Gospel Choir

We envision strong communities, united by arts and culture.

Gospel Choir

Northwest Folklife stands for the belief that the arts invigorate and revitalize interpersonal connections and sense of community. When people share aspects of their culture, opportunities are created to dissolve misunderstandings, break down stereotypes, and increase respect for one another. Exposure to world cultures and the creativity of folks as a big neighborhood resonates for people of all ages, throughout their lives.

Participatory arts practices bridge boundaries of race, class, and ethnicity. Unique among all Festivals, the heart of Northwest Folklife and our Festivals is the community outreach, inclusion, and collaboration that transpires all year.

By preserving cultural heritage we promote its evolution. Everyone is a bearer of folk arts; and participation in the arts is as important as observing them.

We believe that inspiring kids’ cultural intelligence will create a kinder world, strong communities, and smarter kids.

Northwest Folklife relies on the diverse communities of the Pacific Northwest to inspire programs and collaborates with these communities to develop public presentations of their arts and culture. We see that interaction with new audiences enriches presenting communities and artists as much as the audience.

Northwest Folklife creates opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Join Us, Get Involved!

Community Powered!

 

Pictured: Universal Presbyterian Gospel Choir
Photo by Piper Hanson
posted by Sheila

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Happy Holidays from Northwest Folklife!

Happy holidays from all of us here at Northwest Folklife! As the weather starts to get colder and we all huddle up around the fire it’s the perfect time to share your traditions, music, and songs with those around you. Here at Folklife we are preparing for our 2016 Cultural Focus, The Power of the Human Voice through Song. With this Cultural Focus we will explore the power of the human voice and its role among communities through many different forms of vocal expression.

You may have seen our holiday card in the mail recently and we would love to introduce you to some of the amazing vocal performers from past Festivals featured on that card.

 

Womens Chorus2The Seattle Women’s Chorus singing at the 2012 Northwest Folklife Festival. The Seattle Women’s Chorus is a staple of Seattle’s choral community and is a perennial Folklife performance group. A leading voice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, Flying House Productions and The Seattle Women’s Chorus offer 30 outreach events and main stage concert performances annually. To learn more about the Seattle Women’s Chorus, you can visit their website here and find out about future performances. Photo by Ben Shaevitz.

 

 

 

sojourners-6A soulful gospel trio hailing from Vancouver, BC, The Sojourners are pictured here performing at the 2013 Folklife Festival. The Sojourners light up the stage wherever they are performing and have an incredible live show that can’t be missed! To learn more about The Sojourners, please visit their website here. Photo by Dan Thorton.

 

 

 

 

Hungarian community vocal performanceA young girl sings during one of the 2012 Folklife Festival performances by our Croatian community partners. The Seattle Junior Tamburitzans are a youth performance group that tours all over the Northwest showcasing traditional Croatian music, dance and costume. It is through the work of community coordinators and performers like these that Folklife is able to present the scale and quality of festival that we do and we are very thankful for the work that they do in order to make the Northwest Folklife Festival what it is today! To learn more about the Seattle Junior Tamburitzans, click here. Photo by Samuel Lin.

 

 

 

Upon acceptance to Seattle’s Northwest Folklife Festival in 2010, Onefourfive came into being with their distinctive style, singing exclusively Georgian folk songs. Onefourfive has continued since then, with members of the group traveling to Caucasus Georgia to learn songs, technique, styles, and of course, Georgian language and culture. Click here to learn more about onefourfive and listen to their music. Photo by Christopher Nelson.

 

 

 

NWFolk2015_Sunday_PiperHanson-12Banda L M, also known as Banda Le Mejor, is the best banda in town and they’re usually pretty busy playing for the Mexican communities here in the Northwest. Here they are playing at the Mural Amphitheater during the 2015 Folklife Festival, and if it’s your first time hearing Banda, then this will be a real treat. Banda is the ebullient and infectious brass-band dance music of Mexico and California, originally from Sinaloa in N. Mexico, huge in Mexican and Mexican-American communities. For more information about Banda L M, click here. Photo by Piper Hanson.

 

We can’t wait to bring you more of the incredible vocal traditions of the Northwest in 2016. Everyone at here a Northwest Folklife wishes you a wonderful holiday season and a harmonious New Year!

-The staff and board of Northwest Folklife

Anna Buxton

Meet Anna Buxton!

