Central to the values of Northwest Folklife is for communities to have voice and agency in the representation of their cultural expressions. More than 150+ Community Coordinators, including prominent artists, educators, culture bearers, and leaders throughout the region work closely with Northwest Folklife throughout the year to collaborate and co-create programs including the Northwest Folklife Festival as well as the annual Cultural Focus and Our Big Neighborhood youth and family program. These relationships are an integral part of our mission and vision. “As the lifeblood of all Northwest Folklife programs, our relationships with Community Coordinators, are the heart and soul of the organization,” says Northwest Folklife Executive Artistic Director, Kelli Faryar.
“Being a Community Coordinator for Northwest Folklife means a lot to me because it gives me an opportunity to make a connection between regional Mexican folk groups and Folklife. It gives every artist involved the opportunity to meet each other and share a stage but most importantly, we get to build new relationships. I have been performing with Folklife with Bailadores de Bronce for about twenty-two years and, as a performer, it is something we always look forward to. Now, I have been able to share experiences and introduce new organizations to the Folklife family.”- from Community Coordinator, Adrian Olivas – Mexican Folklórico Community, Executive Director of Bailadores de Bronce, Alum Cultural Focus Member of Echoes of Aztlan and Beyond.
Northwest Folklife is curated in collaboration with Community Coordinators. Thank you to these amazing leaders!
Essam Muhammad: Young Muslims Writing Circle
Francisca Garcia: South Seattle
I am a cultural consultant with Machtia Organization . I have done work with Centro de la Raza, SeaMar Museum , Rainer Art Center in Columbia City . I have worked with Joyas Mestizas and Bailadores de Bronce Mexican Dance Groups.
Gabriel Marowitz: NW Stringband
Geoff Curtiss: Bushwick Book Club
Gursharn Kaur: Sikh Youth Association
Harvey Niebulski: Jewish Music / Klezmer Music / Yiddish Song
Harvey is a longtime NW Folklife Board member, co-curator of the Jewish Show and klezmer musician who also sings & teaches Yiddish songs.
He plays with his local bands Orkestyr Farfeleh, Duo Rymanow, and The Klez Katz.
Yiddish is Harvey's first language - it's extraordinarily colorful and remains his favorite.
He grew up among Eastern European immigrants in the Bronx and enjoys speaking and studying anything associated with Yiddish language & Jewish culture and its rich traditional musical, artistic and literary heritage.
IFTHEN: Filthy Fingers United
Infinity: Sistas Rock the Arts
Ioana Pop: Romanian
Ioana grew up in a small village in Romania, where folk dancing is still accompanying every celebration even today. She found in Seattle another village, slightly bigger and more diverse, but just as eager to share the joy of a "horă", a popular circle dance. Together with Andrea Isac she founded in 2013 Datina Folk Ensemble, who's been performing Romanian folk dances up and down the West Coast ever since.
Learn more on her website here.