Northwest Folklife Festival


Cultural Focus

Every year, Northwest Folklife engages a Northwest community to showcase as part of the cultural focus throughout the year. The annual Cultural Focus is highlighted in all of our year-round programming, including the Northwest Folklife Festival in May. Working with a Cultural Focus Committee, we curate our programming to best highlight the year’s focus through live music, dance, art, food, panels, and community gatherings.


2020 Cultural Focus: Living Legacies


Previous Cultural Focus Programs

 Echoes of Aztlán and Beyond: Mexican American and Chicana/o Roots in the Northwest
 Festál Turns 20
 The Power of the Human Voice through Song
 Beats, Rhymes and Rhythms: Traditional Roots of Today’s Branches
2014    India and its People
2013    Washington Works
2012  The Next Fifty: A Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Seattle Center and Its  Legacy
2011  Northwest Stories / Bulgarian Community Celebration
2010    Northwest Folklife is Community!
Thirteen groups that have become important to the Festival over the past 39 years (African American Gospel, All Ages, Bluegrass, Croatian, Filipino, FolkFloor Volunteers, Hungarian,  Indian Dance, Jewish, New Old-Time, Northwest Folk Dancers, Inc., Ukrainian, Washington State Fiddle & Dance)
2009    The Centennial Celebration of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, 1909-2009
2008    Urban Indians
Native Americans Living off the Reservation
2007  Borderlands
An exploration of the communities that lie on either side of the International Boundary between Washington State and British Columbia
2006    Arab Communities of the Pacific Northwest
2005    Generation to Generation: Passing on our Traditions
Masters artists and apprentices from Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
2004    Traditions from the Horn of Africa
Communities from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Djibouti
2003    East Meets West: Maritime Culture of the Atlantic Northeast and the Pacific Northwest
2002    East Meets West: Forest and Woodlands Culture of the Atlantic Northeast and the Pacific Northwest
2001    Han Madang: Korean American Communities of the Pacific Northwest
2000    Carnival Arts of the Caribbean