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!
Bob Barnes: Labor & The Progressive Community
I've been part of putting on the Labor Showcase at NWFL for more years than I can remember. This past pandemic year i have devoted my energy to helping produce BLM events, and working with the Seattle Labor Chorus. The Chorus has continued to function in spite of COVID, conducting weekly virtual rehearsals, releasing several recordings and serving the community as best we can, We have made our recordings available to unions and other community organizations to help keep the cultural component of the movement alive.
Bob Hamilton: Scandinavian Dance
Brenda Goldstein-Young: KNKX Public Radio
KNKX is an ambassador for jazz and blues, and a vital source of quality, non-commercial news, including NPR and regional coverage. The KNKX programming staff are storytellers who reach deeply into the community to reflect the voices of our people, our region and beyond. KNKX is funded by a loyal community of listeners who value the station’s independence.
Brenda is the Director of Community Outreach and Events for KNKX Public Radio, overseeing all of the station's events (virtual and in-person), sponsorships and community partnerships, and KNKX's music education program, School of Jazz. She also coordinates KNKX's studio sessions with national and local jazz and blues musicians.
Bruce P Baker: Participatory Folk Singing
Been involved with Seattle Song Circle since 1981, Director of RainyCamp folk singing weekend for 20+ years, Director Seattle Folklore Society 30 years. Singer, musician, songwriter. My passion is to get people singing together
Cally Shine: Path with Art
Carl Copeland: Festival Sundiata "Black Arts Fest"
Festival Sundiata is 40 years young and we intend to celebrate this landmark year with the vibrancy and vigor of a Mardi Gras celebration. New sensibilities are defining the 21st century. Certainly, the most profound convergence between ethnicities, cultures, generations, technology, and media is occurring in the realm of music, art, fashion, and culture. People of all generations from all parts of the world are discovering and/or rediscovering music as a bridge that transcends time and national borders... Over the course of existence, rhythm and blues, jazz, and gospel, artists have seamlessly incorporated aspects of African, Caribbean, Brazilian, Latin, and European music. Festival Sundiata: The Black Arts Fest compresses centuries of cultural expression into a dazzling and universally resonant progression of rhythm, styles, interaction and free location-based entertainment. The Sundiata African American Cultural Association has a strategic plan to expand the festival over the next ten years and set a new paradigm in branded music, arts, and cultural events. Festival Sundiata: The Blacks Arts Fest is the only event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. I've Love to partner with NW Folklife the past several years!
Charmaine Slaven: Old-time, Square Dance, Crankies
Originally from Western Montana, Charmaine is a Seattle-based professional musician, flatfoot dancer, dance caller & instructor, specializing in traditional American roots music and dance. She takes great joy in sharing her love of music and dance with people of all-ages & abilities, and has been teaching at music camps for over fifteen years. Charmaine has gained a great reputation for her fun and engaging method of getting folks dancing and playing music together. She has a natural knack for teaching and organizing, and has become an anchor in the Pacific NW old time music and dance communities.
Chris Zapata: Comedy
Clare Woolgrove Good & Amy Carroll: Traditional Anglo-American Community Dance
Clare and Amy have been calling, coordinating and playing for family dances for more than a decade. Between them they've played or called for dances for adults and children for 50+ years! They ran the Seattle Family Dance with a focus on highlighting young students of traditional fiddle tunes and have done the same at Folklife. We very much look forward to returning to the human connection of in-person dancing.