Anna BuxtonFolklife is thrilled to be welcome our new Programming team member, Anna Buxton. Anna has just returned to Seattle from Montana where she worked at the Missoula Art Museum. We are delighted to have her aboard as she brings 8+ years of arts administration experience to the organization.

“I’m thrilled to be joining a team which celebrates the multicultural makeup of the Northwest through such a dynamic assortment of art forms. I’ve always been impressed with the caliber of artists and performers at Northwest Folklife representing a wide array of cultures and traditions, and have many fond memories of attending the Festival with my family as a child. I’m looking forward to working with this talented community to create a spectacular Festival in 2016!”

Photo Credit: Piper Hanson

Why give? Discover Northwest Folklife

Joyas Mestizas t the Seattle Children's Festival

Joyas Mestizas at the Seattle Children’s Festival

“I believe that the cultural arts are essential to building vital, healthy communities. Northwest Folklife offers rare opportunities for musicians and artists to showcase their work in an accessible, intimate way. Folklife combines the very best of community spirit, creativity, friendships, music, dance, and arts and crafts. Northwest Folklife gives a lot to me. I feel it’s only fair to give back to Northwest Folklife.” – Catherine Lenox

Thanks to donors, volunteers, communities, performers, Festival sponsors and vendors, and participants, Northwest Folklife touches many lives. Since our humble beginnings, we have:
• Engaged hundreds of regional cultural groups in our year-round and Festival programming
• Delivered Cultural Focus programs that delve into an art form, exploring a topic in depth, through special performances, panels, workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations, and activities
• Created the largest community-powered arts & culture Festival in the country

Photo by Piper Hanson

Photo by Piper Hanson

Your gift makes the Northwest Folklife magic happen. Here are some examples of where your money goes:

Your gift of $150 brings musicians, dancers, community groups, artists, storytellers, and workshop instructors from the Northwest region, including Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Western Montana to perform and participate in the Northwest Folklife Festival. Did you know that all performers on Festival stages donate their time and energy in this remarkable community-powered phenomenon? Your donation of $150 provides resources for Northwest Folklife to offer travel reimbursements to performers and artists from the greater Pacific Northwest: the key to unlocking the wonder that is folklife throughout the Northwest.

Photo by Piper Hanson

Bahia in Motion. Photo by Piper Hanson

Your gift of $250 or more amplifies Northwest Folklife’s multi-cultural initiatives and programs throughout the year. Folk Starters’ support provides resources for Northwest Folklife to connect with artists and cultural communities all throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Western Montana. For example, in 2015, we worked with 20 partner artists and organizations to develop the 2015 Cultural Focus on Hip Hop: Beats, Rhymes and Rhythms: Traditional Roots of Today’s Branches. We engaged with more than 80 communities throughout the year to plan and present 63 genres of music and dance at the Northwest Folklife Festival. Basque, Tahitian, Vietnamese and Filipino communities had a new presence, due to enhanced outreach. We also expanded our hands-on showcase of fiber art and visual art. Northwest Folklife’s Seattle Children’s Festival and ‘Folklife Presents’ programs provide even more opportunity to showcase the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Folk Starters support year-round multi-cultural programs!

Thank you for building such an important tradition in Northwest Folklife, one that breaks down barriers between people and creates a path to peace through understanding.

Make a gift today. Learn more about how your donation supports Northwest Folklife.

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How Do We Make Northwest Folklife Strong for the Future?

It’s Community-Powered!

1,000 Cellos, Northwest Folklife Festival 2015. Photo Credit, Piper Hanson

Your gift makes the Folklife magic happen. Here’s where your money goes:

$10,000 sponsors a stage, sound engineer and stage manager. $5,000 creates opportunities for children and families to learn and grow. $2,500 supports year-round Cultural Focus programs. $1,000 provides professional production values to Community Coordinated showcases. $500 invests in strong communities through arts and culture. $250 amplifies our multi-cultural initiatives. Gifts in all amounts make Northwest Folklife community-powered and sustainable into the future.

“I support Northwest Folklife so that everyone can continue to enjoy this wonderful, community-building event. To keep the Festivals ‘free’, especially so that young families can experience this vivid display of cultures and traditions. Traditional folk music is the most profound reflection of the heart and soul of a people. It connects us with our past and provides the grounding for the future.” – Chuck Treser

Please make your year-end gift today, and consider becoming a Friend of Folklife.

Tell us why you give to Northwest Folklife!

Northwest Folklife creates opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Your gift creates strong communities, united by arts and culture. Thank You for Giving.

