Your Gift to Folklife Helps Preserve a Seattle Treasure

Since 1972 Northwest Folklife has strengthened our communities by creating opportunities for all to share, experience and celebrate the diverse artistic and cultural traditions of our region. We believe that arts and culture belong to everyone – not just those who can afford the price of a ticket – and understand that creating an all-accessible, large platform for our communities to express their voices requires the investment and financial support from those of you who share these values.

Today we ask for your support to ensure that Folklife continues to amplify the voices of independent and community artists, including immigrants, refugees, and underrepresented communities, and that everyone feels welcome and appreciated in our city, regardless of their income or social status.

Please consider making a year-end contribution to Northwest Folklife to help preserve our Seattle treasure. We ask that you be as generous as you possibly can. Your gift is a direct investment in the future of one of the last freestanding, all-accessible, community-powered art, culture, and heritage festivals in our country, created by the people for the people. As always, we will use 100% of your contribution to stay true to our mission of creating opportunities for ALL to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

On behalf of Northwest Folklife’s Board of Directors, Staff, Community Council, Artists, Culture Bearers, Volunteers, and Patrons, we thank you for standing with Northwest Folklife and look forward to celebrating with you the incredible art, music, dance, stories, cuisine, and traditions of our diverse communities throughout 2018.

To donate by mail, please make your check payable to:

Northwest Folklife
Attn: Development
305 Harrison St
Seattle WA 98109

For questions about making a charitable donation to Northwest Folklife, please contact Christina Kourteva, Development Director, at christinak@nwfolklife.org or (206) 684-7346.

Introducing Northwest Folklife’s Managing Director

Today, we officially announce the appointment of Reese (Marissa) Tanimura as Northwest Folklife’s Managing Director!

Reese Tanimura has served as the Program Director for the Rain City Rock Camp for Girls for the past three years and as a volunteer Teaching Artist starting in 2011. With a small-but-mighty team and a steadily growing community, Rain City Rock Camp for Girls empowers girls, women, and gender non-conforming individuals to engage their creative potential through music, champion equity and thrive in a community of allies and activists. Reese is extremely passionate about equity in education and has over a decade of experience teaching music in public schools in Hawaii, and in Washington’s Federal Way Public School District. From 2010 to 2014, she managed education and work-training programs for YouthCare, serving Seattle and South King County youth neglected by traditional school systems and impacted by homelessness and the juvenile justice system.

In her spare time, Reese directs the MoodSwings, an all-female jazz ‘big’ band (that has appeared at past Northwest Folklife Festivals!), teaches private music lessons and performs with her queer, urban bluegrass band, Lavender Lucy. Reese graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Music Education and received a certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Washington. Appointed by City Council in 2015, Reese currently serves as the Chair for the Seattle Music Commission—an 18-person council, which advocates for and cultivates opportunities for Seattle’s creative community. She strongly believes that musicians, artists, music business and the creative industries are an integral and irreplaceable part of the social and economic fabric of Seattle. Reese is dedicated to ensuring that the people, places and organizations that compose our City of Music have a thriving future.

Northwest Folklife’s Board of Directors recently restructured the professional management of the organization to include a dual leadership model. This change reflects the organization’s vision and mission as an arts and cultural organization that is community-powered and committed to operating at the highest levels of administrative and financial stability and sustainability.

“With the implementation of our dual leadership structure—having the programmatic, artistic and cultural leader and the administrative and resource development leader working in partnership with one another—in conjunction with our growing staff and Board, we will be able to move forward with interacting and engaging with our communities,” says Rafael Maslan, President of Northwest Folklife’s Board of Directors. “We believe this will create an even stronger foundation for Northwest Folklife as we move into the next phase of fulfilling our mission.”

Recently, the Board appointed long-time programmatic leader Kelli Faryar as the first Executive Artistic Director. Kelli was part of the search team that ultimately recommended Reese as the first Managing Director.

“We are excited to welcome Reese to the team at Northwest Folklife,” says Kelli Faryar, Executive Artistic Director. “Reese’s strong background in management and resource development paired with her enthusiasm for Northwest Folklife’s commitment of cultural inclusion bears a bright future. I look forward to working in partnership with Reese, to serve the artistic and cultural communities of the Pacific Northwest.”

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to champion spaces where our communities’ creatives, and most marginalized voices have a platform to remind us all of our deep cultural roots and of the brilliance that thriving diversity brings to our society,” says Reese Tanimura. “I am deeply committed to the stewardship of this organization and will be focused on making sure we can sustainably support the NWFL mission for years to come.”

Reese will begin her role as the Managing Director on Monday, December 11, 2017. For more information about Northwest Folklife’s dual leadership model, please contact Executive Artistic Director, Kelli Faryar at kelli@nwfolklife.org. We thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to the wonderful work ahead!

Cultural Appropriation on Halloween

It is that time of the year when the streets are filled with children in their favorite costumes and our houses are full of pumpkin pies and jack-o-lanterns! But with delights of Halloween also come dangers of cultural appropriation, especially in the form of costumes.

According to the English Oxford Living Dictionaries, cultural appropriation is “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.

During this costume-filled holiday, there are times in which cultural attires are worn as costumes without understanding the cultural significance of the attire to those respective communities. As the holiday nears, we want to ensure that our communities celebrate the holiday with awareness and respect.

So before you choose your Halloween costume, here are a few things you should know:

  1. A Native American headdress has great significance to many Native American communities, as this piece is only worn by those who earn great respect within the tribe. There are various types of headdresses, each made from animals that are significant to these tribes.
  2. The afro hairstyle emerged in the 1960s within the African American communities as a symbol of pride and empowerment during the Black Pride and Black Power movements.
  3. La Calavera Catrina, a popular image of a woman’s skeleton, is the popular icon of Dia de Muertos in the Mexican Culture. Historically, the La Calavera Catrina, otherwise known as the Grand Dame of Death, La Calavera Catrina, was created by satirist José Guadalupe Posada to symbolize the privilege of the rich. Today, La Calavera Catrina has become the symbol of Dia de Muertos, a traditional Mexican celebration that honors those who have passed.
  4. A Bindi, originating from the Sanskrit word ‘bindu’ meaning ‘dot’ or ‘drop,’ holds great significance to South Asian cultures, including those of India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Mauritius. Spiritually, the Bindi, which is worn between the eyebrows, is associated with the third eye in the Hindu religion. Culturally, the Bindi is worn by women to symbolize marriage. By wearing a Bindi, women are believed to hold prosperity.

Of course, these are only some of many other cultural practices and attire that have deep significance to those respective communities. We believe that it is important to understand these cultures and how these cultural attires play a role in their identities.

Northwest Folklife believes in respecting and celebrating the diverse community we live in, and we aim challenge the issue of cultural appropriation through promoting understanding.

This Halloween, we challenge you, our community, to celebrate respectfully!

The Cultural Significance of Dia de Muertos

Dia de Muertos, otherwise known as the Day of the Dead, is traditional Mexican holiday in which we come together to celebrate and commemorate our friends, family and loved ones who have departed. This annual holiday includes a special altar, the cleaning and decorating of graves, eating traditional foods such as pan de muerto and coming together to remember and celebrate those who have passed.

Perhaps you know of this holiday, but have never heard of the special meanings behind this celebration, such as the various offerings at the altars. Luckily, our neighbors from the Dia de Muertos Committee are here to help us by explaining some of the cultural significances behind this special holiday!


ENGLISH

Perhaps some will find it difficult to imagine that a celebration full of colors and bright motifs such as food, drinks and music represents a celebration that refers to death. However, year after year we commemorate the Day of the Dead. We we take this opportunity to approach our loved ones that have passed away and celebrate the life they had. We invite you to learn more about our tradition and join us in celebration!

This celebration of life is and the celebration of death are inseparable. The feast of the Day of the Dead is the result of our pre-Hispanic legacy and the elements of the Catholic religion derived from the Spanish occupation in Mexico. It is one of the most symbolic celebrations of the Mexican culture.

Dia de Muertos altar at the 2017 Northwest Folklife Festival | Photo by Christopher Nelson

One of the tributes offered to our dead is an offering (altar) to show them that they are still present beyond death. The offerings are a fundamental part of the rituals of the festival, and each of the elements that comprise them contain multiple meanings. For example water is placed on the altar so that the deceased quench their thirst. The candles are placed so that souls can find their way and the aroma of copal incense and guide the souls towards the offering. The paper picado symbolizes the wind and the sugar skulls are replicas of the human skulls. The salt is an element of purification and prevents the body from being corrupted in its journey given its color the flowers “cempasuchil” represent the sun that guides the soul of the deceased.

SPANISH

Tal vez a muchos les costara imaginar que una celebracion llena de colores y motivos alegres tales como la comida , bebida y música represente una celebracion que se refiere a la muerte ,año  con año conmemoramos el día de los Muertos aprovechamos la occasion para acercarnos a nuestros muertos y celebrar la vida. Te invitamos a conocer más de esta nuestra tradición acompáñanos a celebrar !

El culto a la vida es profundo y total es también culto a la muerte, son inseparables. La festividad del día de Muertos es el resultado de nuestro legado prehispánico y los elementos de la religión católica derivados de la ocupación española en Mexico.

Altar Michoacano, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Dia de Muertos Seattle

Es una de las celebraciones más simbólicas de los mexicanos.

Uno de los homenajes que se ofrece a nuestros difuntos es una ofrenda para mostrarles que siguen presentes aún más allá de la muerte.

Las ofrendas son parte fundamental de los rituales de la festividad y cada uno de los elementos que las integran encierran múltiples significados, por ejemplo el agua se coloca para que los difuntos saciar su sed. Los cirios y veladoras para que las almas puedan encontrar su camino y el aroma del copal e incienso guían a las almas hacia la ofrenda. El papel picado simboliza el viento, las calaveras de azúcar son réplicas de los cráneos humanos que colocaban las culturas precolombinas. La sal es un elemento de purificación y evita que el cuerpo se corrompa en su viaje y dado su color las flores cempasuchil representan el sol que guia el alma del difunto.


In honor of Festál’s 20th year, join Seattle Center and the Dia de Muertos committee in celebrating Dia de Muertos this weekend, from Saturday (10/28) to Sunday (10/29) at the Seattle Center Armory!

A special thank you to Andrea Suzuki and Edgardo Garcia for sharing more information about the Dia de Muertos holiday with us!

Introducing Northwest Folklife’s Development Director

We are excited to introduce Christina Kourteva as our new Director of Development! Christina has worked on fund development the Frye Art Museum, Spectrum Dance Theatre, Sound Generations and KCTS. Christina has also earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential.

“I have a lifelong interest in the use of arts as a tool of empowerment and social change,” says Christina.

In addition to her great fund development experience, Christina stood out because of clear commitment to supporting mission driven organizations. In every conversation, we always returned to the essential question and answer of “why Northwest Folklife matters” and her desire to be part of responding to and fulfilling that “why.” She has a proven track record of focusing on building lasting relationships with colleagues, donors, board members and key stakeholders. Relationships are key in a community-powered organization like ours.

“As a strong believer in the importance of preserving the multicultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest and making community-powered performing arts accessible to everyone, regardless of their income or socioeconomic status, I am thrilled to be joining Northwest Folklife.”

We welcome her to the Northwest Folklife team and we look forward to the wonderful work ahead!

Another Year of Family-Fun: Seattle Children’s Festival 2017

Photo by Erinn Hale

The 4th annual Seattle’s Children’s Festival brought together over 211 performers spanning over 27 performances, 15 discovery zone programs, three cooking workshops and families from all over the city together for one day full of community celebration, cultural learning and sharing, hands-on discovery and family-fun!

On Sunday, October 8, the Seattle Center’s Armory and Fisher Pavilion were filled with bright-eyed children and families as we all explored the various performances and activities that represent the various cultures within our Pacific Northwest neighborhood! Having the wonderful opportunity to see our youth and families gather in one place, learning about our various cultures, taking pride in diversity and celebrating one another—these are some of the many reasons why we feel honored to host this event annually. Thank all of you for yet another incredible year of gathering and celebration!

What’s Next?

We are excited to announce the Our Big Neighborhood program, which aims to provide opportunities for families to engage together in sharing and celebrating the vitality of folk, ethnic, traditional and evolving arts. Our Big Neighborhood will fully launch in 2018 to include Seattle Children’s Festival as well as more programming catered for our youth and families, so be sure to sign up for our eNewsletter to stay updated on when the official launch is announced!

Show Your Support

Northwest Folklife is a nonprofit arts organization that creates programs such as Seattle Children’s Festival because of our belief in the vitality of folk and the arts. We are proud to be community-powered, community-centered and community-driven. Programs such as Seattle Children’s Festival are made possible because of your generous donations. If you believe in our mission, please become a valued Friend of Folklife and help us fund our year-round programming!

Did you take any fun photos or videos? Please share them with us by tagging us on Twitter and Instagram (@nwfolklife) or using our hashtags #SeattleChildrensFestival and #Folklifekids! Until next year!

View the full photo album!

Photo by Erinn Hale

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Seattle Center   |   Living Computers Museum + Labs   |   Babyrific   

Delta Dental   |   ETR   |   NRG Insurance   |   Smith Brothers Farms   |   Springfree Trampoline 

Voya Financial   |   Imperfect Produce   |    Super Heroic    |   Kind Base   |   Ladybug Literacy Lab 

Uplift Writing

Thank you to our Media Sponsors!

KCTS 9   |   KING FM   |   ParentMap   |   91.3 KBCS   |   Northwest Asian Weekly

 KSER 90.7   |   The Seattle Globalist   |   Seattle Weekly   |   Northwest Vietnamese Times

 City Arts   |   KEXP   |   South Seattle Emerald   |   Rainier Avenue Radio   |   Seattle’s Child

Thank you to our Community Partners!

206 Zulu

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Festival

Big Brained Super Heroes Club

BrasilFest

Center for Wooden Boats

CLIF Bar

The Creative Advantage

Dia de Muertos Committee

Diwali Lights of India

Festival Sundiata

Gage Academy of Art

MOHAI

Iranian Festival

Music Center of the Northwest

Nature Consortium

Northwest African American Museum

Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival

Rainier Avenue Radio

The Red Balloon Company

The Robert Chinn Foundation

Seattle Center

Seattle Children’s Museum

Seattle Gymnastic Academy

Seattle Hand Drummers

Seattle Theatre Group

Somali Youth and Family Club

Spirit of Indigenous Peoples Day

Tilth Alliance

TurkFest

Vedic Cultural Center

Wintergrass Festival

 

A Cultural Stronghold: A Chat with Juliet Cheatle of Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival

In partnership with the Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival, we are excited to welcome Juliet Cheatle to Seattle Children’s Festival, where she will showcase the Filipino culture through rural dance, music and attire!

Also known as the “Pearl of the Orient,” the Philippines is a country located in Southeast Asia comprised of 7,107 islands. With a population of about 100 million people, the Philippines is rich with cultural tradition, familial values and a love for the arts.

Since 1987, this festival has spread the beauty of Filipino culture with Washington, through its annual festival full of music, crafts, food and community gathering. As a part of our Movement Series, Juliet Cheatle will be teaching our audiences some traditional rural Philippine dances. Get to know Juliet before you see her at Seattle Children’s Festival on October 8:


What is something our audiences can expect from your performance?

I believe the audience will expect to see a lively and festive Filipino traditional dance and wherein dancers are wearing colorful costumes. And also the audience will see and feel a glimpse of Filipino culture by watching  the dances and by  participating in the workshop and actually will be dancing holding a prop and doing the moves.

What do you think is one of the most beautiful or unique aspects of the Filipino culture?

The most beautiful aspect of the Filipino culture is no doubt its people, the Filipinos.

“Despite of the many influences and colonization from foreign countries, the Filipinos still hold strong with their culture.”

Strong family ties are very important, and [showing] respect for parents and elders is still a strong [value] in the Filipino culture. Filipinos are hospitable and love to smile. They are hardworking people but they also know how to have good fun; they love to sing and dance.

How do you hope to preserve the Filipino culture through dance and attire?

I hope to preserve the Filipino culture through dance, music and attire by “keeping on” doing it, teaching it and involving more of the younger generation in learning it so they can teach it, too, when teachers like me won’t be around to do it.  The traditional dances are endangered and it’s continued transmission should go on. I hope more of our younger generation will continue on the work in preserving it.

My hope for community is interest and support, such as like financial support, grants and provide free space to teach in order to continue the teaching and transmission of this unique form of art and culture. If there is no support and interest, then there is danger that all of this will fade away.

How did you get involved with the Pagdiriwang Festival?

The late Ms. Florie Motante, founder of the Pagdiriwang Festival, invited my group to perform in Seattle Center (probably 15+ years ago).  The reason I was attracted and started to get involved with it is because it is different from other Filipino festivals that I attended. Pagdiriwang Festival is not only a festival to attend and see entertainment, but it is also a festival wherein you can learn about the traditional culture.

“The Pagdiriwang Festival points out the importance of why the culture needs to be preserve and why it is celebrated.”

It is important for my group and I to go and perform in front of an audience who doesn’t take what we do on stage for granted. I want my audience to not only be entertained but also to learn, appreciate what we are doing, understand the cultural context of what we are performing and to walk out the event feeling proud being a Filipino.  I believe that the Pagdiriwang Festival is also an experience. You will meet all kind of artists who are passionate in what they do in teaching and sharing the Filipino culture.

Can you explain the meaning or story behind some of your performances?

The dance and workshop that we are going to be sharing during the Seattle Children’s Festival are the following:

Binasuan:  This dance originated from the province of Pangasinan in the island of Luzon. During festive gatherings, the women will dance by carefully and gracefully balancing glasses filled with sugar cane wine on their heads and hands before they served it to the guests.

Bulaklakan Dance (meaning Flowering Plants): This dance originated from the town of Bulacan in the island of Luzon. The town derived its name after “bulaklakan” meaning flowering plants because of the abundance of floral vegetation in that area. This dance is traditionally performed during the celebrations of  Santa Cruz de Mayo , a Catholic event honoring the Virgin Mary. But nowadays, it is performed at any festive occasion. Women dance, each holding an arch or ring made of rattan or split bamboo decorated with flowers and leaves.

Why do you think it’s important to expose the youth to various cultures, identities, and people?

Exposing the youth to another culture and identity is teaching cultural diversity. They will be able to identify with other people no matter their [origin], beliefs, religion, language or values.

“Exposing our youth to various cultures, identities and people will teach them not to take their own culture for granted. They will learn and discover how valuable and how unique their own culture is.”

By doing this they will learn to be more respectful of another culture and identity. Exposing them is also like teaching them how to understand, and how to communicate with other culture and identity.

How do you live out the meaning of “folk life”?

I believe that we can celebrate all this by incorporating it in our daily life.  At home, at work, in school, in the church, in the community or any place appropriate. 

I use food to celebrate my Filipino culture and other cultures.  When my children were growing up, I had them plan dinner with me, and I let them invite friends over to have dinner with us. We started by going to a market or grocery store to buy our ingredients. My children and their friends enjoyed the food and, at the same time, they learned about it. We talk about where the food originated, the certain kinds of foods that were used in a ritual, why the food is important in someone’s culture, etc.

I do the same thing in my workplace. We have Chinese, French, Italian, Nigerian [folks] in our office and every Friday, we have lunch where we order or we prepare different kinds of foods. Since our company has projects worldwide, our engineers travel a lot, too, and they share their travel experiences with the rest of us.

Anyone of us can celebrate arts, culture, heritage, diversity and identity in many different ways.


Let’s come together and celebrate our big neighborhood at the 4th Annual Seattle Children’s Festival, happening on October 8 at Seattle Center. Pagdiriwang Festival’s special performance featuring Juliet Cheatle will be at the Armory Court Stage at 3:30 PM. A special thank you to the Armory Court Stage sponsor, KCTS 9!

Events like this are made possible by Friends of Folklife and your generous donations. See you there!

Seattle Children’s Festival: Website | Full Schedule | Facebook Event Page

Thank You for The Gift of Discovery

The 2016-2017 fiscal year just ended on September 30. We want to thank all of you who contributed this past year–through your financial support, your volunteerism, the sharing of your art and culture, and for your passion and advocacy on behalf of Northwest Folklife.

You understood that for Northwest Folklife to continue creating opportunities for all of our communities’ voices to be heard, shared and experienced with access guaranteed for all, access without financial barriers–that this continuing required the support of everyone who shares that vision. 

Because of your support, we are able to provide programming, such as our annual Seattle Children’s Festival, which was created from the ground-up to meet the needs of the families and children in our community. Together with our community partners and your support, we put together this one-day festival to allow our families to come together to learn more about the various cultures that thrive within our big neighborhood through performances, hands-on discovery zones, cooking demonstrations and so much more! Here is a testimony from a Seattle Children’s Festival attendee and how this program has affected her family:

“My family and I attended the Seattle Children’s Festival last year (2016) for the first time. I made the drive up from Tacoma, hoping that the festival would be everything that I love about the Northwest Folklife Festival directed toward engaging children. 

I was so impressed! The presenters and performances were so engaging, always giving a little lesson or invitation to the children to participate, learn and often get hands on. My daughter was 2 1/2 last year, and was able to participate in many of the activities. I feel like as much as we can make this diverse world familiar to our children, and celebrate every wonderful peaceful contribution, it is our job as parents to do so. 

Thank you to Northwest Folklife and Friends of Folklife for helping my daughter’s heart to grow towards others, and also for the joy of it.” 

Sincerely, 

Cambria, Haven and Kevin Cordeau

Because of your support, we are entering this new fiscal year refreshed and more stabilized. Looking into the exciting near future, Northwest Folklife needs your continued support as we ignite the launch for 2017-2018. We have so much in store including an exciting new cultural focus and expanded family and children’s programming!

You can show your support by donating online via PayPal or Kind Base. Donations of $50 or more also qualify you to become an official Friend of Folklife and receive special benefits. In addition, if you attend our upcoming Seattle Children’s Festival on October 8, you can visit our donation booths to make a donation. We are proud to be community-centered and community-powered. With your help, we can continue to make all of our programming and community engagement possible–you are Northwest Folklife.

Donate Online | Become a Friend of Folklife

Photo courtesy of Christopher Nelson

Own It Like a Boss with The Big-Brained Superheroes Club

Piece submitted by Ariel Grob of The Big-Brained Superheroes Club

“’Owning it like a boss’ is improvising when you get stuck on a project. Or Googling it.”

– Istanbul, 10 years old

‘Own it like a boss’ is a phrase you’ll hear over and over at the Yesler Community Center’s STE(A)M group, The Big-Brained Superheroes Club. Why? Because we value project ownership and believe that when Big Brains (i.e. any neighborhood kid age 4-18) ‘own’ their projects, they are empowered to try out new skills and exercise their ‘superpowers.’  

We’ve found that this kind of ownership evokes critical thinking and creativity, more so than any assignment they are required or told to do.

We’re guessing you can relate to this:

Can you recall a time as a kid or teenager (or even as an adult) when you were told what to do perhaps a class project, household chore, or a task at work? Now, what about a project you undertook simply because you wanted to, such as taking up rock climbing, practicing a new language, or simply picking up a book to read?

It’s likely that the project you chose, however frustrating or difficult, was more rewarding and entertaining than the one you were told to do.

Don’t get us wrong: guidance from someone more experienced is always good, but we’ve found that by giving the Big Brains the autonomy to choose and lead their own nerdy projects, we’re giving them the chance to sift through their options and find something that is truly interesting to them, exercise creative and critical thinking to get that project off the ground, and then own it: like a boss.

This phrase has become the Big Brains’ motto. Whether it’s Weris’s ‘Welcome Robot,’ Sammy’s mini binary counter, Ibrahim’s math homework, or Muz’s wood-and-water robotic arm, there are plenty of opportunities to own it like a boss.

So, how does one ‘own it like a boss’? In the words of the Big Brains, here are six ways you can own any project like a boss.

  1. Try your hardest.
    This one is as simple as it sounds: all you’ve got to do is simply show up and put in the work.
  2. Be persistent.
    As the adage goes, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” (quote by William Edward Hickson)
  3. Ask a friend for their opinion or help.
    Everyone around you has a different perspective; someone else may just have the answer to a problem you keep getting stuck on.
  4. Improvise & be flexible.
    If you don’t have the right materials you need for your project, try using something else. Or if you keep getting stuck, move on to a different step and come back to it later.
  5. Google it.
    Whether it’s an instructional YouTube video or an article on the topic, Google has an answer for you that will help move your project forward.
  6. Be kind & pitch in, even when no one else is.
    The world of nerdy makers is truly a community: just like others will be there for you when you need it, be ready to help someone else with their project.

And here’s a bonus reminder from Big Brain Justin: “…keep pushing, even when you’re tired.”

The Seattle Children’s Festival is a great opportunity to flex your superpowers and ‘own it like a boss.’ From musical workshops to arts-and-craft projects to the Discovery Zone activities, you’ll find something new, and perhaps a bit challenging but definitely fun, to try out.

Eagerly awaiting the Seattle Children’s Festival, the Big-Brained Superheroes Club can’t wait to rub shoulders with Seattle’s nerdy community, celebrate ‘our big neighborhood,’ and help each other own it like a boss.


Visit The Big-Brained Superheroes Club at the STEAM Lab in the Armory Balcony for some exploration with electricity! The Big-Brained Superheroes of Yesler have built a dynamic, hands-on electricity playground for people of all ages to learn about and create with this fundamental force. Big Brains play to learn and make. A special thank you to the STEAM Lab sponsor, Living Computers Museum + Labs, and to Friends of Folklife for supporting the festival!

Seattle Children’s Festival: Website | Full Schedule | Facebook Event Page

The Legend of Song: An Interview with Te Fare O Tamatoa

The core of our annual Seattle Children’s Festival is to create a space for youth and families to get to know their neighbors and the diverse cultures that thrive within our big neighborhood. One of those cultures that we’re very excited to have represented at this year’s festival is the beautiful Polynesian culture. Te Fare O Tamatoa, a nonprofit organization based in Beacon Hill, strives to raise cultural awareness by educating the public about Tahitian drumming and dancing.

Comprised of members of all ages, Te Fare O Tamatoa spreads the beauty of the Polynesian culture through offering drumming and dance classes and performing at various festivals and gatherings. We are so excited to have Te Fare O Tamato at this year’s Seattle Children’s Festival. Check out our interview with Nanave Radford, the Artistic Director of their dance group, Te’arama, where we chatted about the Polynesian culture and what we can expect from their performance at the upcoming festival on October 8!


We are so excited to have you at this year’s Seattle Children’s Festival! Can you give us a little hint of what to expect from your performance?

Your audience can expect a high energy performance of traditional Tahitian culture with some modern flare.

Can you explain the meaning of Te Fare O Tamatoa? How did it originate?

Te Fare O Tamatoa translates to ‘The House of Tamatoa.’ When we use the name Tamatoa, we are speaking of the King Tamatoa II from the island of Raiatea in French Polynesia. It is from him that our matriarch, Manio Radford and her family, are descended. Many of Te Fare O Tamatoa’s instructors and directors are of the Radford family and in trying to choose a name for our organization 10+ years ago, we decided to go with something that held true to our roots. Something that held meaning for us and who we are and what our mission is. Spreading Tahitian culture through song and dance from our culture to yours.

On your website, it says that dance was used as a way of communicating when there was no written language. What role do you think the arts play creating a form of communication within our multicultural community?

“Art is a very powerful and personal way of communicating. “

It is so important that these ways of sharing history, emotion, experiences, etc. stay alive in our communities because not only is it a unique way of expressing a group or one’s self, but it’s a part of who we are and where we have come from. Every culture is very different yet the same in some ways. We may not always understand each other when we speak. However, an image, a sound, or a dance, can all speak messages beyond what words can express. It’s a way to understand one another even if we can’t speak to one another

How do music and dance help you to celebrate the Polynesian culture? What role do the arts play in Polynesian culture?

These arts are a part of who we are as a people and who we always have been. Arts even beyond song and dance with things like jewelry and clothing/regalia. The role it plays is an identifier of who we are.

What is one thing about the Polynesian culture that you wish people knew?

“I wish people knew that Polynesia is more than Hawaii and Moana.”

Growing up a mixed Polynesian individual, it is nice to see this change. With the recent release of Disney’s Moana, the Polynesian culture has had great exposure, but I feel like this could also cause people to be confused. My older brother’s name is Tamatoa. People think he’s named after a shiny crab. he’s not; He’s named after the King from Raiatea.

What kind of stories do you share through song and dance?

Within our organization, our performance group, Te’arama, mostly shares legends. My favorite so far was our legend “Te Vahine aita-ata” which means the man eating woman. This woman keeps her daughter sheltered from everything until one day, a man makes it onto the grounds where he falls madly in love with the daughter. In the lovers’ plan to escape the mother, she finds out which leads to the eating of the man. There are of course songs of everyday life such as how to use the ground oven, the beauty of a woman, or falling in love, which we will also dance to.

What is one thing you learned from the founder of Te Fare O Tamatoa founder, Manio Radford, that you wish to pass on to future generations?

The importance of knowing your culture’s language. If we do not continue to speak our language, it will die.

Why do you think it’s important to expose the youth to various cultures, identities, and people?

Because it’s good to know that not all people are the same yet we can tend to have similarities within our different cultures.

How do you live out the meaning of “folk life”?

Our goal with Te Fare O Tamatoa is to share as much knowledge as we can about Tahitian and Polynesian culture. I personally am still very limited in my knowledge, but whatever I can share, I will and in whatever way that I can.


Join Te Fare O Tamatoa, Northwest Folklife and Seattle Center in celebrating Our Big Neighborhood at this year’s Seattle Children’s Festival, happening on Sunday, October 8, at Seattle Center. Witness the beauty of the Polynesian culture at Te Fare O Tamatoa’s performance at the Armory Court Stage from 4:15-5 PM.

Seattle Children’s Festival: Website | Full Schedule | Facebook Event Page

Music as a Cultural Portal: An Interview with Mako & Munjuru

Mako & Munjuru, a musical ensemble playing traditional Okinawan music, will be joining us at this year’s 4th Annual Seattle Children’s Festival, where they will perform special pieces while teaching us about the Okinawan culture they know and love! Wearing  beautifully tailored kimonos, Mako & Munjuru spread Okinawan music through playing traditional instruments:the sanshin and taiko. These songs not only preserve the traditional sound of Okinawan music—they also share stories of love, family and heritage. According to Mako, playing the music of her ancestors helps her feel a connection to her roots and the people who have come before her. That is the beauty of preserving our cultural arts.

We spoke with Mako to learn more about her work in preserving her culture through her music. Get to know her before you see her ensemble live at Seattle Children’s Festival on October 8!

Photo courtesy of Mako & Munjuru


How did Mako & Munjuru come to be?

I actually was performing alone for a while. I started playing out in the public for myself as a mean to learn more about my background.  Then it just led on to sharing and gathering a small number of us seeking the same. Then one day I thought of doing a group performance with some of us, which now Mako & Munjuru. Sometimes we are duo, trio or more.  The term munjuru is a word for ‘straw hat’ in Okinawan. There’s a dance piece with the same name and I always loved the dance and the symbolic meaning of the hat which is expressed in the dance.  

“Munjuru to me is my family & friends who’ll watch over each other.”

We are so excited for your performance at this year’s Seattle Children’s Festival! What is something our audiences can expect from your performance?

We are creating a program to share music and dance.  The audience will learn an easy song to sing with us; then learn the dance moves to dance all together. It will be a loads of fun!

As Mako & Munjuru is known to play and preserve traditional Okinawan music, what do you think is the most beautiful aspect of traditional Okinawan music?

Music is a part of life—everyone’s life in Okinawa in the past and now. Music is valued and needed in order to live for Okinawans. Our performance typically consists of rather old pieces; music from a few hundreds years old and some lyrics are poems which were written in about 15th century.  Those ancient melodies may sound very simple;  the expression might sound rather simple for those who understand but simplicity and complexity coexist, I think. So I feel it that it’s beautiful because it’s simple yet complex.

Can you teach us a little more about the traditional instruments that you use: the sanshin and taiko?

Sanshin is a 3-stringed fretless lute. The body is hollow inside and covered both front and back with a snake skin; no sound hole. When we perform in a small crowd, I love to show off my instruments since it’s got real python skin!  And also sanshin symbolizes the earth we live on.  The Okinawan taiko drum set consists of oodaiko, a big drum to create low deep sounding beats and shime’daiko, a smaller ones for the lighter higher pitched beats.

Do you think your understanding and love for the Okinawan culture has grown or changed in any way as you have continued to create music?

Yes. By continuing to learn and understand the traditional expression it really connects me with my grandparents, ancestors and even feels as though connected to ancestors few generations back. I understand more and more of our cultural beliefs and values, how my grandparents were the way they were and thought the way they thought. Also by learning the ancient pieces gives us the way to understand the Ryukyu Dynasty of the old days. It’s kind of like having a portal for me.

Why do you think it is important to preserve cultural traditions, and how does Mako & Munjuru play a role in that?

I think it’s more [of a privilege] to be able to [preserve our cultural tradition] rather than to see it as a task, at least for me. Some of the traditional music artists feel [that it is] important to preserve and to perpetuate the tradition to the next generations and I absolutely do not argue with that. I personally feel as though I’m put in a spot where I am so lucky to be able to share my knowledge.  And I’m lucky to have my mates to follow with [me].

What is your favorite aspect of our big neighborhood, Seattle?

I like Seattle for being such liberal and diverse neighborhood. I grew up in Hawaii my young adult age so it’s a bit different but a different diversity. Seattle is getting to be a big city but I’m hoping that the homey feeling will remain.  

In an interview you did with our friends at KEXP, you mentioned that one of your favorite aspects of being a part of Mako & Munjuru is when you can play Okinawan music to someone who has never heard its traditional music or may not even know where Okinawa is on the world map. What are some aspects of Okinawa or its culture that you’d like to share to our audiences?

In the States, especially in the mainland, Okinawa is known by “The Battle of Okinawa” so much.  Many people only know Okinawa relating to the war and or with US military bases. 

“So when I can give the idea to change the view of those  from the perspective of the natives, as native as I can be remotely, it gives me joy.”

I want to tell them “I grew up there and this is the Okinawa I know.”

Why do you think it’s important to expose the youth to various cultures, identities, and people?

As different cultures and languages are more widely exposed worldwide, I think introductions to a lot of different views in an earlier age is be vital to understanding and having acceptance. Or even not to feel so “different.” As for my music, I think the audience come to see [us] because they’re curious regardless of their age. If I get to fill that curiosity just a little bit, then I’m happy.   

Photo courtesy of Mako & Munjuru

How do you live out the meaning of “folk life”?

As a part of my childhood in Okinawa, some things [were] just natural “Okinawan stuff” that I could do. Besides music, [an] easy thing is food. I cook and enjoy eating Okinawan food. That means sometimes making everything from scratch rather than going out to get a dish, since there’re no traditional Okinawan restaurant around here. I have to get the basic ingredients and make [it] from that. Then, I think about my grandparents’ life, surrounded by the ocean and working primarily as farmers to eat what they got from the earth and the sea.  


Come and celebrate the Okinawan culture through music with our friends Majo & Munjuru! Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 8, 2017 for the 4th Annual Seattle Children’s Festival at Seattle Center! Mako & Munjuru will be performing at Loft 4 in the Armory from 1:00-1:45 PM. Events like this are made possible by Friends of Folklife and your generous donations. See you there!

Seattle Children’s Festival: Website | Full Schedule | Facebook Event Page

Introducing Drag Queen Story Time at Seattle Children’s Festival: A Chat with Aleksa Manila

This year, we welcome an exciting new program to the 4th Annual Seattle Children’s Festival: Drag Queen Story Time, which will be hosted by one of Seattle’s most respected drag personalities, Aleksa Manila. Sharing stories that celebrate inclusion, acceptance and diversity, Aleksa will provide a fun and lighthearted story time at the Festival for kids and their families from 10 – 10:45am.

Aleksa Manila is known for her extraordinary performances and her work within the LGBTQ and Filipino communities. Since her move from Manila, Philippines to Seattle, Aleksa has been taking this city by storm, from performing and emceeing events big and small, to serving on various panels and educating youth on issues affecting our communities.

We had a chance to sit down with Aleksa to ask her about her proudest accomplishments, her love for community and what “folk life” means to her.

Photo courtesy of Aleksa Manila


Hello Ms. Aleksa Manila, thank you so much for talking to us today! How are you doing?

Hello! Thanks so much for this great opportunity to work with you. I am doing fabulously, staying busy with life and staying out of trouble.

Can you describe yourself in just five words?

Oh my…that might be a tough one. Let’s play: Drag Counselor, Political Provocateur, and (Fill-In-The-Blank)

We are so excited to have you at this year’s Seattle Children’s Festival! This is our first year of having the Drag Queen Story Time program. What are you most excited about for this year’s festival?

I’m most excited about meeting new faces and families [at] the festival. And also looking forward to seeing diverse families celebrate with each other and be welcomed in their spaces.

Your list of accomplishments is incredible and ever-growing! You’re a performer, comedian, singer, activist and community leader. Of all of these feats, what is one of your proudest accomplishments thus far?

I have a  couple of proudest moments–the first one is when I won my very first drag title of Miss Gay Filipino in 2001. I won every category, except Miss Congeniality. But the moral of the story is that I was able to share this special moment with my mom who supports me wholeheartedly. Another special accomplishment is singing with the band, Pink Martini while I reigned as Miss Gay Seattle.

Along with that, alongside your work as a notable performer, you are very involved with the LGBTQ and Filipino communities. Can you explain why these communities are important to you? What vision do you have for these communities in the future?

As a genderqueer Filipino-American, I am part of diverse and intersectional communities. As a minority, it is very important and critical to unite and work together to ensure everyone has access to all resources regardless of our differences.

“My personal vision is that the unique and special attributes of my communities are celebrated and honored like others and not just positions of power.”

Why do you think it’s important to expose the youth to various cultures, identities, and people?

Children and youth are very insightful and definitely smarter than most adults assume them to be. I worked at Children’s Hospital for a number of years, and I saw firsthand the strength and resilience of the little ones. They were incredibly inspirational. If we merely shelter children from diverse cultures, identities and peoples–then they are unable to create memories, unable to practice discernment, unable to build coping mechanisms, and so on. This limits the power of the mind, it chains the human spirit, and ails the body.

In relation to that, how do you hope to do this through your program, Drag Queen Story Time?

My hopes and dreams with Drag Queen Story Time is that the little ones realize that pinks aren’t just meant for girls, that blues aren’t just for boys, and that they recognize there are more to just boys and girls–and they know that they have families that love them just the way they are–especially from this Princess Boy!

As a fellow Seattleite, what is your favorite aspect of this big neighborhood?

We’re very lucky to live in Seattle where diversity exists. Being in a coastal city that’s exposed to rich history of migration and honoring of Native American peoples and land is not very common. Just the other day, I heard the great, great, great grandson of Chief Seattle speak at a Mayor’s event at the Seattle Center…how cool is that? I am in awe of the natural and architectural landscape… from sunrise to sunset and under the moonlight, Seattle is breathtaking!

How have the combination of your identity, heritage and cultural background played a role in who you are today?

It challenges me to be a creative and compassionate creature! The legacy and history of my descendants influence and shape the person I am today and who I will be tomorrow. I often think about, “what would my mother think of my performances or how I present myself to my audience?”

