The Discovery Zone is Hitting the Road for Wintergrass!

Northwest Folklife is taking the excitement and fun of the Discovery Zone to the Wintergrass Festival on Saturday February 25. Wintergrass, a family friendly celebration of Bluegrass music, is a four day long festival held at the Hyatt in Bellevue beginning Friday, February 23. We’re thrilled to be partnering with them this year to present hands on activities for the whole family in the Cottonwood Room from 10am-noon on Saturday February 25th . Here’s a glimpse at what you can expect:

Make a HUGE Crankie

Help local artist and musician Dejah Leger to bring this traditional storytelling method to life! Crankies are a way to tell stories through music and art. A long scroll of paper is wound through two spools and inserted into a box with an open viewing screen. Then when you move the paper through the spools the moving images come to life as the story unfolds. Do your part to create a community crankie with Dejah and learn about the history of crankies in the process.

Fiber Arts and Weaving

Learn the tools and techniques of fiber art with Local artists Jill Green and Ann Suter. Using all natural materials, you can weave together your own bracelet to take home. See what kind of colors and patterns you can come up with!

 

Create your own Masterpiece

Doodle, draw, and sketch with the Northwest Folklife coloring station. Use the coloring pages provided, or let your imagination run wild and create something new!

For more information about Wintergrass Festival including ticket information and full lineup visit their website.

Hope to see you there!

Announcing Northwest Folklife’s 2017 Cultural Focus: Festál Turns 20

Northwest Folklife is proud to announce the 2017 Cultural Focus: Festál Turns 20. The Cultural Focus is an annual, year-round exploration that culminates in special performances, panels, workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations, and activities at each Northwest Folklife Festival. In 2017, Northwest Folklife will partner with Seattle Center Festál, a venerable series of 24 cultural festivals intended to highlight and bring together communities that contribute to the character of the Pacific Northwest.

For 46 years, Northwest Folklife has brought the diverse communities of our region together on the grounds of Seattle Center, the city’s central gathering space. Northwest Folklife shares these same grounds year-round with Festál, the Center’s presenting organization that works with 24 community organizations to bring festivals like Diwali, Tết Festival, CroatiaFest, Spirit of Indigenous People, and more to Seattle Center. The Northwest Folklife Festival is the longest-running of these Festál programs, and as series turns 20 in 2017, Northwest Folklife will take the year to focus on the ground-breaking, community-organizing work for which Seattle Center Festál is known.

At the 2017 Northwest Folklife Festival (May 27-30) Festál organizations will be invited to curate 1-2 hour showcases presenting their cultural community, to join a three-hour Festál showcase in the Cornish Playhouse highlighting all the festivals, and take part in film presentations, panel discussions, workshops, participatory dances, food demonstrations, hands-on family activities, and more. Throughout the year, including the Seattle Children’s Festival (October 8, 2017), Northwest Folklife will engage with Festál communities to curate and plan year-round arts, culture, and folklife programming. Northwest Folklife will also serve as a resource and support to each Festál community, conducting meetings, groups trainings, and promotions for each organization.

 

“Northwest Folklife and Seattle Center Festál share a like mission to raise awareness of cultural heritage and engage folks in opportunities to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest,” says Kelli Faryar, Northwest Folklife’s Program Director. “Our upcoming Cultural Focus: Festál Turns 20 will multiply the capacity of all 23 groups to engage folks throughout the region, establishing a foundation for broader and deeper participation among Northwest Folklife, Festál, audiences and cultural communities.”

“When Northwest Folklife told me that Festál would be the Cultural Focus for 2017,” says Steve Sneed, Managing Artistic Director at Seattle Center, “I was so excited because I knew what this meant, having participated in Northwest Folklife’s Hip Hop Cultural Focus a few years ago. Northwest Folklife fits into the Festál mosaic as a curator of folk music from all over the world, and their support and connection helps to strengthen our Festál events.”

In recognition of Northwest Folklife’s work with Northwest communities, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the organization a grant of $25,000 in 2017 for the Cultural Focus: Festál Turns 20. These funds will directly support the year-round efforts of staff as they engage with each of the 23 communities. A portion of this funding will also support the programming at the 46th annual Northwest Folklife Festival.

Thanks for a great Seattle Children’s Festival!


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At the Seattle Children’s Festival, families not only watch and listen but Play, Dance, Sing, Learn, Taste and Participate!

oolleemmdrum1  Thank you for another fantastic Seattle Children’s Festival! It was a great day of music, dance, art and exploration at the Seattle Center. More than 3,000 of our neighbors helped us to celebrate our BIG neighborhood along with 154 artists with 32 performances across 6 different venues. Families were able to experience all kinds of Folklife, from traditional Chinese dance to beat boxing. And so much more!

Take any good pics at the festival? We want to see them! Post your favorites on Instagram or facebook #folklifekids. We’ll have ours up soon!

We hope to see you all back for the 4th annual Seattle Children’s Festival next year! Mark your calendar for Sunday, October 8, 2017

 

 

A Letter from Rob Townsend

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.04.13 PMDear Friends,

 

I write this as I am about to step away from the leadership position here at Northwest Folklife. I’m passing the torch to Mark Crawford, a talented, seasoned nonprofit leader who will serve as the Interim Executive Director and will ably shepherd the organization into its next chapter. The coming 2016-17 year is truly Folklife’s bridge to the future!

 

It has been my privilege to be at the helm since 2008. We’ve all enjoyed nine Folklife Festivals in that time, but we’ve also seen the birth of our Seattle Children’s Festival, soon to enjoy its third edition. We’ve seen the resilience and strength of the organization through our country’s trying financial period, and now look forward to a brilliant future together.

