Today we introduce you to the Managing Artistic Director of Cultural Programs at Seattle Center Productions, Steve Sneed.
Steve oversees Seattle Center Festál, a series of 24 cultural festivals throughout the year on campus. In its 20th anniversary this year, he has developed a unique perspective on the cultural climate of the Center.
What role do you see Festál playing in the greater community? Why do you think Festal has endured for so long?
Festál as a convener of the ethnic organizations celebrating culture at Seattle Center, is a connector. We help the organizations get better at presenting festivals and we support that effort.
How does Festál nurture the role of ‘culture bearer’?
I think the best way we do that is by putting these “culture bearers” in the same room together monthly and provide a venue for them to share with each other.
What has been the result of your partnership with Northwest Folklife on you and your community?
Over the years Northwest Folklife has proven a place where cultural groups can get a foot in the door at Seattle Center. They see the possibilities for a cultural festival by working in and with Folklife. Then, they want to continue so they come over to see me and in some cases join Festál.
What would you like to see for the future of Northwest Folklife?
I’d like to see the development of more ethnic folk music and arts at Folklife with the understanding that Folk music is not one kind of music. All cultures have folk traditions and Folklife has such a great platform to spread that news.
Please share a memory connected to Northwest Folklife that was meaningful to you?
It’s actually working on the committee with the Traditional Roots of Hip Hop 2015 Cultural Focus. I learned a lot about the organization and just what the Cultural Focus is. I met more staff people and got to know them. That was a great experience.
Please finish this sentence: ‘folklife is…
…a major part of Seattle culture and character.