Northwest Folkife
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Meet Our Community Coordinators

Central to the values of Northwest Folklife is for communities to have voice and agency in the representation of their cultural expressions. More than 150+ Community Coordinators, including prominent artists, educators, culture bearers, and leaders throughout the region work closely with Northwest Folklife throughout the year to collaborate and co-create programs including the Northwest Folklife Festival as well as the annual Cultural Focus and Our Big Neighborhood youth and family program. These relationships are an integral part of our mission and vision. “As the lifeblood of all Northwest Folklife programs, our relationships with Community Coordinators, are the heart and soul of the organization,” says Northwest Folklife Executive Artistic Director, Kelli Faryar.

Adrian Olivas | By Christopher Nelson

“Being a Community Coordinator for Northwest Folklife means a lot to me because it gives me an opportunity to make a connection between regional Mexican folk groups and Folklife. It gives every artist involved the opportunity to meet each other and share a stage but most importantly, we get to build new relationships. I have been performing with Folklife with Bailadores de Bronce for about twenty-two years and, as a performer, it is something we always look forward to. Now, I have been able to share experiences and introduce new organizations to the Folklife family.”- from Community Coordinator, Adrian OlivasMexican Folklórico Community, Executive Director of Bailadores de Bronce, Alum Cultural Focus Member of Echoes of Aztlan and Beyond.

Northwest Folklife is curated in collaboration with Community Coordinators. Thank you to these amazing leaders!


Mish Mish: Middle Eastern Folkloric Show

Mish Mish: Middle Eastern Folkloric Show

Mish Mish, kneeling in the pink dress, with her daughter, grand daughter and members of Karavans Dance Troupe at the Folklife Festival in 2019.

Mista Chatman: Reggae

Mista Chatman: Reggae

Mista Chatman is a Seattle based Reggae fusion artist known world over for blending his Raggamuffin lyrical flow over various forms of music such as Hip Hop, Dub, Jungle, House and Dancehall on recordings and live. He is also know for performing live in places like New York, Canada & London with his self produced ChatAttak Productions beats and soundsystem called "RiddimBox And A Mic".

Learn more on his website here.

Mohamud Yussuf: East African Community

Mohamud Yussuf: East African Community

Neal Chin: Ukenalia

Neal Chin: Ukenalia

Nick Droze: Emerald City Songwriting Circles

Nick Droze: Emerald City Songwriting Circles

Nikkita Oliver: Ringside Slam Poetry/ Creative Justice Culmination

Nikkita Oliver: Ringside Slam Poetry/ Creative Justice Culmination

Patrick McMonagle: Folkdance

Patrick McMonagle: Folkdance

Founder of the International Folkdance part of Folklife 1971, currently leading the Zwiefacher Session. Have missed only two Folklifes during a career of professional consulting. During that time Patrick seems to have filled most volunteer positions in some way or another, but never on the Board. One day, 1977 he thinks, pre cell phone days, Patrick filled in for the whole radio crew, which did not show. Spent a day of the festival sprinting across the Seattle Center keeping the program more or less intact while a sudden rain storm moved all outdoor stages indoors. You'll see his face on this year's Zwiefacher.

Learn more on his website here.

Patrick: KBCS

Patrick: KBCS

Patty Leverett: Tango

Patty Leverett: Tango