What piece of wisdom can you give to our audiences who may still be in the process of understanding their self-identity?

“Self-love” is necessary for self-care and community. My mom always told me growing up, “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” Surround yourself with peers, family (including chosen-family) and community who are smart and loving, and who inspire you to be the best person you want to be. Don’t be afraid to ask “why?”

How do you live out the meaning of “folk life”?

I’m just “me” and no more than I expect others to be themselves. “Folk” denotes tradition. 

“That said, as a community, let’s continue to create tradition. Tradition changes over time, let’s adapt to ensure everyone is included in our traditions.”


Her passion for performance and her commitment to making our communities and spaces inclusive for all are just some of the many reasons we are proud to call Aleksa Manila one of our neighbors in Our Big Neighborhood.

Join Northwest Folklife and Aleksa Manila in celebrating Our Big Neighborhood at this year’s Seattle Children’s Festival on Sunday, October 8 at the Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion and Armory. Drag Queen Story Time will take place at the Armory Loft 1B at 10 AM. Events like this are made possible by Friends of Folklife and your generous donations. See you there!

Aleksa Manila: Website

Seattle Children’s Festival: Website | Full Schedule | Facebook Event Page

Announcing Our New Leadership Structure

Experience Folklife Festival 2017Coming off of a year of tremendous support from the greater Pacific Northwest community, Northwest Folklife, a 47 year old arts and culture non-profit, embarks on a journey forward to envision its future in new and dynamic ways – maintaining the core ideals that have been present since its founding.

Thanks to this support from our community and with the goal of building a strong foundation in which to grow, the Board of Directors of Northwest Folklife is announcing a restructuring of the professional management of the organization, the appointment of Kelli Faryar as the first Executive Artistic Director of Northwest Folklife and the launch of a search for the organization’s first Managing Director.

The New Structure

“Northwest Folklife is evolving its leadership structure to best meet the challenges and opportunities we face today and in the future. We are committed to our role as a community centric organization, working in partnership with artistic and cultural communities to co-create and co-curate opportunities for all to share, celebrate, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest,” said Rafael Maslan, Board President. “By committing to a dual leadership and partnership model, we invest in executive leadership in our community engagement and artistic excellence as well as in administration, resource development and financial management.”

Appointment of Kelli Faryar as the first Executive Artistic Director

Effective August 27, 2017, Ms. Faryar will assume the position of Executive Artistic Director. Ms. Faryar has served as the Programs Director at Northwest Folklife for 4 years in her 9 years working for the organization. Under her programmatic influence and leadership, Northwest Folklife has mounted 9 Northwest Folklife Festivals with the creation of the Indie Roots program and specific cultural focus on the Traditional Roots of Hip Hop, Power of the Human Voice through Song and Festal Turn 20, celebrating Seattle Center’s 20th anniversary of Festal. Ms. Faryar has expanded the programming of Northwest Folklife to now include our annual Seattle Children’s Festival (this will be the fourth year of presenting this child and family centered festival on October 8, 2017) and led the organization’s commitment to be in direct partnership with over 100 cultural and artistic communities.

“Kelli is the perfect choice for assuming the position of the first Executive Artistic Director in Northwest Folklife’s history” said Michelle Demers Shaevitz, Chair of the Outreach Committee. “Her influence on how we have evolved artistically and culturally over the past four years, her passion and vision for the future, her commitment to engaging and partnering with our communities, and her demonstrated ability to make those dreams a reality have inspired the entire organization and we are thrilled to have her assume this role.”

Managing Director Search

At this juncture, Northwest Folklife is embarking on a new Managing Director search. The Board will build upon it’s relationship with the Third Sector Company to manage the search for the Managing Director. The Third Sector Company has been working with Northwest Folklife for the past year to provide Interim Executive Director services and provided support at the 2017 Board Retreat.

“We seek a special person as our Managing Director – someone who has the capacity, passion, and the wisdom to partner with the board, the Executive Artistic Director, and the community to envision a bold, exciting and attainable future,” said Evan Woods, Board Vice President and Chair of the Search Committee. “We are excited to launch this search, find the best candidate to partner with Kelli as our executive management team, and move into the next phase of Northwest Folklife’s amazing journey with our community.”

More information about the Managing Director position can be found here.

Why Give Children the Opportunity to Perform?

Northwest Folklife introduces children to music, arts, and culture. When children are Festival performers we see them developing confidence and skills. We wondered what more take-aways and benefits children might experience with the opportunity to share their artistic and cultural practices through their own performances.

John Leder’s Ukulele Olio students took part in the Ukenalia Showcase on Monday May 29 at the Exhibition Hall during the 46th Northwest Folklife Festival. The Thorton Creek Elementary School students joined SUPA – Seattle Ukulele Players Association with Neil Diamond on the Ukulele, and The Castaways – Seattle’s Loudest Ukulele Band.

Here, John shares his insights on how his young musicians experience the opportunity to perform and share the Ukenalia Showcase with experienced adult ukulelists.

Thornton Creek Elementary is an alternative, expedition based learning environment, with a focus on the arts and performance.  The opportunity for 2nd and 3rd graders playing the ukulele at the Northwest Folklife Festival is a BIG DEAL for them and a wonderful opportunity for the teachers to involve their students in a community of performance outside of the school.  It’s usually the kid’s first opportunity to perform on a public stage outside of the school.  We focus at least as much on the etiquette and discipline needed to be good citizens both backstage and on stage as we do on the performance itself.  I also use it as an opportunity to teach and emphasize the need for and to demonstrate how to perform within our given time limits so that all other groups assigned to a given set get their full time on stage.  In addition, it is an opportunity to teach kids about adapting music that they are learning in other classes to something that can actually be played on the ukulele and performed on stage – a big surprise when we don’t do something exactly the way the singing teacher does.  While I, as the ukulele teacher, am responsible for developing the program and teaching the kids the songs that will be played, the classroom teachers incorporate the teaching moments in their classroom curriculum.  Thornton Creek is unique in that ukulele is an element of the daily curriculum in which the teachers are directly involved, not an after school program.  Finally, as the ukulele teacher I ask for and welcome input and ideas from the students on what we do, so this gives them a chance to develop their own sense of artistic expression – sometimes we have a little bit too much democracy :), but what a great learning experience. This is why we are always eager to get an opportunity to perform at Folklife.  Oh, and the kids love getting the performer buttons!

Among other things I am president of SUPA, and personally know two of the members of The Castaways, one of whom is the SUPA secretary.  My Thornton Creek kids all know this, and it makes it even easier for me to emphasize and teach things like stage timing, backstage behavior, etc.  They are not phased by playing in the Ukenalia Showcase with the others because we prep them well for this.  I even get to add a little humor in regard to making mistakes.  I always teach them how to respond to mistakes that might occur on stage and I do a post-performance analysis with the kids on this.  The best musicians among them can tell me exactly what mistakes were made and how we moved through them.  Another great take-away.

So yes, there are lots of take-aways for both students and faculty.  We look forward to having the opportunity to perform at Folklife, and hope that other youth organizations might have the same.

Thank you for performing dear Ukulele Olio students, and for your leadership John Leder!

Thank you to our Friends of Folklife for the opportunities that your donations create.

Give a Child the Gift of Discovery

Curious students learn more and learn better. It’s a fact. Sparking curiosity is serious fun.

Your summertime gift supports youth and families discovering all the neighbors and cultural practices of Our Big Neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest. Make your gift today to give a child the gift of discovery.

Our Big Neighborhood youth and family program spans the Seattle Children’s Festival and the Northwest Folklife Festival, bringing you and your neighbors together through arts and culture. Through inter-generational, multi-cultural exchange, we promote social understanding.

We introduce children to the world in the most accessible ways possible: through music, dance, cooking, nature, and being good neighbors.

Northwest Folklife’s inter-generational, multi-cultural program sparks children’s curiosity about the world. Young minds and bodies grow through movement, rhythm, and song. In Our Big Neighborhood everyone can participate in workshops, performances, and hands-on activities.

A main event in Northwest Folklife’s Our Big Neighborhood youth and family program, the Seattle Children’s Festival is a day dedicated to sparking children’s curiosity about the world and developing young minds and bodies through movement, rhythm, song, and hands-on activities. Discover the Seattle Children’s Festival. Families can experience all kinds of folklife, from traditional Chinese dance to beat boxing. And so much more!

The more we celebrate one another the better. Save the Date! The 4th Seattle Children’s Festival will be held at the Seattle Center on Sunday October 8, 2017.

Your Support Creates Opportunities

Thank You For Keeping Northwest Folklife Alive!

It is with a sense of deep gratitude that we can tell you that you – the community who attends and loves Northwest Folklife and the Northwest Folklife Festival – that when the final counting is done – and that takes a few more days – that we believe we will hit the $350,000 goal we set for donations at this year’s Festival.

We told you that the festival was in danger, that over the years, costs had been rising but revenue had not. We told you that we were worried that people had confused the complete accessibility of this festival – open to everyone in the community without a ticket price or financial barrier – that this had been confused with the idea that the festival was free. We shared, as openly and candidly with all of you what it really takes to put on this festival – including a cash budget of $1.3 million.

We believed that if we were open with you – that if you understood that this treasure you value so highly was our collective responsibility, that you would understand and would become part of the solution. And you did.  We made the goal and now, the Board will meet at the end of June to initiate discussions on how Northwest Folklife should move forward in the future. A new process begins and we look forward to engaging with the community as an essential part of that process.

It is one of the great challenges of Northwest Folklife that so many of our donors are anonymous event attendees. They come to the festival, give their cash donation and we have no way of staying in touch unless they join our mailing list or give us their contact information. We are so glad that they are helping to defray the costs of the event itself but it is impossible to connect with them afterwards.

But we have this amazing group of supporters – our Friends of Folklife who give to us throughout the year because they passionately believe in our mission and vision and they understand that supporting Folklife all year long is necessary. We are so pleased to announce that our Spring Campaign Goal has also been met and we are so very grateful to all of those donors as well. You made it possible for us to get to the opening day of the Festival and the opening day of the Children’s Festival in October. Thank you.

There is the greater point to be made. For Folklife to continue for the next 46 years – it will take a continued concerted effort. It takes the deep conviction and support of the Friends of Folklife who give us the resources to work all year round. It absolutely takes the support of the community and audience that attends the events – that recognize that “Access for All” is not the same as “Free”. We made a good start on that this year and we must keep that message strong and always present.

It also takes the support of institutional funders in the public, corporate and foundation worlds who know that Northwest Folklife is not just a great “EVENT” that occurs once a year but that Northwest Folklife is a “CAUSE” committed to strengthening our communities through the sharing and experiencing of our arts, culture and heritage.

And yes, it will take the continued “daily donations” of the hundreds of thousands who attend the events who must come to understand that the continuation of Folklife will always depend upon their support as well.

So thank you to all who have made the future possible. We are so grateful and so excited.

Rafael Maslan

President – NWFL Board

Mark W. Crawford

Interim Executive Director

The Friend of Folklife Experience 2017

Willa S., Ebony M., Sheila S., Lisa G.

L-R. Willa S., Ebony M., Sheila S., Lisa G.

Good to see you, Friends of Folklife! We enjoyed meeting you at the Friend of Folklife Headquarters on the Fisher Terrace and at the Friend of Folklife Donation Station on the Fisher Green. Welcome to ALL of our new Friends of Folklife. We had fun with Donor Goody Bags, daily Micro-Receptions, and Donor Drawings. And, we had a wonderful time experiencing the 46th Northwest Folklife Festival, the arts and culture of our big neighborhood, and phenomenal sunny four days this Memorial Day weekend.

Many Thanks to our Friend of Folklife Goody Bag & Donor Drawing Sponsors:

Ballard Brothers Seafood & Burgers
Dang! Coconut Chips and Onion Chips
KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn Company
McMenamins: Pubs, Breweries and Historic Hotels
NighTraiN Seattle
Northwest Dance Network
Orkestyr Farfeleh
Pagliacci Pizza – Seattle Area Pizzeria and Delivery
Petticoat Junction Dance Shop
Redhook Brewery | Seattle Original since 1981
Seattle Balkan Dancers | Come dance with us!
Swansons Nursery – Seattle’s Favorite Garden Store Since 1924
Ten Mercer Dinner + Drinks
Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant & Satay Bar
World Spice Merchants

Pacific Northwest Getaways in the Donor Drawing!

  • Vacation Home in Oceanside, Oregon: Thanks to Sue S and Lanny M
  • Bed and Breakfast near Roseburg, Oregon: Thanks to Woody L and Jeri F
  • Bed and Breakfast in Vancouver, B.C.: Thanks to Beth W and Brian R

Special Thanks to our Board Members who contributed to the Donor Drawing: Luther Black, Harvey Niebulski, Brian Roberson, Danielle Stephenson, Selena Whitaker-Paquiet, and Karen White.

Whether you forgot to give or wish to give more in support of Folklife’s rich tradition of arts and culture programs accessible to all, please take a moment to give, renew, and even increase your support as a Friend of Folklife donor. Thank you to all for sharing our message of building support for this community-powered treasure, and for your many gifts.

Share your experience with us here.

View from Friend of Folklife HQ photo credit: Sheila Siden

Whether you forgot to give or wish to give more in support of Folklife’s rich tradition of arts and culture programs accessible to all, please take a moment to give, renew, and even increase your support as a Friend of Folklife donor. Thank you to all for sharing our message of building support for this community-powered treasure, and for your many gifts.

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH US HERE.

Thank you for an Incredible 2017 Folklife Festival!

The 46th annual Northwest Folklife Festival came to a close on the evening of May 29th, wrapping up four days of music, dance, food, art, and celebration. The Festival brought together over 6,000 performers across 22 stages, with the aid of at least 800 volunteers. This year the Festival drew an estimated crowd of 250,000 people to Seattle Center over four days. The crowds enjoyed four full days of sunshine and smiles and spirits were high!

Whether you forgot to give or wish to give more in support of Folklife’s rich tradition of arts and culture programs accessible to all, please take a moment to give, renew, and even increase your support as a Friend of Folklife donor. Thank you to all for sharing our message of building support for this community-powered treasure, and for your many gifts.

Share your experience with us here.

 

 

 

How To Give to Make the Festival Live

This year, Northwest Folklife Festival –goers are being asked to decide the future of the Northwest Folklife Festival. Please support the Festival with a donation at the entrance, and consider becoming a Friend of Folklife. Our fundraising goal is $350,000.

Give at the Gate!

Make a daily donation of $10/person, $20/families. You will receive as Thanks a 2017 Festival Button. Wear it with pride. Add a Count Me In ribbon for an additional donation.

Say ‘Count Me In!’

Make your Count Me In donation at any Donation Station or Friend of Folklife Headquarters.

Receive a ribbon to wear and to tie on to the Count Me In Donor Wall at the Friend of Folklife Donation Station, Fisher Green.

  • $11 to $49 – Aqua
  • Friend of Folklife donors ($50 to $249) – Emerald
  • FolkStarter Friends ($250 and up) – Purple
  • 1,000 for the Future Donors – Red

Become a Friend of Folklife

  • Donate at any Donation Station with Cash, Check, or Credit Card.
  • Visit the Credit Card Kiosks at the Friend of Folklife Donation Station on the Fisher Green.

Give online at give.nwfolklife.org

Bring your Voucher or Receipt (phone or paper) to the Friend of Folklife Headquarters for Festival Benefits described on our donation page. Contributors ($50 donation) may pick up Friend of Folklife buttons at any Donation Station.

Your Support Creates Opportunities

 

As We Head into the Festival….

For the last several months, we have been talking with all of you – our community – about the crossroads in front of us. After 45 years, what is the future of Northwest Folklife, why does it matter today, and how important do we think it is for the future?

Northwest Folklife is as important today as it was 46 years ago when it was founded, maybe even more so. The Pacific Northwest has always been and continues to be a dynamic and evolving place, an intersection of communities and their arts, cultures and traditions. The premise of Northwest Folklife, the joyous cause that underlies all we do, is the building of a more caring, understanding, just and empathetic society. We believe in celebrating the wonderfully unique ways in which all of us, each of our myriad communities, live life each day, how we dance, sing, and tell our stories. In this celebration, in our watching each other, in listening and participating, we come to better understand each other and we come to better understand ourselves.

We want to say thank you to all of the people who have already declared that we can Count Them In by giving to Northwest Folklife before the festival itself. Whether in response to our Spring Campaign or the Give BIG campaign or because you knew you wanted to contribute and didn’t wait to be asked, so many of you have expressed your support and made a contribution.

Thank you on behalf of an entire region that benefits from your support. Thank you for supporting more than 100 communities and over 5,000 artists who present their art, culture and heritage at the festival and thank you from the quarter of a million attendees who will celebrate, share and participate together during the Memorial Day Weekend Northwest Folklife Festival. You have made this all possible – thank you.

Now, we go into the 46th annual Northwest Folklife Festival. The weather forecast is perfect, the performers have been chosen and have spent months preparing. The stages are set. Sound systems are in place. Booths and vendors are setting up. Volunteers are signing up and being trained. The excitement is mounting, the anticipation growing. This is how it should be.

Only with the support of every person who comes through the entrances and has the means to give their daily donation in support, will we be able to continue to create the opportunities for all of our communities’ voices to be heard. It will only happen if the people who enjoy the Festival give during the Festival. If you do, together we will continue to create this uniquely Pacific Northwest community of communities.

So, welcome to your festival. Welcome to our community. Have a wonderful time. May your days at the Festival be filled with joy, exploration, and discovery.  May the days that follow be brighter and may all of us, as neighbors, be closer.

Explore the 20 Years of Festál at the Northwest Folklife Festival

For 46 years, Northwest Folklife has brought diverse communities of the Pacific Northwest 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 23 community organizations to bring festivals like Diwali, Tet Festival, CroatiaFest, Spirit of Indigenous People, and more to Seattle Center. As Festál Turns 20 in 2017, Northwest Folklife celebrates the ground-breaking, community-organizing work for which Festál is known.

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store!

Theatre Presentations:

Around the World through Cultural Attires

Travel around the world through cultural attires, jewelry and traditional accessories. The Cultural Attire showcase will showcase 14 Festál cultures including Hmong, Tibet, Poland, China, Africa, Japan and more. Saturday, May 27, 3:00-5:00PM in the Charlotte Martin Theatre 

Northwest Folklife, Seattle Center and Jack Straw Cultural Center presents Festál Turns 20 Music Collaboration Showcase

Celebrating the common threads of music from around the world, experience a one-of-a-kind showcase that highlights 9 distinguished musicians representing Festál Cultural Festivals in solo performances and a special live collaboration.

Saturday, May 27 from 7:00-10:00PM in the Cornish Playhouse

 Iranian Festival presents Baran Dance Ensemble, music with Ayla, poetry by Ali Ghambari and Gazalle Willecke

Sunday, May 28 from 7:00-9:00PM in the Cornish Playhouse

 

Northwest Folklife Festival - Festal Turns 20Panel Discussions:

The Birth of Festál

With John Merner, Dennis Caldirola and Andy Frankel

Saturday, May 27, 4:00-5:00PM on the Narrative Stage

Cultivating Cultures

With Steven Sneed, Latha Sambamurti, Kabao Xiong and Juliet Cheadle

Sunday, May 28, 4:00-5:00PM on the Narrative Stage

 

Festal launch, Seattle Center, 1997

Food Demonstrations:

Festival Sundiata presents Lillian Rambus from Simply Soulful

Cooking “Peach Cobbler”

Saturday, May 27, 12:00-12:45PM on the Cultural Cuisine Stage

 

Festa Italiana presents Brad Inserra from Red House Beer, Wine Shoppe & Tapas Bar

Cooking “Aglio e Olio”

Monday, May 29, 12:00-12:45PM on the Cultural Cuisine Stage

 

Music Performances:

BrasilFest presents VamoLÃ! Brazilian Drum & Dance Ensemble, Bloco Alegria Samba Band, Samba OlyWa, Brazilian Violin Trio, Show Brazil!

Sunday, May 28, 5:00-8:00PM on the Mural Amphitheatre

 

Hands-on Activities:

Diwali: Festival of Lights presents two very special cows who live at the Seattle Center. Learn about the importance and significance of these animals to the Vedic culture. Monday, May 29 from 11:00AM-6:00PM in the Discovery Zone

 

Spirit of Indigenous People presents Longhouse Media Films with Tracy Rector

Sunday, May 28, 5:00-7:00PM in the SIFF Film Center

 

Festival Sundiata presents We Shall Not Sleep -The Voices of Our Ancestors by Gary Giles

Monday, May 29, 1:45-2:45PM in the SIFF Film Center

Workshops:

Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival presents Philippine Rural Dance, Music and Attire

Join the Filipinas Performing Arts of Washington State (FPAWS) with dancer and choreographer Juliet Omli-Cawas Cheatle, to learn rural dances from the Philippines. Saturday, May 27, 5:15-6:00PM in the Armory Court Stage.

 

Visual Arts:

 

The Art of Festál

Explore a range of topics from historic artifacts to contemporary ideas of belonging, place, and beauty from Festál organizations including Arab Festival, Hmong New Year Celebration, Italian Festival, Live Aloha, Polish Festival Seattle, and TurkFest.

Friday, May 26 – Monday, May 29, 11:00AM – 7:00PM in the Art Not Terminal Gallery

 

The PNW Craft Beer Festival

Join us at the PNW CRAFT BEER FEST for a celebration of the best beer the Northwest has to offer, right in the heart of the Northwest Court in Seattle Center.

Located next to the Back Porch Stage and just outside of the KEXP Gathering Space, the PNW Craft Beer Fest will serve you your new favorite brew on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28 from 11:00AM-8PM.

$25 get you a 5oz taste of 10 local breweries. 21+

Check out the list of brews here.

Sponsored by KEXP and The Stranger

 

Morris and BC Communities 🎵🎶 Anonymous donors want to double your gift.

The 46th Northwest Folklife Festival will be awesome this year, and we are doing all we can to expand support to make the Festival live to 47 and beyond. Anonymous donors have offered two opportunities to double your gift now through June 30.

Calling all Misty City Morris, Mossybacks, North by Northwest, Sound and Fury, and Vancouver Morris Men.  Anonymous donors are offering a Morris Challenge. They will match gifts 1:1 from Morris community dancers, musicians, past team members, team spouses, and their kids. Required: include the name of your team affiliation with your donation!

Calling all Vancouverites, lower mainlanders, Vancouver Islanders, and all residents of British Columbia. Anonymous donors are offering a BC Challenge. They will match gifts 1:1 from donors the BC community. Required: include your address and the words BC Challenge with your donation!

Calling all who wish to make a new gift of $1,000: Two dedicated donors have offered to match individuals’ and corporations’ new gifts of $1,000 through 6/30/2017!

Take a moment to renew and even increase your support with a one-time or recurring gift.

Please share these challenge match opportunities with your friends and let them know what Folklife means to you.

Dia de Muertos Community Altar

Honor loved ones who have passed with a community altar organized by Dia de Muertos. Located on the second floor of the Armory building, directly outside the loft workshop rooms, you will have a chance to participate in an ongoing community altar of remembrance traditional to the Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos.

In order to participate, bring a photo, note, or offering to add your story to the ever growing altar.*

Altar will be on display in the Armory Court balcony Saturday – Monday.


About Day of the Dead Altars

Courtesy of Diana at Copal Mexican Folk Art and Dia de Muertos Festival

Day of the Dead altars known as altares de muertos or ofrendas are set during the Day of the Dead celebrations on November 1 and 2 to honor the dead children and adults. Day of the Dead celebrations are based in the belief that the souls of the ones gone can come back to this world on these days.

The Day of the Dead altars are the most prominent feature in the celebration because they show the souls the way to their home. Altars make the souls (animas) feel welcomed and show them they have not been forgotten.

The souls will only take the essence out of the food and drinks so at the end of the celebration or in some places during the event, the family will gather and eat and drink the offered goodies and often share them with the community members.

Day of the Dead altars are set with different elements depending on the region; these differences are established by the availability, seasonal flowers and fruits and the traditional food from the area. Other elements are shared everywhere in the country. Most altars would include elements such as photographs, candy skulls, candles, flowers, and food.


*If you would like them back, please collect your offerings by 9PM on Sunday May 22nd. Folklife will try and collect any unclaimed offerings at the end of the Festival but please plan on only providing offerings with the understanding that they may not make it back to you.

Mythbusters #1

Northwest Folklife Mythbusters

THIS IS NORTHWEST FOLKLIFE!

Over the years, certain myths, misunderstandings and/or misconceptions about an organization can develop. Every so often, it is important to tackle those myths and restate the Truths of an organization. For the past three months, Northwest Folklife has been tackling some of those myths.  Today, as we near the annual Northwest Folklife Festival, we are restating all of them together to reintroduce you to:

Northwest Folklife 

The Real Northwest Folklife 

Mythbusters #1

Mythbusters 2

Mythbusters #3

Mythbusters #5

These are our Truths. This is Northwest Folklife and this is the Northwest Folklife Festival.
 
This is your community. This is your Folklife.
 
In order to continue, to be here next year and for the years to come, Northwest Folklife needs your support. Please, make a donation each day you attend the Festival. Become a Friend of Folklife. This only happens with your support.
 
Can We Count You In?

Indigenous Voices at Northwest Folklife Festival

For decades, the Northwest Folklife Festival has been a key event bringing together indigenous and Native voices in the Pacific Northwest. From the long standing participation of the Hawaiian community, to the 2008 Cultural Focus on Urban Indians (a program created by Native communities based in Seattle and the Northwest), and the recent Memorial Day pow-wow programming, the Festival has worked directly with Native communities to showcase the traditional arts and culture of the region. In 2017, the Northwest Folklife Festival whad unprecedented participation from Northwest Native communities, in part through Northwest Folklife’s continuing and expanded partnership with the Circle of Indigenous Peoples. The Circle of Indigenous Peoples is based in the rich collective of Native tribal members in Seattle and Washington State, with a goal to broaden the reach to other Native and First Nation communities in the Pacific Northwest. Tribes represented in the current organization include Coastal Nations: Haida, Tlingit, Muckleshoot, Port Gamble S’klallam, Chehalis Confederated, Chinook, Lummi, Makah, Nisqually, Suquammish, Puyallup, Snoqualmie, Tulalip, Grande Ronde, Cowlitz; and other nations such as Standing Rock Sioux, Eastern Shoshone, Nez Perce, Coeur D’Alene, Cherokee, Navajo, Chippewa, and many more. The organization was created to create further awareness of Native traditions and to increase attendance, build cross cultural awareness, healing, identity and respectful understanding.

The Circle of Indigenous Peoples Celebration will take place at the Northwest Folklife Festival, at the site of the John Williams Memorial Totem Pole, next to the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP). The site will play host to artists, performers, dancers, and culture bearers with the intention of directly involving non-Native audiences in cultural welcoming, education, and a celebration of Native cultures.

“This is a great opportunity for indigenous people to share their culture and their celebrations with those who might not be familiar,” says organizer John Romero. “It’s just amazing how many people come to Folklife who have never seen a Native American celebration or powwow before in their life. These are people from overseas, from other areas of the US, from all over the Northwest, who don’t usually get an opportunity to involve themselves in Native culture. Our goal with the Circle of Indigenous Peoples is to provide a venue that can be shared with people outside of the Native American community in order to share our culture. The goal is also to bring us together! We need this unity as a nation.”

“It’s been an honor to work with the Circle of Indigenous Peoples,” says Kelli Faryar, Program Director for Northwest Folklife. “We’ve been building these connections over the past few years, and it’s been a powerful experience to see how this work brings together the many different Indigenous communities that live in the Pacific Northwest. Earlier this year, we hosted our Community Coordinators meeting at the Duwamish Longhouse, featuring a traditional Duwamish storyteller and culture-bearer, so many of our Community Coordinators got to meet and interact with the organizers of the Circle of Indigenous Peoples. These kind of cross-cultural connections strengthen our community and give us all new perspectives for our work.”

The organizing committee for the Circle of Indigenous Peoples Celebration consists of Jay Hollingsworth (Mohegan), Kyle Schierbeck (Standing Rock Sioux), George Farrell (Lakota Sioux), Ixtli Whitehawk (Aztec), Brad Mix (Métis), and John Romero (Eastern Shoshone).

“Working with the NW Folklife folks has been extremely rewarding,” says organizer Jay Hollingsworth. “Their openness and respect for culture has given us a great opportunity to share our culture with the entire community. I believe we have built a long lasting relationship well into the future.”

 

Northwest Folklife Mythbusters #7

 

Not long ago, the national landscape was filled with large scale regional arts and culture festivals. These festivals were NOT national commercial, “headliner” music festivals, but celebrations of local arts and artists. That landscape has changed and the Northwest Folklife Festival is one of the last remaining major community owned festivals in the nation.

Our own Northwest Folklife Festival is one of even fewer that remains committed to the idea that this experience belongs to everyone – not just to those who can afford the price of a ticket. This is only possible now and can only remain possible in the future if our VERY modest costs are supported by our community. Either we want our festival to continue or we don’t.

Over the past 11 years, revenue has remained stagnant but costs have risen. During that time, Northwest Folklife has prioritized the resources for programming and cut every else. No programmatic costs have been drastically cut over the past eleven years. There are no more cuts and indeed, too much has been cut already.

Our Northwest Folklife Festival is one of even fewer that remains committed to the idea that this experience belongs to everyone – not just to those who can afford the price of a ticket. This can only remain possible in the future if our community renews its support. The Festival will not continue without your support.

As you know, while no ticket need be purchased to attend, the Festival is not free. This year, we must secure $1,300,000 in revenue to offset expenses. There is no other arts and/or culture organization that has found a way to bring over 5,000 artists on 25 stages representing over 100 communities to about 250,000 people for such a small investment. We are efficient, effective stewards of every dollar we receive.

We are an independent not-for-profit. We are not a City program with all expenses already paid for We will earn about $600,000 in booth fees, vendor commissions and sponsorships to help pay for these expenses. We must raise $700,000 more to offset remaining expenses.

We raise funds from individuals in two major ways – through specific funding appeals during the year to those with whom we have an ongoing relationship and annually at the festival by appealing to those who love the festival and attend.

At this year’s festival, we have set a goal to raise at least $350,000 to pay for the costs.

We ask for a modest daily donation of $10 per person per day or $20 per family at the entrances.  Last year, we estimate that only 17% of the people attending the festival made any voluntary donation. We received $205,120 in donations at the festival. That is less than $1 for each person who attended over the four day period.

We also know and we celebrate that there is no economic barrier and that making a donation can be very tough for some.  We are so glad you are all here and we are grateful for whatever you are able to “chip in”. But 17% is not enough to sustain this event. If more people do not support the festival, the festival will not continue.

For those who have the means and the passion for what this festival is all about, we, the Board, ask you to consider what the VALUE of this festival is to you, BOTH as individuals attending and as members of this community who believe in this awesome event and believe it must be open to all.

A Co-Curated Festival

If you’ve wondered how the annual Northwest Folklife Festival presents such a wide breadth of diversity and cultural inclusion each year, the answer lies in the innovative Community Coordinator Program, which brings cultural leaders into the festival’s planning process. Each coordinator is drawn from a specific community in the Pacific Northwest and is an integral partner in the fulfillment of Northwest Folklife’s mission to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of this region. The goal of the program is to give space at the festival for these communities to present their arts and traditions on their own terms. An additional goal is also for the coordinators to invite their communities to attend the festival and to encourage all festivalgoers to participate and learn from each other’s traditions. The communities covered by this program range widely across Northwest demographics, including South Asian, Native American, Filipino, Arab, Irish, Latino, Hispanic, Scandinavian, African, African-American, Latin American, Canadian, and Eastern European communities. Northwest Folklife’s festival programming reflects the diversity of our region, much of it centered on immigrant communities.

Hawaiian showcase, photo by Ben Shaevitz

“The Community Coordinator program at Northwest Folklife creates a co-curated, shared ownership of the Festival that defines Northwest Folklife’s commitment to cultural inclusion”, says Kelli Faryar, Programs Director. “Our collaboration with Coordinators is necessary to an authentic celebration of the multicultural arts, cultures and traditions of the region. They represent the lifeblood of our communities and these relationships lie at the heart and soul of this commitment.” 

 

The Community Coordinator Program is an ongoing partnership that results in over 65% of the programming at both the Northwest Folklife Festival and the Seattle Children’s Festival (which Northwest Folklife also produces). With Coordinator guidance and co-curation, each showcase is put together with careful consideration of the unique needs of the community, artists, and audience, and with the goal of growing and embracing the ever-changing cultural traditions and landscapes of the region.

“The Northwest Folklife Festival has such a prominent energy in the arts and music in the city,” says Ali Ghambari, the Community Coordinator for the Northwest Folklife Festival’s Iranian Showcase. “For us, working with Northwest Folklife compliments what we’re doing, and Folklife gives us resources and the energy to build on. It’s a pleasure to work with Northwest Folklife, and at the same time it elevates what we do.” 

A Letter from the Board of Northwest Folklife

FRIENDS – WE NEED TO TALK… WE NEED TO DECIDE…
WILL FOLKLIFE AND THE FESTIVAL CONTINUE?

You are the people who keep our varied and unique cultures and traditions flourishing through your continued love and practice of the folk arts. You belong to organizations and groups who have gathered together in community to celebrate a particular artistic and/or cultural heritage or tradition. You are an essential part of the vibrant, lively scene that makes our Pacific Northwest such a special place. You are Folklife!

This Memorial Day, just as we have for 45 years before, we will be sharing these artistic and cultural traditions through our performances with our neighbors who will enjoy your music, cultural showcases, crafts, and foods representing communities from all over our region.

The question is “Will the Folklife Festival be back next year?”

Not long ago, the national landscape was filled with large scale regional arts and culture festivals. These festivals were NOT national commercial, “headliner” music festivals, but celebrations of local arts and artists. That landscape has changed and the Northwest Folklife Festival is now one of the last remaining major community owned festivals in the nation.

Our own Northwest Folklife Festival is one of even fewer that remains committed to the idea that this experience belongs to everyone – not just to those who can afford the price of a ticket. This can only remain possible in the future if our community renews its support. The Festival will not continue without your support.

This is not a “one year crisis”. Over the past 11 years, revenue has remained stagnant but costs have risen. During this time, Northwest Folklife has prioritized the resources for programming and drastically cut all else. To the best of our abilities, programs have been protected over the past eleven years. There are no more cuts and indeed, too much has been cut already.

What is the value of preserving, expressing and sharing our traditions and heritage? Do we value opportunities for all of our communities to have a place to express their voices and to be heard by others? Do we value the importance of guaranteeing access to all without economic barriers? Northwest Folklife is at a crossroads and it is time for the community to make a decision about how it values artistic and cultural inclusion, access and the future of the festival.

While no one must buy a ticket to attend, the Festival is not free. This year, we must secure $1,300,000 in revenue to offset expenses. There is no other arts and/or culture organization that has found a way to bring over 5,000 artists on 25 stages representing over 100 communities to about 250,000 people for such a small investment. We are efficient, effective stewards of every dollar we receive.

We are an independent not-for-profit. We are not a City program with all expenses already paid for. We will earn about $600,000 in booth fees, vendor commissions and sponsorships to help pay for these expenses. We must raise $700,000 more to offset remaining expenses.

We raise funds from individuals in two major ways – through specific funding appeals during the year to those with whom we have an ongoing relationship and annually at the festival by appealing to those who love the festival and attend.

At this year’s festival, we have set a goal to raise at least $350,000 to pay for the costs. We ask for a modest minimum daily donation of $10 per person per day or $20 per family at the entrances. Last year, we estimate that less than 17% of the people attending the festival made a voluntary donation. We received $205,120 in donations at the festival. That is less than $1 for each person who attended over the four day period.

We celebrate that there is no economic barrier and we know that making a donation can be very tough for some. We are grateful for whatever you are able to “chip in”. But 17% is not enough to sustain this event. If more people do not support the festival, the festival will not continue.

For those who have the means and the passion for what this festival is all about, we, the Board, ask you to consider what the VALUE of this festival is to you, BOTH as individuals attending and as members of this community who believe in this awesome event and believe it must be open to all.

In addition to the festival goal, we have set a goal of $100,000 by May 26th for our Spring Count Me In Campaign. Please, answer the call and make your donation now and be counted in.

Please – give online at nwfolklife.kindbase.com where you can choose to make a one-time gift or recurring donation. Or send your check to Northwest Folklife at 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109. Consider making a gift of stock. Northwest Folklife is a registered not-for-profit so your gifts are tax deductible. Remember to request your employer’s matching gift!

Ultimately we must decide if Northwest Folklife will continue. Only YOU can make that happen. What you do today, when you decide to give or not give, will determine the future of this amazing festival. This is a choice about our future – does this wonderful event which distinguishes our region from everywhere else in the nation continue? Or will it become a memory of yesteryear?

Together, we celebrate this joyous festival, the opportunities provided, the experiences shared. We believe Northwest Folklife needs to continue. Do you?

The Board of Northwest Folklife– Rafael Maslan, President; Evan Woods (not pictured), Vice President; Ryan Davis (not pictured), Treasurer; Michael Richardson, Secretary; Luther F. Black, Immediate Past President; Kim Camara (not pictured); David Greenspan; Don Morgan; Harvey Niebulski, M.D.; Brian Robertson (not pictured); Michelle Demers Shaevitz; Karen Shaw; Jabi Shriki; Selena Whitaker-Paquiet; Karen White (not pictured)

The Art of Festál

One Tired Tourist in Venice by Joel Patience, Italian Festival

From the earliest markings to contemporary multimedia installations, representations of culture and tradition have been expressed through visual media. The art and artifacts on display in the Art of Festál exhibition all represent both individual and cultural expressions and are as diverse and distinct as the Festál program itself. Learn the history of the Festál program from its inception 20 years ago, and see how it’s grown and expanded throughout time.

Wander through the galleries to take in art expanding the entire 20th century and beyond, from 1940’s prints from Poland, to Lebanese contemporary paper works, to contemporary representations of Italian life. Themes explored range from historic artifacts to contemporary ideas of belonging, place, and beauty.

Festál organizations represented include: Arab Festival, Hmong New Year Celebration, Italian Festival, Live Aloha, Polish Festival Seattle, and TurkFest.

The Art of Festál will be on view in the Art Not Terminal Gallery  May 26 – May 29 11am – 7pm

Swing on in!

By Dean Paton, Community Coordinator

I began swing dancing because of an injury. I had been a lifelong baseball player and throughout my thirties and early forties I played both hardball and softball. In the summer of 1993 I broke a bone in my hand—and, for a professional writer, that was serious. I took it as a sign: that I needed to quit playing baseball and find a new physical activity where I wouldn’t have so many collisions with big, fast-moving jocks.

I decided to take up swing dancing.

Immediately, I fell in love with partner dancing. I’d actually tried partner dancing a few years earlier, but what I had not understood at the time is that there are actually two drastically different worlds of partner dancing—social dancing, and competition-ballroom dancing. Continued below


Looking for a chance to jitterbug, foxtrot or swing? Don’t miss these swing showcases at the 2017 Northwest Folklife Festival!

