Board & Staff

Board of Directors

Left to right, Top Row: Karen Shaw, Mike Richardson, Michelle Demers Shaevitz,  Don Morgan, Jabi Shriki
Bottom Row: Harvey Niebulski, Rafael Maslan, Selena Whitaker-Paquiet ,David Greenspan, Luther Black
Not shown: Ryan Davis, Kim Camara,  Karen White, Evan Woods,  Brian Robertson, Danielle Stephenson

Rafael Maslan, President
Licensed Massage Practitioner

Luther Black, Past President
Marine Environmental Analyst

Evan Woods,Vice President
Labor Union Researcher/Organizer

Ryan Davis, Treasurer
Director of Business & Operations, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Musician/Songwriter

Michael Richardson, Secretary
Professor of Radiology, University of Washington

Kim Camara, Cultural Anthropologist/Ethnomusicologist, Native American Arts/Cultural Project Developer/Grant Writer

Michelle Demers Shaevitz, Arts Manager and Festival Organizer

David Greenspan, Attorney at Law (Private Practice)

Don Morgan, Retired Hospitality Manager

Harvey Niebulski, M.D., Radiologist, Group Health Cooperative

Brian Robertson, Historical consultant

Latha Sambamurti

Karen Shaw, Psychologist, Cultural Organization Leader

Jabi E. Shriki, Associate Professor of Radiology, University of Washington; Musician/Community Organizer

Danielle Stephenson

Selena Whitaker-Paquiet, Actor, Musician, Songwriter, Producer, Comic; Intellectual Property Paralegal

Karen White, Dance Aficionado and former City Code Compliance Director—

Northwest Folklife is an independent nonprofit which produces the annual Northwest Folklife Festival and other year-round programming in order to strengthen communities through arts and culture.

We are currently seeking potential candidates for board committees and director positions. Board members with financial, fundraising, legal and marketing expertise are being sought, as well as those who can provide connections to Folklife communities and/or companies. We are also recruiting non-board participation in committees including Marketing, Development, and Finance. All positions require a monthly commitment of time for meetings, individual work and attendance at a variety of events. 

Are you interested in helping govern Folklife’s present and planning for our future? Please click here to read background materials for board prospects and committee descriptions. If you are interested in being considered for board membership, or would like more information, please write to



To contact staff, please use the links below, or email

Vanessa BanksonVanessa
Performer Relations Coordinator
Everything is better in the Northwest! What makes Folklife incredibly awesome is how every year is packed with great new artist, stunning costumes, cool crafts and tasty food. I love working and living in a place where there is consistently something unique and exciting to discover! In my spare time, I enjoy travelling, hiking and lounging around the house with my husband and dogs.
vanessa @


Anna Buxton
Anna BuxtonPrograms Coordinator
I’m thrilled to be joining a team which celebrates the multicultural makeup of the Northwest through such a dynamic assortment of art forms. In my free time, I enjoy running with my dog and exploring neighborhoods and visiting art museums.
anna @


Mark Crawfordmark
Interim Executive Director
This opportunity to work with Northwest Folklife feeds two of the major passions of my life – the arts (yes – I am a long time frustrated actor who turned to administration) and building community to strengthen the bonds of a civil, empathetic and respectful society.
mark @


Michael Chandler
Festival & Production Director
Folklife is one of the few all-ages, FREE events that people from all walks of life can enjoy; making that happen is a good thing. I also work at many other arts festivals and events in town. I am a photographer, a screen printer, and a professional enabler.
mike @


Christina Halverson 
I am always so excited for spring to come because that means another season at Folklife and an opportunity to celebrate the arts and build communities in the PNW!  Born and raised in Seattle but these days I spend most of the year traveling and working music and film festivals around the country. In my free time, I’m usually exploring the great outdoors, turning wood on my lathe or thrifting for that perfect sweater.
christinah @


Kelli Faryar
Programs Director
Northwest Folklife is truly powered by the people – built by and for the community to showcase who we are in the Northwest. When I’m not at Folklife, you can find me roller skating to Olivia Newton-John records, decoupaging and rockin’ out on the guitar.
kelli @


Katie McColgan
Sponsor/Merchant CoordinatorKatie
Folklife is unlike any other festival I’ve come across in that it is accessible to all and powered by the community. I feel very privileged and fortunate to be a part of this year’s celebration. In my free time I enjoy rock climbing, baking and exploring new places.
katie @


Annie O’Dowd
Operations Manager, Production Manager & Technical Director
I relish the “choose your own adventure” aspect of Folklife. When I am not logisticizing for Folklife, you can find me organizing several other festivals around Seattle and drinking tea!
anne @



Beth Schlanskybeth
Accounting Assistant
The Northwest Folklife Festival is my favorite event of the year. I love getting to see all my friends from various parts of the country and the world. In my free time, I enjoy volunteering for cat rescue organizations and being a season ticket holder for both the Seattle Opera and the Seattle Mariners.
beth @



Sheila SidenSheilaSiden
Development Director
I believe in the power of art to connect people and bridge cultures. Northwest Folklife is a recipe for world peace, bringing together artists and audiences of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities to create and participate. My own artistic adventures include painting, photography, and occasional improv.
sheila @



JudyJudy Terreberry
Finance Director
I think the world is a better place because of organizations like Folklife! I spend my spare time playing violin with Philharmonia Northwest, working with Chamber Music Madness, and quilting. (I also try to find time to visit with Mr. Sevcik…)
judy @



Cheyanne Warren
Volunteer Coordinator
What I enjoy most about Folklife is creating a history and legacy of community here in the Northwest. Experiencing great music and connecting with great people has become a time-honored tradition that I am thrilled to be a part of. In my spare time, I often find myself reading, going to the beach with my dog or rockhounding.
volunteers @



Phil O’Sullivan
phil @


Devon Leger
PR and Media Relations
devon @