52nd Annual Northwest Folklife Festival, May 26-29, 2023

Last year’s Cultural Focus, Metamorphosis, took us through a journey of change, transformations, and transition. We reminded ourselves that change happens all around us and that it is natural to adjust and reorient. We also reminded ourselves that healthy change embraces the old as well as the new. Change is how we survive!

The journey continues with this year’s Cultural Focus, Lagom: Not too much, not too little, but just right!

This Scandinavian term speaks to the notions of balance. When change happens in a person’s or communities life, you have to adapt to your new environment. You’ve got to reassess, find your footing, interrogate your conditions, and create a path for new beginnings. Just like metamorphosis, this requires hands-on involvement and participation.

Everyone and everything’s Lagom is different. Different experiences and different environments inform different paths, different processes, and different resources to determine that balance. No person or community is a monolith, and our stories—past, present, and future—are a constant tinkering to find and sustain that balance.

This marks the beginning of the next leg of our journey—a wandering to find our stride in an evolving ecosystem that obliges us to find equilibrium, composure, and presence of mind. Balance is how we survive!

Check back for updates!

New to the Festival

Threads of the People

Threads of the People is our take on a fashion show, featuring a mix of runway shows, workshops and demos, vendor booths, displays and material swaps. This new addition to the festival will explore fashion as a folk art, the ways in which fashion and culture are interwoven, and seek to bring fashion back to its roots - when our clothing was created in homes, by hand, and from materials found in our natural environment.

Kuleana Corridor

NW Folklife’s exploration of the Folk vocation, bringing the people, communities, organizations, and cooperatives who are actively engaging in techniques that promote bio- diversity, support sustainable & healthy food production, and give strength to the cause of food justice, security, and sovereignty.

The Maker’s Space

The Maker’s Space is designed to showcase and give hands-on demonstrations of the wide world of craft. We want to encourage and instill a sense of wonder and imagination in our own creative imaginings and curiosities.