Northwest Folklife Programs
Northwest Folklife Festival
Each year, on Memorial Day Weekend, we present the Northwest Folklife Festival at Seattle Center. The Festival has grown to be the largest free community arts celebration in the United States and a signature event in the Pacific Northwest. It presents the talents of more than 5,000 musicians, dancers, storytellers, and craftspeople from the region and engages audiences in an array of participatory activities, creating a multicultural celebration that enriches, educates, and inspires.
A concert series that allows Folklife to provide additional performance opportunities for Northwest artists. Northwest Folklife programming staff works to pair artists from diverse musical genres in new ways, expanding the definition of “folk” for its audiences.
Crossroads Cultural Dance Series
A Participatory Dance series that showcases diverse cultural dance styles from around the Northwest region. The Crossroads series offers people of all ages and abilities the chance to learn a new dance step and meet their neighbors.
Seattle Children's Festival
Our organization is planning our first-ever Seattle Children's Festival, a one-day, multicultural participatory event to be held in October, 2014 at Seattle Center.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The 42nd Annual Northwest Folklife Festival in 2013 was a huge success with over 235,000 attendees. More than 5000 performers entertained enthusiastic crowds in 22 venues with 65 different genres of music, dance, crafts and an expansive variety of traditional arts.
This year, Northwest Folklife has continued our strategic goal of reaching beyond Memorial Day Weekend to further our mission and our service to the community. We are excited to present our Cultural Focus: India and its People, which is supported in part through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Cultural Focus will showcase India’s ancient history, unique heritage which is steeped in traditional arts, and its people, many of whom now call the Pacific Northwest home.
Folklife is in the midst of our second series of free community cultural dance events at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue, offering direct access to participatory dance and live music to all. Our organization is also planning our first-ever Seattle Children's Festival, a one-day, multicultural participatory event to be held in October, 2014 at Seattle Center.
We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to create, share, and experience the incredible arts and culture of the people living in this region, and that by sharing we dissolve misunderstandings, break down stereotypes and increase respect for one another. Folklife deeply appreciates the public support it receives as a means to forward our mission and enrich our community.