 

Posted by Sheila

Folklife 2014 - Monday

Folklife Defined

The next time you put out a pumpkin for Halloween, cut scraps of fabric for a quilt, or sing Happy Birthday, you will be practicing folklife.

Somali showcaseFolklife is a word with a past and a future. Much more than just folklore and folk music, “folklife is the everyday and intimate creativity that all of us share and pass on to the next generation.”

Northwest Folklife creates opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Everyone is a bearer of folk arts; and participation in the arts is as important as observing them.

In 1976, as the United States celebrated its Bicentennial, the U.S. Congress passed the American Folklife Preservation Act (P.L. 94-201). In writing the legislation, Congress had to define folklife. Here is what the law says:

“American folklife” means the traditional expressive culture shared within the various groups in the United States: familial, ethnic, occupational, religious, regional; expressive culture includes a wide range of creative and symbolic forms such as custom, belief, technical skill, language, literature, art, architecture, music, play, dance, drama, ritual, pageantry, handicraft; these expressions are mainly learned orally, by imitation, or in performance, and are generally maintained without benefit of formal instruction or institutional direction.

buttoned hatIn her article American Folklife: A Commonwealth of Cultures for The American Folklife Center, Mary Hufford’s synopsis is ‘Folklife is community life and values, artfully expressed in myriad interactions. It is universal, diverse, and enduring. It enriches the nation and makes us a commonwealth of cultures.’

Please join Northwest Folklife in celebrating, sharing and participating in the evolving traditions of our richly diverse communities’ folklife.

‘Folklife’ is arts and culture as a way of life.

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Donate your Lightly Used Clothes and Housewares and Benefit Folklife!

150609_Savers-0781_Muneca_Max_PaulNorthwest Folklife is teaming up with 2015 Festival Sponsor Value Village to host a donation drive running through December 11th, 2015.  Bring in your gently-used clothing, shoes, accessories, books, linens, and small household items (no furniture) to the Northwest Folklife offices located at 158 Thomas Street (right next to Seattle Center) and Value Village will pay Northwest Folklife for each pound donated.  This is a great way to recycle clothing and goods that you may no longer need while supporting Folklife!

Learn more about how your donations will be used here.  Tax receipts will be available for goods donated.  The Northwest Folklife offices are open Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm – feel free to give us a call if you plan on dropping goods off and we will have someone ready to assist you.   Please contact Katie McColgan at katie@nwfolklife.org or call 206.684.7043 with any questions.

 

Thank You

Thank You for a Successful 2nd Annual Seattle Children’s Festival

Thank You

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Kids explored hands-on activities at two Discovery Zones

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Miss Melba from NW Tap Connection teaches the crowd a few tap steps.

This year brought many new faces from around ‘Our Big Neighborhood’ that we call the Northwest. Kids of all ages – including caregivers too! – experienced a day of programming that included Taiko drumming, Caribbean Steel Pan music, Vietnamese Lion Dancing, Hip Hop dancing, Origami, Square Dancing, Tap Dancing, and robots…and that’s just a taste from a full day of fun.

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Joyas Mestizas showing off their gorgeous dancing gowns

Did you visit the Seattle Children’s Festival this past Sunday? Let us know how your experience was by commenting below.

Stay tuned for for a Photo Gallery of incredible images from the day, including our first Seattle Children’s Festival documentary.

 

Photo by Piper Hanson

Help us grow the Seattle Children’s Festival!

Hula Hoops at the Seattle Children's Festival!

 

Help us grow the Seattle Children’s Festival!

The crisp air and falling leaves can only mean one thing, fall has arrived in Seattle. It also means that Northwest Folklife’s Seattle Children’s Festival is just around the corner. In its second year, the Seattle Children’s Festival is growing and evolving to bring our big neighborhood together through music, dance and cultural exploration. Right now, we have a unique chance for you to support the Seattle Children’s Festival and have your donations matched through the support of ArtsFund. If you believe that music, dance and multi-cultural play create strong communities for kids and families, now is the perfect time to make a donation to our Power 2 Give Campaign to help us fund our performing artists and stages at the Festival. Gifts can be made to the campaign through October 11 both before and during the Festival. ArtsFund’s power2give/PugetSound is an online Cultural Marketplace connecting donors with projects they are passionate about.

Your passion and support can inspire a child’s cultural IQ, and that can resonate for a lifetime. Northwest Folklife captures ‘living traditions,’ presenting arts and culture as a way of life. We believe that inspiring kids’ cultural intelligence will create a kinder world, and strong communities.