 

I have seen the strength of Northwest Folklife from my privileged position: that strength is you! Our organization is a prime example of community power in action. It will continue to flourish and grow only with your continuing help in all ways – through programming, community awareness, volunteerism and with your financial support. I hope as we all look forward to Folklife’s 50th year in the not-so-distant future, we will see Folklife maintain its position as a cultural beacon for all in our region.
Thank you all, so very much, for your wisdom, your support, and your participation in all that makes Northwest Folklife so unique and special.

 

Warm regards,

 
Rob Townsend

 

Community Coordinator Spotlight: 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.

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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.

 

Northwest Folklife Partnership: Arts in Nature Festival and Big World Breaks

Big World Breaks

Northwest Folklife is thrilled to partner with the Nature Consortium for the 2016 Arts in Nature Festival. For two full days, the Arts in Nature Festival transforms Camp Long into an intimate and eclectic experience of art and performance, nestled in the woods of Seattle’s only campground. In addition to visual arts, theater and dance, Seattle band Big World Breaks will perform on August 20 at 7 pm. Don’t miss it!

Additionally, you’ll find four intimate performance stages, a Museum of Sound in 8 rustic cabins, hands-on art and nature activities, and winding hiking trails through the great outdoors. Experience works ranging from jazz, classical, indie rock, bluegrass, contemporary dance, marching bands, and interactive sound installations.

For tickets, and more information about the festival including additional music, art and theater performances, visit: http://fest.naturec.org/

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:
FRIDAY, MAY 27
Kickin’ Up Dust Showcase
Featuring The Lucky Shots, The Gortexans, Johnson Country, and The Fentons
6:00 – 9:00 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
SATURDAY, MAY 28
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
SUNDAY, MAY 29
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
MONDAY, MAY 30
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

Getting to the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival

All of us at Northwest Folklife are getting very excited for our favorite weekend of the year, and we want to make sure your trip to the Festival is as smooth and hassle free as possible.  There are a variety of ways to get to the Seattle Center campus, whether you’re traveling on foot, bus, bike or car.

For those taking public transportation, there are over a dozen bus routes servicing Seattle Center from all over the greater Seattle area.  Public transportation to and from the Northwest Folklife Festival can be planned by going to SeattleCenter.com or King County Trip Planner.  And don’t forget about the Monorail!  The Seattle Monorail goes directly to Seattle Center from Downtown, and departs every ten minutes, running between Seattle Center station, adjacent to the Space Needle, and Westlake Center Mall station, at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street.

If you prefer to drive to the festival there will be plenty of paid lots available surrounding Seattle Center, but please be aware that lots can fill up by midday and rates could be high.  If you want to drive but don’t want to deal with the stress of parking, consider taking a Lyft!  We will have a pick up/drop off zone conveniently located on Mercer Avenue at the North end of grounds, and drivers will be ready to assist you.  If you haven’t yet signed up for Lyft, now is the time.  Lyft is offering a special Folklife rate of $10 for each of your first 5 rides!  You can sign up here or use the new user code FOLKLIFE16. 

If you’re planning to ride your bike to the Festival we’ve got you covered also!  Bike racks will be available at the Harrison Street entrance.

Visit our Getting Here web page for more information as you plan your weekend!

Looking forward to seeing you Memorial Day Weekend!

Warren's Roadhouse 2015. Photo Credit: Doug Plummer

Let’s Dance!

Photo by Christopher Nelson

Dancing is an important – and fun – part of Northwest Folklife Festival. Just set foot in the Fisher Pavilion or Armory Court stage and you’ll see what we mean. And this year’s no different! At any time during the weekend, you can always jump in and shimmy, Allemande , or do-si-do.

Here are a few dance parties that you won’t want to miss this year:

Hula Dance
Armory Court Stage, Saturday, 2-2:45pm

Learn to dance the traditional Hula with Gloria Nahalea and friends.

Western Swing and Country Barnburner
Fisher Pavilion, Sunday, 1-2:50

Join The Wiretappers, and Wylie and the Wild West for a rootin’, tootin’ barnburner!

STG Dance This
Armory Court Stage, Sunday, 11-12:45

Learn a variety of moves from around the world in this cross cultural dance workshop organized by the Seattle Theater Group.

Singin Squares
Fisher Pavilion, Monday, 2-2:50pm

In the spirit of the Cultural Focus, we’re adding a little vocals to this entertaining square dancing showcase. Join these five singing squares Just Because in the fun! Do we even need to ask why?

Monday Closing Contra
Fisher Pavilion, Monday, 6-9pm

Closeout the festival with a major bang with these three bands with a big sound!

  • Les Capitaines du Jour with Carol Piening, Caller
  • Ryan McKasson and Friends with Woody Lane, Caller
  • Uncle Farmer with Lindsey Dono, Calller

For a full list of participatory dances as well as a full festival guide, check out the schedule here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Wayne Severson

NWFL LOGO
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.”

Art for Everyone: Paperstock

paperstock 3PaperStock is back at the 2016 Folklife Festival! This year’s focus, Art for Everyone, reflects the variety of prints and posters available at the exhibition.  You are invited to peruse prints from contemporary concert poster artists and silk screen print artists, and you might even find a favorite new print to purchase directly from the artist! Attend an on-site screen printing demonstrations to learn how many of these prints are produced.

 

 

Located in the International Fountain Pavilion Saturday – Monday 11 AM – 7 PM.

Featuring art from:paperstock 1
Farley Bookout
Eric Carnell aka Independence Printage and Fogland Studios
Frida Clements
David and Kelsey Gallo aka Weapons of Mass Design
Mike Klay aka Powerslide Design Co
Chad Lundberg
Andrew Saeger aka Factory 43
Dan Stiles