Hot High School Swing Dance Presented by KNKX

Friday, May 26, 3-6pm, Armory Court

Swingin’ the Great American Songbook

Saturday, May 27, 1-3pm, Fisher Pavilion

Swingin’ Blues or Bluesy Swing?

Saturday, May 27, 6-8pm, Fisher Pavilion

Western Swing and Alt Country Ass-Kicker Wake-Up

Sunday, May 28, 11am – 1pm, Fisher Pavilion

West Coast Swing with Seattle Swing Dance Club

Sunday, May 28, 3-4pm, Armory Loft – Dance Workshops

Swing! Swing! Swing!

Monday, May 29, 3-5pm, Armory Court Stage


That dancing you see on “Dancing With The Stars—this is in the competition-ballroom world. It’s dancing, yes, but mostly it’s choreography, where you practice and practice the same moves over and over. And because choreography is a lot of work there’s a tendency to dance with the same partner over and over.Because I didn’t know two worlds of partner dancing existed—like parallel universes of dance—I thought I just wasn’t cut out for partner dancing, and I was so disappointed by this that I didn’t even finish the series of lessons I’d purchased.

It wasn’t until several years later that a friend told me about a different type of dance lessons in Seattle. I took my first series of swing-dance lessons in January of 2004—and I was hooked. It was like a drug. Not long after that I took one of their waltz classes, and suddenly I was hooked on two drugs. I like waltz so much I ended up founding the Valse Café Orchestra, which has become one of the premiere dance ensembles in the region.

History of Swing

By one definition or another, you could say there are seven or nine kinds of dances that go with swing music. There’s the original swing dance—Lindy Hop—which is the dance that started it all in Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom. A collection of African American dancers had been developing this new dance, blending Charleston with other jazz steps, and one day a reporter asked one of the dancers what this new dance was called. According to legend, this was very soon after Charles Lindbergh has hopped the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, and the dancer, struggling to come up with a name for his dance, blurted out, “It’s the Lindy Hop.” The name stuck.
Jitterbug came along not long after that, in the early 1930s, and without getting too complex, one of the key differences is that Lindy Hop is based on an eight-count footwork pattern, while Jitterbug tends to be centered more around a six-count pattern. Not long after that some of the New York dance studios decided that Lindy Hop was too difficult for many of their white dance students, so they created a dance style they called East Coast Swing. You dance East Coast Swing the the same grand music, but the moves are simplified: not as much rotation, and not always to fast swing.

In fact, “East Coast,” evolved into three variations, depending on the tempos of the music: For slow music—Triple-Time Swing. For mid-tempo swing—Double-Time Swing. And for fast music—Single-Time Swing. The same moves tend to work with all three variations, and this makes East Coast Swing an ideal entry level dance drug. East Coast Swing is where I started dancing.

When Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, along with other cowboy bands, started playing the Great American Songbook (but with a bit of twang), the result was Western swing. Most of the same moves from regular swing apply, but flashy Western swing dancers mix in what they call “lassos and lariats,” which are flashy arm movements, neck wraps, and sweetheart positions that add a bit of “hick” feel to the dance.

In the late 1940s, in Los Angeles, dance teachers created yet another variation, this one called West Coast Swing. Danced in a slot, where dancers move back and forth trading places as if on a track, West Coast Swing is slinkier than other swing-dance styles, and typically is danced to slower music: blues, some funk, and other more contemporary music.

Another dance—not called swing, but danced to extremely fast swing music—is Balboa, where both partners dance pressed against each other and take the tiniest of rapid steps. Finally, from Eastern Europe, came “bug,” a version of swing based on a four-count footwork pattern.

What’s that—nine different dances you can do to swing tunes?

Wait—I’m forgetting Foxtrot, a traveling dance perfect for swing music. I always mix Foxtrot with my swing. I’ll dance a bit of Single-Time Swing and then shift into Foxtrot and dance my partner around the floor a ways, and then, when the music suggests a change, I’ll switch back into swing. Knowing a bit of Foxtrot gives your swing a great second dimension. I can’t imagine doing one without the other.

The Music behind the Swing

What I look for in a great swing band is the same thing I look for in any good dance band—a solid rhythm section. It might sound funny, because it’s the melody players we always hum along with—the saxophones, the trumpets and clarinets and trombones. But people aren’t dancing to the melody; they’re dancing to the bass player, the rhythm guitarist, the drummer and the piano players’ left hand—they’re what drive the dancers, and those musicians are kind of the unsung heroes of a good dance band. Without a solid rhythm section laying down a serious grove, the music loses its cohesion, and dancing become more challenging, even more tedious.

When I’m choosing bands for dance sets at Folklife, I listen first for a solid rhythm section. If a band has that going for it, it usually guarantees a good time for the dancers. After a solid rhythm section, I look for bands that give dancers spaces in the music to “play,” which I guess means places at the ends of their musical phrases where dancers can do freezes, check steps, pivots or other joyful embellishments. Not all bands know how to build such flexibility into their music.

For my money, one of the best—and most unusual—swing-dance sets at this year’s Festival will be on Saturday night from 6 p.m. till 8, when Breakers Yard and The Dunghill Rooster Strutters, both from Oregon, take the stage in Warren’s Roadhouse. Neither band is what we’d call a classic swing band, but both blend blues with swing and Foxtrott-y melodies with an old-timey feel, and I think the combined effect will be irresistible.

Technically, swing is defined by a set of triplets in the music. Northwest bass player Pete Leinonen passed along the best definition of “swing music” I’ve ever heard. It was a statement the great jazz clarinetist, Wm. O. Smith, reportedly told his students at the University of Washington’s School of Music. Simply put, Smith said, “Swing is when everybody gives,” meaning when the band plays the music selflessly, without one player or another trying to be the star.

“When everybody gives” seems like a perfect definition for not only swing music, but also for the Northwest Folklife Festival.

Dean is a longtime Community Coordinator, coordinating the partner dances at the Northwest Folklife Festival.

Northwest Folklife Mythbusters #6

For 45 years, Northwest Folklife has brought the Northwest Folklife Festival to Seattle Center and celebrated the incredible and diverse arts and cultures of the Pacific Northwest.

  • We have brought the four-day Northwest Folklife Festival to about 250,000 people, a quarter of a million, to celebrate the incredible and diverse arts and cultures of the Pacific Northwest.
  • We present about 5,000 artists, who volunteer their performances on 25 stages. Over 100 communities, representing the rich diversity of our community – artistically, ethnically, and culturally – work all year round to bring these performances to you at this Festival.
  • We have done all of this WITHOUT CHARGING ADMISSION, not even once.  We are committed to not having the economic barrier of a ticket prices, we are committed to making this celebration as accessible as possible to the greatest number of people.

While there is no admission charge, the Northwest Folklife Festival is not free. It takes a full year and a $1.3 million budget to produce the Festival and other programming. This is NOT a city program it is not all paid for in advance. It has only been made possible and can only continue with the support of those who come to experience it. 

What is the value of a day (or two or three or four) of music, dance, storytelling, crafts and food? What does this experience mean to you and to your family? Your children?

This year, we need to raise $700,000 to pay expenses and we need to raise at least half of that – $350,000 – at this Festival. We depend on individual donations at the Festival.

Sadly last year, less than 17% of all attendees made a donation. That is not enough and this lack of support puts Northwest Folklife at risk. Without your support, we cannot continue.

There will be between 200,000 and 250,000 people who attend the festival this year. It is your Festival. This is not up to someone else. It is up to you.  Help keep Northwest Folklife alive.

CAN WE COUNT YOU IN?  

Mythbusters #5

Northwest Folklife Mythbusters #5

 

Since its inception over 45 years ago, Northwest Folklife has been and remains dedicated to the creation of a public forum where the traditional and ethnic communities and the artists of the Pacific Northwest can present their music, dance, performances and crafts.

Folklife works with more than 100 communities and Community Coordinators to bring over 5,000 artists to 25 stages representing the full range of artistic and cultural expression found in this region. Yes, there are hippies and yes there is fiddling and we love them all! And there are hula dancers, spirituals, gospel and sacred music, Indie music and yodeling, Hip Hop, drum circles, powwows, contra dancing and Coastal Salish dancing. And so much more – there is not space here to describe the half of it! The variety and the opportunities for new experiences are so varied and plentiful, you simply cannot see it all.

Folklife is NOT just one style of art or culture. Folklife is ALL folk living – each in their own unique way and yet, each in a way that connects us all together. The steps of our dances may vary – but we ALL dance. The tempo, arrangement, and notes of our songs sound different but we ALL know that deep inner response to the sounds of our own cultures being played on instrument and in voice. Our foods, the spices and ingredients we use, the style in which we cook them, all have unique characteristics that speaks deeply to us of our heritages but we ALL know the joy and deep contentment of gathering as family, neighbors and friends to break bread and be in community.

Northwest Folklife’s roots are deeply embedded in cultural inclusion. Recently, Phil Williams, one of our founders passed on. His widow Vivian shared with us that “Phil figured everybody should have a chance to get to know people from other communities, whether it was quilting or playing bluegrass or Japanese koto. His resistance to fences included a sensitivity to refugees in Seattle who’d had their fill of barbed-wire fences and being closed in. He thought some people wouldn’t be comfortable with that. He was very, very inclusive.” Folklife’s original vision remains as relevant today as it was in 1972.

Folklife is really a way to describe how people are living. The Festival is how we offer and share ourselves with others. It is a time and place where we can learn from one another. It is your Festival – it belongs to everyone. It is as diverse as the Northwest itself. It is the one time that all of us, from our own unique communities come together and create a new community together – a community of music, dance, storytelling, craft and food. It is a brilliant, diverse, welcoming community.

Join us.

Friend of Folklife HQ

CAN WE COUNT YOU IN?

Friend of Folklife HQ

Pictured: Friend of Folklife Headquarters, 45th Northwest Folklife Festival

For 45 years, Northwest Folklife has brought the Northwest Folklife Festival to Seattle Center and celebrated the incredible and diverse arts and cultures of the Pacific Northwest.

About 250,000 people each year come to the Northwest Folklife Festival. Over 5,000 artists perform on 25 stages during the four day Festival. Over 100 communities, representing the rich diversity of our community – artistically, ethnically, and culturally – work all year round to bring these performances to you at this Festival.

You are the Folklife family. You are friends, volunteers, donors, performers, community coordinators, leaders and vendors – the core group that makes Northwest Folklife possible. What is the value to you of a day (or two or three or four) of music, dance, storytelling, crafts and food? What does this experience mean to you and to your family? Your children?

Together, we believe in the two critically important fundamentals, the CAUSE,  that drives Northwest Folklife – that we celebrate, share and participate in ALL of the traditional and evolving arts and cultures of the Pacific Northwest AND that there shall be NO ECONOMIC BARRIER to participation.

While there is no ticket price to get in, Northwest Folklife is not free. It takes a full year and a a cash budget to produce the Festival and other programming. This is NOT a city program – all paid for in advance. It has only been made possible and can only continue with the support of those who come each year to experience it.

For the past ten years, revenue has NOT grown but expenses have. Each year, the organization committed itself to doing whatever it took to make sure that maintaining the programs were the first priority. Increased programming costs have been offset by cuts everywhere else. And those cuts added up as the costs mounted. Over the ten years, Northwest Folklife has cut non-programming costs by over 60% and never had the revenue to restore them. Frankly, there are no more cuts to be made. Indeed, too many cuts have already occurred to support the future operations. We need to change that pattern.

Your financial support is necessary or we won’t be able to continue. This year, to offset expenses, we must generate $1,300,000 in revenue. We will earn about $600,000 and we need to raise $700,000 to pay these expenses.

To do that, we have secured $45,000 from city and county sources. We have set a $350,000 goal to be raised at the Festival from the people who attend.

And, over the year, we need to raise another $300,000 from all of you – our Folklife family – our key supporters. Between now and May 26th – we need to raise $100,000 of that core supporter goal through our spring funding campaign underway right now.

What is at stake?

This Festival is one of the few remaining all access, all community folk celebrations left in America. We cannot take it for granted.

Folklife’s future is up to us. This is a community owned, community co-created event. If we value Folklife and want it to continue, we need to support it.

You understand and value what Northwest Folklife means to you personally, for your families and for our community. You want Folklife to continue.

Last year, less than 17% of the people who attended Folklife programs contributed in support. That is not enough. This lack of support has put Folklife at risk.

We need to expand our committed donor base and we need to increase our donation levels. Every arts and culture organization needs a core group of committed supporters to sustain the programs they create.

We need to do two things between now and May 26th, 2017. We need to meet our spring campaign goal of $100,000 so please, give in accordance to the value that Folklife has for us AND we need to share this message with our networks and build a more robust, expanded support community.

It’s up to us, we are the solution – can we COUNT YOU IN?

If so, please

  • Give online at nwfolklife.kindbase.com. Choose to make a one-time gift or recurring donation.
  • Send your check to Northwest Folklife at 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109.
  • Make a gift of stock.
  • Remember to request your employer’s matching gift.
  • And ask others for their support as well!

Discovery Zone: Festal Activities, special guests, and more!

As part of the 2017 Cultural Focus: Festal turns 20, the Discovery Zone will host a wide array of activities from around the world. Activities will feature some of the 23 Festal organizations including paper flower making with Dia de Muertos, wreath making and paper cutting with the Polish Festival, learning Arabic through art with the Arab Festival, Paper Marbling with Turkfest, cultural activities with Diwali Festival of Lights and more. Check back soon for a full schedule of activities.

 

 

Special Guests at the Discovery Zone

We are thrilled to welcome Orion and Lakshmi, two very special cows from the ISKCON Vedic Cultural Center to the Discovery Zone this year. Learn about the importance and significance of cows in the Vedic culture and experience a traditional Vedic village. You may even get to feed them a treat as you learn all about these fascinating creatures!

 

Discover Your Inner Artist

Whether you like to rock-out, draw, or experiment with new materials, the Discovery Zone has what you need to be the true artist that you are. Join Nature Consortium to create a Salmon Eco-Sculpture with recycled materials, create your own glass mosaic with Tim Lowell Artworks, drop in and draw with Gage Academy of Art, and learn to create your own Matisse masterpiece with Seattle Children’s Museum. Don’t forget to stop by and jam with School of Rock (Friday and Saturday only) and take home your very own toy boat creation with Center for Wooden Boats.

 

Don’t miss out on all the fun. Hope to see you there!

 

Allspice Band

A Night of Dancing for Folklife

We are thrilled to thank Northwest Folkdancers (NFDI) for their Night for Folklife this past Saturday. $2,607 was raised! Many thanks to all supporters and donors, and special thanks to Kathy Bruni for her organizing, Allspice Band who spiced things up with international dance favorites. Orkestar RTW played traditional dance and folk music from the countries of Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Serbia. Special Thanks to Sno-King International Folk Dance Club for donating their dance night at the Cedar Valley Grange.

NFDI honored Kathy Bruni for her 30 years of service. The group serenaded her with this song (click on it for a full sized version).

NFDI is the ‘Where to Folk Dance’ organization for the Pacific Northwest. Join in! Here is the schedule: www.nwfolkdancers.org

NFDI Poem

Kathy Bruni


Become a Friend of Folklife

Your Gift Ensures the Northwest Folklife Festival’s Lifeline

The 46th annual Northwest Folklife Festival is a community treasure that your gifts have created. The excitement and the pace of work continues to mount as we prepare to host over 100 cultural communities, 5,000 artists on 25 stages, the crafts booths, food vendors, and opportunities to participate such as over 90 hours of participatory dance, hands on activities for kids in the Discovery Zone, and jamming with musicians. It is going to be a blast.

Today, we are asking for your help to continue the tradition of artistic and cultural inclusion accessible to everyone. Please take a moment to give, renew and even increase your support as a Friend of Folklife donor.

Your support of Northwest Folklife is actually a gift to the entire community. Here, we share in our rich arts and cultural traditions: dance communities flourish at Warren’s Roadhouse, we witness Native American cultural practices and a powwow, and folks young and old mingle over music.

Northwest Folklife’s roots are deeply embedded in cultural inclusion. Recently, Phil Williams, one of our founders passed on. His widow Vivian shared with us that “Phil figured everybody should have a chance to get to know people from other communities, whether it was quilting or playing bluegrass or Japanese koto. His resistance to fences included a sensitivity to refugees in Seattle who’d had their fill of barbed-wire fences and being closed in. He thought some people wouldn’t be comfortable with that. He was very, very inclusive.” Your gift continues this vision which remains as relevant today as it was in 1972.

As you know, it takes resources to make this happen. Costs rise for everything and Northwest Folklife is not immune to that. We pledge to you that we will be effective and efficient stewards of your support! And there is a sober note to share. The Northwest Folklife Festival is one of the few remaining all-access arts and culture festivals in the country.  While other Festivals have folded, or adopted an admission charge to offset rising costs, we remain committed to the founding principle established 46 years ago, that this annual celebration shall be open to everyone in our community. The Festival belongs to everyone in our community – not just those who can afford a ticket.

Your generosity helps weave this community fabric of cultural inclusion. Only your continued support and support from others will ensure the lifeline of this community treasure.

Please consider a meaningful gift and make your donation today.

Your Support Creates Opportunities

This is Folklife Spotlight: Kristi Brown

Also known as ‘Chef Goddess’, Chef Kristi Brown-Wokoma has been serving up soulful deliciousness since 1986. Her brand focuses on the art and experience of food through Culinary Activism, or the cultivation of fresh food and cooking as a means to bring people together and help heal communities through the love and medicine of food.

With 23 years of cooking experience under her belt, the Chef Goddess has worked her way up from working front and back of house to creating a Seattle town favorite, That Brown Girl Catering, which has been transformed into That Brown Girl Cooks! She is currently involved with creating the Seattle Center Festál cookbook and you can see her demonstrating her skills at Festál Family Day “Edible Seattle” at MOHAI on Feb 18th! Let’s find out more about Kristi!

What role do you see Festál playing in the greater community? 

Festál is an birds eye experience of what Seattle has long been. A distinct celebration of several cultures throughout the entire year, not on a designated federal holiday.  Festál has taken the initiative to give us an opportunity to learn, celebrate and actively take part in cultures that we may be a part of or are curious about.  That helps us see the connections more so than the differences.

Why do you think Festál has endured for so long?

I believe Festál has lasted so long because at the core spirit of Seattle, there is a deep desire to honor the people of the land and the dedication to continue to create even more community.

How does food and cooking nurture the passing down of cultural traditions? And of cultural, ethnic identity?

Next to sex, I believe food is the most powerful medium to bring people together.  So families, even when they are not talking to one another, will share a meal.  We speak out our joys and grievances over food.  We seek solace and comfort in the warm kitchen. And these meals tell the stories,  the tales of who we are, where we came from and it all amalgamates in the pot. And those stories are passed on from one generation to another. It truly is magical.

Please share a memory connected to creating the Festal cookbook that was meaningful to you?  

There are so many….

I think it’s more of a behind the scene thing.  We truly had no idea what we were getting into.  Meaning the intricacies of each cultures food, the techniques, the respect for authenticity….it guided everything we did.  But my crew???  They were phenomenal!!! While we were making the Irish Cake, one of the volunteers, Trenita Harris, who is an amazing pastry chef, saw that I was clueless when it came to part of the decorating of the cake.  It was pretty extensive, and we were working on a tight tight deadline.  She actually took the cake home, after working her regular graveyard shift and a full shift helping cook/bake for the cookbook and totally decorated the cake in marzipan…it was amazing!!!  The dedication that everyone bought to the table….was unparalleled!  I’m so grateful for the entire crew….WE DID IT!!!

What would you like to see for the future of Northwest Folklife?

I would like to see it listed a pre-requisite for every newcomer to Seattle, because if you don’t take part in this celebration, you will never truly understand the spirit in our land.  And if you don’t understand us, you will disrespect what we’ve built.

Please finish this sentence: ‘folklife is…

Folklife is like soup.  I’ll go even further and say…It’s like Pho. The rich broth brings together each individual ingredient. But not even one of the ingredients are lost, they all stand out, to make the most prolific soup possible!!!

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!

Mythbusters #1

Northwest Folklife Mythbusters #1

Folklife is a completely independent not for profit organization. We have our own mission and vision. We have our own Board, staff, budget, and programs. We are proud to partner with the City of Seattle and Seattle Center to produce and present the Northwest Folklife Festival and the Seattle Children’s Festival. We are grateful to the Seattle Center which provides space, facilities and support in order to ensure that our shared commitment that anyone and everyone should be able to attend these festivals without the economic barrier of a ticket price. The art and cultures of our region belong to everyone – not just those who can afford to buy a ticket.

Check out Mythbusters #2

This is Folklife Spotlight: Steve Sneed

Today we introduce you to the Managing Artistic Director of Cultural Programs at Seattle Center Productions, Steve Sneed.

Steve oversees Seattle Center Festál, a series of 24 cultural festivals throughout the year on campus.  In its 20th anniversary this year, he has developed a unique perspective on the cultural climate of the Center.

What role do you see Festál playing in the greater community? Why do you think Festal has endured for so long?

Festál as a convener of the ethnic organizations celebrating culture at Seattle Center, is a connector. We help the organizations get better at presenting festivals and we support that effort.

How does Festál nurture the role of ‘culture bearer’? 

I think the best way we do that is by putting these “culture bearers” in the same room together monthly and provide a venue for them to share with each other.

What has been the result of your partnership with Northwest Folklife on you and your community?

Over the years Northwest Folklife has proven a place where cultural groups can get a foot in the door at Seattle Center. They see the possibilities for a cultural festival by working in and with Folklife. Then, they want to continue so they come over to see me and in some cases join Festál.

What would you like to see for the future of Northwest Folklife?

I’d like to see the development of more ethnic folk music and arts at Folklife with the understanding that Folk music is not one kind of music. All cultures have folk traditions and Folklife has such a great platform to spread that news.

Please share a memory connected to Northwest Folklife that was meaningful to you?  

It’s actually working on the committee with the Traditional Roots of Hip Hop 2015 Cultural Focus. I learned a lot about the organization and just what the Cultural Focus is. I met more staff people and got to know them. That was a great experience.

Please finish this sentence: ‘folklife is…

…a major part of Seattle culture and character.

Mythbusters 2

Northwest Folklife Mythbusters #2

The Northwest Folklife Festival is not free. Our commitment to ensure that everyone has access to our programs without the barrier of an admission fee requires us to find partners and supporters that pay the costs of putting on the festivals.

This year, the Festival and other Northwest Folklife programs will cost about $2.8 million. The City provides about $1.5 million of support and we have to raise about $700,000 and earn the additional $600,000.

Northwest Folklife is community powered and can ONLY happen with the financial support of everyone who believes that the Northwest Folklife Festival is an essential part of what makes this region so unique and such a wonderful place to live, work and play. Folklife is not free. Please help. It really is up to all of you.

Catch up and read miss Mythbusters #1

Festál Turns 20 FÊTE

“I recall at one of the early Festál 20th committee meetings that someone said the anniversary party should be like a grand circus. We have done all we can to make that vision a reality.”
– Steve Sneed, Seattle Center, Managing Artistic Director

 

 

 

This Sunday is the official kick off 20th anniversary celebration of both Northwest Folklife Festival’s Cultural Focus and Seattle Center’s Festál with the Festál Turns 20 FÊTE at the Fisher Pavillion! All 24 ethnic festivals will be represented through food, drink, décor, performance, dance, art, exhibits, and music and there will also be an opportunity to donate to ensure the legacy of this series of ongoing cultural festivals.

Japanese, Italian, African American, Mexican and Arab cuisine with wines from around the world will be served, along with a special tasting of French and Italian wines. Make Japanese origami, an authentic Hawaiian lei or a Marita Dingus African doll from re-cycled materials. Bollywood and Irish dance will bring excitement to the evening, along with a Vietnamese lion dance. A fashion show will showcase traditional and contemporary fashion from Croatia, Africa, Vietnam, Iran, and India. Experience music from the Seattle Center ethnomusicologist James Whetzel, who will deejay the event with sounds from the Festál series. The evening closes with a cup of rich Turkish coffee.

Festival leaders, volunteers and the greater community are invited to join in a night of cultural celebration and festivity. FÊTE attendees will experience the breadth of cultural and ethnic expression in the Pacific Northwest with live performances, wine tasting and food. This benefit gala not only launches the 20th anniversary year of Seattle Center Festál–it is also a night to honor the community leaders who have shaped the series throughout the past 20 years. 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. Join us and celebrate the reach of Festál in our city and beyond!

This is Folklife Spotlight: Doug Plummer

Northwest Folklife is proud to be a community-powered organization, and at the heart of that power are people like YOU!

Photo by Rick Meyer

Today we introduce you to photographer and filmmaker, contra dancer, and Friend of Folklife, Doug Plummer.

Doug started contra dancing as well as photographing those dances in Seattle in the mid 1980s. Since 2012 he has self-published the Contradance Calendar, a photo showcase exhibiting the vibrant life of the tradition. He serves on the board of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), an education and arts service nonprofit for dancers, musicians, singers, callers, and organizers, particularly from English and North American traditions.

Doug created a series of short films for Northwest Folklife called Northwest Stories, which play a vital role in exploring communities that have long been a part of Northwest Folklife. He is beginning work on a documentary film project on one of the CDSS tour communities, Coos Bay, OR. He is also a new piano player and is in a contra dance band, Purple Heys. Let’s get to know Doug a little better.

What communities are you involved with?

I started contra dancing about 30 years ago. I started to photograph the dances then too, which began a long term project to document the contra dance and music scene nationwide. I serve on the board of the Country Dance and Song Society, which educates and supports local communities in offering contra and English dancing, as well as ritual dance (Morris), and song. I took up piano six years ago, from scratch, and quickly gained enough facility to play at jams and for contra dances. I’m now on the same trajectory with guitar.

How many years have you been involved with this community and Northwest Folklife?

Pretty much since I arrived in Seattle, in 1985.

What does it mean to you and to your community to be connected to Northwest Folklife?

I’m one of those people who, in years past, rarely left the contra dance floor the whole weekend, particularly when I was young. I’ve always been friends with musicians, and my favorite volunteer slot was for Sandy Bradley’s instrument auction, even though I didn’t play anything (yet). I’m connected with the original “roots” of Folklife, as it were, the old time hippie musicians who jammed and square danced and began this great thing, and who feel a tremendous sense of ownership of the Festival, and maybe a bit too much entitlement sometimes.

What has been the result of your connection with Northwest Folklife on you and your community?

Folklife is different now that I’m a musician. I’ve been on the stage a couple of times now, and there’s nothing that compares to the rush and the fulfillment of playing for a room full of several hundred contra dancers. But what I witnessed, from this side of the room, is how community comes together in preparation for that moment in the sun. A good example is the annual Lake City marathon contra dance that’s a benefit for Folklife. One year I was in two bands. We gathered week after week to rehearse. We staged contra dances in people’s living rooms, so that callers could practice handing off the dance changes. It is from those gatherings that friendships deepen, that connections develop, that community takes form. I saw the value of gathering to prepare for an event of connection and joy, and how Folklife seeds that in this amazing multicultural way for our region.

I’m in my sixties, and because I play music now, I’m making friends and I’m more social than I’ve ever been in my life. That typically doesn’t happen to guys my age in this culture. It is the greatest gift to be connected the way I am now.

You were a huge part in creating the Northwest Stories and helping to tell different community’s stories through their own words. Why do you think these stories were important to tell?

I learned about the secret mission of Folklife that more people need to know about. People think it’s about the Festival. That’s almost the least of it. Similar to how I observed community bonds being formed through the act of preparing for a contra dance, I saw how music and dance are the glue that give meaning and keep communities healthy. They may be an ethnic group, like the Hawaiian diaspora, or a community who choose a given dance form and may or may not identify as Scandinavian, or it may be an institutional keystone and a safe space for young people, like Vera and the All Ages music scene. Whatever parameters define a community, when we come together to make art together, when we participate, when we touch and know each other, this is important stuff. This is a social good. This is the society I want to live in. It is these healthy community bonds that Folklife nurtures, and the Festival only comes in to play as the place where these communities show the rest of us what they’re about.

Photo by Julia Chambers

What would you like to see for the future of Northwest Folklife?

In my work for CDSS, I’ve observed what makes for healthy, resilient dance communities. They’re the ones that change and grow, and that hand over leadership to a younger generation. In my “tribe”, and among my age cohort, I hear complaints of how Folklife’s changed, that it’s lost its way, that there’s no “Folk” music anymore and the stages are too loud (though that last bit I might agree with). In my view, that only demonstrates that the festival and the organization are healthy and growing. My measure of the vibrancy and vigor of any traditional music or dance scene is, are the old folks annoyed? Good. That means it’s going to be around for a few more generations. If it sounds like it did 30 years ago, that’s a bad sign. It’s going to die when you do.

Do you and your community nurture the role of ‘culture bearer’? How?

I help make sure there are abundant opportunities for people to gather, to hear music, to play music, to dance. I host a house concert series; its focus is virtuosic musicians who play in traditional genres. The house concert scene is becoming a significant piece of the support system for musicians, and it’s my favorite way to hear music. My big living room is also a frequent place for music sessions and even contra and square dances. There’s no end to the amount of joy this all brings into my life, and that my community feels as well.

Please finish this sentence: Folklife is… more necessary and important than ever.

In 2017, the Northwest Folklife Festival Feels Especially Significant

On Memorial Day Weekend, Northwest Folklife will present the 46th Northwest Folklife Festival – a signature event for this region. Once again, we will host 800 performing groups, 5,000 artists and 152 cultural communities. The past 45 years have only been possible because of gifts of support, and we thank our contributors and Friends of Folklife!

While this celebration of our folk arts and traditions has long heralded the start of summer, in 2017, the Northwest Folklife Festival feels especially significant. In this era of our polarized society, when distrust, fear and anger is so prominent, we need to find those places where we share space, engage with one another and build community.

Northwest Folklife’s mission is to create opportunities for all to celebrate, share and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest. This annual gathering allows us to share our traditions of music, dance, storytelling and food. And through this sharing, we come to understand each other much more deeply.

We may find the steps to our dances differ. The beat or tempo of our music and the spices we use in our foods vary. But we find that we all dance! We all express ourselves through our music. And we all know that warmth of gathering around tables with familiar smells and tastes warming us as we reconnect with friends and families.

In these four days each year, we re-embrace those differences which actually show us how much alike we are. In these four days, together we create a community of communities. Come dance, play music and eat food with each other. Find shared delight in each moment and find the common threads that weave together to become the fabric of a civil and caring society.

If you believe in this community of communities and if you believe that this opportunity must be equitable and open to everyone without the economic barrier of an admission fee, we need your support right here in the Pacific Northwest. While we face challenges and needs that can be addressed on the national stage, effective change and progress occurs “at home.” Northwest Folklife is local, it is community powered by those of us who live here.

Applications are already streaming in from performers, all seeking the opportunity to share of themselves and their art with you. To make this possible, there is so much work to be done between now and Memorial Day weekend. To balance our budget and pay the necessary expenses, this year we must raise $662,100 in contributed income. Northwest Folklife is an independent not for profit organization and we value every contribution and commit to each of you that we will use your support as efficiently and wisely as is possible.

We ask you, our friends and supporters, to do two things.

First, please make or renew your contribution.

Second, please share and forward this message via email and your social media networks to like-minded people you know and ask them to support Northwest Folklife as well. Sharing your voice and your belief in the importance of this annual gathering with others is the best way to build the broad base of community support necessary to keep Northwest Folklife and our Festival in this community.

Next Memorial Day Weekend, as you sit on the grass surrounded by others all listening to music, or venture into Warren’s Roadhouse to join hundreds of others dancing together, you will be so glad you did. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Mark W. Crawford
Interim Executive Director

Photo Credit: Doug Plummer. Meet Doug in our first This is Folklife Spotlight.

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.

Community Coordinator Spotlight: Bernice Maslan

Community Coordinators are an integral part of the Northwest Folklife’s mission and vision to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Their talent, time and expertise as a Community Coordinator create opportunities for folks of the Pacific Northwest to participate in arts experiences and learn about the living traditions that occur daily in our big neighborhood.

Today, we introduce you to performer, musician, Friend of Folklife, and former board member Bernice Maslan. In addition to coordinating the Big Jewish Show at the Northwest Folklife festival, you can find Bernice playing clarinet with the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band or hosting one of the many Klezmer bands she organizes throughout the city.

What cultural traditions do you or your group share with the greater community?  

We present various flavors of Jewish music, including klezmer, vocal, occasionally singer-songwriters, Israeli, comedy.  We have a strong emphasis on Klezmer music.

What does it mean to you and to your community to be connected to Northwest Folklife and how long have you been involved? What impact has the organization made on your community?  

My co-coordinator Harvey Niebulski and I have been connected to NWFL for a long time.  Personally, I served on the board for about 10 years and Harvey is still on the board.  I’ve attended since 1973.  The Big Jewish Show has been a part of almost all the Folklife festivals since at least 2001.  I’m not sure how long before that.  I know many people look forward to the Big Jewish Show and our music.

How do you interact with Northwest Folklife outside of the Northwest Folklife Festival?  

My son is president of the board.  I participate in fundraisers from the contradance and folkdance communities, as well as making many many latkes for a Hanukah fundraiser for Folklife hosted by JoAnne Rudo.

Please share a performance memory connected to Northwest Folklife that had an impact on you?  

Certainly performing as part of the Big Jewish Show has always been a thrill, whether part of the Klezmer Balabustas, Klez Chaos, or the KlezKidz.  I remember sitting in the audience of Big Jewish Shows and being knocked out by the clarinet artistry of Liz Dreisbach and Carl Shutoff.  Now I am delighted to know many of the musicians personally.

What specific community in the Northwest do you hail from?

I live in the Greenwood district.

Please share the Northwest Folklife events you have contributed programming for?  

The Big Jewish Show! and any ancillary klezmer showcases

Perform at the 46th annual Northwest Folklife Festival!

Grace Love and the True Loves. Photo by Piper Hanson.

Grace Love and the True Loves. Photo by Piper Hanson.

Thank you for your interest in performing at the 2017 Northwest Folklife Festival. Applications closed on December 15th. There are many ways to participate in the festival – please visit our Get Involved page to be a part of the one of the largest community arts festivals in the nation.

Bringing your instrument to the festival? Great! There’s plenty of jamming around Seattle Center grounds and areas available for street performing. For more information about Street Performing, click here.

 

For Applicants – Additional Application Documents if needed: Please click on the following to download. Questions? Email programming@nwfolklife.org or call 206.684.4189

Stage Diagram – word document

Stage Diagram – pdf

Input List – word document

Input List – pdf

The annual Northwest Folklife Festival is Northwest Folklife’s signature event, gathering up to 250,000 people from across the region to participate in the four days of artistic and cultural illumination. The Festival is presented each year by Northwest Folklife, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all people to appreciate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Last year Northwest Folklife programmed over 5,000 performers in 65 different genres of music and dance, from Hawaiian hula to hip-hop and Ireland to India. Northwest Folklife believes everyone is a bearer of folk arts, and we encourage communities to share their cultural traditions, in the hope that interaction with new audiences will enrich the community as much as the audience.

Arpan Arts

Your Gift Amplifies the Voices of our Cultural Communities

Joe Seamons and Ben Hunter

Pictured: Joe Seamons and Ben Hunter carry on the American songster tradition.

Your support allows Northwest Folklife to change lives. People and cultures come together to share of themselves and celebrate one another. Please consider making a year-end gift or a monthly sustaining gift today.

Your support powers all we do to amplify the many voices of our Pacific Northwest cultural communities. The voices of our community thank you. Here’s what they want you to know. Your gift does all this and more:

Traditions thrive.

‘We share cultural traditions of rural, northwestern Oregon, and we represent the current manifestation of the songster tradition as “Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons.” Northwest Folklife has created a forum, the Festival, where my community is encouraged to come together and share the work of our students and our teachers, and that means a lot to us.’ ~ Joe Seamons, Rhapsody Project

Cultural heritage is celebrated.

‘The Northwest Folklife Festival is an opportunity for us to conserve and present the richness of our diverse Mexican cultural heritage. It is not only entertaining and educational; it is also a place for community-building, where different cultures are shared and accepted through the medium of art. ~ Edgardo Garcia & Jacque Larrainzar, Directors, Day of the Dead Committee

Communities unite.

‘The Folklife Festival helped to bring together and unite the Hawaiian hula community, and today Hawaiian Hula is alive and well in the Pacific Northwest.’ ~ Gloria Napua Fujii Nahaueau, 40 years of teaching and performing with Halau Hula O Napualani

Art forms are shared and discovered.

‘Our efforts are an offering (Arpan) to the entire community right from the inner depths of a diverse cultural melting pot that is India. We are honored to share our art form with you!’ ~ Joyce Kakariyil Paul, Founder and Director of Arpan Arts

With your continued support, together we will build our community, share your traditions and evolve new expressions. Make a year-end gift or a monthly sustaining gift here.

Sincerely,

Rafael Maslan                                                                Sheila Siden
President, Board of Directors                                     Development Director

P.S. Please remember to check with your employer for any matching gift policies! Make your gift multiply! Questions? Contact Sheila Siden at 206/233-3953 or sheila @ nwfolklife.org

Your Support Creates Opportunities

Become a Friend of Folklife

Welcome, Shaun Mejia, Folklife’s Communications Coordinator

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We’re thrilled to welcome Shaun Mejia as the new Communications Coordinator at Northwest Folklife! Sean will bring his extensive experience working with the local arts community to the team, as he’ll be helping to tell stories of the arts and traditions that make up the cultural fabric of the Pacific Northwest.

A longtime Seattleite, Shaun graduated from Seattle Pacific University and has worked with a myriad of local nonprofit arts organizations such as the Vera Project, Seattle International Film Festival, Seattle Asian American Film Festival, and most recently the Wing Luke Museum. A lover of museums, live music, and film, Shaun is eager to help spread the unique stories of Northwest Folklife!

Community Coordinator Spotlight: Wes Weddell

Community Coordinators are an integral part of the Northwest Folklife’s mission and vision to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Their talent, time and expertise as a Community Coordinator create opportunities for folks of the Pacific Northwest to participate in arts experiences and learn about the living traditions that occur daily in our big neighborhood.

Today, we introduce you to performer, writer and teacher Wes Weddell. Whether it’s supporting folk duo Reilly & Maloney, collaborating with The Bushwick Book Club – Seattle, or gathering together the vast community of Singer Songwriters of the Northwest – you can find Wes leading the Emerald City Songwriters Circles at the Northwest Folklife Festival since 2009.

What cultural traditions do you or your group share with the greater community?

 The craft (and performance) of songwriting and original music

What does it mean to you and to your community to be connected to Northwest Folklife and how long have you been involved? What impact has the organization made on your community?

Singer/Songwriters have been part of Northwest Folklife from the very beginning, and we’re glad to remain a part of festival programming.  I have been Community Coordinator since the 2009 festival.  As we’ve developed the Emerald City Songwriter Circles at the festival, unamplified gatherings where anyone can come share an original song, it’s been fun to watch the culture of listening grow alongside the well-established Folklife culture of jamming.

How do you interact with Northwest Folklife outside of the Northwest Folklife Festival?

A lot of year-round preparation goes into planning the circles, recruiting new hosts, and growing/fostering appreciation for original music.

Please share a performance memory connected to Northwest Folklife that had an impact on you?

