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About Northwest Folklife

Who We Are

Northwest Folklife is an independent 501(c)(3) arts organization that celebrates the multigenerational arts, cultures, and traditions of a global Pacific Northwest. Since 1971, Northwest Folklife’s work has centered on preserving cultural arts, bridging connections to heritage and identity, and cultivating the ever-evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Today, Northwest Folklife has grown alongside the greater community by collaborating with local cultural organizations and culture bearers to ensure communities have agency and voice in the representation of their communities. More than 150 Community Coordinators—including prominent artists, educators, culture bearers, and leaders throughout the region—work closely with Northwest Folklife to create programs including the Northwest Folklife Festival, Cultural Focus, Youth Engagement through Arts and Heritage (Y.E.A.H) program, and the Our Big Neighborhood youth and family program. We are for the people, by the people. Northwest Folklife believes that arts and culture strengthen our communities and should be accessible for all. Our year-round programming is produced in collaboration with Community Coordinators and powered by contributions from the community, corporations, foundations, and the public sector.


We envision strong communities united by arts and culture.

Our Vision

Strengthening our communities through arts & culture

Our Mission

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

Core Values

  • Northwest Folklife believes the arts revitalize people and communities and is dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage and its continued growth and development.
  • Northwest Folklife understands that everyone is a bearer of folk arts and that it is as important to participate in the arts as it is to observe them.
  • Northwest Folklife encourages communities to share their cultural arts, believing that interaction with new audiences enriches the community as much as the audience. When people share aspects of their culture, opportunities are created to dissolve misunderstandings, break down stereotypes and increase respect for one another.
  • 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 culture.

What We Do

Northwest Folklife programs are committed to access for all, removing all financial barriers to create the most inclusive, wide-reaching experiences for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds in the region. Our accessible programs are made possible by your contributions.

Northwest Folklife creates inclusive, wide-reaching experiences for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds in the Pacific Northwest. All are welcome to our community powered programs thanks to your generous contributions.

Programs

Northwest Folklife strives to strengthen our communities through uplifting the arts and culture of the Pacific Northwest region 365 days a year. Our year-round programs include our Community Coordinators program, the Northwest Folklife Festival, Annual Cultural Focus, Youth Engagement through Arts and Heritage (Y.E.A.H) program, and the Our Big Neighborhood youth and family program.