Archive for the ‘Community News’ category

We’re so thankful for Levi’s ears.

March 31, 2011

Homemade Goods

Pioneer of the Ball of Wax Audio Quarterly, Levi Fuller, has been sharing the music he loves since 2005. And not only has he been sharing the music – he’s been documenting it – with homemade compilation CDs, complete with screen-printed artwork.

Levi Fuller

Levi says he started Ball of Wax Audio Quarterly with “the idea of shedding light on and creating a document of some of the wonderful music that was being made all around me, much of which without any fanfare, press, or radio play”. With a new compilation released every three months and a live show to support each release, Levi has built a strong force of musicians and supporters alike – this May will be the release of Ball of Wax, Volume 24! (Levi is currently accepting submissions for Ball of Wax, Volume 24 until April 11th).

Folklife will be teaming up with Ball of Wax to introduce our newest stage, Indie Roots at the Folklife Pre-Fest Party on April 22nd at the Columbia City Theater. Ball of Wax bands, Led to Sea and Corespondents will be joined by the Crow Quill Night Owls and Mighty Ghosts for a night of celebration, good music and friends. Get your tickets here!

Don’t miss the Ball of Wax showcase at the upcoming Folklife Festival, May 29th from 12:00 – 3:00 PM on the Indie Roots Stage featuring Levi Fuller, Shenandoah Davis, Joshua Morrison, Sunday Evening Whiskey Club and Pickwick.

April 22, Columbia City Theater


This Satuday, Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 14, 2011

Marting Luther King Jr. Day falls this monday; however, if you want to pay tribute early, join us at Seattle Center on Saturday, January 15th, for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration, 1-3 PM.

This celebration commemorates the dream of Dr. King by promoting the principles of peace, unity and equality.  It also provides an opportunity for Seattle citizens to remember the dream and vision of MLK, and honors citizens who are energizing the MLK dream in their communities.

In addition, this year the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative will present the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Awards.  Through this partnership with Seattle Center, these awards were created to recognize the efforts of youth and youth-serving organizations to reduce and prevent youth violence in Seattle. 

See you there!

Re-Envision the Dream
Program Highlights

1:00        Human Harmony Children’s Choir – US National Anthem & Black National Anthem

1:10        Welcome by Robert Nellams

1:15        Mayor McGinn Welcome & Introduction of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Awards Presentation

1:40        Dr. King Speech “Beyond Vietnam” by CD Forum

2:15        A Tribute to Billie Holiday featuring Stacie Calkins

Hip to be Square

January 10, 2011
The Tallboys

The Tallboys

Well, we’re two weeks into the new year and if you are holding on to your resolution to, say, get in shape or meet new people, tonight’s square dance at the Tractor Tavern should be right up your alley. The Tallboys will be kicking off another year of twice monthly square dancing events at this Ballard standby.

The Monday Square Dance has become increasingly popular over the years, drawing a large crowd every time. While there tend to be quite a few regulars, you can always find newbies on the dance floor learning by doing. I attended the Monday Square Dance for the first time in November and was pleasantly surprised by the patience and helpfulness of the old pros. By the end of the night I was dancing like a… well, like someone who had been square dancing for a couple hours. But I had a great time!

Dancing starts at 8pm and the cover is $5. If you can’t make it this week (or you think you may become a regular), you will have an opportunity to swing your partner every first and third Monday of the month. Check out the Tractor website for more info.

Programming the Festival: How Does it Work?

January 7, 2011

The gorgeous ladies of Programming. From left: Jerin Falkner, Kelli Faryar and Lucie Klimes. Center: Debbie Fant

Do you ever wonder how four days of music, 26 stages and over 6,000 performers are organized and scheduled for the Festival? Well, I do.

With that being said, I went to the Programming Department yesterday afternoon to learn a bit more about this gigantic task.

First off, I’ll dispel any preconceived notions of the proverbial waving of wands or snapping of fingers. If this were true, the Northwest Folklife Festival would be somewhat of an anomaly. What our Programming Department has in abundance is patience, passion for music and culture and a keen ear.

Already, when you walk into their office an enormous scheduling board takes up a whole wall and breaks the Festival into days, then intervals of time, and lastly performer tags of where they can schedule which artists and when. Confused yet? To me, this board closely resembles a puzzle; to them, it’s the Holy Grail.