We’ve had many lovely moments in the Emerald City Songwriter Circles over the years.  From young children sharing their own original songs to off-the-wall, laugh-out-loud masterpieces from newcomers and established pros alike.  This past festival one songwriter shared how much the circles had meant to him during his recovery from serious health challenges – hard to find a more touching endorsement than that.

How can Northwest Folklife and its fans connect with you through social media?

Google your favorite local singer/songwriter and follow him/her!

What specific community in the Northwest do you hail from, how about your group? (If you are from Seattle, please give us the specific neighborhood – ex. Queen Anne or Ballard or West Seattle, etc.)

 I live in NE Seattle.  Our revolving-door cast of hosts hail from all over town and the region.

 Please share the Northwest Folklife events you have contributed programming for?

 I was part of programming-proper back in 2004…but wearing the Community Coordinator hat: Emerald City Songwriter Circles, 2009-present.

Connect with Wes here.

Thanks for a great Seattle Children’s Festival!


SCF-Title

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

 

Tips for Exploring the Seattle Children’s Festival

CC0A7188Northwest Folklife’s Seattle Children’s Festival is just around the corner. This one-day, multi-cultural, inter-generational festival that “Celebrates Our Big Neighborhood” takes place on October 9th. Fun for all ages, bring your family and friends down to the Seattle Center for a day of singing, dancing creating, learning, and more!

Here’s how to be a smart traveler through the Festival while exploring a world of cultures:

  1. When you arrive at Seattle Center, stop by a Donation & Information Booth and pick up an Event Passport. Use this as a guide as you choose your adventure throughout the Festival.
  2. Browse through your Passport and find out what workshops, performances and crafts await you in the schedules listed! There is a plethora of cultural performances to see — if your group is feeling energized, find the next Movement Series workshop or Dance Workshop to get movin’.
  3. Ready to get your hands dirty? Stop by on of the TWO Discovery Zones at the Festival, both featuring a variety of hands-on workshops and activities. Looking to learn how to eat healthy? Stop by the Armory balcony and see Chef T teach about using the fruits and vegetables from y our neighborhood.
  4. Before you leave, don’t forget to turn in your Passport About Me page at the Donation & Information Booth for the chance to win a prize!
  5. Your donation makes the Folklife magic happen. Please give today and add your color to the Giving Gateway! Suggested donation is $10 per person, $20 per family. Or visit give.nwfolklife.org

Folklife is the everyday and intimate creativity that all of us share and pass on to the next generation.  Inspire a Child’s Cultural IQ: Give Kids the Gift of Community.  Thank you!  It’s because of you and our sponsors that we can keep this festival FREE!  Even more importantly, that we nurture the artists, doers, and organizers of our community so we can come together and celebrate each other.  So, thank you!  You are very much a part of this!

 

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.

katrina-ji-image-2

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. 

 

 

Explore Fine Artisan Chinese Teas, Friends of Folklife

If you were to time travel to China any time after 10BC, you are likely to find tea. Tour the world by any means these days, and you are likely to find tea.  Statistics say that fifty-one per cent of Americans drink tea every single day.  Tea is enjoyed in a countless variety of settings: as a personal moment, as an afternoon ritual with cakes, as a choreographed tradition such as the Japanese Tea Ceremony, and as a special tea tasting for Friends of Folklife at the Northwest Tea Festival!  Please RSVP to attend.

Tea is folklife, folks!

The Northwest Tea Festival has extended a special invitation to Friends of Folklife to enjoy a private tea tasting presented by Catherine & Ned Heagerty of Silk Road Teas. As tea purveyors, Catherine and Ned are well known for their tea discoveries, relationships with artisan growers, and their excellent quality tea finds. So, this will be a big treat!

teafestivalSession Description:
During this session Catherine & Ned will talk about their quest to find rare Chinese teas and make them available in the United States. Attendees will learn about this process and will have the opportunity to sample a selection of these teas, expertly brewed for their enjoyment. There will be ample time for questions and Catherine & Ned will be happy to share some of their vast knowledge about tea.

About Silk Road Teas:
Silk Road Teas is known as a purveyor of rare and artisan teas from China.  Each spring, they travel in the tea-rich southeastern provinces to source their teas.  Visiting tea markets, small farms, specialty tea companies and tea brokers, they find the finest varieties of white, green, oolong, black and Pu-erh tea.

Silk Road Teas are grown and processed by true artisans of the leaf.  They purchase most of their teas in picking-teasmall lots that are single origin and often handmade.  It is their belief the best tea is harvested early in the spring, when the days are warming and the nights cool. In that brief harvest window, known as “before the rain” teas, the fresh and tender leaves offer nuanced flavors and tastes.  These teas are limited in supply and are recognized as some of the finest teas in the world.  Once plucked and processed, many of their teas are not blended and they preserve these unique small lots for their customers’ enjoyment.

Time: October 2nd at 11:00am-12:00pm
Session Title: Fine Artisan Chinese Teas
Session Leaders: Catherine & Ned Heagerty of Silk Road Teas
Admission to the Northwest Tea Festival is $10, and there is no additional charge to Friends of Folklife for this special invitational tasting. RSVP by the end of day Sept 26th.

Become a Friend of Folklife

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.

 

Humaira Abid's Fountain Head

ArtXchange Gallery To Host Humaira Abid’s Artist Talk & Mingle for Folkstarters

Humaira Abid

Humaira Abid can make wood look as flexible as a rubber hot-water bottle or as hard as a cast-iron faucet. She can make it curve and curl — or turn into shoes and shoelaces. She can even transform it into a shirt, trousers, jacket and dress that hang with convincing limpness from stainless-steel hangers in an open clothes closet…  But Abid, a Pakistani artist who divides her time between Seattle and Lahore, also packs a visceral punch with her content.  – The Seattle Times (Michael Upchurch, “Review: Seattle sculptor Humaira Abid blends dazzling craft, potent content in Red”, April 2011)

Humaira Abid is inspired by a folk art form that many enjoy: woodworking. She has combined it with a craft of her native Pakistan: miniature painting as illustration. What followed is Abid’s unique story as an artist. Using her chosen art forms for social commentary and personal self-expression, Abid has honed her skill and techniques to make these materials sing and rise to become fine art.

Sculptor Humaira Abid will present “From Ordinary to Extraordinary,” a talk about her inspiration and artistic process, situating her work in the context of feminism, international women’s issues, and the landscape of contemporary Pakistani artists for Folkstarter Friends of Folklife on September 22.

A selection of Abid’s work opened at ArtXchange Gallery on August 4 and is currently featured at the Tacoma Art Museum. Humaira Abid takes ordinary objects from everyday life and makes them extraordinary. Some of her work is humorous, some ironical. Abid turns, carves, and constructs in wood, combined with various mediums using great skill and detail.

Abid is one of a small number of female sculptors to rise to the top of her field. Her commitment to her artistic career is illustrated by her continuous pursuit and participation in art residencies, art exhibitions, symposiums and workshops.

Abid’s work has been reviewed by the Seattle Times, the Stranger, KUOW Public Radio, the Seattle Weekly and the Huffington Post. She has appeared in the Stranger’s Arts & Performances Quarterly magazine, Sculptural Pursuit, American art collector magazine and in-flight magazine of AIR INDIA. Documentaries have been produced on Abid’s work by PBS KCTS9 TV Chanel (which got nominated for NW Emmy Awards) and Bellevue Arts Museum, WA, USA.

Abid has exhibited her exquisite work nationally and internationally including in Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Mauritius, Nepal, Kenya, Dubai, Bolivia, Germany, Russia, UK, USA and won many awards and grants.

About Art Xchange Gallery

ArtXchange Gallery is a unique art gallery exhibiting artists who explore culture, social issues, and heritage. We work with local, national and international artists who reflect diversity of influences shaping the Seattle community and contemporary global culture. ArtXchange aims to spread appreciation for the beautiful art and craft traditions that continue to inspire and inform artists today, as well as provide exposure for artists whose work educates audiences, asks questions, and creates dialogue about our world.

About Folkstarter Friends of Folklife

Folkstarters support Northwest Folklife’s sustainability and growth, and year-round multi-cultural programs with annual gifts of $250 and over. To RSVP and for more information, please contact sheila@nwfolklife.orgAll gifts make the Folklife magic happen.

Become a Friend of Folklife

Next Friend of Folklife Meet Ups
Mark your calendar for new opportunities to experience arts, culture, and community.

October 2 at the Northwest Tea Festival: Friends of Folklife are invited to RSVP to a free tea tasting on October 2nd at the 2016 Northwest Tea Festival (October 1st and 2nd).  Sample several delicious international teas prepared and served by industry experts while meeting and mingling with your fellow Friends of Folklife.  Limited to the first 20 RSVPs, festival admission not included, information for attendees will be sent out early September.  To RSVP and for more information, please email sheila@nwfolklife.org.

Sunday, October 9: 3rd annual Seattle Children’s Festival at the Seattle Center. This multi-cultural, inter-generational festival will feature music, dance, activities, and exploration from around the globe. No admission charge, thanks to your donations.

Saturday, November 12: Friends of Folklife meet the Clay Club: fun and neighborly times with Pottery Northwest and Northwest Folklife. $10 for Friends of Folklife and Clay Club members.

TobiasTheOwl

A Night of Music, Painting & Dance

Tobias The Owl

Friends of Folklife are invited to meet up for First Thursday on September 1 at AXIS Pioneer Square. Visual art, live music, live mural painting, and dance are all part of this immersive Seattle sight and sound show. The first 15 Friends of Folklife who ‘check in’ will receive a 2016 Festival T-Shirt. Join or renew as a Friend of Folklife on the spot.

AXIS Pioneer Square presents “Audio/Visual”, a group exhibition hosting Seattle artists from a variety of disciplines collaborating to create a unique sensory experience. Focusing on the past and present Seattle music community, Audio/Visual will showcase a diverse representation of art, music, and visual performance. The show is sponsored by Northwest Folklife, Seattle Acoustic Festival, and New Amsterdam Vodka with a portion of art sales benefitting Arts Corps.

Three noted local artists Ryan Henry Ward, Ten Hundred, and Wakuda will showcase their collaborations with sculptor Katie Kurkjy and will also display their individual creations.

Along with visual art, the event will feature solo and collaborative performances by some of the region’s most acclaimed musicians, including Daniel Blue (Motopony), Andrew D.B. Joslyn (Macklemore), Tobias the Owl (pictured above performing at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival) and others.

Sponsored by New Amsterdam Vodka, complimentary drinks will be on hand for those 21+! The event is free and open to the public.

RSVP at EventBrite or Facebook.

AXIS Pioneer Square

AXIS Pioneer Square

Become a Friend of Folklife.

Pictured: Ana Montes’ Flamenco Danzarte performs at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival Discovery Zone. Photo credit: Christopher Nelson.

You Make It All Possible 🎵🎶

Pictured: Ana Montes’ Flamenco Danzarte performs at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival Discovery Zone. Photo credit: Christopher Nelson.

Pictured: Ana Montes’ Flamenco Danzarte performs at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival Discovery Zone. Photo credit: Christopher Nelson.

This is what it means to be a Friend of Folklife: you make it all possible.

Did you enjoy the 45th Northwest Folklife Festival? It is but a portion of the opportunities that you create with your philanthropy: people of all ages, cultures, and means join together in self-expression and participatory arts. Renew your gift today.

Community-powered all-ages cultural showcases at the Folklife Festival numbered a record 152 this year, including Blues Dance, Fiddle, Rhythms of India, Japanese, Mexican Folklorico, Maritime, Morris Dance, Filipino, Reggae Rising, Stand Up Comedy, and more. The 2016 Cultural Focus: Power of the Human Voice through Song brought countless folks together for participatory singing and chorales. Dancers enjoyed 83 hours of dance opportunities at Warren’s Roadhouse and in The Armory!

Your summertime gift sustains Northwest Folklife leading up to our new fiscal year on October 1, when we start fresh with the Seattle Children’s Festival on October 9.

Become a Friend of Folklife

A main event in Northwest Folklife’s ‘Our Big Neighborhood’ youth and family program, the Seattle Children’s Festival is a day dedicated to sparking children’s’ curiosity about the world and developing young minds and bodies through movement, rhythm, song, and hands-on activities. New highlights this year include opportunities to learn American Sign Language; join in the Movement Series with Irish Set Dancing, Kid’s Yoga, Family Dance, and more; and a great variety of interactive performances presenting world cultures.

A whole sampling of ‘Folklife Presents’ workshops and performances bridge the Northwest Folklife Festival and the Seattle Children’s Festival, along with new arts and culture connections for Friends of Folklife. Through intergenerational, multi-cultural exchange, we are promoting greater social understanding. The more we celebrate one another the better.

Your gift sustains Northwest Folklife’s 45-year tradition of celebrating our big neighborhood.

Pictured: Ana Montes’ Flamenco Danzarte performs at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival Discovery Zone. Photo credit: Christopher Nelson.

Pictured: Ana Montes’ Flamenco Danzarte performs at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival Discovery Zone. Photo credit: Christopher Nelson.

You make the Folklife magic happen: we can’t do it without you.

Please renew your support today.

Learn More

P.S. You are invited to Become a Friend of Folklife, and Thank You for being one! We hope to see you for these new adventures: Arts and Culture Connections for Friends of Folklife.

*P.P.S. Two dedicated donors have offered to match your gift in a campaign called ‘1,000 for the Future.’  New gifts of $1,000 from corporations and individuals will be matched through 9/30/2016!  Please contact Sheila Siden at 206.233.3953 or sheila@nwfolklife.org to learn more. Your support makes our cultural community thrive. Thank You!

Arts & Culture Connections for Friends of Folklife

Hobnobbing at Friend of Folklife HQ. All photos by Christopher Nelson.

Hobnobbing at the Friend of Folklife HQ. All photos by Christopher Nelson.

Friends of Folklife gathered for a good time at the Friend of Folklife Headquarters, meeting up with life-long friends and making new ones,  at the 45th Folklife Festival. These convivial moments have inspired even more opportunities for Friends of Folklife to connect through music, arts, culture, and folklife.

‘Our Big Neighborhood’ Programs: North, East, and West Everyone Welcome!

Saturday, August 20:

  • CHOMP! Dig Northwest Folklife’s multi-cultural programming at CHOMP! Marymoor Park: Halau Hula O Napualiani, Seattle Women’s Steel Pan Project, Rhythms of India, Anzanga Marimba Ensemble, and Ocheami. First 15 Friends of Folklife who ‘check in’ with your 2016 Friend of Folklife Button at the Folklife table at CHOMP! will receive a 2016 Festival T-Shirt.
  • Cultural Arts Series It’s a casual evening of participatory Sound and Fury Morris dancing at Crossroads Bellevue’s excellent international food court, 6:30pm.
  • Arts in Nature Festival at Camp Long in West Seattle, in partnership with Nature Consortium.

You are invited to Become a Friend of Folklife, and Thank You for being one! We hope to see you for these new adventures:

Friend of Folklife Meet Up!
Thursday, September 1 at 6pm – 9pm:
Axis Pioneer Square First Thursday – A Night for Folklife
Experience Axis Gallery’s new space with an original multimedia performance featuring Katie Kurkjy, Andrew D. B. Jolsyn, Daniel Blue of Motopony, and Tobias the Owl. First 15 Friends of Folklife who ‘check in’ will receive a 2016 Festival T-Shirt. Opportunities to join or renew as a Friend of Folklife will be presented.

Special Invitation to Folkstarter Friends of Folklife
ArtXchange Gallery Humaira Abid’s Artist Talk & Mingle
Sculptor Humaira Abid presents “From Ordinary to Extraordinary,” a talk about her inspiration and artistic process, situating her work in the context of feminism, international women’s issues, and the landscape of contemporary Pakistani artists. Abid turns, carves, and constructs in wood, combined with various mediums using great skill and detail. A selection of Abid’s work opens at ArtXchange Gallery on August 4 and is currently featured at the Tacoma Art Museum. E-vite coming soon to Folkstarters for this September get-together.

Autumn Heads-Up…

  • October 1 & 2: Northwest Tea Festival will offer a special international tea tasting for Friends of Folklife. Participants pay regular $10 admission, and are invited to enjoy a special tea tasting.
  • Sunday, October 9 from 10am-5pm: 3rd annual Seattle Children’s Festival at the Seattle Center. This multi-cultural, inter-generational festival will feature music, dance, activities, and exploration from around the globe. No admission charge, thanks to your donations.
  • Saturday, November 12: Friends of Folklife meet the Clay Club: neighborly times with Pottery Northwest and Northwest Folklife. $10 for Friends and Clay Club.

Subscribe to our eNews for even more opportunities to connect with the greater Northwest Folklife community. Join us on Facebook. Contact me any time with your ideas and questions.

All my best,

Sheila
Development Director

Friends’ philanthropy sustains Northwest Folklife and its 45-year tradition of celebrating our big neighborhood.  The more we celebrate one another the better.

The Uncommon Market on Fisher Terrace. Photo by Christopher Nelson.

Friend of Folklife Headquarters’ neighbor, The Uncommon Market on Fisher Terrace. Photo by Christopher Nelson.

All Friends of Folklife are invited to enjoy the oasis of the Friends of Folklife Headquarters at the Northwest Folklife Festival on Memorial Day weekend in May, and receive the Festival Guide by mail prior to the Festival (please be sure we have your current address!)

Renew your support as a Friend of Folklife.

The More We Celebrate Each Other The Better

Ryan Davis shares his personal perspective: It was Saturday night and I was watching The Banner Days perform at the Vera Project stage after having spent the entire day soaking in all the fantastic music and performances of the 2016 Folklife Festival.  In between songs singer Beth Whitney took a moment to thank the audience for “coming out to Folklife instead of staying home and watching Netflix.” The comment got a bit of a laugh and The Banner Days continued their fantastic set.

The Banner Days

Beth Whitney & Bradford Loomis are The Banner Days, soulful folk duo from shores of Seattle.

For whatever reason that simple statement about not staying home stuck with me. As I was enjoying the festival on Sunday it occurred to me that Beth was tapping into something bigger than Folklife or even Netflix. She was making a comment and thanking the audience for being present and celebrating The Banner Days’ music as a part of the larger celebration known as The Northwest Folklife Festival. It’s something I’ve thought about a bit lately. Before mass media, human beings entertained and celebrated each other with intimate performances to small audiences for thousands of years. They were called tribes, and all human needs had to be met within them including entertainment. Those thousands of years of conditioning created a yearning to be recognized by our peers and to celebrate them in a much more intimate manner than we tend to do these days. Rather than celebrate each other, we have celebrities: people we are highly unlikely to ever meet let alone actually have a relationship with, but there we are watching Netflix and other media and celebrating people we can’t know. This is detrimental to our relationships and how we view each other. Certainly we enjoy very high quality entertainment from incredibly talented individuals, but that’s not the same as cheering for your neighbor as they perform a song, poem, dance, etc. for your entertainment. Something has been lost in that change over the past 100 years or so after radio became common in most American homes.

Guerrilla contra dance breaks out to the tunes of the Charles Street Messengers. Photo credit Christopher Nelson

The Northwest Folklife Festival is one of only a few opportunities our regional community has to really celebrate one another. It gives me hope that there is a tremendous amount of people who are interested in seeing and celebrating their neighbors. The more we celebrate each other the greater the sense of connection and community. A virtuous cycle is started when we take the time to go out and support our friends and neighbors in their artistic and cultural pursuits. We are celebrating one another in a powerful way that lifts all of us and leaves us with a sense of community and connectedness that is very difficult to create in our fast paced always logged-in lives. These celebrations create opportunities for different groups in our community to collaborate and lift each other up, and hopefully in the process the relationships that get developed allow all of us to feel like celebrating–I know I do.

Ryan Davis
Northwest Folklife Board Member

Ryan DavisRyan Davis joined the Northwest Folklife Board of Directors last year. He is the Director of Business & Operations at Pratt Fine Arts Center. As a local musician, Ryan has performed at venues large and small all over the Puget Sound with a number of different groups.

Northwest Folklife Executive Director Robert Townsend To Retire in Fall 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.04.13 PMNorthwest Folklife Board of Directors today announced that the nonprofit’s executive director Robert Townsend will retire after nearly a decade at his post. Townsend’s tenure has been a remarkable period of inclusion and evolution for the organization that has actively kept pace with the evolving cultural communities of the Pacific Northwest. 

“Robert Townsend’s leadership has made Northwest Folklife relevant and inclusive over the past nine years,” Board President, Rafael Maslan comments. Townsend believed in the importance of reflecting the region’s cultural evolution in the implementation of the organization’s mission. “Rob has laid the foundation for us to move boldly into the future.”

The organization will work to continue strengthening the community through arts and culture as it approaches Northwest Folklife’s 50th anniversary in 2021. The Board of Directors will work strategically to maintain current operations and to recruit a new Executive Director who is committed to the vision of the organization, which is to engage the greater community in sharing and celebrating our respective arts and traditional cultural practices.   

“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead Northwest Folklife,” Townsend comments. “The organization’s crown jewel is and always will be the annual Northwest Folklife Festival, the country’s largest community-powered arts and culture Festival. With the enduring support of our dedicated donors, and by working in close private-public partnership with Seattle Center, we’ve been able to maintain our deeply held ethos of all-access. Today, we have grown beyond the Northwest Folklife Festival and we are fulfilling our great capacity to be the go-to resource for multi-cultural programming through our complement of performance events and community partnerships. While the organization continues its upward trend, the time is right for me to move on and to transfer Northwest Folklife’s helm to a new generation of leadership. I look forward to working with our stellar staff and our dedicated Board of Directors during the succession period through the end of September, and then to volunteering at the third annual Seattle Children’s Festival on October 9.”

Townsend’s commitment to self-expression and participation for all has created Northwest Folklife’s culture of inclusion in which communities and artists are encouraged and invited into key planning processes. He was the key driver for Northwest Folklife to establish the Seattle Children’s Festival, now in its third year. The organization believes that inspiring a child’s cultural IQ is an important factor in strengthening communities and families. In all, Townsend’s leadership has created space for Northwest Folklife’s evolution to reflect and engage all people of all ages and backgrounds, enhancing quality of life and creating a big neighborhood of the Pacific Northwest. 

Northwest Folklife’s Board of Directors will work with Third Sector Company, a firm dedicated to the continuity of nonprofit leadership, to hire an Interim Executive Director in the short term to conduct the process of selecting Townsend’s successor. They will consider both local and non-local candidates for the position.

READ THE SEATTLE TIMES STORY HERE.

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/

Greeters at Northwest Folklife 2016

A Limerick Souvenir of the 45th Folklife Festival

Northwest Folklife Festival 206
NW FOLKLIFE 2016

Elinor’s Limerick 

Northwest Folklife Fest 45
With music and arts so alive.
Ate elephant ears,
Danced with no fears
Contra, hip hop, swing and jive.

“Feel free to be giving” – the plea
Donations our lifeblood, you see.
Ten dollars helps pay
For cables they say;
Your gifts make us all jump with glee.

Thanks to the hardworking board
Their efforts ensured visions soared.
Had great expectations
Now congratulations
For all Folklife Fests you have scored!

By Elinor M. Vandegrift, Scottish Country Dance
Community Coordinator & Friend of Folklife, 2016

2016 pre-Festival Training

Elinor and her group create a skit to put the FUN in fundraising.

Many thanks to Elinor Vandegrift for her interpretation of the 45th Northwest Folklife Festival as a limerick! Elinor participated in our pre-Festival Training with Kevin Joyce of En-Joy Productions where we all got creative together, in preparation for four days of welcoming folks to the 45th Northwest Folklife Festival. Elinor’s interpretation of the Festival as her limerick was presented at our Thank You Party, hosted by past-president of the Board and avid contradancer Luther Black, pictured above, in his official capacity as Greeter Extraordinaire.

Listen in to one of Elinor’s favorite Celtic musicians Kilmany, and explore the plethora of recordings from the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival on SoundCloud.

Consider becoming a Friend of Folklife today. As a donor, you support Northwest Folklife in creating opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Friends of Folklife make the magic happen.

Balkan Performers

Mary Sherhart Shares Her Joy for Folklife 2016

Balkan Performers

L-R Aglika Ivanova VanHorn, Violeta Tihova, Penka Encheva. Photo by Mary Sherhart.

The Northwest Folklife Festival was particularly joyful for me this year and that’s saying something, as I have been involved as a performer in almost every Folklife Festival over its 45-year history. Folklife always offers an opportunity to see friends from near and far as all the different communities in my Balkan music and dance scene converge – Croatians, Bulgarians, Balkan dancers, Balkan choirs and more. Whether it’s meeting for a beer in the beer garden, attending friends’ performances or getting on stage myself, so many new and joyful memories are created each year.

What was so extra special about this year? For one, I was invited to emcee the cultural theme showcase concert at Bagley Wright Theatre, “The Power of the Human Voice through Song,” fabulously curated by Folklife Programs Director Kelli Faryar. As a life long singer, choir director and singing teacher, this theme is particularly close to my heart. This is one of a very few universal themes that unifies humans in a ever more divided world. It was so much fun meeting the artists before the show to ask them questions mining for interesting tidbits to use in my introductions. Icing on the cake, I couldn’t have been more proud to introduce my own choir, Bulgarian Voices of Seattle Women’s Choir, as part of the show. Golly, I was practically bursting with pride. All the women in this choir were born in Bulgaria. They range in age from 25-82 and have developed a close bond through singing and sharing our lives. They looked so beautiful in their traditional costumes and sounded fabulous in that excellent theater. 72-year-old Penka Encheva even received a standing ovation from the audience for her solo. What a moment!

Baba Penka

Baba Penka

Speaking of Grandma Penka, here’s another reason I found Folklife so extraordinary this year. She was featured in two more events! First, she taught a traditional Bulgarian singing workshop attended by 67 people. It was deeply moving to see her surprise and delight. This is a woman who came to the United States in 2010 at age 67, leaving everything and everyone behind in Bulgaria, to help care for her grandsons in Renton. She had been a singer in Bulgaria as a young woman, but followed a different professional path, becoming a middle school biology teacher in Bulgaria. She thought her singing life was long over, but joining our choir brought it back to her. Can you imagine how it felt for her to see 67 mostly Americans turn out to learn songs from her, to receive a standing ovation at a major festival AND have a documentary film about her screened at SIFF.

The Bulgarian Cultural and Heritage Center of Seattle and I produced a 30-minute documentary about Penka entitled “Tazi Baba / This Baba” directed by the talented local filmmaker originally from Bulgaria Bogdan Darev. Folklife screened the film on Monday after Penka’s singing workshop. She was absolutely beaming as she answered questions from the audience in a panel with Bogdan and me. All of this is like a miracle to our Penka.

Finally, it was an incredible privilege to be able to share my insights and experience on a panel entitled, “Building Community By Singing.” Janet Stecker, Fred West, Earle Peach and I have years and years, basically our entire lives, worth of creating and leading people in song. How wonderful to have the opportunity to speak on something that we believe in so deeply. Where else but Folklife?

Come Monday night I was completely exhausted, saturated, fulfilled and basking in a rosy glow. Thank you to the staff, board, artists, volunteers, donors, sponsors, audiences and families. We are so lucky to have this community-powered festival in Seattle!

Balkan Performers

Balkan Performers. Photo by Mary Sherhart.

Blog post by Mary Sherhart, Friend of Folklife. Mary Sherhart is one of America’s leading teachers and performers of traditional Balkan vocal music. Learn more about Mary’s folk art.

Become a Friend of Folklife

View from Friend of Folklife HQ

Thank You, Friends of Folklife

View from Friend of Folklife HQ

View from Friend of Folklife HQ

Art Xchange Gallery GoodyGood to see you, Friends of Folklife! We really enjoyed meeting up with our extraordinary donors at the Friend of Folklife Headquarters this 45th Festival. All whose Festival schedule allowed got together daily at 4:15 – 5:15 to hobnob and have our drawing. It was fun, and we had a great view of the Festival from the Fisher Terrace. Would you like to be invited to hang out at the HQ and receive your Festival Guide by mail before the Festival, all while sustaining Northwest Folklife? Become a Friend of Folklife.

One of our highlights every year is designing the tote bag, and finding goodies to put in it for Friends! We thank our in-kind donors and Friend of Folklife program partners!

Friend of Folklife Tote Bag

This is community-power.

Art Xchange Gallery
Beanfields
Center for Wooden Boats
Dang! Coconut Chips
Liberty Orchards
Nature’s Bakery
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Seattle Mariners
World Spice Merchants

We unveiled our Friend of Folklife Invitational Multi-Cultural Arts Experiences Program. Please update your email so we can invite you to make new discoveries!

Meet our program partners:

ArtXchange Gallery
JOIN US in September for an Artist Talk with Humaira Abid: her work examines women’s roles, relationships, and taboos from a cross-cultural perspective. This contemporary intercultural art gallery at Pioneer Square inspires cultural exploration and exchange of ideas through art, exhibiting art from around the world that reflects the diversity of influences shaping the Seattle community and contemporary global culture.
ACT – A Contemporary Theatre
An interactive community where artists and the public witness, contemplate and engage in dialogue on today’s thought-provoking issues, ideas and art, presented with intelligence, insight, and humor.
Center for Wooden Boats
The Center for Wooden Boats is a place where history becomes something you can touch, build, and sail. Experience the history that’s written in boats, reconnecting with the physical world and preserving traditions and skills that have survived through the ages.
Pratt Fine Arts Center
JOIN US Saturday, September 24 for Pratt’s Open House: Experience folklife forms like blacksmithing/forging, small-scale jewelry forging, and a molten bronze pour; wood-working, glass blowing, and studio arts. Pratt welcomes artists working in glass, sculpture, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, drawing and printmaking.
Seattle Theater Group
STG enriches, inspires, challenges, and expands our world through the arts.

I'm A Friend

Posted by Sheila. Questions about Friend of Folklife and Northwest Folklife giving programs? Call 206/233 3953 or write sheila @ nwfolklife.org

Welcome to Our Native Land Powwow and Coastal Day Celebrations

MetisNorthwest Folklife will host the 3rd Annual Coastal Jam and Traditional Powwow on Sunday and Monday of the upcoming Northwest Folklife Festival. This exciting two-day programming will include participatory Native American Powwow and Coast Salish dances, drumming, singing and storytelling, along with traditional crafts and Totem Pole teachings. Featured participants will include Coastal canoe families, powwow participants, elders, veterans, artists, singers, performers, youth, families, and tribal leaders.

A highlight of this year’s programming will be the Honoring of Metis Nation Chief and President Bruce Dumont from British Columbia. President Dumont is President of over 70,000 Metis Nation members in Canada and the Pacific Northwest and his visit to Folklife is sure to be a momentous occasion.

The Native-led Welcome to Our Native Land Group collaboratively partners with Northwest Folklife to offer ways for communities to join in cultural celebration, and to program, produce, promote, and facilitate these celebrations. Both days create a supportively respectful place for local Native community and Northwest Folklife Festival attendees alike, thus strengthening a Native presence while offering cultural traditions, practices, protocols, and teachings that will benefit all who participate and observe. Working together, leaders from both organizations strive to deepen collaborations, develop partnerships, break down stereotypes and foster understanding.

 

 

 

 

Indie Roots programming at the Festival

Screen shot 2016-05-23 at 2.12.45 PM

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

Join Us for a Song and a Beer

2015 Festival Crowd. Photo by Piper Hanson.

2015 Festival Crowd. Photo by Piper Hanson.

This year at Folklife, join us for a pub sing along in the Fisher Green Beer Garden all four days of the Festival! Special guests will lead a themed sing-a-long as part of our Cultural Focus “The Power of the Human Voice through Song.”

On Friday catch “Fields Under Clover” from 4:00pm – 5:00pm singing Irish Pub Songs, tunes, and more. Saturday John Bartlett and Rika Rubesaat will be leading “Salty Songs and Shanties” from 4:15pm – 5:15pm. Don’t miss Bruce Baker, David Perasso, and Wendy Joseph singing at the beer garden on Sunday from 4:15pm – 5:15. And finally David Perasso and David Kessler will be closing out with “The Last Pub Sing” on Monday from 4:30 pm – 5:30pm.

Each beer garden will be serving Bonterra Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. As well as a wide selection of beer including: Trumer Pilsner, Bridgeport Brewing IPA, Blue Moon Belgian White, Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Fremont Summer Ale, and Crispin Cider.

Click here to RSVP for these events by creating your own personal schedule online!

 

We hope to see you there!

 

Submitted by Lauren DiRe

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.”

I'm A Friend

Celebrating Friends of Folklife

A Community-Powered Drawing for Friends of Folklife 2016

Community Powered Banner

Friends of Folklife are the donors who make it possible for Northwest Folklife to create opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Board and Staff celebrate Friends of Folklife by inviting their participation in a special Donor Drawing to be held every day of the 45th Northwest Folklife Festival during scheduled ‘micro-receptions’ at the Friend of Folklife Headquarters. Donors must be present to enter the drawings. Schedule of prizes to be drawn each day will be made available to Friends of Folklife.

Many thanks to these in-kind donors who power our 2016 Donor Drawing.

Fine Food & Dining

Solo Bar and Eatery
This restaurant features locally-sourced fare, seasonally rotating and always with a focus on comfort, class, and in-house craft. ($25 gift certificate: 200 Roy Street, Seattle; near Seattle Center)

Chihuly Garden and Glass and Collections Café
This museum in the Seattle Center showcases the studio glass of Dale Chihuly. The Collections Café offers an original, fresh and uniquely northwest dining experience for lunch, dinner or an afternoon bite. (2 admission tickets to the museum plus a $25.00 gift certificate to the Collections restaurant)

Burgerville
Burgerville is built on a tradition of serving fresh food made with local ingredients. It partners with neighboring farms and businesses that share their commitment to quality food and regional vitality. ($25 gift certificate: 818 Harrison Ave, Centralia, WA—this location only)

Skagit Valley Food Co-Op
This community-owned natural market promoting cooperative values in the Skagit Valley since 1973, is owned by thousands and open to all. It features a wide variety of natural foods, a bakery, and an outstanding deli with on-site eating. ($25 gift certificate(s) + ice cream coupons: 202 South First Street, Mount Vernon, WA)

Thank You, Michelle and Ben!
Wine Lover’s Basket
Bottle of fine wine and accouterments. (Must be present to win)

Theater

ACT Theater
A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) is dedicated to producing relevant works on contemporary themes. ACT nurtures new and seasoned artists, collaborates with promising playwrights and local performing artists working in a variety of media, and connects audiences to many stages of the creative process. (2 tickets to any show during 2016: 700 Union Street, Seattle)

New Century Theater Company
New Century Theatre Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to superlative storytelling and providing an environment for community among artists and audiences through two mainstage productions per year and a free monthly play reading series at Solo Bar in Queen Anne. (2 tickets to their fall show: 1515 12th Ave, Seattle)

Music & Dance Supplies

Dusty Strings
Dusty Strings is the premiere acoustic music retailer of the Pacific Northwest, carrying new, used, rare, and vintage acoustic guitars, electric guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, banjos, harps and hammered dulcimers, books and DVDs, accessories, and more! ($50 gift certificate; in-store only: 3406 Fremont Ave N, Seattle)

Petticoat Junction Dance Shop
Petticoat Junction has shoes and apparel for all types of dancers. ($50 gift certificate: 14523 WA-99, #1 Lynnwood, WA)

Pacific Northwest Vacation Home Getaways

Thank You, John and Nathan!
CarltAnn House Bed and Breakfast
Walla Walla, WA
This 1906 home is a block from the beautiful Whitman College campus, a short walk to downtown restaurants and tasting rooms, and has easy access to excellent cycling routes through the Walla Walla Valley.Three large rooms, a hearty breakfast buffet, and an eclectic garden for your enjoyment and relaxation. Offer expires 10/31/ 2017. (3 rooms for 2 consecutive week or week end nights.)

Thank You, Karen and Larry!
Vacation Home in the Cascade Foothills
This vacation home is in a gated community about 2 hours from Seattle between Sedro Woolley and Concrete. It has a private lake for boating (non-motorized), swimming, and fishing (no license needed because it is private). There are 2 swimming pools, 2 hot tubs, tennis courts, miniature golf, and a clubhouse that sometimes has social activities. It sleeps up to six folks, in a bunk bed, a sleep sofa, and a private bedroom with a queen sized bed. It is available almost any time, but with agreement between the donation winner and home owners. (Long week end or mid-week stay.)

Thank You, Sue and Lanny!
Vacation Home in Oceanside, Oregon
Located in Oceanside (a small, quiet coastal community west of Tillamook on the Three Capes Scenic Loop), this hillside house has a spectacular view and is a ten-minute walk to beach. The all-wood interior is in immaculate condition. It sleeps 7 in beds; 3 separate sleeping areas with two baths. Everyone loves this place! No pets, no smoking; no shoes. Leave it as you find it. (Housekeeper can be hired for this.) Carry out your own trash. (2 week end nights or 4 week nights from 10/1/2016 – 6/30/2017 excluding holiday week ends.)

Thank You, Beth and Brian!
Bed and Breakfast in Vancouver, B.C.
Two nights in a lovely private home in the Kerrisdale area of the city, with full breakfast included. Large bedroom with comfortable queen bed, WIFI and smart TV, and adjacent guest bathroom. Second bedroom with comfortable queen bed also available for second person or couple. Within a block of two separate public transit routes. (Not available from July to early August; all other dates check availability.)

Thank You, Nan and Fred!
Port Townsend Vacation Stay
Quiet, private upstairs apartment, full of light and nestled in the wooded part of the eclectic North Beach neighborhood of Port Townsend. Peek-a-boo view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Whidbey Island from the bedroom. 1 bed sleeps 2. No smoking. Pets only on approval from owners. (2 nights from 10/1/2016 – 10/31/2016 or from 1/15/2017 – 5/15/2017.)

Friends of Folklife

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

For the kids and families at Folklife Festival

The Discovery Zone is the place to be for kids and their grownups at the Festival! In addition to music, dance and workshops on the stage, the Discovery Zone is jam packed with hands on activities presented by Folklife partners every day of the festival. If you’re feeling artsy, crafty, or just plain curious, there’s a little something to fit every mood.

A full list of activities available at the Discovery Zone is listed below:

Gage Academy of Art
“Gage Pop-Up Drawing Jam”

Come unleash your inner artist! Whether you are a young Rembrandt, a comic book artist, a stick figure sketcher, or just like to express yourself, Gage presents a chance to drop in and draw at Folklife. Gage provides free professional art supplies, costumed models from bunny rabbits to comic heroes, easels, still life set ups, and lots of encouragement.

Photo by Christopher Nelson

Photo by Christopher Nelson

The Center for Wooden Boats
“Toy Boat Building”

Grab a hull, a mast, and some traditional tools and build your own boat! Decorate it, give it a name, and sail it wherever your imagination takes you.

Seattle Children’s Museum
“Exploring Rhythm”

Hungry for a bite-sized sample of the Seattle Children’s Museum?
Visit our booth to explore marbles, motion, and music, all in the same fun-filled package! Kids can explore independently or collaboratively as they make music with their bodies, marbles, and other everyday materials.

Northwest African American Museum
“Posing Beauty: Finding the Beauty Within”

Inspired by the exhibition Posing Beauty in African American Culture, families are invited to explore notions of inner beauty through art. Make art cards using word tiles and images to create miniature collages to share or trade with friends and families about what makes someone beautiful on the inside.

