photo by Christopher Nelson

Festal Turns 20

Northwest Folklife is an independent arts organization that celebrates the multigenerational arts, cultures, and traditions of a global Pacific Northwest, 365 days of the year. For 45 years, Northwest Folklife has been deeply committed celebrating the diversity of our Northwest communities and de-mystifying our differences together, under one roof. We believe that arts and cultures build stronger communities.

Each year, Northwest Folklife presents the ‘Cultural Focus’, a year-round exploration of a Pacific Northwest community through special performances, panels, workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations, activities and educational materials. This program allows Folklife to connect more in depth with the people that we serve and empower their artistic expressions and cultural traditions.

Northwest Folklife’s 2017 Cultural Focus: Festál Turns 20 will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Seattle Center’s Festál Cultural Festivals. Composed of 23 regional community organizations, including the Northwest Folklife Festival, Festál presents world festivals highlighting the distinct arts, cultures and common threads of ethnic communities. As the longest running Festál organization, Northwest Folklife will engage with Festál communities to curate and plan year-round arts, culture and ‘folklife’ programming, such as performances, panels and workshops with Festál community colleagues. Northwest Folklife will also serve as a resource and support to each Festál community by conducting one-on-one meetings, group trainings, and promotion throughout the year. These promotions will highlight key community leaders and volunteers from each festival as identified by festival organizers.

This partnership will be showcased throughout the 2017 Northwest Folklife Festival (May 26-29, 2017, Seattle Center, estimated 250,000 attendees) and Seattle Children’s Festival (October 8, 2017, Seattle Center, estimated 3,000 attendees).

Including, but not limited to:

  • Festal communities will curate a 1-2 hour showcase presenting their community
  • 3 hour Festal showcase highlighting all festivals in the Cornish Playhouse
  • Films & Presentations in partnership with SIFF Film Center
  • Panels Discussions in partnership with Seattle Public Library
  • Workshops in the Seattle Center’s Armory Lofts
  • Participatory Dances
  • Food Demonstrations
  • Hands On Activities for families
  • Visual Arts
  • Educational Component in Folklife’s Program Guide and website

Northwest Folklife and 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. Cultural Focus: Festál Turns 20 will multiply all 23 groups’ capacity to engage folks throughout the region, establishing a foundation for broader and deeper participation among Northwest Folklife, Festál, audience and cultural communities.

By working together on developing the visibility profile  and community engagement of the year-round Festál programs, we can build awareness and engagement in multi-cultural communities that make up Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest.

Folklife Festival 2017 People Artwork