Northwest Folklife is proud to present Our Big Neighborhood, a year-round youth and family providing opportunities that share and sustain the vitality of folk, ethnic, and traditional arts for present and future generations.


With roots in the Folklife in the Schools program of the 1990’s, and growing through the annual Seattle Children’s Festival, Northwest Folklife’s Our Big Neighborhood program provides opportunities for families to engage together in sharing and celebrating the vitality of folk, ethnic, traditional and evolving arts. Our Big Neighborhood brings together local communities to showcase and celebrate families of the Northwest, introducing children to new cultures and traditions through a variety of participatory performances, educational and hands-on programs. This multicultural, intergenerational program includes performances, interactive workshops and activities that are geared toward families and children of all ages.

Expanding on the experiential, hands-on programming at Seattle Center, Our Big Neighborhood will move online with enrichment activities, educational materials and cultural workshops; strengthening young peoples' connection to their roots, communities, and traditions from within their homes and bolster their learning capacity in the virtual space. In response to the stay-at-home mandate in early 2020, Our Big Neighborhood pivoted to virtual programming, and streamed the From Home to Home: Seattle Children’s Festival in October 2020. All events will be virtual until it’s safe to gather together again in person, and like all Northwest Folklife programs, they are ticketless and with no financial barriers.

Past in person Our Big Neighborhood events include: Movin’ Around the World, Global Playground, and Our Big Neighborhood at Winterfest.

Community voice and agency in the representation of cultural expressions is a core value to Northwest Folklife’s programming. More than 150+ Community Coordinators, including prominent artists, educators, culture bearers, and leaders throughout the region work closely with Northwest Folklife to co-create and co-curate Our Big Neighborhood programs, and these relationships are an integral part of our mission and vision. 

Collaboration and co-creating programs alongside parents, children, educators, and partners is vital to ensure that the offerings are relevant and impactful to communities, and doing so will help foster empowerment and expression using folk as a tool of cultural exploration. Northwest Folklife partners with such organizations as:

  • 206 Zulu

  • Arts Corps

  • Big Brained Superheroes Club

  • Book-It Repertory Theatre

  • Center for Wooden Boats

  • Creative Advantage

  • Foundation for International Understanding through Students

  • Gage Academy of Art

  • King County Library

  • Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)

  • Music Center of the Northwest

  • Northwest African American Museum

  • Pacific Science Center

  • Seattle Art Museum

  • Seattle Children’s Museum

  • Seattle Gymnastics Academy

  • Seattle Symphony

  • Seattle Theatre Group

  • Seattle Tilth

  • Somali Youth & Family Club

  • Sunshine Music Together

  • Technology Access Foundation

  • Visually Speaking

  • Wintergrass

  • Youth Theatre Northwest