Support Our Spring Campaign

It’s time to SPRING into action! Northwest Folklife is a community, where everyone is a bearer of the arts, where cultural traditions are shared, cultural practices are celebrated, and folks of all ages gather to make the magic happen. Folklife is and remains FOR THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE because you have given your time, boundless energy, and generous financial gifts to ensure this legacy. We are honored to build upon this vision as we shape the future of Northwest Folklife for 2018 and beyond.

Over the past few months, we’ve established a brand new Youth Residency, presented enticing glimpses of the voices emerging from our 2018 Cultural Focus: Echoes of Aztlán and Beyond, AND woven the enormous tapestry of our four-day Northwest Folklife Festival schedule; all the while preparing to launch Our Big Neighborhood, a year-round youth and family-centered partnership with the Seattle Center. In April, we will be Movin’ Around the World in the Armory Court, highlighting a fantastic array of youth and teen performers in participatory music, dance, and art activities.

“Folklife is about all the cultures that are here in the Northwest. It’s about how folks live and express themselves in their own cultural traditions. I get inspired by the Irish dancers, the Serbian musicians, the indigenous blessing that opens the festival… All of that is also mine, because I’m American… because we’re all part of the same community. We are the American experience.”

– Francisca Garcia, SEEDArts, 2018 Cultural Focus Committee

Today, we ask that you continue the tradition of artistic excellence, cultural inclusion, and access for all by taking a moment to renew your support as a Friend of Folklife donor. Donations of every size count and help us bring the joy of learning, fun of discovery, and magic of arts to the entire community.

These past few months have been an important time for reflection and transformation. A year ago, we asked, “Can we count you in?” and your resounding response was, “YES!” YOU have affirmed our role as an ambassador of cultural inclusion and a valuable community resource. It is because of YOU that Folklife is a space to explore our roots and engage in meaningful conversations about how

our heritage and culture can ground us in a rapidly changing city. It is because of YOU that Folklife is a means of amplifying stories from our diverse communities – of beauty, of everyday life, of hardship, and of triumph – that help us remember our endless potential when we build a future, together. It is because of YOU that Folklife is something much larger than an event, program or even an organization. Folklife is a collaboration across many minds and hearts. Folklife is the challenge of preserving the best of ourselves while evolving in an ever-growing community. Folklife is the chance to express our values and respond to challenges with creativity and unity.

“Seattle is changing by the minute, but Folklife remains a moment of something essential and hopeful.”   

– Jerry Large, The Seattle Times

As our City grapples with shrinking cultural space and combats the displacement of our communities – including the people that make Northwest Folklife so vibrant and strong, we remain faithful to our founding principle that celebrating and sharing cultural arts should be accessible and open to everyone in our community – not just those who can afford the price of a ticket.

It takes significant resources to make sure we remain accessible to all. The cost of living, production, labor, and supplies keep rising and YOUR donations make it possible to continue to make sure that Folklife is for EVERYONE. As you may already know, with the Key Arena redevelopment happening this fall, Northwest Folklife will need to vacate its offices at the Seattle Center’s Blue Spruce building that has been our ‘home’ for 30 years. While this time of transition presents opportunities to innovate and broaden our role as a community resource, relocating at a time of record-high property prices in the hottest real estate market in the country will present even greater challenges.

As we ramp up for the 47th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival, our team is excited and ready, once again, for the magic that brings together nearly 250,000 people from all walks of life – united by their love of music, dance, arts, stories, and most of all, community. As this year kicks off our countdown (3 – 2 – 1…) to Northwest Folklife’s 50th Anniversary, we hope that you will join us in ensuring our legacy for another 50 years and beyond.

YOUR generous contributions will ensure that Folklife is an integral part of the Pacific Northwest (and the nation) for many generations to come. On behalf of our Staff and Board, and the thousands of participants in Northwest Folklife’s programs, we thank you for the treasure that YOUR gifts continue to create!


Reese Tanimura                                                         Kelli Faryar

Managing Director                                                    Executive Artistic Director

P.S. Every gift counts and makes a difference. If you’d like your name to be listed in the 2018 Festival Guide, please renew your support by April 2nd. To take advantage of Friends of Folklife contributor benefits at the 2018 Folklife Festival, including our exclusive First Look VIP celebration in late April, please make your gift by April 20th.

Photos courtesy of Erinn Hale.