Your support helps us bring unique experiences to Seattle

Northwest Folklife’s  Seattle Children’s Festival engages kids and their families by bringing unique performers and workshops that represent cultures from across the globe in order to raise the cultural IQ of the children in our community.  Music, story-telling, dance, cooking, crafts and more spark curiosity and promote cross-cultural understanding, exploration, and acceptance. This year at the Seattle Children’s Festival we will have performances that range from acclaimed kindipendent artists like The Not-Its! all the way to traditional Vietnamese Lion Dance. Experiences like these are possible because of people like you who value investing in the cultural growth of our children.

 

Northwest Folklife’s Festivals are community-powered, charging no admission fee, thanks to your donations. By keeping our programs accessible to people of all ages and means, Northwest Folklife provides opportunities to all for self-expression and direct experience of the extraordinary and diverse big neighborhood of the Pacific Northwest.

Please donate todayYou will give kids the gift of community.

And to all of our Friend of Folklife donors, thank you.

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5 Tips For Navigating the Second Annual Seattle Children’s Festival

SCF Event Passport

October 11 at Seattle Center
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m

1. When you arrive, remember to pick up the Event Passport – this handy tool will take you on an adventure through the Festival.

2. Not sure where to start? Check the schedule (in your Passport!) and see what interactive program from the ‘Movement Series’ is happening next. Movement will get the juices flowing.

3. Next, create something! There are TWO Discovery Zones at this Festival, both featuring a variety of hands-on workshops and activity areas.

4. Take a load off and enjoy the culture around you. There are a wide variety of ethnic performances taking place at the event–pick something new to you, and enjoy its beauty.

5. Before you depart, consider offering a donation to support the future of this event so many more can enjoy the experience in the years to come.

Check out the full day schedule here – see you there!

Arthur

Special Guest Arthur at Seattle Children’s Festival

ArthurOur friends and KCTS 9 invited their pal Arthur to join us at the Seattle Children’s Festival on October 11 and he agreed!

KCTS 9 will bring PBS Kids’ Arthur, everyone’s favorite aardvark, as a special guest for kids and families to take photos with if they wish.

Arthur will be available for photos for approximately 30 minutes at:
11:00 a.m.    12:00 p.m.    1:00 p.m.    2:00 p.m.    3:00 p.m.    4:00 p.m.

Visit the KCTS 9 table for a chance to take a picture with Arthur, crafts and fun giveaways (while supplies last).

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Cultural Intelligence: What’s Your Child’s Global IQ?

global_3_faces_allTacoma chiropractor and mom Laelle Martin always knew she wanted her future children to embrace dual cultures: that of her native Pacific Northwest as well as the Latin American culture she grew to love when she spent a year and a half as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Puerto Rico after college.

But like most of the best-laid parenting plans, her lofty vision hit a few speed bumps. By the time her son, Ari, was born in 2009, Martin’s once-flourishing Spanish language skills were growing rusty, and she was too busy to do much cultural education at home.

“It was challenging for me to speak Spanish with him on a regular basis — we had a few books, but I wanted more,” she says. And life is only getting busier: She’s expecting baby number two in May.

After some searching, Martin found Mis Amigos, a language learning center for children on Tacoma’s North Slope, and enrolled Ari in a parent-child course in the fall of 2011. But it’s not just another Mommy-and-me class — this one may actually give Ari a leg up in school, work and life. How? By building his cultural intelligence or cultural quotient (CQ), an increasingly desirable trait for children growing up in today’s borderless world.

Best-selling author David Livermore wrote The Cultural Intelligence Difference: Master the One Skill You Can’t Do Without in Today’s Global Economy, and he defines cultural intelligence as “the capacity to function effectively in a variety of cultural contexts — including national, ethic, organization and generational.” Global research conducted over the past decade shows that those with high levels of cultural intelligence are better able to adapt and thrive in a complex global society, he notes.

In short, Livermore says, it’s no longer enough to be book smart or even emotionally intelligent. Modern children need to learn to succeed in an increasingly diverse, characteristically unpredictable global village, which requires a unique set of skills — one that many kids living in a fairly heterogeneous North American culture won’t acquire on their own.

All of this may seem like yet another metric for busy parents to manage. But experts say that it is possible — even simple — to build a child’s cultural quotient, beginning at birth.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE by Malia Jacobson here at ParentMap.com