from incredibly talented individuals, but that’s not the same as cheering for your neighbor as they perform a song, poem, dance, etc. for your entertainment. Something has been lost in that change over the past 100 years or so after radio became common in most American homes.

Guerrilla contra dance breaks out to the tunes of the Charles Street Messengers. Photo credit Christopher Nelson

The Northwest Folklife Festival is one of only a few opportunities our regional community has to really celebrate one another. It gives me hope that there is a tremendous amount of people who are interested in seeing and celebrating their neighbors. The more we celebrate each other the greater the sense of connection and community. A virtuous cycle is started when we take the time to go out and support our friends and neighbors in their artistic and cultural pursuits. We are celebrating one another in a powerful way that lifts all of us and leaves us with a sense of community and connectedness that is very difficult to create in our fast paced always logged-in lives. These celebrations create opportunities for different groups in our community to collaborate and lift each other up, and hopefully in the process the relationships that get developed allow all of us to feel like celebrating–I know I do.

Ryan Davis
Northwest Folklife Board Member

Ryan DavisRyan Davis joined the Northwest Folklife Board of Directors last year. He is the Director of Business & Operations at Pratt Fine Arts Center. As a local musician, Ryan has performed at venues large and small all over the Puget Sound with a number of different groups.