Before I jump ahead, Programming gives me the scoop on the application process.  On September1st applications go live on the Northwest Folklife website. People who are interested in performing at the Festival can either submit an online or paper application. The application deadline is November 1st and at that point, Programming has collected anywhere from 1,200-1,400 applications. No big deal, right?

Programming then goes through every single application, listens to the submitted CDs or music links and enters the applications in the database.  As you can imagine, this process takes quite a bit of time and energy. 

After hundreds and hundreds of applications are reviewed, Programming starts the scheduling aspect.  Their goal is to represent over 61 genres of music at the Festival. These genres include global and regional music and dance styles. To help find performers who best represent a particular cultural community or genre, Programming relies on 60-70 Community Coordinators.  These Community Coordinators are active within their cultural community and help connect performers who best represent their cultures’ music or dance styles.

Overall, the application process results in scheduling around 900 to 950 performances.  The preliminary schedule is done in mid-March and final confirmations are sent out in April.  By Memorial Day Weekend, the kinks are (cross your fingers) all smoothed out, and Programming is ready to have their hard work enjoyed by the 250,000 people who attend the Festival.

What is one of Programming’s favorite times of the year you might ask? Well, besides Memorial Day Weekend, it’s probably June when they can decompress and reevaluate their work. Not to mention relive the Festival over and over again by listening to recorded tracks from the weekend and “digging for nuggets” to put on the Roots and Branches Vol. 2:  Live From the 2011 Festival CD. That isn’t a plug or anything…but you should probably check it out.

Give to Folklife and Receive a Tax Deduction for 2010!

December 30, 2010

It’s not too late to have your donation to Northwest Folklife count towards your tax deductions for 2010. Donate online (click here) by 11:59 pm on Friday, December 31st or send a check to Northwest Folklife at 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, Washington 98109.  Please date your check for December 31, 2010 or before, and ensure the carrier envelope is postmarked in 2010.  We will send you a gift receipt for your records the first week of January.

 Northwest Folklife can also accept your gift of stock or securities.  The information for direct transfer is: Charles Schwab DTC #0164 Code 40, Northwest Folklife Account #4158-7442.  Transactions must be completed by December 31st in order to qualify for a tax deduction in 2010.

 Even if you don’t itemize, there are many reasons to support Folklife!  Your support makes it possible for our small non-profit organization to produce the largest celebration of community arts and culture in the United States and offer it at no cost to the Pacific Northwest community.  We’ll be revealing more information about our 40th Festival in the coming months, and we hope you are as excited as we are.  For more information about all the ways you can support Folklife, please click here.

From all of us here at Northwest Folklife, Happy New Year!

Dance Your Way into 2011

December 27, 2010

Tango2011 is the year of the rabbit in Chinese calendars and the international year of forests and chemistry according to the United Nations (yes, this is true). But around the Northwest this is the “Year of Folklife. As many of you already know, we will be celebrating our 40th Festival this upcoming Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-30). Back in 1972, some folks gathered at Seattle Center and the tradition grew into the largest free community arts festival in the country!

We have several fun events planned for the new year and we will tell you all about them right here on the blog and at as well. The first on the list is a swing and waltz benefit at Sonny Newman’s Dance Hall in Greenwood. Jodi Fleischman of Left Foot Boogie will DJ the event along with Zachariah Cassady of Waltz etcetera. Proceeds from this event will help us celebrate local arts and traditions and produce the annual Northwest Folklife Festival. We can’t think of a better way to kick off our 40th Festival year than by kicking up our heels at this dance benefit. We hope to see you there!

Check out the Left Foot Boogie website as the date approaches for more information. Special thanks to Sonny Newman for generously donating the use of the dance hall for this event.

Celebrate the Season with Black Nativity

December 21, 2010

Black Nativity Hailed as one of Seattle’s can’t-miss holiday events, Black Nativity celebrates its twelfth season in 2010 with a brand new location, The Moore Theatre. This dramatic retelling of the story of Christmas features Folklife performer and local legend, Pastor Patrinell Wright along with an ensemble cast that will bring Langston Hughes’ 1961 vision to life on the stage.

The show runs through Sunday, December 26th and has a history of sold out shows. If you want to attend, buy tickets in advance. Despite moving to a larger venue, shows are still expected to sell out.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect: