February 22, 2018
Dear Community Friends,
First, we want to thank you for your continued support which has propelled us forward into a successful new year. In concert with your passion and dedication, the greater community has responded, resoundingly, that exploring and engaging with culture, heritage, art, music, dance, and each other, are still key and shared values in the Northwest. From a year of evaluation and reflection, we had the opportunity to converse more deeply amongst our staff, board and with YOU to shape the direction of the future. Some of the discussion has surrounded how Northwest Folklife can continue to expand its role as a community resource; both as a platform for voices that still need to be amplified, and as a curator, showcasing the strength and brilliance of our diverse regional population. As we move quickly towards our 50th Anniversary in 2021, we are taking a moment to envision how Northwest Folklife might not just survive this city’s astronomical growth and change, but to thrive and continue to be a leader and champion for culture in Seattle.
As some of you may already know, with the redevelopment of Key Arena happening this Fall, Northwest Folklife will be leaving its offices at the Blue Spruce building that has been our ‘home’ for about 30 years. While we have made many fond memories in this space, we are looking at this time of transition as an opportunity to innovate and inspire how NWFL may broaden its ability to serve our mission and live out our core values beyond the scope of the Festival. Also, while our ties to Seattle Center grow even stronger with our newest year-round program partnership, Our Big Neighborhood, we are beginning to explore what it might look like to claim and hold some cultural space outside of the bounds of the Seattle Center, perhaps in an area that is facing rapid and challenging development; like the International District, Central District or South Seattle.
This will be the first time that we have the opportunity to imagine what it could be like to have programs live in our home space and what it might mean to our community partners to have access to some gathering, and possibly, performance space. Our ask to you, at this time, is to let us know if you have any leads on spaces available (or soon to be available) and to keep your ears open for us! Also, we are open to hear about how having interactive space might impact your community, cultural practice or creative potential.
We are at the very beginning, investigative stages right now and there are still possibilities that may keep us on the Seattle Center campus. We would also like to keep this time as one of imagination and opportunity. If you have any questions or input for us, please contact Reese: firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 684-7320.
As always, we are so appreciative of your engagement in and support of Northwest Folklife.
Kelli, Reese & Rafael
Kelli Faryar Reese Tanimura Rafael Maslan
Executive Artistic Director Managing Director Board President