Northwest Folklife Announces New Director of Development, Sheila Siden


Seattle, WASHINGTON – (February 3, 2015) – Northwest Folklife is pleased to announce that Sheila Siden has joined the staff as Development Director. She will be responsible for designing and activating fundraising strategies to attract a broad base of financial support through giving initiatives including major gifts, events, foundation, individual and corporate giving.


A Washington resident since 1998, attending the Northwest Folklife Festival made Siden’s first impression of the region as a rich cultural community. “I believe in the power of art to connect people and bridge cultures,” Siden commented. “The work of Northwest Folklife is a recipe for world peace, bringing together artists and audiences of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities to create and participate. I am excited about the ‘hidden aspects’ of Folklife, and illuminating how much cultural programming actually happens all rear ‘round.”


Siden has supported and expanded development initiatives for local arts and culture organizations as a staff member and volunteer. Formerly the Director of Development for Artist Trust, an organization dedicated to supporting individual artists in Washington State, she was also the first Development Specialist for the Nikkei Heritage Association of Washington’s initiative to establish the Japanese Cultural and Community Center at the historic Seattle Japanese Language School. Siden supported the Northwest African American Museum as a volunteer grant writer during its initial capital campaign. She is the President of the Board of Directors for Unexpected Productions, an improv school and company based at the Market Theater on Post Alley.


Sheila earned a bachelor’s degree in French from San Francisco State State University and a master’s degree in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, an academic community committed to preparing innovative professionals to provide leadership in cross-cultural, multilingual environments.


“Adding Sheila to our staff enables us to concentrate on the opportunities we have to make our nonprofit and our signature festivals sustainable into the future,” Rob Townsend, Executive Director of Northwest Folklife commented. “Having someone of Sheila’s experience and expertise, coupled with her interest in individual artists of all kinds, will enhance our ability to carry out our work.”


For more information about Northwest Folklife and opportunities to support the Festival and its year-round programs for all ages, contact Sheila by email at or by phone at (206) 684-7326.


About Northwest Folklife
Northwest Folklife is 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.


About Northwest Folklife Festival
Every year since 1972, Northwest Folklife has presented the Northwest Folklife Festival over Memorial Day Weekend at Seattle Center. The Festival honors and celebrates the musical and cultural traditions that make our region great and provides opportunities for the public to connect with the many diverse cultures that make up the Northwest through dance, song, and art.


For more information:
Michelle Sanders Communications
Michelle Sanders Leyva
(206) 595-1151