Northwest Folklife is an independent arts organization that celebrates the multi-generational arts, cultures, and traditions of a global Pacific Northwest, 365 days of the year. Spark your curiosity by exposing your senses to new experiences and artistic delights that open you up to a new world of creative possibilities and cultural awareness.



The Northwest Folklife Festival is the place to learn, to dance, to play, to try something new, and to discover arts and cultures that inspire celebration of one another and our big neighborhood. From yodeling to beatboxing, square dancing to Bollywood, – the Northwest Folklife Festival celebrates the global traditions of local, independent artists.

Presenting more than 5,000 performers, the Festival draws from the 100+ cultural communities that Northwest Folklife collaborates with year-round. The festival is more than a celebration of the diversity of the Pacific Northwest, it’s a chance to engage directly with the many communities that make up our region. The Northwest Folklife Festival is our key annual event bringing up to 250,000 people over four days to the Seattle Center. In keeping our commitment to remove any economic barriers and ensure that everyone can experience and share in cultural traditions, the 47th annual Northwest Folklife is presented without admission charge, creating the most inclusive, wide reaching arts experience.  Learn more.



The Seattle Children’s Festival brings together local communities to showcase and celebrate families of the Northwest, introducing children in attendance to new cultures and traditions through a variety of educational and hands-on programs. This multi-cultural, inter-generational festival includes live performances and interactive workshops that are geared toward families and children of all ages. Save the Date for September 22, 2018.

No Admission Charge Thanks To Your Donations. Learn more.




Community Coordinators are an integral part of Northwest Folklife’s mission and vision to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Throughout the year, Northwest Folklife and Community Coordinators work in partnership to co-curate programs and collaborate to present the diversity of cultures and traditions of the region. As experts and representatives of their community, their input is an invaluable part of the planning process. More than 100 Community Coordinators work closely with staff to program more than 65% of the Northwest Folklife Festival and the Seattle Children’s Festival. This is achieved through careful consideration of the unique needs of the community, artists, and audience, as well as reflecting on how to adequately grow and embrace the ever changing cultural traditions and landscape of the region. These are ongoing conversations, and the ensuing relationships grow deeper year by year, requiring year round programming staff to maintain, nurture and grow.  Learn more.



Northwest Folklife partners with Crossroads Mall in Bellevue for a once-a-month, year round series of cultural performances and participatory workshops at the food court stage. These performances are free and family-friendly. Audiences at Crossroads Mall are all ages, abilities and ethnicities.

Learn more.






CHOMP! is a two-day celebration of local food, farming and sustainable living that takes place at Marymoor Park. Bringing together cultures and traditions from the vast communities across the Pacific Northwest, Northwest Folklife curates an all-day, multi-cultural program to the East Side residents.





Northwest Folklife offers and supports numerous community events each year. To see what’s going on, or to share your community’s event, visit our Community Calendar here.