Nature Consortium

Folklife 2014 - Friday

Photo by Christopher Nelson

“Discover Nature through Art”

Make your own jewelry, hats, or bird feeders that explore elements of the natural environment and learn the how and why of making art with up cycled materials. In the process visitors can learn how common packaging can impact the world, explore alternative options, and work with ‘trash’ to create art.

 

Light in the Attic Friday and Saturday Only:
“This Record Belongs To _______: An Introduction to the Magic of Vinyl Records”

Light in the Attic Records loves music and so do you! We hope to share our passion by teaching the little ones the interactive experience of holding an album in your hands, putting needle to groove, and immersing yourself in the pages of a record’s sleeve as the music plays.

 

Visual Arts at Folklife

All four days of the Northwest Folklife Festival you can experience a wide range of art in the Fountain Pavilion at Seattle Center, including the multimedia projects of local artist, director, curator, and activist Tracy Rector. You can read more about Rector and her work in Seattle in the Stranger here. Ranging from photography to weaving to mixed media, Rector has organized the following exhibitions which highlight the unique experience of indigenous peoples of the region.

You can visit these exhibitions in the International Fountain Pavilion, Friday – Monday May 27-30th

in·dig·e·nize posters 3

Photo by in·dig·e·nize

in·dig·e·nize
Organized by Tracy Rector and Melissa Ponder

As an unapologetic portrait essay of Indigenous people currently living in the Pacific Northwest, in·dig·e·nize, refocuses our gaze upon the enormous diversity in our region’s Native communities. As a joint legacy project by creative director Tracy Rector and photographer Melissa Ponder, this exhibit honors of all those who contributed to and participated in the celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day and to those Natives who call Seattle home!

Stephen Paul Judd 1

Steven Paul Judd

In Search of Steven Paul Judd

A groundbreaking artist and pioneer in visual storytelling, Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw) will bring to Seattle selections from his pop icon and cultural art creations, prints, digital media, and films. Stay tuned for more information about Judd’s exhibition and interactive opportunities with the artist at the festival!

People of the Salish Sea
People of the Salish Sea is the interactive, transmedia platform for the upcoming documentary film Clearwater, the story of the unique relationship between tribal peoples and the waters of the Salish Sea (Puget Sound). For nearly 15,000 years the Indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest have called these waters home, and have time and again had to adapt to environmental, social and political changes in order to survive…and now thrive. The exhibition will consist of rich visual art, cultural demonstrations, textiles and in-person experiences that will connect the communities of the Salish Sea to the hearts of the viewing audiences.

Watch an excerpt of the film Clearwater

 

  https://plus.google.com/collection/smKusB Gokkasten + Casino Spelletjes

Volunteer Spotlight: Julia Brewer

Volunteer Spotlight Julia Brewer
How long have you been Volunteering at the Northwest Folklife Festival?

Well technically I have been volunteering every year since 1997, but I was 2 at that age so I basically just helped/hung around with my mom while she volunteered. As I got older I was able to take on more responsibilities and really contribute to Folklife.

Another form of volunteering is performing at the festival. I have been performing at Folklife with Melody Xie Chinese Dance Institute since 2002-2013, which I have really enjoyed.

 What position(s) do you take on at the Festival?

Over the years my mom and I have done various volunteer positions, such as greeter, button selling and vendor assistant. But our favorite position is volunteer registration. My mom and I usually take the first shifts possible. We get to the grounds around 8am, so that after the shift we can possibly volunteer for more shifts if needed or we have the whole day to enjoy the various activities the festival holds.

The volunteers and staff members that I get to work with are just amazing and I get to meet others who enjoy giving back to the festival as well, which makes getting up so early not as bad.

 Please share a funny story, good memory, or tip for new volunteers!

A good memory I have is sharing my love for Folklife with my boyfriend and friends. I have also taught several of my friends and my boyfriend how to Contra dance. So few young individuals know what Contra dancing is or how to do it, so I think it is important to teach as many of the younger generation how to Contra dance so that it does not die out. I also love staying late every day of the festival so that I can get as much Contra dancing in as I can.

A tip for new volunteers would be, to remember to smile and to just have fun with the experiences. Folklife is the friendliest festival in Seattle, so you should just sit back and enjoy your time the best you can. Even though Folklife needs the volunteers, I would also suggest that high schools students that are trying to complete their service learning hours, to try not to procrastinate to until the end to get all their necessary hours; although it is funny trying to jam as many shifts as possible into their day.

Interested in Volunteering at the Festival? Sign-up HERE today!
ImagoDeiGospelChoir

Your Support Creates Ties Behind the Scenes

Banner_Kids

With so much to see, do, and experience at the Northwest Folklife Festival, have you ever been amazed at all there is to miss? Much of the Festival programming is the culmination of year-round creative work behind the scenes in the Northwest Folklife offices. Your support is at work all year to create opportunities to build partnerships and collaborations with folks in the arts, culture, heritage, and education eco-systems. That is what makes the Northwest Folklife Festival unique: we collaborate behind the scenes directly with communities to showcase their culture and traditions, then build connections between artist and audience. So, even if you don’t get a chance to see every performance and showcase, you can be sure that your gift makes something truly momentous happen for many folks of all ages.

Your donation creates opportunities for a lifetime.

Meet Leija Farr. Named the City of Seattle’s first Youth Poet Laureate at Folklife Festival 2015 after fierce competition with eight 14-19 year old finalists, Leija calls poetry a form of “self-healing.” She’s spent the past year on tour throughout Seattle as a young poet, and she received a book deal to publish her first manuscript of poems. Come hear Leija share her ‘year in the life’ story at Folklife 2016. Experience plentiful poetry as this year’s youth poet laureate competition follows Leija’s presentation, featuring talented literary artists with a passion for civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, human relations, diversity and education throughout Seattle.

Your support strengthens communities through arts and culture.

Folklife Festival Showcases expand on the idea of a performance, to present a genre or culture in depth. In partnership with Community Coordinators, Northwest Folklife collaborates to find the appropriate blend of creative components that express the essence of the genre or culture. Folklife 2016 features 152 showcases! New collaborators include Japanese, Peruvian and Polish communities along with Festival Sundiata – Black Arts Fest and Idaho’s Treefort Music Fest for indie roots.

Your gift illuminates living traditions.

Come participate and learn the folklife side of opera. You might wonder why the Seattle Opera is planning a participatory opera, ‘Our Earth,’ to present at the Northwest Folklife Festival 2016. Well, opera is actually one of the great living traditions with deep roots and rejuvenating branches, an exceptional form of folklife.

Would you like to make Northwest Folklife strong for our continually evolving community? ‘1,000 for the Future’ is one way to do so!

Two long-time Friends of Folklife have created a way for you to do just that with a matching gift opportunity: ‘1,000 for the Future.’ Our Friends have pledged to match new gifts to Northwest Folklife of $1,000 or more, or $1,000 over your previous year’s giving, up to $25,000. With their gift, they are demonstrating their belief that participation in the arts is as important as observing them. Will you join them?

Your gift makes the Folklife magic happen!

Your donation creates opportunities for a lifetime. Discoveries at the Northwest Folklife Festival are personal, shared with neighbors from near and far. These unique shared cultural experiences connect people with one another through opportunities that you just don’t find elsewhere.

Youth become inspired. Elders become mentors. Your gift is important to sustain Northwest Folklife and its iconic Festival celebrating cultural traditions, this year and for future generations.

Become a Friend of Folklife today.

We welcome hearing from you! Please contact our Development Director Sheila Siden at 206.233.3953 or sheila @ nwfolklife.org to learn more about these programs, and to have your questions answered.

Community Powered!

Samba OlyWA

What is Community Power?

The Northwest Folklife Festival is a phenomenon. Do you think it could get off the ground if we tried to start it today? Here’s the pitch: Let’s put on a participatory arts and culture Festival featuring the folklife (a word actually missing from most dictionaries) and living traditions of all the Northwest communities we can possibly reach out to, newcomer and native alike. Let’s work one-on-one with hundreds of communities and artists to share and celebrate their arts and cultural traditions the way they want to have them presented. If a community is not quite ready, let’s find a small step they can take to participate in a meaningful way, and get them connected to the greater community. Then, with these 5,000 or so musicians, dancers and artists, let’s put on a four-day Festival and not charge admission! We want everyone to have access. Let’s make it a massive pay-what-you-can art event. Do you think the Northwest Folklife Festival idea could fly if we started it today?

The Northwest Folklife Festival thrives and continues to evolve with the people of the Pacific Northwest because it is community-powered, and has been for 45 years. Here’s how:

Samba OlyWA

The heart of our community power is the thousands of individuals who contribute their talent and time to participate in Northwest Folklife programming. For the Folklife Festival, that starts with a call for artist applications every fall. Last year, Northwest Folklife implemented a call for Cultural Focus as well. Communities’ and individuals’ responses to these calls are the basis for programmatic themes going forward.  Northwest Folklife programming staff sort proposals by genre and discipline, looking to represent the arts, cultures and traditions of all who apply. A committee of arts practitioners additionally guides Cultural Focus programming. (Learn more about Northwest Folklife’s Cultural Focus program and the communities we’ve worked with through the years.)

Northwest Folklife’s community power is all about self–expression. Performers, participants, patrons: we all believe that participation in the arts is as important as observing them. Northwest Folklife creates opportunities, and over 1,000 musicians, dancers and artists answer our call for participation. The notion of celebrating, sharing, and participating in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest captures the imagination of folks who want to be part of a movement; a community undertaking, in which we envision strong communities through arts and culture. Volunteers help paint this canvas by fulfilling important jobs. And, as an organization, Northwest Folklife makes it so, behind the scenes, nurturing relationships and exploring possibilities all year.

Community Power comes in the form of our public-private partnership with the City of Seattle. Northwest Folklife, an independent 501(c)-3 nonprofit organization, partners with Seattle Center, a department of the City of Seattle, to produce the annual Folklife Festival and the Seattle Children’s Festival. Northwest Folklife is a member of the Festal community of ethnic festivals. The City of Seattle’s in-kind investment in Northwest Folklife’s work supports around 45% of direct expenses, powering Northwest Folklife and our capacity to strengthen communities through arts and culture. Programs are further supported by Friends of Folklife and other donors, funders, sponsors, vendors, and craft and food merchants.

Community Power is everything. 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. We invite YOU to participate in dance, workshops, jams, and the choral courtyard when you attend the Folklife Festival. Come and meet your neighbor!

Community Power is about everyone joining together to create strong communities through arts and culture. Join us. Get involved. Or, just come on down, drop in this Memorial Day weekend: May 27-May 30 to explore the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest at the Northwest Folklife Festival.

Community Powered!

Join us for a PreFest Party!

Naomi Wachira

Let’s commence the 45th annual Northwest Folklife Festival with a soiree!

Please accompany us as we kick off this year’s Folklife Festival with some friendly folks and amusing entertainment. This 21 and over event is a sneak peek on what’s to come at this year’s Festival and will feature The Warren G. Hardings, Jacob Miller and the Bridge City Crooners, Naomi Wachira and Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons. You don’t want to miss out, because the PreFest Party happens this one night only!

The PreFest Party will take place at Seattle’s largest indoor / outdoor music venue, Nectar Lounge; located in the Fremont district on 412 N 36th St, Seattle, Washington 98103. Doors open at 8:00PM. Music starts at 8:30PM. Tickets are $8 in advance and $12 at the door.

Buy tickets and RSVP now on our Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1729847697261459/

 

 

 

 

Warren's Roadhouse 2015. Photo Credit: Doug Plummer

Thanks To Help From Our Friends

Do you Sing? Dance? Play? Do you believe that art can change lives? Your gifts create a very special community that does all that and more. Your support creates a haven for self-expression and countless opportunities to hear new voices and share your own.  Today, we are asking for your help to continue the tradition. Please take a moment to make a donation today: show your love for Folklife as a Friend of Folklife donor.

Warren's Roadhouse 2015. Photo Credit: Doug Plummer

Warren’s Roadhouse 2015. Photo Credit: Doug Plummer.

A celebration of the many cultural roots that nurture our community … the Northwest Folklife Festival encourages everyone to get at least a little taste of something outside their usual world …                       ~ Jerry Large – The Seattle Times

You can champion Northwest Folklife’s future, too! Two dedicated Friends of Folklife will match new gifts of $1,000 or more from corporations and individuals, or $1,000 over your previous year’s giving, in a campaign called ‘1,000 for the Future’ through 9/30/2016! With their gift, these Friends are demonstrating their belief that participation in the arts is as important as observing them. Will you or your business join them? Please contact our Development Director Sheila Siden at 206.233.3953 or sheila @ nwfolklife.org to learn more.

Support from Friends of Folklife has created a home for all cultures and traditions, celebrating its 45th year! As the cultural landscape of our region evolves, so does Northwest Folklife. To do that, we collaborate with community coordinators all year. In 2016, Northwest Folklife will program over 5,000 performers in 65 different genres of music, from Hawaiian to Hip-Hop. Dance performances will represent cultures from Ireland to India. Come join fellow dancers swinging at Warren’s Roadhouse!

Your gift to Northwest Folklife makes the Folklife magic happen. Give online today at this link, or mail your donation to Northwest Folklife 305 Harrison Street Seattle, WA 98109. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rob Townsend, Executive Director & Friend of Folklife Donor; and, Rafael Maslan, Board President & Friend of Folklife Donor

P.S. Friends of Folklife enjoy perqs, like an invitation to enjoy the oasis of the Friends of Folklife Headquarters at the Northwest Folklife Festival in May and the Seattle Children’s Festival in October. Give Today, and join us for fun times this May!

Did you apply to perform at the 2016 Folklife Festival?

Folklife 2014 - FridayThank you for applying to perform at the 45th annual Folklife Festival – May 27 – 30, 2016. Applicants will be hearing back from the Programming team the second week of March! If you do not recieve an email by the end of March, please feel free to reach out to us at programming@nwfolklife.org. And thank you again for applying~!

The annual Northwest Folklife Festival is the largest community-powered arts festival in the United States. It is presented each year in Seattle by Northwest Folklife, a year-round nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all people to appreciate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Last year Northwest Folklife programmed over 5,000 performers in 65 different genres of music, from Hawaiian to hip-hop. We presented dance performances representing cultures from Ireland to India. We believe everyone is a bearer of folk arts, and we encourage communities to share their cultural traditions, in the hope that interaction with new audiences will enrich the community as much as the audience.

Wintergrass is this weekend!

wintergrass

Wintergrass Festival, a family friendly celebration of Bluegrass music, is a four day long festival held at the Hyatt in Bellevue starting this Thursday the 28th. At Folklife, we’re thrilled to see such an impressive lineup with familiar names from festivals past and future!

With four stages filled with music, dances, workshops, and jam sessions, you’ll be sure to find something for your Americana, Bluegrass, and fiddle lovin’ heart.

For more information including the lineup and how to buy tickets, visit the website wintergrass.com.

Arts and Nature Festival

 

Arts in Nature Festival. Image by Kim Doyel

Arts in Nature Festival 2015. Image by Kim Doyel

Arts and Nature Festival is an intimate and eclectic experience of art and performance in the woods of Seattle’s only camp ground, Camp Long. Check out highlight’s from last year’s festival here.

Northwest Folklife is thrilled to partner with the Nature Consortium for the 2016 Arts and Nature Festival. Stay tuned for a full line up including acts presented by Folklife!

 

EMP Museum kicks off 15th Annual Sound Off! Competition

This weekend kicks off the fifteenth year of Sound Off!, the annual 21 and under battle of the bands competition put on by the EMP Museum. Semifinals will take place over the next three Saturdays with the winners from the semifinals, as well as the wild card band, facing off on Saturday, March 5th.

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Semifinals #1 featuring Copalis, COSMOS, Jazzy Tee, and Party Shark

Saturday, February 20, 2016
Semifinals #2 featuring Animal Camera, Crews, Paris Alexa, and Travis Thompson

Saturday, February 27, 2016
Semifinals #3 featuring Dre’zy and Too Smoove; Hello, I’m Sorry; Paralexis; and LEE

Saturday, March 5, 2016
Finals featuring the winning band from each Semifinals round plus the wild card winner.

Northwest Folklife is proud to be a part of this ongoing program and celebration of young artists in our community. You can catch two of the semifinalists from Sound Off! at Folklife this year on Saturday morning. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the festival.

Past competitors of Sound Off! include: The Lonely Forest, Manatee Commune, Sol, Dyme Def, Brothers from Another, One Above Below None, and many more.

To read artist bios or to purchase tickets for Sound Off!, CLICK HERE

Show Your Love for Folklife Benefit Concert

'Show Your Love for Folklife' Benefit Concert

Northwest Folklife has supported us and many others in becoming the musicians and artists that we are, and has for 45 years! So, we are ‘giving back’ by putting on this Night for Folklife benefit concert. We envision a microcosm of the Northwest Folklife Festival. One of the great things about the Festival is that everyone is welcome. Like the Festival, this concert mixes it up and invites bands from a lot of different musical sub-cultures. The program is an amalgam of musical genres: a snapshot of the music happening in Seattle. We each have our particular influences. We all have a passion for the whole musical community, and we see the same bands tending to play together. So this event is mixing and matching, creating a mosaic of the musical community like the Northwest Folklife Festival does.

14293_444827775576902_827139984_nShow Your Love for Folklife is our theme, in keeping with Valentine’s Day and the love everyone feels for Northwest Folklife. The evening will feature great bands including Whitney MongéTiny MessengersTekla WaterfieldHoney Mustard SeattleLuke Stanton – Music, and Angie Lynn! Karen Zamm of KZ Music Media will be our host.

We grew up as musicians at the Festival. A lot of us have been playing together for thirty years, and that is the only time we play together all year. The Festival gives us an aggregation of different cultures in Seattle, and musical sub-cultures. It’s fantastic when you have rock in one corner and folk in another, dancers in another, and everyone doing their thing. A story gets told there in our artistic expression: the story of our collective cultures. It’s not just a bunch of diverse modalities, Folklife is also an anchor and opportunity for the old and new to mix together.

We believe Northwest Folklife is worthy of our support and we hope people join us in giving!

See you on Friday, February 12! The show starts at 7 pm, $8 admission. You can expect surprise guests, a raffle, prizes, and other great stuff!  Proceeds support Northwest Folklife. Sponsored by the Seattle Acoustic Festival and generously hosted by the Conor Byrne Pub.

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RSVP to Show Your Love For Folklife

Can’t attend but want to donate? Become a Friend of Folklife today.

More about Nights for Folklife.

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Posted by Sheila, composed from an interview with organizer Tobias the Owl.

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 partners with the diverse communities of the Pacific Northwest to inspire programs and collaborates within 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

Musicians play for Hanukkah 2015

Your gift creates one big neighborhood for us all

Musicians play for Hanukkah 2015

We hope this season of thanks and celebrations was rich with family, friends and folklife for you! As 2015 comes to a close, it’s a great time to make a gift of support. Your donation creates one big neighborhood for us all, uniting people through arts and culture.

Folks work all year to take advantage of Northwest Folklife’s opportunities to share their arts, culture and traditions, thus strengthening their community and the enrichment of us all. School and extra-curricular bands and orchestras, intergenerational ethnic heritage arts groups, community dance societies, musicians: ‘folklife’ creatives live arts and culture as a way of life. Northwest Folklife provides rich opportunities for them all to inspire and engage you and the greater community.

Here are highlights of all that your gift supports in 2016:
• Northwest Folklife’s Cultural Focus for 2016 The Power of the Human Voice through Song will explore the exceptional vocal traditions of the Northwest.
• Crossroads Cultural Art Series in Bellevue will feature monthly performances every third Saturday.
• The Northwest Folklife Festival will celebrate its 45th year, thanks to YOU, Friends of Folklife.
• The Seattle Children’s Festival will give kids and families many opportunities to celebrate, share and participate in our big neighborhood’s multi-cultural arts and traditions, for the third year!
• Friends of Folklife are invited to enjoy the oasis of the Friends of Folklife Headquarters at the Northwest Folklife Festival in May and the Seattle Children’s Festival in October.

Your year-end donation makes the magic happen in 2016! Please donate today.

In the picture above, musicians* play for Hanukkah. In early December, JoAnne Rudo’s dazzling ‘Chanukah, Hanukkah Potluck Party’ celebrated Northwest Folklife in its first ‘Night for Folklife’ of the fiscal year. Guests entered JoAnne’s home balancing musical instruments, traditional dishes and family menorahs to revel in the seventh night of Hanukkah with klezmer music, latkes, menorah lighting, singing, dancing, dreidel games, and hat parade, with cheerful and fun chaos. Funds raised broke previous records, making our benefactor exclaim: “It’s our Festival. I am happy to support Northwest Folklife with this tradition of folklife and giving!” Interested in organizing a ‘Night for Folklife’ in 2016? Learn more.

* Carla Wulfsberg, violin; Bernice Maslan, clarinet; Harvey Niebulski, accordion; Marianne Tatom, clarinet; and Thaddeus Spae, guitarron. Photo by Martin Ng.

Thank you for your support. Wishing you a Happy Harmonious New Year to you and yours! 

Posted by Sheila

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

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. How to Play Free Baccarat

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 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.

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.

 

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PERFORM AT THE 45TH ANNUAL FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL

Northwest Folklife invites musicians, dancers, community groups, artists, storytellers, and instructors to participate in the 45th annual Northwest Folklife Festival, which will take place May 27-30, 2016, at Seattle Center.

If you or your group is based in the Northwest region, including Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Western Montana, this is a great opportunity to share your music and traditions!

The annual Northwest Folklife Festival is the largest community-powered arts festival in the United States. It is presented each year in Seattle by Northwest Folklife, a year-round nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all people to appreciate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Folklife 2014 - SaturdayLast year Northwest Folklife programmed over 5,000 performers in 65 different genres of music, from Hawaiian to hip-hop. We presented dance performances representing cultures from Ireland to India. We believe everyone is a bearer of folk arts, and we encourage communities to share their cultural traditions, in the hope that interaction with new audiences will enrich the community as much as the audience.

Click these links to be redirected to our online applications:

MUSIC APPLICATION

DANCE APPLICATION

STORYTELLING/SPOKEN WORD APPLICATION

WORKSHOP APPLICATION

PANEL/PRESENTATION/FILM APPLICATION

If you need a paper version of our performer application, please email us at programming at nwfolklife.org.

Interested in how we select bands and performance groups? Click here to read our Programming FAQ.

Still have questions? Email our programming team now.

 

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

Thank You

IMG_0723

Kids explored hands-on activities at two Discovery Zones

IMG_0748

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.

IMG_0738

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.

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!

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).

Power 2 Give

Power 2 Give: Your Gift Doubles

Power 2 Give

Your gift brings Northwest Folklife’s Seattle Children’s Festival to life! Help fund performing artists and stages. Here is the stellar line-up, including Northwest Tap Connection, Kaze Taiko, The Miho and Diego Duo, and much more.  Your dollars go twice as far through the support of ArtsFund. Your gift will be matched during our Power 2 Give Campaign, an opportunity that is available until the Seattle Children’s Festival on Sunday, October 11. ArtsFund’s power2give/PugetSound is an online Cultural Marketplace connecting donors with projects they are passionate about. Ignite your passion for our big neighborhood, celebrate our Pacific Northwest Folklife, see our children grow.

Counting down to Sunday, October 11. Northwest Folklife staff pictured above are Corin Shelley-Reuss, Sheila Siden, Rob Townsend, Beth Schlansky (aka Squeeks =^+^=), Kelli Faryar, and Vanessa Snyder.

See you at the Seattle Children’s Festival!

Your Gift Makes Seattle Children's Festival Stages Come Alive!

 

power2give

Have You Met The Onlies?

Hailing from Seattle, Washington, The Onlies’ eclectic assortment of fiddle-driven music bridges Celtic, traditional bluegrass, and contemporary Canadian and American tunes to create a sound all their own. Multi-talented members Leo Shannon, Riley Calcagno, and Sami Braman are Garfield High School juniors who’ve literally played together since they were two years old. These young talented musicians bring powerhouse vocals and a variety of instruments to the table in their performances, and the Northwest Folklife is honored to share more about this dynamic trio, so read the Q&A below!

The Onlies

 

Tell us about yourselves!

(Sami) We are a Seattle-based trio with our hearts rooted in old music from Appalachia, Ireland, Scotland, and Canada. We also write fiddle tunes and songs, creating a contemporary, original sound. By entrenching ourselves in authentic music traditions, we can move that music tradition forward. We started fiddling at five and would set out our cases at Folklife to busk. Since then, we’ve played with musicians as cool as Elvis Costello and as un-cool as old, toothless Kentucky banjo-pickers (who, we realized, are actually the coolest of all).

 

Why do you do what you do?

(Leo) The three of us have grown up surrounded by American, Irish, and Cape Breton traditional music and going to various folk festivals in the Northwest, so playing the music was a natural next step. As we encountered more people in the trad music community, we all were inspired to dedicate our lives to playing this music. Now, with strong connections formed (both to the music and to the people who we’ve met through it), traditional music is such an integral part of our lives that we couldn’t ever imagine stopping.

 

If you could explain your work in three words, what would they be?

(Sami)

  • Traditional
  • Joyful
  • Real

 

How have you been involved in your art form’s practice or evolution?

(Riley) Traditional music is a living and oral music. We have been fortunate enough to proverbially and literally sit at the feet of the masters of the traditions we are part of and soak in the music and culture just as people have been doing for hundreds of years, elder to youth. It is festivals like Folklife that have enabled us to do this.At the same time, we have also collaborated with many musicians to take tradition in new places, combinations of music and ideas that are now part of this living music.

 

We know you have been involved with Northwest Folklife for some time now – what do you think you have you learned or discovered by participating in Northwest Folklife?

(Leo) That there is a local community of people who have dedicated themselves to playing and preserving traditional art forms, and will support and encourage, and best of all, play with us!

 

Do you think Northwest Folklife has an influence on our greater community? 

(Sami) Whenever a city holds a massive festival geared toward sharing music from different cultures and traditions, the inspiration, community, and music will permeate the barriers of the festival and into the greater community. This is exactly what we’ve seen happen with our experiences at Folklife. When we leave Folklife, we know we’ll see that community of folk artists and musicians outside of Seattle Center. We know that we’ll come across them at different local events and the inspiration will continue. Northwest Folklife makes Seattle a hub of folk culture, music, and creation.

 

With the fast-approaching second annual Seattle Children’s Festival in-mind, do you think kids need Northwest Folklife arts and culture programs?

(Riley) We don’t think we can speak for all kids, but we can say that we needed Folklife (and still do). It was a place to learn about cultures entirely different from our own and watch musicians we looked up to play music we found out that we loved. Folklife is a place for all ages to learn about the world in a way that goes so far beyond sitting in a classroom. If every kid in Seattle got to take part in Folklife, those kid’s lives would be deeply enriched.

 

For more about The Onlies, visit them online or on Facebook.

 

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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

Apply Now to Perform at the 2016 Folklife Festival

Northwest Folklife invites musicians, dancers, community groups, artists, storytellers, and instructors to participate in the 45th annual Northwest Folklife Festival, which will take place May 27-30, 2016, at Seattle Center.

If you or your group is based in the Northwest region, including Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Western Montana, this is a great opportunity to share your music and traditions!

The annual Northwest Folklife Festival is the largest community-powered arts festival in the United States. It is presented each year in Seattle by Northwest Folklife, a year-round nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all people to appreciate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Last year Northwest Folklife programmed over 5,000 performers in 65 different genres of music, from Hawaiian to hip-hop. We presented dance performances representing cultures from Ireland to India. We believe everyone is a bearer of folk arts, and we encourage communities to share their cultural traditions, in the hope that interaction with new audiences will enrich the community as much as the audience.Folklife 2014 - Monday

If you need a paper version of our performer application, please email us at programming at nwfolklife.org.

Interested in how we select bands and performance groups? Click here to read our Programming FAQ.

Still have questions? Email our programming team now.

 

 

Meet The Miho & Diego Duo

Miho and DiegoThe Miho & Diego Duo has been courageously blending Latin and Japanese musical traditions since 2006. Their primary goal is to encourage cultural understanding through music, and to achieve this they have developed a program that introduces youth to Japanese and South American folk music through participation and interactive activities. Miho & Diego found great joy in exploring and mastering the musical traditions of their own countries and feel it is a wonderful tool to stay connected to their roots even after leaving their homes. It is from this joy that the concept of this program is derived; to encourage participants, whether born in or outside of the United States, to begin to discover and explore their own heritage.

Both accomplished musicians, they came together after years of admiring each other’s work and discovering that their sounds could be combined to make something genuinely new and unique. Dr. Miho Takekawa graduated from Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, is currently the percussion instructor at Pacific Lutheran University and is currently a doctoral candidate in percussion performance at the University of Washington. Diego Coy was born in Santiago de Cali, Colombia, and was former musical director of “Fundacion Viva La Musica” and “Fundacion Funmusica,” and is currently exploring and mastering the musical traditions of his own native culture. Together, this talented duo introduces their distinctive warm native music and encourage the audience to participate by joining them in singing in both Japanese and Spanish as well as body percussion. Since Miho & Diego understand the important of cultural awareness and believe music is a key component, every free chance they get they like to go out and support their local musician friends at different shows and events!

As immigrant artists, Miho and Diego designed a program called, “Musical Trip,” which is centered on familiarizing children with different cultures and ways of life at very young ages in the hope of eliminating that harmful fear before it has a chance to take root and grow. In order to explore and expand the appreciation of alternative cultures through music, Miho and Diego continue to improve their own cultural awareness through extensive research, participation in the activities of various communities and schools, and expanding their connections, repertoire, and collection of instruments by learning from and associating with the natives of other countries.

At this year’s Seattle Children’s Festival, kids and families will participate in a workshop filled with multi-cultural experience, language education and laughter! This an award-winning musical education program for preschool through K-2 students is designed to have children understand different cultures and languages by introducing a new genre of music. Discover songs from Latin America, Japan and other countries accompanied by a wonderful array of instruments including Andean bamboo flutes, the marimba and percussions; however you want to make sure to stick around for the whole program, because the real magic happens when this duo teaches the audience how to use their own body as a musical instrument like body percussions!

The Miho & Diego Duo performs frequently for the King County Library System and the Seattle Public Library System, but you don’t have to wait because, you can catch them at this year’s 2nd annual Seattle Children’s Festival held on Sunday, October 11th in the Armory building Loft 4!

Power 2 Give: Your Gifts Matched!

Seattle Children's Festival

Are you passionate for kids’ to learn about the arts and cultures in our big Northwest neighborhood? Do you believe that music, dance and multi-cultural play create strong communities for kids and families? Here’s a chance for you to support Northwest Folklife’s Seattle Children’s Festival, where we engage kids in experiencing and celebrating our big neighborhood!

Your gift will be matched during our Power 2 Give Campaign, an opportunity that is available until the Seattle Children’s Festival on Sunday, October 11. 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.

Support Northwest Folklife, Celebrate Community

Northwest Folklife’s Seattle Children’s Festival engages kids and their families in the Northwest’s multi-cultural folklife, introducing young people to new and beloved cultures and traditions, ‘Celebrating Our Big Neighborhood.’  Performers from Northwest communities represent cultures from across the globe.  Music, story-telling, dance, cooking, crafts and more spark curiosity and promote cross-cultural understanding, exploration, and acceptance

The Seattle Children’s Festival builds on the Northwest Folklife Festival’s Discovery Zone and Kindiependent Stage.  With your support, we are making the Seattle Children’s Festival an annual “must” experience for our region’s youngest folks and families.

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.

Who Is Sunshine Music Together?

SMT 1

Sunshine Music Together provides the greater Seattle community with music classes for babies and toddlers, introducing them to the wonder and beauty of musical sounds at a very early age. What lucky babies, we say!

Get to know Sunshine Music Together a little more in the below Q&A! They will be sharing their songs and good times with us at the 2nd Annual Seattle Children’s Festival again this year, from 10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in the Loft 4 venue. Parents, Caregivers, and little ones welcome and encouraged!

What will audiences experience from you at the Seattle Children’s Festival?

Community family music making! We will be encouraging caregivers with their children to participate enthusiastically in our program of songs, movement and chant activities.  We’ll be encouraging caregivers to be wonderful music making role models for their children – children learn a love of music and the disposition to be life long music makers by watching the adults in their lives model music making with enjoyment and enthusiasm! And because very young children instinctively respond to and imitate their loved ones, the active participation of parents and caregivers – regardless of their musical ability – is an essential part of the rich musical environment we create. Music Together parents discover what a powerful role model they are for their child, just by having fun with the music themselves! We will be helping grown ups to relax, find their inner silliness and enjoy making music right along with their kids.

Is there a specific age recommendation? Should parents and kids come?

Music Together is a parent/child based music development program for children aged birth to five years old and the adults in their lives who love them!

Were you at last year’s Seattle Children’s Festival? If so, what was the experience like for you?

Yes!  We absolutely loved the idea of an event that introduced parents and children to the joy of music making and the arts!  We’re huge advocates of music development during a child’s primary years and wanted to share and contribute any way we could for the benefit of our community!  We loved being a part of Seattle’s Children Festival from the beginning!

What is your connection to Northwest Folklife?

Initially we learned of Northwest Folklife through one of our fabulous teachers, Lara Clark, who was on the board of Northwest Folklife. She initially was the one who brought us all to it.  We have done events to benefit Northwest Folklife in the past and will again in the future.

What kinds of music/arts/performance/entertainment do you typically seek out around Seattle or the Pacific Northwest? Any recommendations?

Everything!  We love the theatre, ballet, symphony, concerts – Seattle and the Greater Puget Sound area is rich with the arts!  Seattle Children’s Theatre, 5th Ave, STG (Seattle Theatre Group), the Paramount.  Concerts at Chateau Ste Michelle, Marymoor – Take advantage of it all!

What does Folklife mean to you?

A communal and universal celebration of the arts in Seattle!  A huge sampling of various cultures in the arts coming together in one place!

What’s next for you after Seattle Children’s Festival?

We will continue with our mission to spread the joy and benefits of family music making to our communities!  We’ll be celebrating our 10th year of doing just this in 2016!

 

Learn more and connect with Sunshine Music Together here and join their conversation on Facebook.

 

Mexican Folk Dance in the Pacific Northwest

Joyas MestizasJoyas Mestizas is an incredibly beautiful folk dance group dedicated to promoting Mexican culture throughout the Pacific Northwest. Not only do they perform at Fiestas Patrias and Hispanic Seafair, they offer classes at the Community Center in the South Park community, and encourage YOU to come learn.

At the Seattle Children’s Festival, families will be delighted by their showcasing of rich Mexican culture and tradition by way of dance, music and, of course, costuming!

Enjoy this brief Q&A with Joyas Mestizas (translated: Jewels Mestizas) and plan to enjoy their performance October 11 from 12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Armory at Seattle Center.

 

What will audiences experience from you at the Seattle Children’s Festival?

We want our audiences to experience a connection to Mexican culture. We strive to accomplish that through the traditional dances we perform. Our dancers are of various age ranges and skill levels and love dancing and performing for audiences of all kinds. We promote the heritage and diversity of Mexico and hope that people leave our performance excited, maybe knowing a little bit more about Mexico than they did before.

JMHow did you get started in this type of performance?

From its formation in 1988, the main mission of Joyas Mestizas is to promote the rich cultural heritage and diversity of Mexico. From the beginning it became clear that Joyas Mestizas dancers delighted audiences with their colorful performances that celebrate Mexican cultural traditions. As a result, the group has been performing throughout the years at the many events held throughout the Pacific Northwest.


Do you have a performance moment, or a moment connected to your work that you are most proud of? If so, what is it?

In 2009, our group was invited to participate in Seattle Theater Groups’ production “Dance This” at The Paramount Theatre. We were extremely nervous and excited. It would be the first time that our group participated in this type of production and we had no idea what to expect. The whole experience was incredible. Our dancers had the opportunity to learn and collaborate with a multitude of other experienced artist and dancers. I think one of the highlights of this production is how incredible dancers feel when they get to see their culture shared on such a beautiful stage along side so many other talented groups. These dancers are representing their families, their culture, their history, so when they are up on that stage dancing their hearts out, it was like all their family and friends were on that stage with them.


What is your connection to Northwest Folklife?

The majority of Joyas Mestizas members were born in the Puget Sound area. Therefore, they have a strong connection to the Pacific Northwest and, of course, the activities that are held throughout the year such as the Northwest Folklife. When the Seattle Center had its WinterFest Festivals, Joyas Mestizas was a regular at these events.


JM cutiesWhat does Folklife mean to you?

Participating in Folklife gives our group members an opportunity to experience the surrounding community and to make connections with various groups. Our dance members get the opportunity to participate in a production that instills a sense of pride in them and in their culture.

What’s next for you after the Seattle Children’s Festival?

Continue performing at this event; continue to make connections and to provide the community with the unique cultural experience.

 

Connect with Joyas Mestizas on Facebook here!

 

Podorythmie at the Seattle Children’s Festival

Podo crankie croppedThe crankies are coming! If you relish shadow puppets, homemade folk art, step-dancing, story-telling with an occasional fiddle and accordion playing, then Podorythmie’s crankie workshop is the place for you!

We are ecstatic to welcome this Folklife veteran group to our 2nd annual Seattle Children’s Festival. Podorythmie is always delighted to participate at Folklife. This incredible group has been creating smiles and laughter for five years now, and while four of those years were spent on the Northwest Folklife Festival stages, we are eager to include them for first time at the this year’s Children’s Festival! 

Step-DancingThis dazzling group celebrates Quebecois music and dance in a unique way for everyone to enjoy, so you don’t want to miss out on this workshop! Podorythmie consist of five talented members who all play in important role to create magic within every performance. What will make their workshop at Children’s Festival amazing is that it will include not one, but four crankies! Half movie, half homemade folk art, crankies are illustrations on cloth reels presented in a frame and hand-cranked scrolling slowly, while telling of a story, playing music and step-dancing. Now imagine that times four!

Don’t miss Podorythmie’s crankie workshop in the Armory Lofts at our 2nd annual Seattle Children’s Festival, and come introduce yourself to their new friend, “Accordion Man Automaton!”

Give Kids the Gift of Community

Seattle Children's Festival

Here’s a chance for you to help kids discover the whole wide world: support Northwest Folklife’s Seattle Children’s Festival. Dances, musicians, regalia, artifacts and musical instruments: you name it. Folks who experience Northwest Folklife programs frequently exclaim: ‘I saw wonderful things I did not know existed!’  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.

Support Northwest Folklife, Celebrate Community.

Northwest Folklife’s Seattle Children’s Festival engages kids and their families in the Northwest’s multi-cultural folklife, introducing young people to new and beloved cultures and traditions, ‘Celebrating Our Big Neighborhood.’  Performers from Northwest communities represent cultures from across the globe.  Music, story-telling, dance, cooking, crafts and more spark curiosity and promote cross-cultural understanding, exploration, and acceptance

The Seattle Children’s Festival builds on the Northwest Folklife Festival’s Discovery Zone and Kindiependent Stage. With your support, we are making the Seattle Children’s Festival an annual “must” experience for our region’s youngest folks and families.

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 today. You will give kids the gift of community.

