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.