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.
“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 Olivas – Mexican 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!
Ana Mendonca: Brazil
Andreea Isac: Romanians in Seattle
Andreea grew up in a Romanian town, within a family passionate about folklore and since a small child she learnt to love and live through all the dimensions of this heritage: authentic clothing, ancient peasant style decorating arts and crafts, thousands years old stories and myths, lively folk music and dance.
In 2005, Andreea packed all these treasures in her heart to bring with her to Seattle, where she discovered countless new cultures, all offering immense beauty and richness.
After a few years of exploring and learning other dance traditions (like Irish, Balkan, Middle Eastern and Asian), in 2013 Andreea founded together with Ioana Pop the “Datina Folk Ensemble”, a Seattle-based non-profit that presents on stage a unique blend of Romanian folklore arts: music, dance, theater, customs and rituals.
Ann Suter: Fiber artists
Past board member, advisory member and continuing member of the finance committee. Helped initiate the Fiber Arts Booth with consummate fiber artist Jill Green. We invite artists from a variety of craft/arts. Fiber art is a style of fine art which uses textiles such as fabric, yarn, and natural and synthetic fibers. It focuses on the materials and on the manual labor involved as part of its significance. They demonstrate their art making and share their experieces with tools and processes for arts such as weaving, embroidery, crochet, lace making and tatting, knitting, quilt making, macrame and many other forms of using fibers to make art.
Audrey Goodman: Morris Dance Community, and Songwriters In Seattle
Audrey is a well known local music teacher who has taught for thirty years. She’s led and arranged children's recorder ensembles, directed children's choirs and musical theatre. She is currently employed as an innovative private music educator.
She’s a published composer, songwriter, ASCAP affiliate, and also an alumni of the board of Songwriters in Seattle, a non-profit organization that fosters creative development, collaboration, music education, and performance opportunities for independent artists.
Additionally she is a member and performer in Seattle’s “Sound and Fury Morris” dance group.
Becky Errera: Modern Western Square Dance
Beloved: Beats 2 the Rhyme
Benji: Balkan Misfits
Bernice Maslan: The Jewish community
Bernice has lived in Seattle since 1972 and has attended Folklife every year since 1973. When her kids were little, they were groupies for the Mazeltones. Once Bernice started playing the clarinet in 2001, she became interested in playing klezmer music also. She has often attended klezmer camps such as KlezCalifornia and KlezKanada. In non-Covid times, she runs a community klezmer jam and band called Klez Chaos and play in the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, the SANCApators, the Washington State Letter Carriers Band. Bernice loves Folklife and served on its board for about ten years. She is also an avid dancer, including contra, folk and swing.
Learn more on her website here.