And to all of our Friend of Folklife donors, Thank You.

Sincerely,

Robert Townsend, Executive Director & Friend of Folklife

Sheila Siden, Development Director & Friend of Folklife

P.S. Save the Date! Seattle Children’s Festival ‘Celebrating Our Big Neighborhood’ Sunday, October 11, Seattle Center.  Please visit www.nwfolklife.org/donate-now for more information about giving to Northwest Folklife. Contact Corin Shelley-Reuss with questions at 206/684-7300.

P.P.S. Would you like to be a Sponsor? Give us a call soon to collaborate! The Seattle Children’s Festival features more than 25 performances and 5 indoor venues, with over 3,000 parents and kids in attendance.

Stream the Festival and Relive your Favorite Moments

Still in the reverie of the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival? We are too!!

Listen to some of our favorite showcases like The Folk, Redefined showcase! This awesome Sunday afternoon showcase was sponsored by KEXP and included performers: Melville, Mindie Lind, Tomo Nakayama and OK Sweetheart!  Read more about these performers and listen to them now below!

To find more audio streaming music from The NW Folklife Festival 2015 at no-charge, click here!

Melville

3:00pm-3:35pm – Melville
Melodic Indie Rock
Listen

With the visceral Ryan T Jacobs’ emotive vibrato carrying the band’s lyrics, he’s joined by Tim Skerpon on drums and Thomas Yates on bass, a core that crafts melodic indie rock with roots in American rock ‘n’ roll.

 

 

Mindie Lind

3:45pm-4:20pm – Mindie Lind

Psych Twang Indie Roots
Listen

Heartbreaking psych twang with sweet, haunting vocal harmonies and tons of wobbly electric voodoo guitar  Inly’s warbley like a ship, steady like a train, and we like celebrating sadness with a kick-line choral hooks.

 

 

 

 

Tomo Nakayama

 

4:35pm-5:10pm – Tomo Nakayama

Northwest Indie Folk Singer
Listen

Tomo Nakayama is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter from Seattle, Washington. His music has been praised by NPR, New York Times, and KEXP, and he has toured throughout the US and Japan at fests such as SXSW, CMJ, Sasquatch, and Bumbershoot. Fog On The Lens is his first solo album, made after nearly a decade fronting beloved Seattle chamber-pop band Grand Hallway, and composing for an acting in Lynn Shelton’s Sundance Grand Jury nominated film “Touchy Feely”.

 

 

Erin Austin

5:25pm-6:00pm – OK Sweetheart

Melody Driven Smart Pop
Listen

Reminiscent of all the good things from mid-century pop, Erin Austin’s songs well crafted simplicity pulls influence from classics such as Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, The Zombies, and Randy Newman. OK SWEETHEART’s uniquely pop sound is the result of an eclectic collaboration between members of multiple bands included.

Chaotic Noise Marching Corps

Thank You for Giving!

Did you Text FOLK to 20222 to Give $10? Give some cash to the folks in the purple aprons? Drop dollars in the donation boxes? Make a donation at the Donation & Information Station? Become a Friend of Folklife?

We Thank YOU!

Chaotic Noise Marching Corps

Chaotic Noise Marching Corps. Photo by Piper Hanson

Your donation to Northwest Folklife during the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival sparks the magic! Your support gives meaning to the Festival’s community-powered identity. You, along with all of the brilliant performers, volunteers, sponsors and supporters create this enormous, layered phenomenon of arts and culture. It is easy to have a good time at the Northwest Folklife Festival, making new discoveries and meeting your neighbors. And there is more to it.

Your gift provides Northwest Folklife with resources to reach out to new artists and to develop the extended relationships that make up the Northwest Folklife family tree that embraces communities, dancers, singers, musicians, performers and artists, and their ‘Folklife’: arts and culture as a way of life.

Draze

Draze. Photo by Piper Hanson

Behind the scenes, year round, for over 44 years, Northwest Folklife has helped form the cultural landscape of the Northwest by giving voice to artists and their creative expression, through their traditional music and personal innovations. Every year, we present a Cultural Focus, a ‘festival within a festival’, that features a Pacific Northwest community through special performances, panels, workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations, and activities. The 2015 Cultural Focus, Beats, Rhymes and Rhythms: Traditional Roots of Today’s Branches explored the cross-cultural and traditional roots of Hip Hop.

This year’s Cultural Focus let us meet the Maraire Family through Dumi Maraire, Jr., aka Draze, as he shared his family’s long involvement with the Northwest Folklife Festival, and his own evolution as an artist. New to Washington, and the USA, Dumi, Sr. was a brave force, determined to share his Zimbabwean culture. He found open arms and an invitation in the Northwest Folklife Festival. The Maraire children grew up with the Festival as their annual performance of the year: new songs, new outfits, new opportunities. Today, Dumi Jr. creates hip-hop inspired by his life in Seattle and Shona roots in Zimbabwe. His music functions in the same way roots music in Africa has for thousands of years: to educate a community, to encourage individual strengths, and to celebrate and respect cultural heritage.

Your enduring support makes the Northwest Folklife magic happen! Your generosity strengthens our community, and gives voice to artists and inspiration to audiences of all ages to play, dance, sing, taste, learn and participate: everyone together. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Robert Townsend, Executive Director                         Sheila Siden, Development Director

PS Save the Date! The second annual Seattle Children’s Festival will be on Sunday, October 11, 2015, a one-day multi-cultural festival located on Seattle Center grounds, “Celebrating Our Big Neighborhood.”

Thank You

Photo by Piper Hanson

Let the spirit of Folklife carry us all year.

“Seattle is changing by the minute, but Folklife remains a moment of something essential and hopeful.”
Jerry Large, The Seattle Times

We’re honored that Jerry Large shared his experience and sentiments so eloquently in his great article, and hope that many of you felt similarly to Jerry about this year’s Northwest Folklife Festival.

Thank you all!

Photo by Piper Hanson

Photo by Piper Hanson

Final Fun at Folklife ’15

NWFolk2015_Friday_PiperHanson-99Come out today and celebrate the last day of the 44th Annual Festival! There’s so much in store starting at 11am until 9pm this evening!

Check out our schedule here and remember…just wander.

 

 

 

Here’s a few highlights from this weekend:

NWFolk2015_Friday_PiperHanson-70

NWFolk2015_Friday_PiperHanson-129

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NWFolk2015_Saturday_PiperHanson-33

NWFolk2015_Saturday_PiperHanson-7

Festival Starts Today – Bring the Family Down!

FIUTSNorthwest Folklife Festival has always been a great place for families to come and bring their young children and introduce them to the arts and culture of the Pacific Northwest. This year, we are bringing back our Discovery Zone area, sponsored by ParentMap. This area is specifically tailored towards children, complete with it’s own stage featuring family-friendly programming, workshops, and hands-on activity booths for all ages.

The Discovery Zone Stage is open from 11am-6pm every day of the Festival. On Friday, however, because of the opening of the Artists at Play area, the stage programming will start at 1pm. The hands-on booths will open at 11 as usual.

Discovery Zone Stage: Sponsored by ParentMap

The Discovery Zone stage will feature a wide variety of different acts, and the full list of programming can be found in our online schedule. Some additions that are different than the schedule in the Program Guide: Musical Spoon-Playing with Artis the Spoonman (12:00pm on Sunday), and Siren Spark, an all-girl rock band from the Rain City Rock Camp for Girls (5:00pm on Friday).

There is even some Cultural Focus programming! The Discovery Zone Stage will feature a Capoeira Angola performance by the International Capoeira Angola Foundation at 12:00pm on Monday, May 25th, and break-dancing by the North City Rockers at 5:00pm on Sunday, May 24th!

image2The North City Rockers are a multi-generational break-dancing crew from Everett, WA. Folklife recently had the opportunity to chat with David “Pablo D” Narvaez the founder of the North City Rockers. The NCR are a pretty diverse crew, consisting of members from a variety of age groups. The youngest is only 10 years old!

We asked Pablo what we can expect to see during their performance at Folklife this year.

image1

“Excitement! They’re gonna see stuff they didn’t expect. You’re gonna see some typical b-boying but in a way you wouldn’t expect. All sorts of different styles come out. We’re bright, colorful, loud. We are multi-generational. We’re a lot of fun to watch,” says Pablo D of his crew.

Pablo D started breaking in the early 1980’s, but created the North City Rockers crew in 2010. The North City Rockers come together to practice and have fun together, but also prepare for performances and competitions. They perform for a variety of audiences, using a variety of different styles and music.

Pablo says that he likes to keep a positive attitude with everything he’s ever done, and breaking and competing from an early age was what started that. “I’ve tried to spread that to the youth. I’ve tried my best to knock on all sorts of doors and open them up. Learning how to get through adversity and rising to the job.”

Breaking classes with NCR are taught on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30pm to 9:00pm at Oly’s Dance Sport, 2931 Bond Street, Everett, WA 98201. Classes are open to the public and the first two classes are free. People with all levels of dance experience are encouraged to come train!

Discovery Zone Hands-On Activities

We are very excited about the hands-on activities this year, too! Some you might remember from last year, and some new!

Seattle Children’s Museum presents Exploring Rhythm: Come and explore instruments from around the globe! There will also be a craft table for making a dancing ring adorned with ribbons; dance to the music you hear at Folklife!

Active Art and Science presents Make Your Own Mosaic: Using recycled and finger safe glass and glue, children will create colorful mosaics on tiles. Creativity is welcome, and it’s a good opportunity to learn about color balance and glass art techniques.

Little Wing and Rookies, presented by School of Rock presents Rockin’ Instrument Play and Presentation: Come rock out with Little Wing! Major rock instruments will be laid out for you to try: electric guitar, bass, a snare drum with cymbals, keyboard, and a microphone for you to sing into! Channel your inner rock star!

Gage Academy of Art presents 25 Jams: Pop Up Drawing: Gage is curating a drawing jam in the Discovery Zone this year! It’ll be great fun for all ages; anyone who wants to learn how to draw from real life! Post up at an easel and practice with a live model, or draw what you see around Folklife!

The Center for Wooden Boats presents Toy Boat Building: Children will learn to use basic traditional hand tools such as hammers and hand drills to build wooden toy boats! Fun and educational, this is our largest booth so it will be hard to miss!

Creative Advantage This organization from the Office of Arts and Culture promotes the importance of arts education in the schools. This is a great place for parents to stop by and learn about what Creative Advantage is doing to bring arts back to the schools!

Announcing the Incredible Dances of South Asia

Meet Dr. Joyce Paul Siamak – a new Community Coordinator at Northwest Folklife

I first attended Folklife when I was visiting Seattle on work in 1999. I was completely hooked!  Since moving to Redmond in 2001, I have been a performer and avid supporter of Northwest FolkLife having performed or volunteered every single year. It was at a Folklife performance with my friend Meera that I was noticed by the producer at Town Hall and invited to be part of their Global Rhythms series.

Dr. Joyce Paul Siamak

It has been a long association for me and I am very excited that I can take my support one step ahead by being the Community Coordinator this year.

Some 15 years ago when I first danced, there was no Indian or South Asian showcase; we just got slots in the “International Dance” section. Over the years with more artists moving into the area, various regional showcases started being staged. In particular the “Colors and Cultures of India” took off and provided a great opportunity for young immigrant artists to share their art with the community.

Over the last 5 to 6 years, I noticed a trend that I thought was not doing justice to the art form or the talent available locally. Most Indian dancers I knew were losing interest in performing and had started using the event to present their students in training instead of dancing themselves. This resulted in the audience members not getting a chance to see professionals at work. They were also unable to see what the art form would look like, had an experienced artist chosen to perform. Also, other nations and art forms from the entire South/East Asian region seemed to be represented less and less with dominant art forms such as Bharatanatyam taking on most of the slots. One time, I remember seeing 5 groups from the same genre, with three of them doing the same pieces in the same raga and tala!

I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to bring a change in the programming to make it relevant to the larger South Asian dance community while ensuring that we present artistes and performances of caliber. I envisioned a showcase called “Incredible dances of South/East Asia.” For 2015, my first year as curator and community coordinator, my charter looks thus:

  1. Honor and invite special senior guests (artists who have decades of experience)
  2. Present interesting cross-genre programming with creative artists
  3. Present artistes and performances of caliber
  4. Continue to provide a platform for young and upcoming artistes. (provide a good mix of experience and upcoming)
  5. Showcase under represented art forms and regions of South/East Asia

How is this year’s show different?

  1. We are presenting South Asian and South East Asian countries and not just India
  2. Kicking off groups that create dance for social change (from the 4 culture ASC showcase)
  3. Introducing Jugalbandi’s or bringing two styles together.
  4. Presenting traditional folk dance such as Ghoomar and Terah Taaali from Rajasthan
  5. Blending Classicism in dance with traditional training methods such as Yoga and Kalaripayattu
  6. Honoring a senior guru

It is a big change moving from the well-established showcase theme from the past years but I am excited to bring this new showcase on

Ratna Roy

stage. Hopefully it will reach out to more folks from Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and Maldives as well as South East Asian countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and West Malaysia. My desire is to present the amazing dance forms that are rarely seen in the Pacific Northwest!

I would like to thank NWFL especially Kelli Faryar for giving me the freedom to plan and execute this showcase based on my needs assessment and content expertise. It has been an amazing ride and I look forward to this weekend when it all comes together!!

Thank you and looking forward to seeing all of you this weekend. Please write to me (joyce@arpanarts.org) with your thoughts about this showcase.

– Dr. Joyce Paul

Northwest Folklife Festivals Indie Roots Lineup – Sponsored by 90.3 KEXP – kexp.org

kexp-logoThe Northwest Folklife Festival‘s Indie Roots program returns for its fifth consecutive Festival, packed with live music showcases programmed in partnership with Northwest Folklife and local community curators such as Seattle Living Room Shows, Hearth Music and Underwood Stables. Indie Roots musicians integrate the traditional elements of folk and Americana music – banjos, acoustic guitars, Appalachian harmonies, or country twang – but with a more modern, pop-sensible sound. This year there are nine showcases and over 30 bands performing throughout all four days of the Festival, on four different stages including the Fountain Lawn Stage, Vera Project Stage, Folklife Café and on the new Back Porch Stage.

Indie Roots programming and showcases line-up – sponsored by our friends at 90.3 KEXP – kexp.org – for 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival includes: 


Wild Rabbit
FRIDAY, MAY 22

Hearth Music Showcase

Featuring Jacob Miller and the Bridge City Crooners, Vaudeville Etiquette, Wild Rabbit

7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage

 

SATURDAY, MAY 23

New Generation Roots Show

Featuring Max’s Midnight Kitchen, The Desert Kind

12:20-1:30 p.m., Back Porch Stage

 

Kinfolk: New Sounds of the Northwest

Featuring Scarlet Parke, Pepper Proud, Whitney Monge

5:00-7:00 p.m., Folklife Cafe

 

Seattle Living Room Showcase

Featuring The Native Sibling, St. Paul de Vence, The Mama Rags, and Lonesome Shack

1:00-4:00 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage

 

Prom QueenHeavy Harmonies

Featuring Eurodanceparty USA, YVES, Prom Queen, and Powers

7:00- 10:00 p.m., Vera Project

 

SUNDAY, MAY 24

Folk, Redefined

Featuring Melville, Mindie Lind, Tomo Nakayama, and OK SWEETHEART

3:00-6:00 p.m., Vera Project Stage

 

Underwood Stables

Featuring Caleb and Walter, Lowman Palace, Cahalen Morrison, and The Ganges River Band

6:00-9:00 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage

 

MONDAY, MAY 25

Homespun Indie

Featuring The Elk Tribe, Hallstrom, Joy Mills Band

1:00-3:00 p.m., Vera Project Stage

 

Ear To The Ground: Indie Roots Show

Featuring COHO, Low Hums, Tango Alpha Tango, and Ravenna Woods

3:30-6:30 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage

 


All Indie Roots programming is sponsored by KEXP 90.3 FM –
kexp.org

Q&A with Grace Love of Grace Love and the True Loves

Northwest Folklife feels honored to have Grace Love and the True Loves perform at the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival. She is blowing up this year, performing at not only Folklife, but Timber! Outdoor Music Festival, and Bumbershoot!

We recently had the chance to have a little chat with Grace Love herself about herself, her sound, and the True Loves.

NWFL:  Are you originally from Seattle? If so, which neighborhood?

GL: I am not- I was born in Memphis, TN and raised in the lovely city of Tacoma, WA. 

NWFL: How did the True Loves come to be, and where did the name come from?

GL: I was doing a solo project for a while and the guitarist, bassist, and drummer has a jam going and invited me to sit in. I obligied, and the rest is the story unfolding in front of everyone. I’m not sure where the name True Loves came from I think it was a play on my name and getting as vintage as we could. 

NWFL: How long have you been interested in/singing and performing soul music? Does it predate the formation of the band?

GL: I have been in the arts all of my life- I didn’t pursue it until I was about 19, my mother passes and I thought life is too short to do the things you don’t want to do. I never thought I could have a full backing band, when it began to form I just let it flow.

NWFL: How would you describe your sound to people who have never listened to you before?

GL: I say original Seattle Soul most people nod as if they get it. Then I just say come out and listen to the band.

NWFL: Why did you choose to release your singles, and eventually your album, on vinyl?

GL: Because it holds true to originality- we aren’t like other groups and also the sound is by far the best and it’s a bucket list for a lot of us in the group. 

NWFL: How does it feel to be playing Northwest Folklife Festival, Timber, and Bumbershoot all in the same year, before your album is even out?

GL: I personally feel blessed, and humbled, to those who know me, know I have been working hard at it for a very long time. It’s going to be an amazing story to tell in years to come. 

NWFL: What can we expect to see during your performance at Folklife?

GL: Soul drenched and pure heart warming emotions and lost of laughing and dancing. 

8.     If you could perform alongside anyone, living or dead, who would you choose?

GL: As hard as that question is probably Ray Charles- he’s my go to when I need a change in my spirit!

She will be performing Saturday May, 23 at Northwest Folklife Festival, from 7:45 p.m.-8:15 p.m. at the Xfinity Mural Amphitheatre. You can check out her other upcoming tour dates on her Facebook page, or website at www.graceloveandthetrueloves.com.

Show Your Love for Folklife! Give Today

Make the Magic Happen! How to Support the Festival

Show Your Love for Folklife! Give Today

The community-powered Northwest Folklife Festival is only days away. See you there?  There is no admission charge thanks to your donations. Supporting the Festival is as easy as 1-2-3-4!

  1. Friend of Folklife donors support Northwest Folklife all year with their gifts of $50 and over. We have great news! New Friends of Folklife will have their gift matched by a generous and visionary donor! Please stop by a Donation & Information Station to become a Friend of Folklife.
  2. Extend your gift at a performance featuring a ‘pitch,’ where all gifts are matched. The ‘pitch’ schedule is available at every Donation & Information Station.
  3. ‘Text to Give’ $10. Text the keyword ‘FOLK’ and your email address to 20222.* Kindly finalize your donation by texting ‘yes’ to your carrier’s confirmation.
  4. Drop cash in a donation box at the Festival.

Check out the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival schedule online or in this ‘flipbook’ format of the Festival Guide. Here is information about getting to the Seattle Center, with links to public transportation. Check out the Northwest Folklife Blog to get in the spirit. And, sign up for the Northwest Folklife E-News.

Here’s to Beats, Rhymes & Rhythms. See you soon!

Cheers

* Details on ‘Text to Give’: A one-time donation of $10.00 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Donor must be age 18+ and all donations must be authorized by the account holder (e.g. parents). By texting YES, the user confirms the donation and agrees to the terms and conditions. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of the “Northwest Folklife” by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.hmgf.org/t. Message & data rates may apply. Text HELP to 20222 for help. Please provide your email address to stay in touch.

Muckleshoot Canoe Family In the “Welcome to Our Native Land Coastal Cultures Day Celebration!”

Folklife 2014 - MondayThe Muckleshoot Canoe Family will be in a major new Welcome to Our Native Land (WONL) Coastal Cultures Day celebration event as part of this year’s Northwest Folklife Festival. One of Muckleshoot’s canoes will be displayed near the John T. Williams Totem Pole during the day on May 24th. The WONL Group Committee who are organizing this Coastal Celebration and one day powwow collaboratively with NW Folklife, hold up “Hands of Thanks” to the Muckleshoot Tribe for actively supporting these Native community cultural and arts events in the Center of Seattle. Special thanks are extended for receiving a Muckleshoot Charitable Fund award in 2014 that lead to the establishment of the First Annual WONL Powwow.

Welcome to Our Native Land Group has been openly welcomed by Northwest Folklife staff and board directors to increase a significant Native cultural and arts presence. Both want to invite and bring in numerous Pacific Northwest Tribal peoples to share, interweave learning, and offer a place for engagement. WONL Group members hold a vision to build a core Native presence at this longtime and large festival that can grow respect of artistic forms, bridge, heal and establish new relationships, deepen cultural awareness, and offer protocol-based practices for Honoring inter-tribal peoples and celebration practices in this region. The WONL Group’s aim is to establish, promote, cultivate, and strengthen connective community inter-linkages. With this festival and central location where it happens, it opens up opportunities for “Native Communities of Culture” to engage in culturally focused art forms created through a Native-led lens.

Folklife 2014 - Monday

Folklife 2014 – Monday

Forming in 2013, the WONL Group Committee started working with NW Folklife production people to choose the Space Needle Green grassy area near the John T. Williams Totem Pole. Everyone felt this location offers excellent public visibility near the Monorail, Space Needle, Experience Music Project Museum, 5th Avenue and Broad Street traffic areas. Everything is free and open to everyone. A Coastal Welcoming is scheduled to begin each day. Tipis and Coastal Canoes are on the grounds. Invited demonstration artists will show carving, painting, designing, beadwork, jewelry, cradle board making, basket weaving, regalia making, and other cultural arts practices. Local cultural leaders will be a part of and facilitate Coastal Day and Powwow songs, dances, specials, honorings, and celebration activities. Elders have an area near the circle and people are welcome to stay for the day. Coastal Day has jamming, storytelling, dances, and songs. Before powwow grand entry, Native folk style music, hip hop, and youth dancers are scheduled. After Grand Entry, WONL Committee Specials, category, round, “Wanna Be” dances, and inter-tribals will invite dancers into the circle supported by invited drums. Hosts are Southern Express, Tac Town, Little Battle and Spear Fish.

Of special note is a Memorial Day Native community led Ceremony will be held on the Mural Amphitheatre Stage near the Armory. All Veterans will be honored. At the WONL Powwow Grand Entry, the Intertribal Warriors Society has been invited to carry in the flags. Veterans will be honored in the powwow circle too. Everyone and all Veterans are invited!

The Northwest Folklife Festival draws over 250,000 people annually to Seattle Center. It is held for 4 days starting at 11:00 am on Friday, May 22nd and ends at 9:00 pm on Monday, May 25, 2015. The entire area of Seattle Center is used by Folklife for outside and indoor staging locations. More than 5,000 performers and hundreds of vendors offer cultural exchange, learning scenarios, engaging activities, and exposure to numerous participants. While creating a festival place for cultural heritage and community-driven presentations, the Festival grows interactive, cultural and artistic experiences for all ages, backgrounds and interests. Following a vision “By strengthening cultural communities through arts & culture, Northwest Folklife creates opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest.” As Native community people work with NWFL to establish and create artistic interchange and exchange in this festival setting, it can begin to bridge, connect, build, and sustain relationships. Beneficial outcomes stand to result, especially for Native people.

Important to WONL Committee members is developing ways to engage Native youth, families, elders, artists, cultural people, tribes, and urban-based Native organizations to become part of Seattle-centered activities in different ways. It means establishing Native cultural programming done by Native community people. Now strengthened success is showing up with enthusiastic agreement by everyone involved to implement “Welcome to Our Native Land” Coastal and Powwow Celebrations every year at the Northwest Folklife Festival! Everyone is invited to come!

 

Article contributed by Kim Camara

Call to Fiber Artists

 

Fiber ArtThis is a call for fiber artists to participate in the 2015 Fiber Art Flash Mob. It will be held during the Northwest Folklife Festival over Memorial Day Weekend at the Seattle Center – May 22-25, 2015.

The plan is for a wide diversity of fiber artists to bring and work on their fiber art as a flash mob.  This is a sedentary flash mob – if you sit when you are doing fiber art you will sit for this flash mob.  So bring a chair or blanket.

Northwest Folklife is having a Fiber Art Demo venue again this year. The days for this will be Saturday, Sunday and Monday – May 23, 24, 25. You can sign up for a four hour shift — it’s a great way to promote and inform the public about your work.

Please share this information with other fiber artists. We had a great time last year and look forward to more mobbers this year.  For more information, find us on Facebook here.

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Young Folks Power Folklife!

Are you a someone age 25 or under who has wondered how you could help preserve the arts and cultures that exist in the Pacific Northwest? Well, there is one way you can. Folklife is introducing a new donor program geared towards young adults – from those finishing high school, to those venturing out and beginning their first “real” jobs – called Young Folks. For a donation as small as $20, you could have access to some cool donor benefits, like free Folklife swag, some Friends of Folklife buttons and an official festival guide mailed to you prior to the festival – you will know exactly what is happening during the festival before anyone else! And if you are interested in participating, find us at the festival and give us your contact info! In exchange, you will be entered into a raffle. We are receiving really awesome raffle prizes each week!

We are also working on some activities and programming geared towards millennials. (Don’t worry, I am one of you! Don’t be offended!) Please don’t forget though, this is our first year, so we are open to suggestions and feedback! In fact, we invite it! Tell us how to be better! But back to the point, the main event we are planning for you and your peers is a multi-platform scavenger hunt. Throughout the festival, we will send out clues via Twitter/Facebook and tag them #nwyoungfolks. We encourage you to post a picture of yourself with whatever, wherever, or whomever the clues lead you and tag them with #nwyoungfolks.

The Skablins; photo by Piper Hanson

The Skablins; photo by Piper Hanson

If this interests you, go to https://www.nwfolklife.org/become-a-friend-of-folklife/ to find out how to sign up and follow #nwyoungfolks on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. We look forward to meeting you at the festival! Also, please send any feedback, questions, or concerns to myself, Grace, at events@nwfolklife.org.

 

Posted by Grace

An Interview with RingSide Slam

The poetry slam bandwagon has been incredibly successful at creating one thing that other art projects have not – a close-knit, distinct, and vibrant community of writers and creators who support one another’s cleverness through spoken word. So, ask yourself, what can I do in 3 minutes and 10 seconds?

In 3 minutes and 10 seconds RingSide Slam can: inspire mentoring, stimulate bold creativity and engage communities worldwide in the revelry of language! RingSide Slam is a new head-to-head poetry slam in Seattle who is calling all poets, Hip-Hop heads, rhymers and dreamers to come out and join them on stage the last Friday of each month @ Red Lounge. These artistic events are a judged competition where participants recite original poetry in a style known as ‘spoken word,’ and have a time limit of 3 minutes and 10 seconds. Poems are expressively and rhythmically performed to an audience who is the deciding factor of eliminations and winners.

Northwest Folklife is honored to get the chance to interview two talented ladies from RingSide Slam – the Host, Nikki Etienne (a.k.a. “Momma Nikki”) and Slam Master, Nikkita Oliver (a.k.a. “K.O.”).

 

Folklife:

Both Seattle natives?

Nikki:

Born in Cali, but grew up here.

Nikkita:

Born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. Moved to Seattle in 2004 for college. Stayed ever since.

 

Folklife:

Why the name RingSide? Your Facebook and website use images of Muhammed Ali quite often. Is that related to the name choice or more the style of this particular poetry slam?

Nikki:

We had this concept of an idea with having a head-to-head kind of show.

Nikkita:

In addition to what Nikki said, I am also a boxer and think of boxing as an art. I find lots of connections between poetry slam, rap/emcee battles and what happens in the boxing ring. For me, it was birthed out of my boxing and art experience combined. I also think we both have strong connection emcee/Hip Hop/Poetry as a part of black culture – Ali and Malcolm X resonate with both of us, our lives, our art, our experiences.

 

Folklife:

Would you say that the atmosphere at RingSide is more relaxed than a traditional slam? Does it seem like a good place for first-timers and people who haven’t slammed before?

Nikki:

I think the vibe of our slam is more than just a slam, because we bring Hip Hop into the entire night. We have a local DJ that plays throughout the whole night. The vibe is art! It’s poetry and Hip Hop. Its soul. It’s home. It doesn’t matter if you’re a vet or a first timer…All Are Welcome!

 

Folklife:

When you first had the idea to create RingSide, did you feel like there weren’t many platforms for poets and emcees to come together and perform anymore? You mentioned it taking things back to the heart of it, so was this art form sort of falling by the wayside in Seattle?

Nikkita:

I don’t think the art form is dying, but the space where self-proclaimed emcees cross with self-proclaimed poets is more limited in Seattle than other art scenes I have been in. We just wanted to get the two paths crossing more. I personally have gained a lot from emcees as a poet and a lot from poets as an emcee. This has turned me into a free-styling cyphering emceeing poet. Selfishly, I wanted to grow my art more – SHOUT OUT to Cornerstone, a dope event that used to be at Faire on Cap Hill. This is where I got into spoken word and emceeing.

Nikki:

There are a lot of open mics, or there used to be more, but many fell off, but I was part of an open mic & Artist showcase for a few years that brought some of the same elements we are bringing to RingSide. It was called Cornerstone.

 

Folklife:

Do you see RingSide Slam as a way to bring elements of black culture to the community?

Nikkita:

I see it as a way to share with others who I am – I am black and mixed and queer and woman. I hope others feel it is a space they can do the same. I am also very invested in re-building the black art presence in this city. We are in the start of the central district, an historically black neighborhood. Poetry and Hip-Hop have always been a place to salute history and build something beautiful in the present and the future. I hope that is what we are doing while also honoring the heritage of the art forms as well as our own ancestors and ancestral roots.

 

Folklife:

Do you think performing/slamming is something all poets should try? What benefits or differences do you see in slam/spoken word versus print or online?

Nikki:

Slamming isn’t for everyone and as I’ve told Nikkita before, honestly, I really don’t like standard slamming. It takes away from the core of why people started writing in the first place. Slammers write pieces strictly for slams and that’s great if that’s what you want to do, but if it’s just about the art – about the expression or the need to release your creativity – then don’t limit me to 3 minutes. As an all-around artist, poet/MC/singer/dancer/photographer/painter, basically anything involving the arts, art may be subjective, but if it’s coming from the artists core of who they are. Then it should be expressed.

 

Folklife would like to thank Nikki and Nikkita from RingSide Slam for taking the time to chat. Come join their unique and artistic poetry slams the last Friday of each month @ Red Lounge. The Northwest Folklife Festival is ecstatic to include RingSide Slam as a part of this year’s Culture Focus! Their performance will be held on Saturday, May 23 at the Cornish Playhouse Stage from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Beat your way to RingSide Slam as they make abstract things concrete poetically.

Reggae Rising: Hip-Hop’s Roots in Reggae Music

Reggae RisingReggae has been at the forefront in the development of music for many years now. From Electronic Dance Music to Pop to Punk to Disco and several other music genres today, you can hear the influence of Reggae coming from their core. One genre of music in particular that is directly influenced from Reggae is Hip-Hop. Those familiar with Hip-Hop’s history know that the culture was started in the late 70’s in the Bronx, NYC. The founding fathers of the culture are Afrika Bambatta, Grandmaster Flash and DJ Kool Herc. DJ Kool Herc being a native of Kingston, Jamaica always credits his Jamaican roots for his early techniques and development of the culture.

Reggae music’s traditions of dubbing out tracks and toasting on the microphone are a direct lead in to hip-hop’s sampling & emceeing (now known as rapping). In Jamaica, dubbing out a track was the same as making a instrumental remix of a original song. It would usually be the B-side of a Jamaican 7″ single with the original song being the A-side. It involves stripping away most of the instrumentation of the song, vocals and melody highlighting the heavy drums and bass line. This would allow for a artist to “toast” or chat live on top the beat in the same way a Hip-Hop emcee can freestyle over the instrumental of their favorite track. And well known Jamaican Dub architect Lee Scratch Perry created the idea of putting sound effects such as babies crying, gunshots, breaking glass, etc. into his dubs and tracks thus inventing sampling. So as you see, elements of Hip-Hop can be traced back to techniques that came from Jamaican studios years earlier.

Originally, early DJs in Jamaica would get on the microphone just to promote albums or hype up tracks. Foundation Dancehall artist Daddy U-Roy was one of the first artists to actually toast phrases that fit in with the words of the song in addition to his call and response style and exclamations of “Wow” & Yeah”. This style is where rapping draws its roots from. Back in the Bronx, a emcee by the name of Coke La Rock worked alongside DJ Kool Herc hyping up crowds in the style reminicant of the Jamaican Sound System toasting style. He didn’t do full on lyrical flows like rappers today, but he would hype up the crowd with party motivating slogans like “To tha beat y’all!” or “Rock on My Mellow!”. Many old school listeners refer to him as the first Hip Hop emcee.

From the late 70’s and into 80’s, the toasting style in Jamaica progressed and more toasters (also known as Dee-Jays) such as Ranking Joe, Charlie Chaplin, Yellowman and Eek A Mouse appeared on the scene with a more lyrical rhyming style. They would record songs on top of sparse riddims (instrumental tracks) made from various producers like Junjo Lawes, Linval Thompson, Gussie Clarke & Jah Thomas thus creating the Dancehall style. During this time, Dee-Jay records became more important than the Roots Reggae sound which had dominated Jamaica for the majority of the 70’s. Another popular trend in this time was the soundclash. Soundclashes featured rival Dee-Jays and Soundsystems who would compete head to head in front of live crowds to showcase who had the biggest & toughest sound. This trend also directly influenced Hip-Hop in the US as Breakdancers & Emcees from different crews would have Challenge competitions to display who had the best skills on the mic or on the floor with their breakdance moves. This allowed the youth to focus their skills on something other than the every day violence that came with living in the inner cities. Both African Americans and Jamaicans alike could relate to the social and economic hardships they faced daily.

The late 80’s and throughout the 90’s were important years in regards to Reggae and Hip-Hop crossing paths in the United States. There were several Hip Hop artists coming out during this time such as: Boogie Down Productions, Poor Righteous Teachers, Just-Ice, Heavy-D & Jamalski who were spicing up their beats & rhymes with the Reggae flavor. This was also the time that many Jamaican Dancehall acts such as Shabba Ranks, Super Cat, Cutty Ranks, Buju Banton & Mad Cobra were getting record deals on American labels and starting to collaborate with US Hip Hop artists. This era also birthed the very popular Reggae/Hip Hop remix trend. That was when a producer would take the acapella (lyrics) of a popular Reggae Dancehall song and place them on top of a popular Hip Hop or R&B instrumental. Nowadays this style is referred to as a “mashup”.

Although the Reggae/Hip-Hop crossover style was more dominant on the east coast in NYC, the west coast has had it’s share of artists who have been experimenting with that flavor for many years. One artist in particular is MISTA CHATMAN (formerly know as DJ Collage). Chatman has spent several years visiting and performing on both coasts taking in the flavor. In fact, he is currently working on a mixtape titled “Chat Down Memory Lane” in which he will be performing Reggae Dancehall lyrics over popular old skool Hip Hop and R&B beats revisiting the remix vibe that was popular in the 90’s.

You can check out MISTA CHATMAN live and direct on this years Reggae Rising stage along with Seattle based Organic Hip Hop Reggae crew INDIGITIZE, Eugene based Hip Hop/Soul/Reggae outfit THE ELENA LEONA PROJECT, Seattle based 80’s style Reggae band DIGITAL LION with guest Jamaican born MC SELASSIE I SOLDIER on the mic and Seattle’s top foundation Reggae artist CLINTON FEARON & THE BOOGIE BROWN BAND returning to nice up the lawn. Time to get irie..BO! BO! BO!

Blog post submit by Lawrence Chatman.

What do you love most about the Northwest Folklife Festival?

Contra Dancing 2Northwest Folklife has been going strong for 44 years, and it is dance community powered.

We send MANY THANKS to all of the folk dance communities that recently came together in support of Northwest Folklife. It was exciting to see four ‘Nights for Folklife’ events on the calendar in March.

Northwest folk dance communities have long been involved in the Festival’s roots as a participatory multi-cultural experience. I recently met Judy, a veteran folk dancer, who explained, “my husband and I caught the folk dance bug at Folklife, and we travelled the world as a result.” Since the days of glamour and leg room in jet travel, the Folklife Festival has been the place folks can discover and practice all kinds of international folk dance hailing from the Balkans, English Countryside, France, Greece, Hungary, Scotland, and Turkey, and throughout the world. Sounds like the Northwest Folklife Festival did its part to stimulate Pacific Northwesterners’ curiosity about diverse cultures and world travel.

Thank You to the folk dancers who donated, to the event coordinators and to all who made in-kind donations. Here is but a partial list:

Allspice
Laurie Andres
Kathy “I dance; therefore, I am.” Bruni
Cascade Promenade
Jean Causey
Cedar Valley Grange
Folk Voice Band
Art Hare
Lake City Contra Marathon
Lake City Contra/Old Time Country Dance
Sherry Nevins
Northwest Folk Dancers, Inc.
Doug Plummer
Portland Roadhouse Dance
Kathy Sandstrom
Seattle English Country Dance
Skagit-Anacortes Folk Dancers
Skandia Folk Dance Society
Karen Shaw
Sno-King International Folk Dancers
Sue Songer
Swedish Club
Terry Wergeland
Cathie Whitesides

Interested in taking up folk dancing? Visit Seattle Dance  for extensive information on clubs and dances and visit Northwest Folklife’s Community Calendar, too.

Thanks to our Sponsors: CHEER! Seattle

image004This year Northwest Folklife is excited to have CHEER Seattle join us at the Festival as one of our Entrance Sponsors! CHEER Seattle was founded in 2014 in response to the recent nationwide popularity of adult cheerleading teams. The organization is committed to raising spirits and empowering people into action that supports health and wellness in the LGBT community and beyond.

CHEER Seattle is made up of individuals from all walks of life who come together to support charities and nonprofit organizations in the area. To learn more about what they do, how to get involved or support CHEER Seattle please visit their website or Facebook page.

Thank you CHEER Seattle for your support and dedication to our community!

Visit them on Monday May 25th at the Bagley, Founder’s Court and McCaw Entrances to find out more about what they do and how to get involved!

JOIN US MAY 1 AND KICK OFF THE FESTIVAL!

NORTHWEST FOLKLIFE’S PREFEST PARTY

Featuring Porter Ray, Gabriel Teodros, Industrial Revelation, Hosted by Larry Mizell Jr.

FRI, MAY 1, 2015

8:00 PM at the Crocodile Cafe $10 Adv. Get your tickets today!

Here’s a peek at our performers:

Porter Ray: Listen

A 25-year-old rapper, Porter Ray Sullivan was once described to me by Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler as “the Golden Child.” A son of Seattle’s Central District, Porter Ray namechecks Butler and revered Seattle MC Infinite as influences. Appropriately, “5950′s” is 206 from head to toe; named for a model of New Era baseball cap, it’s described as sporting Mariner teal throughout Porter’s stunning debut, BLK GLD. Here, Porter reels off the minutiae of murder, betrayal and narcotic sales with a poetic eye that recalls vintage Nas, tempered with a numb, gray-sky detachment (and aided by a sterling verse from Nate Jack) all over shimmering piano keys, a subdued drum shuffle and quiet-storm rain effects. In this city — built on, around, and seemingly under water — it’s even easier than you’d think to get washed, depending on where you’re standing.

