Welcome to the 48th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival!
For nearly 50 years Northwest Folklife has preserved, cultivated and uplifted the intricate tapestry of dynamic cultures and traditions in our region. Since our first Festival in 1972, our programs have remained accessible to all, without tickets or gates, ensuring that everyone is welcomed and has the opportunity to participate in cultural exchange. At its core, Northwest Folklife is about fostering connections to heritage, identity, and community.
We are best known for producing the Northwest Folklife Festival, where we serve up to 250,000 people, annually. Each year, over 5,000 artists and culture bearers from across the Pacific Northwest gather to perform, teach, encourage discovery, inspire participation and promote intergenerational exchange around various traditional, heritage and evolving art forms. This four-day event is co-created and co-curated by over 125 Community Coordinators who bring the unique voices, artistry, and passion of their ethnic and cultural communities to Seattle Center grounds.
While the Festival remains an invaluable space for cultural convergence and a catalyst for interaction in a society that is becoming increasingly silo-ed, Northwest Folklife strives to create multiple platforms for our communities to be visible and represent themselves to wider audiences. Beginning last year, we partnered with Seattle Center to create inclusive and accessible programming for children and families to engage in called Our Big Neighborhood. These programs offer fun, active, culturally relevant and participatory programming. Additionally, we now support two Youth Residency Projects where youth are mentored by artists who are able to reflect their culture and identity in their creative expressions.
As you arrive at the 48th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival, ready to share in the amazing experience that awaits, you will see many changes around you. As you ponder both the challenges and the opportunities of a redevelopment project on the scale of the New Arena at Seattle Center, we ask you to consider how Northwest Folklife, its mission and your investment in it, can continue to preserve and elevate the core values and the diverse communities of the Pacific Northwest.
Our heritage and traditions – our roots – anchor our identity. Our creativity and expression cultivate evolution and transformation. Northwest Folklife has been here for nearly 50 years as a champion for these fundamental aspects of the Pacific Northwest. Won’t you help us ensure this legacy for future generations by making your best gift possible, today?
Thank you so much for being here with us today. Thank you for being a part of Northwest Folklife!
– Reese Tanimura, Managing Director; Kelli Faryar, Executive Artistic Director; Evan Woods, Board President