Gabriel Teodros: Listen

To know that another world is possible, and bring it to life through music; this has always been the mission of emcee Gabriel Teodros. He first made a mark with the group Abyssinian Creole, and reached an international audience with his critically-acclaimed solo debut Lovework. He has since set stages on fire all across the US, Canada, Mexico and Ethiopia; performing alongside the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Mos Def & Talib Kweli, Zap Mama, Digable Planets and Fishbone to name a few. 2012 saw the release of 2 more critically-acclaimed albums, Teodros’ solo Colored People’s Time Machine, as well as CopperWire’s Earthbound; a space opera of a hip hop ride (set in the year 2089) that Teodros recorded with fellow Ethiopian-American artists Meklit Hadero and Burntface. In 2014 Teodros is set to release 2 new solo projects. The first is Children Of The Dragon – another journey through time, Hip Hop, Ethiopian musical traditions and shifting homelands with Washington, DC-based producer AirMe, followed by Evidence Of Things Not Seen – a reminiscent portrait of right now with Auckland, New Zealand-based producer SoulChef.

Industrial Revelation: Listen

Seattle, WA–Garage-jazz quartet Industrial Revelation has been making music together in various incarnations for a decade, but with their new studio album Oak Head (October 15, 2013) they’re poised to make a major statement in the world of black improvised music. Founded by D’Vonne Lewis, one of Seattle’s most sought-after drummers and the grandson of Seattle rhythm and blues legend Dave Lewis, the band also features Ahamefule J. Oluo on trumpet, Evan Flory-Barnes on bass, and Josh Rawlings on keyboards. Individually, the four members of I.R. have worked with nearly every major artist in Seattle, and plenty more beyond–from Macklemore and Das Racist to Robert Glasper and Wynton Marsalis. Collectively, the band is equally at home playing at a house party in Olympia or on stage at Benaroya Hall, and they bring that affinity for the epic and the intimate to every track onOak Head.

With their previous albums, I.R. sought to capture the engrossing, stomping scope of their live shows, which turn on a dime from hushed sincerity to sweaty bombast and have earned the band an obsessive cult following (City Arts’s Jonathan Zwickel described I.R. in concert as, “beautiful, dramatic, psychedelic, funny, funky, swinging, punchy”). But Oak Head marks a stark, pointed departure, both musically and conceptually. The album celebrates the introspective capacity of studio recordings, distilling and polishing I.R.’s messy fire and powerful spontaneity into something utterly new. “On Oak Head,” Oluo explains, “we embraced the refinement of the studio–it’s a very deliberate album–but at the core of every single one of those songs is a group of people playing in one room together at the same time, feeding off each other’s energy and welcoming the unknown.” Lewis adds, “If there’s one thing about this band, it’s that we all just play from our hearts. This album represents that so well–it’s just straight focus, straight stripped-down emotions.”

The album’s advance single, “Saying Goodbye (to rainbow socks and hair dye),” strikes a radiantly minimalist groove, layering a simple but obsessive melody (in Oluo’s sonorous flugelhorn) over a relentless, twinkling heartbeat held down by Rawlings on the Fender Rhodes. Penned by Flory-Barnes and largely improvised on the day of recording, “Saying Goodbye” is direct musical communication–so stripped of posturing that it’s almost above genre. That devotion to pure melody, to the rejection of the confines of genre, is the driving philosophy behind Oak Head.

I.R. recorded the album at a remote cabin called Oak Head over just two cold spring days–including some songs they’d been playing for over a year, and others that weren’t even written before they started setting up microphones. It’s a deeply honest, deeply personal piece of work, fixated on the idea that a simple, strong melody can be as experimental as the most esoteric art. Oluo explains: “Sincerity is the absolute ripest playground for experimentation. The idea that the two are at odds is a myth. It’s all about balance. The more you stretch to the experimental ends of music, the more you have to embrace the humanity of music. The taller the tree, the deeper the roots. The roots of this album go deep.”

“It’s a jump-off,” says Lewis. “Even though we’re four albums deep, Oak Head is just the beginning. With our earlier albums we were still growing, you know? Finding our focus. Now we can really get it going.”

-Written by Charles Mudede

Venue Information:
The Crocodile
2200 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA, 98121
http://thecrocodile.com/index.html

Dancing at the Northwest Folklife Festival

Folklife 2014 - FridayAsk any group of people why they come to the Northwest Folklife Festival and chances are at least one of them will say, “because of the dancing.”
Since Folklife’s inception, dancers have played a big part in shaping the festival. Many long-time supporters are dancers or dance musicians. Folklife is the only community-powered festival in the nation where they can merge to enjoy a huge variety of music, lessons and participatory dance. Dancers make deep bonds on the dance floor, pulling them back from all over the country.

From Balkan to Bollywood and Swing to Salsa, Folklife offers instruction and open dancing to everyone. This year’s lineup is packed with beginning and advanced dance styles and lessons; Bollywood, Cajun/Zydeco, Country Swing, High School Swing, Scandinavian, International, East and West Coast Swing, Square and Salsa dancing, Tango, Waltz, and more.
At Warren’s Roadhouse, beginners can also learn what many dancers believe is the simplest dance style; Contra Dance. (Learn more about Contra in a previous blog post here.)

Also rooted deep in American culture and popular in Seattle, this year welcomes Hip-Hop to the stage. A street dance typically danced in crews, Hip Hop was first popularized in the 1970s on the television show Soul Train and in the films Breakin’, Beat Street, and Wild Style, followed by its studio-based version, sometimes called “new style,” and hip-hop jazz dance, “jazz-funk.”
Folklife 2014 - SundayIn addition to participatory dances, demonstrations will be drawn from numerous world cultures. Danced in authentic costumes, these will be performed mostly in the Center House Court or on the International Dance Stage.
Dancing is a wonderful way to “let go” and be completely in the moment – to fully immerse yourself in joy, movement, music and community. So, grab your best dancing shoes and give it a try! Chances are, like so many others, you’ll get hooked!

Speak Out!

When communications theory philosopher Marshall Mcluhan wrote “the medium is the message,” he could very well have been referring to hip-hop.  MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching, break dancing and graffiti writing are more than just an art or a performance style.

6NtheMorning COVERDr. Daudi Abe, professor of Humanities at Seattle Central College and author of 6’N the Morning: West Coat Hip-Hop Music 1987 -1992 & the Transformation of Mainstream Culture (Over the Edge Books, 2013) calls hip-hop “a living cultural movement.”

“American rapper, singer, and actor Ice-T said rap is something you do – hip-hop is something you live,” he notes. “In the 80s, if you listened to underlying messages, hip-hop was a portent, a warning, for what was going to happen next. Similar to a news broadcast, it was a lot more political than the general public realized.”

During the 70s and 80s, Seattle was known for its rock ‘n’ roll. Natives like Jimi Hendrix and Nancy and Ann Wilson (Heart) were giving global attention to the “Emerald City.”  But alongside rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop was emerging here, sparked by New York City’s hip-hop culture.

“From the beginning, hip-hop was very much about challenging the status quo – this was especially true of graffiti art,” says Dr. Abe. “During the late 60s and early 70s, hip-hop was a response to repression. Young people felt disconnected and marginalized from mainstream culture.  It was the first medium to give fearless, explicit voice to young, black males. It was used as a way to push back, tell who you were, where you were from and to make your mark.”

Over the past 40 years, Hip Hop culture has seen dramatic changes since its early start on independent record labels. Edgy experimentation has given way to conglomerate blueprints. Within mainstream acceptance, it has evolved. Critics worry the “essence of hip-hop” and its “news broadcast” may have been compromised in the process.

But amidst this change, Macklemore’s multiple Grammy wins suggest hip-hop is becoming part of a larger narrative and a platform on which anyone can make a culturally relevant political stand. And as in its beginnings, it’s still a potent lens through which the artist views the world.

“Jazz, Reggae, Blues, Hip-Hop – these are all necessary to a vital society because they spring from creative energy within oppressed populations,” Dr. Abe observes. “Life experience informs ones’ views. We have a long way to go. But getting together and talking about these divergent views is the kind of dialogue which will help get us past our differences.  I’m honored to be a resource for Northwest Folklife and to assist in making this year’s cultural focus successful. ”

It’s National Volunteer Week

As we are all gearing up for the festival we would like to take a moment to thank all of our amazing volunteers, past and present for making Folklife the incredible festival it is year after year.

On our Volunteer Application, we ask why you want to Volunteer at Folklife. The responses we get are so thoughtful, heartfelt and illustrate dedication our volunteers have for the festival and the community it creates.

Here are a few of our Favorites:

“Best volunteer event in Seattle. Love interacting with the other volunteers and being a part of a great community event.” Carolyn Brenner, volunteer of 33 years 

“These are my people, and this is my history.” Elke Schoen, volunteer of 30+ years

“My family has been part of this festival for my entire life, I deeply value what this festival means to our community. I am glad to be a part of it!” Adrian Braxton, volunteer of 5 years

Many of our volunteers have been a part of our organization for 20, 30, even 40 years and we are proud to have such dedicated individuals be a part of what we do. Whether you help us with preparation in the office, greet Festival participants, assist with registration or deliver coffee to vendors, you are a crucial part of our organization and are greatly treasured. Thank you.

Northwest Folklife honors volunteers through our Appreciation Program which takes place on Monday May 25th in the Volunteer Registration room.

Volunteers are encouraged to stop by on Monday and grab a gift and see if they have won a prize through the Volunteer Raffle!

If you are interested in volunteering but have not filled out an application- it’s not too late! Email volunteers@nwfolklife.org for more information.

Seattle Youth Poet Laureate

Seattle PoetThis year at Folklife we are excited to announce that the City of Seattle is holding its inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Program. The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate aims to identify and honor local young writers and poets who are not only talented literary artists, but demonstrate a commitment to “civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, human relations, diversity and education across Seattle.”

Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program (SAL/WITS) and Urban Word NYC have joined together to create the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate program, supported locally and nationally by Northwest Folklife, Penmanship Books, and the Academy of American Poets.

Applications are currently being accepted from writers ages 14-19. The top eight finalists will perform during the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Commencement Performance, which will be held during the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival, Saturday May 23 at 1:00 p.m. in the Cornish Playhouse. At the performance, a panel of four judges will decide the winner. Along with being dubbed the 2015 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, the winner will receive a book deal to publish their first book of poems and be able to travel across the city on a book tour.

The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate will attend events throughout the year, providing a platform to share their voice with the City of Seattle. The ideal candidate will be someone with not only great leadership skills, but a strong love for Seattle as well. Winning this title means that you will represent the City of Seattle and spread support for arts programs for youth throughout the community.

If this sounds like you, submit an application! Details can be found online here.

The deadline for submissions is April 24, 2015. The 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival will be held May 22-25, at the Seattle Center. The Cornish Playhouse is located at 201 Mercer St., Seattle, WA 98109.

Raise the Town Out!

Georgio BrownIf reggae is the heartbeat of life, blues the soul, swing the dance, and jazz the conversation, then Hip Hop, with its driving cadence and spirit, could be called the poetry. And certainly no one is more passionately devoted to giving that poetry a voice than artist/filmmaker Georgio Brown.

For over 20 years Georgio has provided a venue for budding and seasoned hip hop artists to showcase their work through the Seattle public access video series, “Coolout Network” and its online “webisodes.” Today Coolout Network can be seen on the following sites: youtube.com/coolouttv, vimeo.com/georgiobrown, and facebook.com/georgiobrown.

With candor and warmth, Georgio says, “There are a lot of talented Hip Hop artists in the Northwest who need and deserve attention. Coolout Network helps get them the exposure and inspiration they need.”

Involved in Hip Hop since its inception, native New Yorker Georgio, while still in high school, got his video production start filming shorts of rappers.

“I grew up in New York in the early stages of hip-hop,” he says. “When I came out to Seattle in 1991, I started making a series of videos which focused on Seattle’s Hip Hop scene. This grew to a program on Seattle’s public access television, “Coolout Network,” which documented what was happening here in Hip Hop – and I think, helped to inspire a lot of people’s art. I’m also an artist, so I like to give voice to other artists. ”

To this end, Georgio is dedicated to sharing the positive aspects of Hip Hop.

“Hip Hop gives people a place where they can freely express their art,” says Georgio. “Mainstream media tends to promote Hip Hop in a negative light – but I prefer to show its positive influence.”

“ It’s taken some time, but I knew what Hip Hop needed was for an artist to come along and bring positive national attention to it – and that other Hip Hop artists would then be inspired to follow their lead. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis winning four Grammy awards for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Performance in 2013 did just that. They showed other artists it can be done.”

Georgio has also brought awareness for Hip Hop to the larger Seattle community.

In recognition of his positive contribution to the Seattle community, in 2004, Georgio and “Coolout Network” received the City of Seattle Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Hip Hop. In 2009 he won local filmmaker of the year at the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival with a short he shot and produced about the 206 Zulu Nation. Georgio serves on the organization’s Board of Directors, whose members King Khazm and Kitty Wu prompted Governor Jay Inslee to proclaim the month of November as Washington State Hip Hop History Month. And in November 2015, “Coolout Network” was featured at “Experience Music Project,” Seattle’s museum of contemporary popular culture.

The history of Hip Hop in the Northwest dates back to the late 1970s when high school kids from the Rainier Beach, Rainier Valley, and Central District areas in Seattle started Hip Hop dancing. Local youth clubs and high schools in south Seattle held competitive dance contests called bop-offs. In the early 1980s, soldiers at Tacoma’s military bases also spawned a hip-hop fan base.

Some of the first Hip-Hop dances in Seattle, held at public-housing recreation centers, featured the Emerald Street Boys and Anthony “Sir Mix-A-Lot” Ray. During this time, “Nasty Nes” Rodriguez also launched the Northwest’s first all-rap radio program, Fresh Tracks, and began airing self-produced tracks by Hip Hop artists. In 1985, the Northwest’s first hip-hop label, Nastymix Records, released Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Square Dance Rap.” Nastymix Records gained national attention in 1993, when Mix-A-Lot won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. Hip Hop had launched in the Northwest.

Collaborating with media and technology filmmaker/producer Scott Macklin and Hip Hop historian Mike Clark, Georgio is currently on hiatus from “Coolout Network” to work on a full-length feature documentary about the evolution of Hip Hop in the Northwest. Highlighting three decades of Seattle Hip-Hop history, segments of the documentary will be shown at the Northwest Folklife Festival. Come learn why Hip Hop has become such an enduring, grasssroots part of life in the Northwest.

Douglas Ridings Performs Solo Odissi at the Festival

Please enjoy a few words from Douglas Ridings, Odissi dancer and teacher, performing at the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival. Here he has shared with us the background of this unique dance form and what audiences can expect to see in his Festival performance.
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“Odissi” A classical Indian Dance that has a 2000+ plus history and was suppressed under British Imperialism and nearly lost until it was reconstructed after Indian Independence through textual research, sculptural evidence, remnants of old traditions in the Jatra (roving theaters), and the temple tradition sustained by the Maharis, temple priestesses who were married to the deity of the temple and performed dance as part of their offering. I have learned Odissi dance from Dr. Ratna Roy since 2005. Her teacher was Pankaj Charan Das, the adopted son of a Mahari and a seasoned performer in the Jatra. Combining his knowledge of temple ritual and and theatrical savvy of the Jatra, he was a primary force in the modern reconstruction of Odissi and is today acknowledged as the “Guru of Gurus”.

Douglas Ridings performs Odissi 2The piece is an invocation to Shiva in his form as Nataraj (King of the Dancers) and Yogiraj (King of the Yogis). The music I had commissioned while I was India with Dr. Ratna Roy’s help, so I was in the studio dancing with the drummer while the recording was being made. Odia music has elements of both Karnatic and Hindustani Classical Music as well as it’s own distinctive elements. The costume was custom made from an embroidered silk saree as well as filigree silver jewelry and ankle bells. Odisha is well-known not only for its dance but also its textiles, jewelry, painting and cuisine. Odissi dance itself is characterized by its capacity to blend sacredness and sensuality, its lyricism and gracefulness, and its intricate, subtle complexity and isolations.

I have performed many times at Folklife but always before with Dr. Ratna Roy and her group Urvasi. This is the first year I have been invited to dance as a soloist.

I perform regularly in India, under Dr. Roy’s guidance. When I’m there, I teach Yoga to dancers in Bhubaneswara (Rudrakshya) in exchange for dance training with them and home-cooked food!

-Douglas Ridings

YOU can learn Odissi!

Dr. Roy teaches Beginning Odissi at Velocity Dance Center on Sundays at 3 pm and Douglas Ridings assists her.

Douglas Ridings also teaches a class on Fridays at 7pm at Culture Shakti Dance.

 

EMP’s 2015 Sound Off Winner Plays Festival

EMMA LEE TOYODACongrats Emma Lee Toyoda!

Northwest Folklife is thrilled to introduce EMP‘s 2015 Sound Off winner, Emma Lee Toyoda to this year’s Festival lineup. If you adore artists like Fleet Foxes and Sufjan Stevens, you’ll fancy Emma’s delightful tunes that will invoke a rural aesthetic charm. This Seattle based singer-songwriter has a dainty, but rustic sound that reveals uniqueness in every song. It may be out of season for her ‘Em & Fran’s Christmas Jams’ album (look for those here!), but her melody and beats will allure year-round.

Emma is an innovative young Seattle artist and Northwest Folklife is excited to include her dazzling charm on stage at this year’s Festival.

Contra Dancing

Contra Dancing 1Contra Dance is a traditional American dance in which couples dance in two long facing lines or in groups of four. Affectionately referred to as an “entryway dance” by dancers, contra dance is by far the most accessible of all dances for beginners. Plus it is bodacious fun!

Derived from English and French country dancing, it’s led by a caller who supports dancers with a walkthrough, practice dance before the actual dance begins.

“Imagine being a kid on a merry-go-round with the lights spinning around and you’re just so happy! Multiply that by a million-gazillion times because your arms are wrapped around other people and they’re looking in your eyes with huge smiles on their faces, happy you’re there!” says Sherry Nevins, dance caller of contra dancing. “At a dance there’s a great cycle of energy; the musicians’ music, the dancers responding to it and the caller right in the middle of it. The energy just builds and builds! Every part of it is delightful.

The music played at contra dances includes, but is not limited to Irish, Scottish, Old-Time and French-Canadian folk tunes. Often anchored by fiddle, contra dance bands can include piano, flute, guitar, mandolin, accordion, and in some cases even brass instruments. Northwest Folklife attracts contra dance bands and callers from all over the country. So the quality of the bands is always high – and the callers easy to follow.

This contra dance floor is a friendly place too. Seattle dancers are great dancers but also very open to helping beginners. If you miss a move or mess up, don’t worry! An experienced dancer will be close by to help you out. Or, just pause until the next move and jump back in.

Contra Dancing 2While dancing, you’ll hear the caller use terms like balance and swing or do-si-do. Relax. Other dancers will always help you. And the moves which go with contra dance terms are not hard. Plus once you learn these basic moves, they repeat throughout the dances.

Standard movements include balance: stepping forward and back in four counts to say hello to your partner; do-si-do: walking around your partner: swing: standing in waltz position but spinning faster in a circle with your partner; promenade: walking with your partner around a circle; and courtesy turn: gentlemen with one hand held behind a partner and one in front, walking in a small circle. One person in the couple is the lead and the other the follow. The follow is always held on the right-hand side of the lead. It’s as simple as that.

So come to the Roadhouse and grab your partner for a balance-and-swing. Once you’re tried this style of dancing, you’ll definitely be hooked!

 Photos by Christopher Nelson.

What Is A “Kukeri?”

KukeriKukeri is a plural for kuker which means a mummer. Mummer’s games are traditional Bulgarian rituals for fertility, regeneration and awakening of the earth, performed by unmarried men around New Year and before Lent. The kukeri reinforce the connection between the people and the land. Through their dance and stumping moves, they chase away the old, the cold and evil, and clear the path for regeneration, fertility and the warmth brought by the spring.

Traditionally, the kukeri wear costumes and scary masks made from animal furs and skins, and heavy bells on the belt to produce a loud noise.  The Kukeri Parade at the Northwest Folklife Festival is performed by men from the Bulgarian community in Seattle.

Check out the 2013 Northwest Folklife Festival parade in the video below!

 

 

 

Paperstock 2015: Pacific Northwest Poster Art

Paperstock will return to the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival, and we’re thrilled!

PaperStock features the prints of many current and popular concert poster artists and silkscreen print artists. Art for everyone is the focus of this exhibition and Festival-goers will be able to peruse art and maybe even find their favorite new print to purchase directly from the artist! On-site screen printing demonstrations will also show attendees how prints are produced – we’re very excited.

Here’s a preview of what kind of prints you can expect to see at Paperstock 2015 – BEWARE… this is merely a preview.

Barry

By Barry Blankenship.

Frida Clements

By Frida Clements.

Mike Klay // PowerslideBy Powerslide Design Co.

Experience Traditional West African Dance with Sohoyini in Bellevue – FREE!

Sohoyini“Sohoyini” translates literally as ‘one heart’ in the Dagbani language of the Dagomba people in Northern Ghana. Sohoyini was created in efforts to unite cultures and to celebrate our diversity through the beautiful dance and music of Africa.

On March 21, 2015, Awal Alhassan, traditional African percussionist and dancer, will bring his West African dance company Sohoyini to Crossroads Bellevue for a special, FREE performance for families and people of all ages to enjoy. To get you ready for his performance, we asked him a few questions – take a peek!

 

NWFL: How did Sohoyini African Dance form and when? 

Sohoyini was founded in 2005 by Dance Director and Choreographer Awal Alhassan when he moved to the United States from Ghana West Africa.

NWFL: What is the cultural background of your performance/art form?

Sohoyini is a pan-African collaboration of traditional arts embracing the music and dance from the countries of Ghana and Guinea, as well as other cultures from the African continent. Sohoyini means “one heart.”  We celebrate not only our roots, but the branches of our new global culture.

NWFL: What is one thing you want your community to know about your work? 

Sohoyini strives to provide a cultural experience that opens minds and hearts to the spirit of Africa. As a music and dance company, Sohoyini celebrates not only the Dagbon tradition of Ghana, but also that of all traditions and backgrounds in which we share the common belief that as human beings, we are one people. Through this we celebrate the true spirit of Africa. By singing, dancing, and making music, we make the movement towards, “one-heart, one-people.”

4918_511372923224_2880552_nNWFL: What can audiences expect to see and experience at your Crossroads performance?

A performance of celebration that will lighten your spirit and bring happiness to your heart.

NWFL: Tell us about the choreography and some of Awal’s inspirations?

Awal Alhassan is the principle choreographer of Sohoyini Dance Company. Many of the dances from Sohoyini are traditional dances from Ghana and other parts of Africa, which Awal has arranged in a modern form. Awal also has created original dances that he has choreographed for the stage, which incorporate contemporary movements influenced by pan-African traditions.

Awal Alhassan has been an ambassador of the Dagomba Traditions for as long as he can remember. Born into a traditional drumming and dancing family in Tamale, Ghana, he has spent his life devoted to the arts of his culture. In addition to his involvement in traditional ceremonies, he has also been extremely involved and passionate in helping to keep his traditions alive. He has worked with numerous performance groups throughout the world, entertaining and educating people of virtually all cultural backgrounds.

Awal has been a professional dancer since he was a young boy. Most notably, Awal was a member of the Centre for National Culture, as well as the National Dance Theatre of Ghana.

NWFL: How did you first come to be involved with Northwest Folklife?

Awal Alhassan has performed with countless groups at Northwest Folklife in the past, including his own Sohoyini Dance Company.

Save The Date!

Learn more here.

You’re Invited! La Peña Flamenca de Seattle Performs this Saturday in Bellevue

This Saturday, Northwest Folklife and Crossroads Bellevue have programmed an incredible cultural evening with La Peña Flamenca de Seattle! We sat down with Rubina Carmona to get an inside look at all that is La Peña Flamenca and more – take a read!

La Peña Flamenca de SeattleNWFL: How did La Peña Flamenca de Seattle form and when?

RC: La Peña Flamenca de Seattle was formed in 1995 as a performance opportunity organization for the guitar, dance and singing students of my husband, Marcos Carmona and myself.

NWFL: Can you tell us a little about the cultural background of Flamenco?

RC: Flamenco music and dance come from Southern Spain, and have been developed and performed most notably by the Gypsies of that region.

NWFL: What is something you wish the greater community to know about your work?

RC: I’d like the audience to realize how international the appeal of flamenco is.  I’ll  be featuring dancers and musicians from Austria, Russia, Philippines, Chile, Argentina, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States.

NWFL: More specifically, what can audiences expect to see from these dancers and musicians?

RC: We will be presenting some ensemble work, with all the dancers, some short solos, and live music by guitarists and singers to accompany the dances.

NWFL: Who choreographs your work – how do you create a piece? What are your inspirations?

RC: I basically choreograph the dances, although I’m now being assisted by my advanced students.  All my students have learned to choreograph their own solo material using the materials or “vocabulary” I have taught them.  My inspiration is the music–the singing style determines the spirit and content of the dance.  I listen to examples of singing and guitar and do what the music tells me, and my students have learned to do the same.

NWFL: How did you first come to be involved with Northwest Folklife?

RC: I have been involved with Northwest Folklife since we first moved to Seattle in 1988.

NWFL: Have you heard about the 2015 Cultural Focus (“Beats, Rhymes & Rhythms: Traditional Roots – Today’s Branches”  – basically roots of hip hop) and what do you think?

RC: I have heard of this year’s cultural emphasis.  The evolution of American pop music, blues, jazz, hip-hop parallels the evolution of flamenco, tango, fado, rembetiko and other “urban blues” forms around the world.  The songs deal with very similar subject matter.

FOR MORE ON HOW TO SEE THIS INCREDIBLE SHOW – CLICK HERE.

Programming & Marketing Internship Opportunity

Come work with us! We are looking for an enthusiastic person to come learn about Northwest Folklife, what it takes to put on a Festival that attracts a quarter million people in the span of just four days – a Festival featuring over 5,000 performers from over 60 cultural communities – and someone who is eager to support the effort. Read on for job details, and don’t be shy… share with friends so we can find a great fit.

Northwest Folklife Programming & Marketing Internship

Interning at Northwest Folklife can be the experience you need to gain a career in event planning, festival production, the music industry, nonprofit management, marketing, fundraising and a whole host of other fields. Interns at Northwest Folklife take on a significant role in executing the largest free community arts festival in the nation and learn how to increase visibility and strengthen the sustainability of a nonprofit organization.

Before you apply:

  • Housing and transportation are not provided. Prospective interns should carefully consider their financial needs as the internships are unpaid.
  • Start and end dates, hours per week, and days of the week are all negotiable based on the intern’s availability
  • All applicants must be able to commit to working Memorial Day weekend, (May 22rd – 25th, 2015) NO EXCEPTIONS
  • Academic credit for internships must be arranged by the intern with their sponsoring institution. Academic credit is up to the discretion of the intern’s college or university
  • Computer resources are limited; prospective interns with laptops are encouraged to apply

Title: Programming & Marketing Intern

Internship Length: Now – June 2015

Hours per week: 15-25

This Internship is central to the programming Northwest Folklife has to offer. This Intern plays a key role in ensuring smooth festival production from a programming standpoint.

Responsibilities

  • Work with the programming staff on Northwest Folklife’s public programs, which include organizing and scheduling specific areas of the annual Northwest Folklife Festival
  • Assist with research, telephone and face-to-face contact with representatives of different ethnic, regional and occupational communities from the Pacific Northwest
  • Complete tasks such as data entry, initiating and following up on correspondence, managing travel for out-of-state performers, scheduling performers
  • Assist in the composition of short articles for the festival program guide or for Festival publicity
  • Help manage performer information for other departments for Northwest Folklife’s use
  • Assist with creating the festival fundraising pitch schedule by working with both the programming and development departments
  • Assist Programming department during the Festival as needed

Requirements

  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to work as part of a fast-moving team
  • The ability to work with grace under pressure
  • The ability to deal with small details and connect them to a larger whole
  • Knowledge of or experience with cultural arts in the Pacific Northwest
  • An open mind and desire to discover new kinds of music and dance
  • A working knowledge of Word, Excel, Outlook, and databases
  • Ability to work individually as well as in groups
  • A desire to obtain the skills for event production
  • Strong organizational skills
  • A healthy sense of humor

Additionally, anyone with a love of music, arts, and culture is encouraged to apply.

Identified Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn to program performances for large-scale festival production
  • Develop an understanding of event production by working with programmers, production teams, volunteer coordinators, and development teams
  • Create and compile technical requirement books and tech sheets/stage plots for stages and stage managers (an essential skill for anyone interested in a programming career)
  • Gain networking skills – make connections with artists, performers, sponsors, and production teams

To Apply:

Please attach your resume and cover letter to an email to hiring@nwfolklife.org with Programming Internship and your name in the subject line. Although we prefer electronic methods, you may also submit your resume to:

Northwest Folklife

Attn: Programming

305 Harrison St.

Seattle, WA 98109

This position is open until filled

Northwest Folklife & 206 Zulu Take on 2015 Cultural Focus

Every year we have the esteemed privilege here at Northwest Folklife to dig in deep to a cultural community with roots here in the Pacific Northwest through our Cultural Focus program. Last year we looked at “India and Its People” and the year before that the unions with “Washington Works.” Every year it’s an eye opening and treasured experience and this year is not different.

 “Beats, Rhymes, and Rhythms: Traditional Roots in Today’s Branches” is a powerful Cultural Focus and we are honored to be connected to and working with Seattle’s powerful Hip Hop community among many – namely, for purposes of this post, 206 Zulu, the Seattle chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation. They will have a helping hand in bringing Folklife’s 2015 Cultural Focus to life this year.

206 Zulu’s focus is to utilize the artistic elements of Hip Hop and urban arts as a platform for positivity and community empowerment within youth and families. They will be celebrating their 11th Anniversary with a series of community events, February 6-8 (you can learn all about these on our Community Calendar here) and in their honor, we’re excited to share a little bit more about 206 Zulu.

206 Zulu's King Khazm206 Zulu co-founder and executive director King Khazm took some time to shed light on his organization, their mission, why the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival’s Cultural Focus is so important, and what they’ve got planned to celebrate their 11th year. Take a read!

Hi King! Thanks for taking some time with these questions. Tell us, what is your personal relationship to Northwest Folkilfe?

The Northwest Folklife Festival has been an annual gathering spot for myself and peers since around the mid-90s when Hip Hop was first introduced to Folklife. Our organization was established in 2004 and we began a community partnership with Folklife, hosting various Hip Hop events as early as 2008.

 

206 Zulu - 11th Anni - 1What is your elevator pitch for 206 Zulu?

206 Zulu is Seattle’s Hip Hop cultural and community organization that utilizes the artistic elements of Hip Hop and urban arts as a platform for positivity and community empowerment within youth and families. 206 Zulu is also the Seattle Chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation, Hip Hop’s founding family and international community organization that has been pivotal in the inception and expansion of Hip Hop culture since the early 70s.

 

Happy 11th Anniversary! That’s big news. What does this landmark year mean to the organization and its community?

This February 6-8, 2015 we’ll be celebrating our 11th anniversary of 206 Zulu. The anniversaries are our flagship events of the year where we host a weekend full of programming that often includes music performances, workshops, panels, art showcases, local vendors and non profits, and dance competitions and showcases. Hip Hop has many artistic “elements” that it’s comprised of, however it isn’t always combined together. Our anniversaries are special because we unite the elements and bring respective communities together under one roof in the spirit of “Peace, Unity, Love & Havin’ Fun”.

206 Zulu has grown from a very small grassroots community group to an internationally esteemed non-profit organization. We are still “grassroots” in some regards and operate without any full time paid staff, however are so fortunate to have such an amazing community, and programmatically and organizationally have accomplished so much over the last decade.

 

How did 206 Zulu create its community?

206 Zulu’s membership is comprised of musicians, artists, producers, dancers, organizers, teachers, and various people in the community who either love Hip Hop or just want to be a part of something positive that is about serving the greater community. We build community through our interpersonal relationships with friends, families, peers, through our partnerships with other groups and organizations, as well as various schools, community centers, venues and spaces we connect with.

 

206 Zulu - 11th Anni - 2What do you think about Northwest Folklife’s 2015 Cultural Focus?

To see Hip Hop grow over the years and expand in new ways unimaginable has been truly remarkable. I would have never imagined a focus around roots of Hip Hop would be a Cultural Focus at Northwest Folklife. It’s a beautiful thing.

 

What would you like to see in Northwest Folklife’s Cultural Focus programming line-up?

DJ/turntablist exhibitions, live producer showcases, breakdance competitions and cyphers (open dance circles), graffiti and urban art expo, lots of music and performances, spoken word and poetry, drum circles, photography exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, classes, but also the lineage of Hip Hop, which is just as important. (There is so much!) Funk, Soul, Blues, Reggae, Jazz, Gospel, African rhythms, Salsa, Rock, capoiera, martial arts, comic books, etc.

 

Who needs to know about this Cultural Focus and why?

Everyone – especially people who hate Hip Hop. People who hate it often don’t know the full spectrum of what it is and generally get their perspective of it through the media, which is often a complete misrepresentation of Hip Hop. Think corporate interest/market driven, commodified, materialistic, misogynistic, demonizing, ignorant, etc.

It’s completely understandable if the music of Hip Hop isn’t your cup of tea, but most people don’t see what the full spectrum of Hip Hop is, much less that it’s not just a genre of music.

 

206 Zulu - 11th Anni - 3So, what exactly do you have coming up that the Northwest Folklife community can experience?

Our anniversary is not just about celebrating the organization and its accomplishments, but celebrating our beloved community and the many communities within the community. Bringing people together in the spirit of positivity and community empowerment. Bringing generations together; honoring and preserving the past but also introducing the elders to the newest generations and seeing how Hip Hop and its elements are evolving. Children are present and become inspired while having fun with their families and other children. All of this IS the roots of Hip Hop. Hip Hop has very little to do with what you see on TV and hear on the radio. It’s much bigger than that. That’s why we do what we do and have events like these.

Aside from speaking to the roots of Hip Hop through practice, many of the workshops and panels elaborate and speak to the roots of Hip Hop directly, philosophically and historically.

 

Learn more about 206 Zulu here.

What Is Flamenco?

La Peña Flamenca de SeattleFlamenco as we know it began to be recognized within Spain and internationally during the last half of the Eighteenth Century.  From there, it has followed the same trajectory as a number of other “urban blues” forms, and has become one of the most successful and prominent of those forms.  Think for a moment of American Jazz, Argentine Tango, Greek Rembetiko and Portuguese Fado, all arising from rural or urban conditions of poverty and oppression, moving to the cabaret or nightclub phase in cities, and at length overcoming the prejudices of the more privileged classes and appealing to a world-wide audience.  In the case at least of flamenco, jazz and tango, the forms have been highly developed both musically and technically and have been successfully presented on the concert stage.

In the case of flamenco, however, the roots go back thousands of years and thousands of miles.

Spain has had a vibrant musical and dance tradition since ancient times; dancers from Cadiz, playing what resemble castanets, have been pictured in Roman mosaics.  Spain was one of the Roman Empire’s most important components, but within the millennium before the Roman conquest, it had been settled by immigrant Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians and Jews as well as its native Iberians.  There is a strong possibility that the Spanish art of bullfighting developed from ancient Greek beliefs and ceremonies associated with the bull.  Bullfighting later became one of the important themes of flamenco singing, and members of the same family often go into each profession.

After the collapse of Rome, Spain was ruled for several centuries by the Visigoths.  Spain had become Christianized late in the Roman period, and the Visigoths, although only roughly civilized, practiced Christianity as well.  The country was invaded in 711 by a Muslim army comprising Arabs, Berbers and Moors from North Aftrica, as part of the whirlwind conquest of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern territory by the new religion of Islam.  Under the leadership of Tarik b. Ziyad, all of Spain save for a small portion of the north and west, swiftly fell into  Muslim hands.

In the eighth ninth and tenth centuries, Al-Andalus, as Muslim Spain was called, enjoyed

a remarkably enlightened and tolerant rule by the Umayyad Dynasty under the Caliphate of Cordoba.  The Spaniards refer to this period as “La Convivencia” or the time of living together.

Islam was dominant, but populous communities of both Christians and Jews were allowed to govern themselves locally.  Many Christians converted by Islam, becoming known as Mozarabes.  Culture, especially poetry and music flourished, along with agriculture and medicine.

All during this time, Christians from the north of Spain were pushing southward, trying to regain their lost territories.  By the eleventh century, they had regained sizeable portions of the north and west of the Iberian Peninsula.

Things took a further turn for the worse for the Caliphate during the eleventh century when two waves of austere Islamic fanatics, first the Almoravids and later the Almohads, invaded from their kingdoms in Northwest Africa.  These invaders found the culture of Al-Andalus decadent, and greatly damaged the culture of tolerance that the territory had previously enjoyed.  Nonetheless, it was the descendants of these invaders who were to rule the ever-shrinking Muslim Spain until their final defeat by the Christians in 1492.

As the Christians began to take back territory from the Muslims, by and large they continued to practice “convivencia” with the Mudejares (Muslims in Christian territory) and Jews, and to respect the high level of civilization of the lands and peoples newly conquered.  This began to change after the conquest of Sevilla in 1248, and in 1391 a horrendous attack against the Jews was perpetuated.  The Inquisition was officially established in Spain in 1478, and in 1492, the same year that Granada fell to the Christians, the Jews were expelled from Spain.  Some fled to the Ottoman Empire, some to North Africa, some to other parts of Europe, and some to Mexico.

The Muslim population of the Kingdom of Granada had been promised that their faith and properties would be respected, but these promises were soon retracted.  By 1502, the Muslims were forced to choose between conversion to Christianity  or exile, much like the Jews.  By 1609, after several rebellions by the Muslim population, they too were expelled.  Most returned to North Africa, where they received a mixed welcome, now being regarded as “westernized” by their new hosts.  Meanwhile, areas abandoned by the Moors became depopulated and impoverished.

But there were many Jews and Muslims who fled into the countryside and mountains, hiding and eventually intermarrying with sympathetic local people.  The Andalusian population of today shows evidence of the intermingling of European, African and Middle Eastern traits.  These people and their musical traditions became a strong component of flamenco.

Close to this calamitous time, around the 1450’s, the Gypsies, or Rom People, appeared in Spain.  We know that several hundred thousand crossed the Pyrenees, and travelled south slowly.  There are Gypsies all over Spain, but most of them seem to have settled in Andalusia.

There are some theories that another wave of Gypsies travelled across North Africa and up into Andalusia while the territory was Muslim but there is no hard evidence of this.

All researchers agree that the Rom originally came from the northwest part of the Indian subcontinent.  They were a wandering tribe, like many still in India.  They travelled to Egypt (hence the name “Gypsy”), Turkey, the Balkans, Central Europe and through France into Spain.

They have been universally persecuted, oppressed, and even enslaved all the way through their travels.  Upon arriving in Spain, they were obliged to stop their wandering and to settle, although until recently there were still itinerant Canasteros living in Spain.

La Peña Flamenca de Seattle 3 It is not surprising that once the Gypsies were established in Andalucia they would have become acquainted with the “underground” Moors and Jews, as well as disaffected and poor Christian Spaniards, and discovered their musical traditions.  Wherever the Gypsies have travelled, they have taken the native musical styles and preserved and embellished them (another example: Hungary and Romania, with heavy Gypsy populations, have a great deal of Gypsy influence in their music).

The next several centuries were extremely difficult for Spain and most of her people.  Much of her economy was weakened by the expulsions and harassment of its industrious minorities; her wealth was squandered fighting wars all over Europe, and her colonies were beginning to agitate for independence.  The plight of Spain’s poor was abysmal.

By the late eighteenth century, the music that was to become known, mostly in its “cante hondo” form, was beginning to become known.  The aristocracy was hiring Gypsy musicians for entertainment.  The occasional traveler in rural Andalusia was making note of this mournful and exotic singing style.

By the nineteenth century, flamenco had “come to town”.  Gypsy artists continued to be hired privately, as they are to this day, but by 1860 certain urban districts in and near Sevilla, Jerez and Cadiz were becoming known for their Cante styles and artists.  The age of the Cafes Cantantes had arrived.  These were “flamenco cabarets”, featuring guitarists, singers and both male and female dancers in formal performance dress.  Many of the styles we will be exploring in the next pages were developed and refined during this stage, and singers and dancers who performed during this golden age are still referred to in songs and poetry that are performed today.

A seminal event occurred in June of 1922.  The composer Manuel de Falla, with the collaboration of Federico Garcia Lorca, Joaquin Turina and Andres Segovia, along with other artists, musicians and writers organized a “concurso de cante”; a contest for singers, in the hopes of stimulating interest among the general public in this art form and encouraging new talent.

Around this time also, flamenco began to be presented on the concert stage.  Two classically trained, Argentine-born dancers of Spanish descent, La Argentina and La Argetinita, although not purely flamenco dancers, raised consciousness of the unique Spanish art form around the world.  La Argentinita staged the flamenco show “Las Calles de Cadiz” with the best artists of the times during the 1930’s.  The public’s appetite for flamenco, along with the artform’s own evolution, has grown exponentially ever since.

 

Experience local Flamenco live, Feburary 21 at Crossroads Bellevue – FREE!

Historical written by Rubina Carmona, Flamenco singer/dancer, La Peña Flamenca de Seattle

Who Are The Dog Pound B-Boys?

In case you haven’t heard, we are super excited to be bringing our specially curated cultural performance series back to Bellevue’s Crossroad’s Mall this year. The third Saturday of every month, January-June 2015, your family can experience Northwest Folklife artists live on the Eastside from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. And, the best part… it’s FREE!

We kick things off January 17 with the Dog Pound B-Boys (a.k.a. Vicious Puppies). While many Northwesters may know the Massive Monkees, we think it’s about time just as many folks know all about these guys, so we sat down with them for a little Q&A – take a read:

How did the Dog Pound B-Boy crew form and when?

Six of the seven members were students of Jerome Aparis, a highly recognized member of the Massive Monkees. Our connection was established through his classes and eventually we began performing at talent shows and various other gigs. The group grew up together sharing the same passion and interest. Finally on May 31, 2008 we formed Vicious Puppies Crew. After graduating high school, Vicious Puppies was changed to Dog Pound.

What is the group’s cultural background?

B-boying originated in the Bronx in the mid-late 70’s. Originally it was created to earn respect from ‘the streets’ and to give youth something positive to focus on instead of joining gangs and getting in trouble.

What is one thing you want your community to know about your work?

All of our energy comes from the audience. The more you all give, the better we perform. So get loud and have fun with us!

What can audiences expect to see at your Crossroads performance this month?

The audience will have the opportunity to witness the accumulation of our years of practice and teamwork, all while having fun! We’ll spare the details as a surprise and to keep the audience on their toes.

Who choreographs your work? How do you create a piece?

No one individual choreographs our work. Whenever one member has an idea, we experiment with it and add to it to make it fresh. I believe this is the reason we always have different styles of movements; our work is inspired by seven different individuals as opposed to just one choreographer.

How did you first come to be involved with Northwest Folklife?

Dog Pound has done recent work with a band called Global Heat. The point man for their group, Rob Pastorok, informed us of this opportunity.

Have you heard about Northwest Folklife’s Cultural Focus (“Beats, Rhymes, Rhythms: Traditional Roots – Today’s Branches“)? What do you think?

Today’s society revolves around social and cultural awareness. The 2015 Cultural Focus we believe is a great idea to continue this type of exposure. The fact that cultural awareness is spread through art makes it much more fun.

Announcing the 2015 Cultural Focus

Every year, Northwest Folklife engages a Northwest community to showcase during the year leading up to the Festival. This ‘Cultural Focus’ allows Folklife to connect more in depth with the people that we serve and empower their artistic expressions and cultural traditions.

We are honored to announce the 2015 Cultural Focus:

Beats, Rhymes and Rhythms:

Traditional Roots in Today’s Branches

This program will explore the cross-cultural roots of arts expressions that have evolved into contemporary cultures today, including an exploration of the traditional roots of Hip Hop.

Folklife 2014 - MondayAfrican and Latin traditional dance, the blues, gospel songs and spirituals, scat-singing of the early jazz days, African-American street culture, word battles, socially conscious songwriting – these are just some of the seeds we’ll be exploring for this year’s Cultural Focus. Hip Hop, first included in Folklife Festival programming in 1994, serves as an umbrella for this program, and ties together many communities from around the Pacific Northwest – some of those that have been representing their cultures and traditions for years at the Festival. The goal is to present a multi-generational, multi-cultural, inter-disciplinary program to educate the Pacific Northwest about the cross-cultural roots of local communities while highlighting Hip Hop’s traditional folk roots.

This program is particularly timely in the state of development of hip hop culture and education, as Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed Hip Hop History Month in the State of Washington this November to honor the culture, lineage and impact of Hip Hop in the Northwest.

“Hip hop began as a youth-led movement and an alternative from violence, drugs, alcohol, racism, and other ills that plagued the

Folklife 2014 - Monday

inner-city/urban communities of color; one that connects people from varied

social and economic backgrounds today.”

During the 2015 Folklife Festival (May 22-25), audiences can experience four days of music and dance performances, panels and presentations, films, visual arts and participatory workshops that explore the world and roots of Hip Hop. We will have the opportunity of celebrating the joyful expression within Hip Hop while challenging some of the pervasive stereotypes that malign the Hip Hop community today. The Program will tie the five key elements of Hip Hop–Music (DJing), Dance (B-boy and B-girl), Storytelling (MCing), Public Art (Graffiti), and Social Awareness–back to the traditional cultural origins of Hip Hop.

We will build up to the 2015 Festival through monthly events that will be held in Seattle and Northwest regions with partnering communities. Stay tuned for our full list of community events leading up to the 44th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival.

Hip Hop History Month is November

HipHop History Month is November - ProclamationIn an effort to honor the culture, lineage and impact of Hip Hop in the Northwest, Governor Jay Inslee proclaims Hip Hop History Month in the State of Washington this November.

WHEREAS, hip hop is a culture that transcends ethnicity, nationality, social status, gender, religion, beliefs and other ineffectual brarriers of humanity; and

WHEREAS, hip hop began as a youth-led movement and an alternative from violence, drugs, alcohol, racism, and other ills that plagued the inner-city/urban communities of color; one that connects people from varied social and economic backgrounds today; and

WHEREAS, the founding principles of hip hop as advocated by its founding family and grassroots community service organizations, the Universal Zulu Nation, are knowledge, wisdom, freedom, justice, and equality, among others; and

WHEREAS, hip hop as a cultural and musical evolution from funk, soul, rock, R&B, blues, gospel, and other diverse sounds, with lineage tracing back to the African diaspora and some of the earliest cultures and civilizations; and

WHEREAS, hip hop positively influences and affects millions of lives through its spiritual, mental and physical manifestations; and continues to provide a means of engagements in education and academics by encouraging participants to delve into the realms of arts, language, business, history, mathematics, science, health, and more; and

WHEREAS, 206 Zulu Nation, the Seattle chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation, helps creative positive spaces for the youth and families of Washington State, using a culture of arts and entertainment to inspire young people to get involved in social action, civic service, cultural creativity, and self-education;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, do herby proclaim November 2014 as Hip Hop History Month in Washington, and I urge all people in our state to join me in this special observance.

PERFORM AT THE 2015 FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL (MAY 22-25)

The Northwest Folklife Festival is a regional Festival. Preference is given to performers from within the Pacific 220px-Seattle_Center_Pavilion_during_FolklifeNorthwest (WA, OR, ID, MT, BC, AK). Our artists/participants are not paid, and we are ever grateful that they volunteer their time and talents.

Music Performance Application: Online Form or Download the PDF

Dance Performance Application: Online Form or Download the PDF

Spoken Word/Storytelling Performance Application: Online Form or Download the PDF

Music, Dance, Storytelling, or Choral Workshop Application: Online Form or Download the PDF

Panel/Presentation/Film Application: Online Form or Download the PDF

Photo by Dan Thornton

Photo by Dan Thornton

Download a Stage Diagram here.

Thank you for your interest in the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival and for taking the time to fill out the performer application. The Northwest Folklife Festival is the largest free community arts festival in the United States because talented performers and volunteers like you donate their time and energy each year.

*Applications for the 44th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival are due December 1, 2014.

To learn more about the Festival, visit www.nwfolklife.org. For questions specific to the application, feel free to email us or leave us a message on the Performer Hotline. We will get back to you as quickly as we can.

TO CONTACT US:

Performer Hotline: 206-684-4189

Email: programming @ nwfolklife.org

Thank you for applying. We look forward to receiving your application!

PCC Brings Healthy Treats to the Seattle Children’s Festival

We think being healthy is super important and starting early isn’t such a bad idea! We’ve teamed up with PCC to bring some fun, interactive activities for families to enjoy to the Festival. Find the PCC TasteMobile outside Fisher Pavilion where nutritionist Ami Karnosh will be demonstrating how the entire family can help out in the kitchen.

SCF: What exactly is a food retail co-operative and how does it work?

PCC: A cooperative of any type is an organization of people with at least one area of common interest that is owned and operated by its members. PCC began as a buying club in 1953, bringing together families who pooled their buying power for the purpose of purchasing bulk foods at lower prices. Members invest in their co-op through some level of financial payment but many co-ops include the expectation that members will support the co-op’s activity’s with their time and labor. In a retail food co-op like PCC, members support their co-op through their initial investment (a $60 lifetime membership) and their patronage of PCC locations. The interests of members are represented by a board of trustees elected by the membership. At PCC a policy governance model is followed; the board adopts broad policies that guide PCC’s activities, a chief executive officer is hired by the board to determine and manage those activities.

SCF: How is buying from a co-op different from buying from a regular grocery store? How does the community benefit from co-ops?

PCC: At a grocery co-op like PCC, anyone can shop, whether or not they are members. The price paid for products is the same for everyone but a PCC member is entitled to purchase discounts three times during a month; 5% off purchases on the 15th and 16th of the month; 10% off purchases on a day of the member’s choice. A principle of any co-op is concern for community and, in that very important regard, shopping at a co-op is different because the dollars spent by a shopper go beyond just paying for the products purchased; money paid at the check stand helps to pay for the co-op’s investment and support in the community it serves. Just a few examples of PCC’s community support are the PCC Food Bank program, PCC Scrip program and PCC’s donation program.

SCF: From organic, to non-GMO, to gluten-free and locally-grown, what should parents be really feeding their children?

PCC: The food parents choose for their families is a personal choice guided by their own values, dietary needs of family members, and family economics. Parents are urged to select the most naturally produced and minimally processed foods they can afford, and to take time to learn about product ingredients and sourcing, how to maximize food appeal and taste, and how to interest their kids in selecting and preparing the food they eat. Food is more than fuel for our bodies; especially in a family setting, it can stimulate fun, culture, communication and education.

Meet Singer-Songwriter and Crankie Maker, Dejah Leger

Singer and song-writer Dejah Leger will transport you back to the days of being a child, getting tucked into bed with a story book and a soft lullaby. Although she may perform acoustic lullabies, don’t expect to fall asleep! Dejah pairs her musical stylings with moving panoramic illustrations known as a Crankie. Performing at 4:45 at Loft 2, you will not want to miss this unique performance.

SCF:  What inspires you to create the relaxing style music that you do?

DL: I was very fortunate to grow up with two parents who both sang lullabies to me as a child.  They would sing cowboy ballads and even pop songs, but they would always slow them down to a slow, soft lullaby tempo. It helped me realize the freedom that I had as a songwriter to shape music to fit a need.  As I sang my own children to sleep, I started to revisit some traditional lullabies in both Acadian French and English, as well as creating some from scratch and putting melodies to poems, like “Wynken, Blynken and Nod,” and even pulling new songs into the lullaby tradition that weren’t there before, like “Mother Earth and Father Time” from Charlotte’s Web.  The simplicity of lullabies is deceptive — the power of lullabies is one of the greatest tools we have in our parenting toolbox, and I hope that my CD can be like having another mom and her guitar sitting in the nursery helping your child rest.  There’s such a drive in our musical culture to dress things up and layer on synth and extra frills, but I really wanted this project to remain as simple and true-to-form as possible.

SCF: What message do you hope to share with audiences?

DL: Since I pair my songs with a visual art form called a “Crankie,” I hope to show that music is multi-dimensional.  We can feel it, hear it, and in this case, see it.  There’s no limit to creativity! Music doesn’t have to be just sound. It can also be a warm blanket around you, a beautiful picture, a story, a feeling.

SCF: Exactly is a Crankie and what is the process of making one?

DL: A Crankie is an old folk-art device. Imagine taking an old TV set, pulling out everything inside of it, then taking out the screen. Instead of the screen, there’s paper or felt roll that scrolls by as it’s “cranked” (hence the name Crankie) by hand from above.  On the inside is a little light that illuminates the paper as it scrolls by!  Although it was once a common story-telling device, it disappeared from our culture almost entirely until just recently.  While it is still a very rare sight, the Crankie is beginning to see a renaissance, and now you can come see one too!  There’s no “one” way to do a Crankie; some people quilt and appliqué, some draw and color. I paper-cut.  Using just an X-acto knife and construction paper, I transform songs and stories into images!

SCF: How will families be able to participate with your performance at Seattle Children’s Festival?

DL: I love for audiences to sing along with me, and I also look forward to teaching some French words!

SCF: Your album titled Hand Sewn Lullabies is so peaceful – probably perfect for cool-down or nap time! Do you ever catch your youngest fans peacefully falling asleep during your shows? How cute would that be!?

DL: I would be thrilled if anyone actually fell asleep!! What a compliment!! With the Crankie as part of the show, kids tend to stay pretty awake and fixed on the pictures, but “calm” is a pretty accurate description of the mood I tend to see most often.

 

SCF: What can festival attendees expect when they watch you at SCF?

DL: I get very excited to show the audience what a Crankie is and how it works with music.  Expect to pick up some words in French, learn what happens when a frog asks a mouse to get married, visit lumberjacks in the far north of Quebec, and watch a crow transform into a beautiful girl!

Kindie Musician Caspar Babypants at the Seattle Children’s Festival

Chris Ballew is known on some stages as the frontman of Seattle’s own The Presidents of the United States of America. However he also has an alter ego… kindie musician Caspar Babypants! He recently took the time to chat with us about his life as Caspar Babypants and what we can expect from his performance at Seattle Children’s Festival. Performing at 1:00 p.m. at the Fisher Pavilion. We are so excited to have Caspar rock the stage!

SCF:Where does the name ‘Caspar Babypants’ come from?

CB: I just made it up many years ago. It was my nickname in the early 90’s when I was in an improvisational band in Boston and it stuck!

SCF:  Why children’s music?

CB: I wanted to make something mellow and small and that used my love of old music and public domain music and was innocent and not cool or jaded and was folksy and had elements of rock and roll and appealed to a wide variety of people. So when I made music that fit all of those criteria and listened to it I realized that it was kid’s music. I did not set out to make kid’s music. It found me.

SCF:How important is it for kids to learn music? And how should parents and teachers incorporate music in their child’s lives?

CB: Learning music is not my thing. I want kids and parents to take a trip and SEE what I am singing about and have a visual experience to my songs. I am not an educator and have no opinions really on how important it is for kids to learn music. I just don’t know much about that topic so I can’t comment on it. Incorporating music into daily life is easy! Put on a Caspar Babypants records and sing and dance!

SCF:Any memorable or favorite memories from performing with Caspar Babypants?

CB: Too many to list! One time a kid asked me to play “that song about the little green man in the radio”. I did not have a song about that so I made one up on the spot. After finishing to a big round of applause I asked the kid if that was the song he wanted to hear. He simply said “no”. I laughed all day

SCF:Where do you see the future of kindie music going in the following years?

 

CP: I have NO idea. I only take care of myself really and I am here to stay. My 8th record “RISE AND SHINE!” is out on 9/16/14 and I have the next two in the works for 2015 and 2016 with many many more songs on the way. I guess the future will look like the present only with more music out there to choose from!

SCF:What can parents expect for their kids from Caspar Babypants at Seattle Children’s Festival?

CB: Parents should expect to participate WITH their kids in singing along and moving and smiling. But every show is different for me. I have no set list so I play what the room demands. Some shows are quiet and mellow and others are crazy. You just have to come and see!

Pro-Jump Roper Turns Sport to Art

Professional jump-roper and Cirque Du Soleil coch Rene Bibaud is amazing… to put it plainly. This woman can do things with a jump rope you didn’t know were possible. We’re lucky to have her here in our fair city, and even luckier to share her with all the incredible families who will attend the Seattle Children’s Festival. Find her at the Fisher Pavilion at 4:00 p.m. (all ages!) and in our Discovery Zone throughout the day, but first, learn a bit more about her below!

 

SCF: Why jump-roping? What got you into it?

 

RB: When I was 10 years old, a jump rope team came to my school and did a performance. I LOVED it.  My PE teacher started a jump rope team, called the Hot Dogs.  I didn’t make the team the first year, but after some hard work, and willingness to keep at it, I got chosen.  I’ve been a “Hot Dog” ever since.  I toured nationally with the team, won several world championships and then was fortunate enough to be recruited by Cirque Du Soleil.  I toured professionally with a show called “Quidam” Performing with Cirque was a highlight and experience of a lifetime, but when I returned home, I decided to turn my focus to youth motivation and fitness. That’s when I started Ropeworks. Now I teach kids the joy of rope jumping for fun and fitness. And I love it. Jumping rope is an incredible lifetime fitness activity. Inexpensive, portable and perfect. I love teaching kids the tools to embrace this awesome activity.

 

SCF: How can parents and teachers promote exercise in children?

 

RB: Helping kids make a positive connection with any form of physical activity is key.  Putting pressure and focus on skill acquisition or setting expectations way beyond their skill set can create tension and disappointment. Rather, focus on goal setting, best effort and avoiding comparisons.  Let your kids know that when they make mistakes, it’s all part of the learning process.  And finally, emphasize what I call “frequent small successes” This process helps kids recognize that small steps toward a big goal can be rewarding.  So, when a child does one thing right (ie – spins the rope over their head without catching their body) help them recognize that success, celebrate and then move to the next small step. Finally, parents are the ultimate role model. When you are active, your kids are active. When you mess up and can laugh at yourself, your children will learn to do the same. They are always watching our coping skills. There are numerous online resources that can get you and your kids excited about any type of physical activity. www.learntojumprope.com is my site dedicated to helping kids, parents and teachers jump rope skills. Check it out!

 

SCF:  What is the mission behind your company, Ropeworks?

 

 

RB: To share the joy of rope jumping for fun and fitness, through goal setting, best effort and learning to celebrate our differences.

 

SCF: What message to do you want to send to kids through jump roping?

 

RB: Practice and patience.

 

SCF: What can parents expect for their kids with Ropeworks at Seattle Children’s Festival

 

RB: Kids will see me perform, but then get the chance to be involved through audience participation in double dutch and single rope jump rope tricks.  I hope kids will embrace rope jumping as a lifetime fitness activity and understand the importance of the character points made earlier.

Music Together Brings Fun for the Young Set

Expect a forecast of sunshine at Seattle Children’s Festival! We are so excited for your little one(s) to experience the Sunshine Music Together workshop and get a taste of what it offers. Bring the whole family and join in on the fun at 1:00 p.m., in Loft 4.  Check out our interview with Sunshine director Summer Rognlie Trisler to find out more about the Music Together program and what activities to look forward to at the Festival.

 

SCF: Explain what the Music Together program is and the philosophy behind it?ST: Music Together i

s an innovative music and movement program for children aged birth to five years and their parents or caregivers, that is bas

ed on the belief that all children are inherently musical.  Music Together pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum that strongly emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement. At Music Together we believe that music ability is as basic to life as walking or talking, and that it is every child’s birthright to participate with pleasure and confidence in the music of our culture. We introduce children to the joys of making music instead of passively receiving it from CD’s and television. And because very young children instinctively respond to and imitate their loved ones, the active participation of parents and caregivers – regardless of their musical ability – is an essential part of the rich musical environment we create. Music Together parents discover what a powerful role model they are for their child, just by having fun with the music themselves! And by providing cd’s and songbooks to take home, we hope to inspire music-making in your everyday family life.

SCF: What can parents do on their own to inspire music education and movement activities for their children?

ST: Nothing is more important for a child’s musical growth than seeing their loved ones modeling music making with enjoyment! They don’t care if you sing in tune, they think you have the best voice in the world, but they do care that you model and participate! Around the house or wherever

you spend time with your children, try to incorporate music into your day-to-day activities. Create songs out of brushing your teeth, taking a bath, getting dressed, getting in the carseat – It’s so very simple for us to do, yet profound for your child’s music development. Families will often ask us what type of music they should be playing at home for their children, and we always tell them; “Play what you love. Remember that children learn by watching and imitating you, they are acquiring a disposition for music from you, so if you love rhythm and blues, share that with your child. If you love the Beatles, play the Beatles!” Parents need to give themselves permission to model how much fun music is.

 

SCF: What kind of activities will families be doing in the workshops at Seattle Children’s Festival?

ST: We’ll be encouraging families to unwind and join in with full participation as we lead fun, silly and playful music and movement activities together!  We’ll talk a little bit about what we’re learning and why we do what we do within the song activities.  Our hope is to send parents home with a deeper understanding of their child’s music development, and with some basic tools to help support  that development at home.

 

SCF: What is the most popular/favorite activity in the program?

ST: Singing and moving together in a mixed aged family community setting!  Where else do children get to see a room full of adults circle dancing with bells or crawling around on the floor playfully acting like cats and dogs singing.  Remember children learn through play at this age!  They respect adults who can communicate with them on their level!  We create a fun, informal, playful, developmentally appropriate, non performance oriented learning environment which is musically rich, yet immediately accessible to the child’s – and the adult’s! – participation.

 

SCF: What should parents expect for the kids from Sunshine Music Together at SCF?

ST:  To have a GREAT time participating with their parents in song and movement activities and to be inspired and motivated by the participation of the musical community around them!   We’re all there to model how much fun music making is!

Inside Afro-Brazilian Martial Art-Dance Traditions in Seattle

With more than 23 years of Capoeira experience, instructor Silvio Aleixo Dos Reis was kind enough to take some time to chat with us and provide more info on the ancient art form. Check out International Capoeira Angola Foundation Seattle’s performance at Seattle Children’s Festival at 11:45 a.m in Loft 3.

SCF:  What exactly is Capoeira Angola? A sport, a game, or a dance?

SDR: Capoeia Angola is an Afro-Brazilian martial art-dance traditions carried by enslaved Africans brought to Brazil beginning in the sixteenth century. Capoeira developed in Brazil as a “dance fight” that combines wit, flexibility and strategy into a graceful and nimble art of both body and mind. Today, Capoeira Angola is an art form that uses the language of movement and music to enhance self-esteem and push our bodies in a healthy way.

SCF:  Why should people learn Capoeira as a form of exercise?

SDR: We teach Capoeira as a fun and engaging art form that promotes the development of coordination, balance, body strength and agility. Through the fundamental elements of cooperation, creativity and natural movements, each class focuses on achievement, leadership and community building.

SCF: Capoeira seems pretty physically demanding, how can young or older people safely get involved with it?

SDR: The different movements of Capoeira can be set up to be done for everybody from all ages. We teach in a way that we have specific movements that we can teach for young people and other movements that the older people can do in a fun and safe environment. In this way different groups can participate in the same class and feel well supported by the instructor and all class.

SCF: Any tips for people who are interested in learning Capoeira?

SDR: If people are interested in learning capoeira, it is very important to do not try to do by themselves. All the movements need specific orientation to do and in the beginning is good to have a instructor and a good school to start. Look for a professional capoeira school and help the capoeira community grow.

In this class people will enhance their musical, physical and social capacities through active and interactive participation.

People will learn:

– How to do basic movements to play the capoeira game

– How to play the percussion instruments like drums, tambourines and the musical bowl the berimbau

– Sing capoeira songs in Brazilian Portuguese

SCF: What can people who attended Seattle Children’s Festival expect from Capoeira?

SDR: For the performance we will be presenting the capoeira angola movements in a circle followed by the music and songs in Brazilian Portuguese. Ten musicians will be playing the instruments and two performers will be doing the movements in the middle of the circle. The performance is going to be an interactive act with the public when they will be invited to sing and play some of the musical instruments with us in a ” learning through practice” process. The capoeira rhythms are easy to learn and fun to dance to, and will be demonstrated during our performance.

Recess Monkey Q&A

Drew Holloway, Jack Forman and Korum Bischoff join forces to create Recess Monkey – a nationally-acclaimed kindie music trio whose past album “The Final Funktier” was awarded 4 of 4 stars in PEOPLE magazine! This fall, they’ll release their latest album WIRED and one stop on their hectic tour schedule is the Seattle Children’s Festival. Performing at 4:30 p.m. at the Fisher Pavilion, you will not want to miss out on these guys. The whole family will go bananas for Recess Monkey!
Check out this fun Q&A with the band – then mark your calendars for the big day. See you there!
 
SCF: What are your favorite topics to sing about?
 
RM: We’re most interested in celebrating childhood- we love singing about friendships, adventures and finding things to laugh about. We think of ourselves as a multi-layered band with lyrics that will speak to all ages in a family. Our newest songs include odes to “Take Your Kid to Work Day,” time traveling with a Grandpa and compulsive photography.
 
SCF:  How important is it for kids to learn music in school? And how should teachers incorporate music in their lessons? 
 
RM: It’s a really rich subject that gives a lot of kids something to get excited about- and research tends to show that self-directed enthusiasm for a particular focus area is the single most important skill that kids can learn and benefit from. Not all kids are into music- some get the same engagement from art, sports, you name it- but there’s something about music’s unifying principle- it creates these moments that every member of the family can share. That’s a really important thing to us- helping families connect over something as fun as music.
 
SCF:  Besides your own, who are your favorite kindie bands or artists?
 
RM: We love Justin Roberts, the Chicago singer/songwriter; Caspar Babypants from here in Seattle (his songs are gems- every one of them); The Okee Dokee Brothers, The Not-Its, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and too many more to list. All of these people are making first-rate, extremely entertaining music for the whole family!
 
SCF:  What has been your favorite place to perform?
 
RM: We’ve played about 1000 shows over the last 9 years, so there’s a lot to choose from… but some of the standouts have included the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Austin City Limits, The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Lollapalooza, Teatro ZinZanni here in Seattle and, of course, Northwest Folklife!
 
SCF:  What can parents and kids expect from Recess Monkey at Seattle Children’s Festival?
 
RM: High energy dance party with lots of singalong-ible moments and a “greatest hits” collection of songs from all 11 of our albums. We’ll play several songs from last year’s “Deep Sea Diver” and this year’s brand new album “Wired” – songs about being creative and DIY.

Seattle Children’s Festival

Photo by Christopher Nelson

Photo by Christopher Nelson

The Seattle Children’s Festival will be a free one-day multi-cultural festival located on Seattle Center Grounds on October 12, 2014. By “Celebrating Our Big Neighborhood,” the Festival will bring together local communities that showcase and celebrate families of the Northwest. Families will also have the option of an Event Passport that takes them on an interactive journey through the festival.

We’ll be presenting performances and interactive workshops geared towards families and children of all ages including some of the mostwell loved children’s performers of the Northwest. Various international dance forms presented will include Indian Kathak Dance with Leela Kathak Dancers, West African Dance with Etienne Capko & Gansango, Hip-Hop break-dancing, Brazilian Capoeira with International Capoeira Angola Foundation and more!

Kids will also have the chance to learn and listen to various different music styles including Sunshine Music Together, Hand-Made Crankies, American stringband music, and Simba Marimba.

The Seattle Children’s Festival will also include jump roping with Ropeworks, interactive cooking demonstrations for kids from PCC as well as sustainable farming education with Seattle Farm Co-op, interactive historical exhibits, and various hands-on activities. They’ll have the chance to try out different arts and crafts activities including making their own puppets or toy boats.

Folklife 2014 - Friday

Photo by Christopher Nelson

Don’t forget their dancing shoes – upbeat pop bands from the Kindiependent community such as Caspar Babypants and Recess Monkey will be performing. Stay tuned for more details including our schedule!

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FOLKLIFE PRESENTS AT KIRKLAND SUMMERFEST

Northwest Folklife thrilled to be partnering with Kirkland Summerfest to program their Community Stage on Sunday, August 10th!

Celebrating their third season, Kirkland Summerfest will transform Kirkland’s Marina Park into a lively arts destination, a place where friends and neighbors can connect and share in a celebration of community spirit. We’re excited to have the opportunity to showcase Folklife performers in a new enviFolklife 2014 - Sundayronment!

 

Catch some of your favorite Folklife performers that Sunday, including:

11:00 – 11:50 AM: Capoeira Angola

12:10 – 1:00 PM: Grupo Folklorico Guadalajara

1:20 – 2:10 PM: Carrigaline

2:30 – 3:20 PM: Armstrong, Lawton, and Katz

3:40 – 4:30 PM: Joseph Giant

4:50 – 6:00 PM: PARTICIPATORY DANCE: Balkan Dance with Jana Rickel

Summertime Fun with Folklife!

The Northwest Folklife Festival comes around but once a year, but we’re here year round! Here’s a few events just around the corner!

Join us at Crossroads Mall
AsianShow

Join us Saturday, July 19th at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue for an evening of dancing through Asia. Learn hand movements from instructor Meloody Xie. This is a FREE event starting at 6:30PM – 8:30PM.

Folklife is thrilled to be p?format=400wartnering with the Kirkland Summerfest, August 8-10 to present some of your favorite Folklife performers on their Community Stage! Summerfest is Kirkland’s largest festival featuring three days of art and music on the waterfront and throughout downtown. Don’t miss 3 days of visual and performing arts, over 50 performances, spectator sports, family rides, and entertainment, over 150 vendors and food trucks on the streets of downtown. Stay tuned for our full line up and more details!

Sat_404
Folklife was streaming live from many of our stages from the Festival all weekend! Miss a show? Click here to see if it’s there, and listen to many of the hundreds of recordings from this remarkable Festival!Fri_Multigenerations2The Northwest Folklife Festival comes around but once a year, but we’re here year round! Keep up with us on Facebook – we’ll be sharing fun events around town, Folklife news, do a few fun giveaways, and so much more. Plus, we want to hear about the cultural entertainment you love in the Pacific Northwest. Facebook is the perfect place to share.
SAVE THE DATE

scf_logo_Starburst_TransFolklife is hard at work planning our first Children’s Festival! The Seattle Children’s Festival will be a free one-day festival located on the Seattle Center Grounds on October 12, 2014. No admission charge, thanks to your donations and community support! By “Celebrating Our Big Neighborhood,” the Festival will bring together local communities that showcase and celebrate families of the Northwest. Programming will include music and dance performances and interactive workshops from around the world as well as a Hands-on Activity Area.

ALL PHOTOS BY CHRISTOPHER NELSON

Winter Fireside Party Schedule

We’re counting down the days until our Winter Fireside Party; a benefit for Northwest Folklife on January 25, 2014 at the Vera Project on Seattle Center grounds. We’ll be featuring some of your favorite Northwest performers on three stages! Doors open at 1:30PM, programming starts at 2PM…and will continue until 11:00PM.

Let the excitement begin…

Main Stage –  Featuring Square Dancing, Northwest Fiddle Showcase and Full Bands

Square Dance with The Onlies! Main Stage, 2:00pm

2:00pm – Square Dancing with The Onlies and Caller Gabe Strand

4:00pm – The Northwest Fiddle Showcase at 4pm highlights a varied line-up of some of the best fiddlers in the Northwest such as Phil & Vivian Williams, Ben Hunter (of Renegade Stringband), Karen England & Jim Newberry, The Onlies, and Paul Anastasio.

5:45pm Jason Dodson & Kevin Barrans of The Maldives

The Sojourners, Main Stage, 7:00pm

7:00pm The Sojourners
8:15pm Ravenna Woods
9:30pm The Shivas

Gallery StageSpecial acoustic performances in the Vera Gallery include:

2:30pm Juliana & PAVA
3:30pm Orville Johnson
4:30pm Vikesh Kapoor
5:30pm Baby Gramps

And don’t miss the Folklife Fireside Tent presented by KEXP: a cozy, outdoor heated and fire-lit space for jams and conversation with musicians:

2:15pm Phil and Vivian Williams
3:15pm Swing Jam with Paul Anastasio
4:15pm Les Pamplemousses
5:45pm Old Time Fiddle Jam with Tony Mates
6:45pm Blues Jam and Q+A with Orville Johnson
7:45pm Cajun Jam with Whozyamama
9:00pm Balkan Jam with Marchette DuBois

Join the Balkan jam hosted by Marchette DuBois in the KEXP Fireside Tent, 9:00pm

(Food and drink available in the venue.)

Purchase a ticket today for a full day of music, dancing, food, and friends.

Already have plans on January 25th? Consider making a donation of $25 or more to Folklife and support the largest community supported Festival in the nation.

Now Accepting Performer Applications

CallGraphic1Northwest Folklife invites musicians, dancers, community groups, artists, storytellers, and instructors to participate in the 43rd annual Northwest Folklife Festival, which will take place May 23-26, 2014, at Seattle Center.

If you or your group is based in the Northwest region, including Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Western Montana, this is a great opportunity to share your music and traditions!

The annual Northwest Folklife Festival is the largest FREE community arts festival in the United States. It is presented each year in Seattle by Northwest Folklife, a year-round nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all people to appreciate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Last year Northwest Folklife programmed over 6,000 performers in 65 different genres of music, from Hawaiian to hip-hop. We presented dance performances representing cultures from Ireland to India. We believe everyone is a bearer of folk arts, and we encourage communities to share their cultural traditions, in the hope that interaction with new audiences will enrich the community as much as the audience.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT PERFORMER APPLICATIONS

Interested in how we select bands and performance groups? Click here to read our Programming FAQ.

Still have questions? Email our programming team now.

Celebrate Our Big Neighborhood: Your Guide to Seattle Children’s Festival

Seattle Children’s Festival, a one-day multi-cultural, intergenerational day of exploration and celebration, is back for its fourth year! Brought to you by Northwest Folklife and Seattle Center, this family-focused festival was built from the ground-up with our youth and families in mind to provide programming that can nurture our youth’s education and exploration of the diverse community we live in. With Seattle Children’s Festival just one day away, we want to share with you some of the tips on how to best navigate the festival!


1. Grab Your Passport and Start Your Trip

Once you arrive at Seattle Center, find the Donation & Information Booth to pick up your very own passport! This is your guide to Seattle Children’s Festival, as it includes a map, the festival’s schedule, fun coloring pages and a quest to collect 6 stamps at specific locations!

Fill out your “About Me” section and drop it off at the station for a chance to win one of two gift baskets complete with museum passes, art supplies and more!

2. Travel the World Through Performances

Take a look at your passport to locate our two main stages, the Fisher Pavilion Stage and the Armory Court Stage. There, you’ll witness incredible performances from a wide variety of artists like the popular family-centric rock band, The Not-Its!, and Tahitian dance group, Te Fare O Tamatoa.

3. Get Ready for Story Time

Head over to Loft 1B to join in on the various story time programs, from learning about stories about inclusivity at Drag Queen Story Time with Aleksa Manila to learning American Sign Language with Visually Speaking.

4. Get Up and Dance

Our Movement Series aims to promote movement and active lifestyles for the entire family! At this festival, you can find a variety of hands-on dancing programming throughout the day!

5. Make New Discoveries at The Discovery Zones

Welcome to the Discovery Zones! These areas promote hands-on learning and discovery for the curious mind. Create your own mini-ecosculpture with Nature Consortium, explore a fun gymnastics obstacle course with Seattle Gymnastic Academy, try out some acoustic instruments with Wintergrass!

New to this festival:
  1. The STEAM Lab on the Armory Balcony is a space dedicated to hands-on science, technology, engineering art and math activities!
  2. The Instrument Petting Zoo in the Discovery Zone in the Armory features hands-on music-making from musical instruments around the world!

 

6. Grab A Healthy Snack

Eating can be fun, delicious and healthy all at the same time! Visit our snack workshops at the Armory Balcony to learn how to make various foods including 5 grain healthy flatbreads, fry bars and tabbouleh!

7. Take a Break at Our Low Sensory Space

For families needing a little break, visit the Low Sensory Space at Loft 1A for a space with dimmed lights and minimal sound. Nursing parents are also welcome, as there will be a special lounge where you can feed your little ones!

8. Snap a Picture

If you take any photos throughout the day, be sure to tag us (@nwfolklife) and use our official hashtags, #SeattleChildrensFestival and #FolklifeKids!


9. Become a Friend of Folklife

If you enjoy your time at Seattle Children’s Festival, help us make it possible for future generations! Northwest Folklife’s programming is made possible with your generous donations. We are community-centered and community-powered. Make a donation at any of our Donation Booths or make a donation online here. If you give at the festival, you can add your own special colored ribbon to our Giving Gateway to add to the magic!

Give a child the gift of discovery!

 


Join us in Celebrating Our Big Neighborhood at Seattle Children’s Festival, happening at Seattle Center on Sunday, October 8 from 10 AM to 5 PM. Get ready for a day full of exploration, discover and endless family fun!

RSVP on Facebook Event Page | Website

Seattle Children’s Festival is sponsored in part by Seattle Center, Living Computers Museum + Labs, Springfree Trampoline, Event Technology Rentals, Smith Brothers Farm, Delta Dental, Babyrific, Imperfect Produce, Babyrific, Delta Dental, Voya Financial, Super Heroic, KindBase, Ladybug Literacy Lab and NRG Insurance.

We also want to give a big thank you to our media sponsors: ParentMap, KING FM, KCTS 9, 90.7 KSER, 91.3 KBCS, Northwest Asian Weekly, Seattle Weekly, Northwest Vietnamese News, KEXP, The Seattle Globalist, South Seattle Emerald, Rainier Avenue Radio, City Arts and Seattle’s Child.


All photos courtesy of Erinn Hale