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!
Daniel Pak: Totem Star
Danny Abramson: Kindipendent
Dean Paton: City of Seattle
Dean has been partner dancing for more than two decades -- not only as a someone who loves most styles of noncompetitive dance, but also as an instructor, dance manager, masquerade-ball impresario and as artistic director of the Valse Café Orchestra, an ensemble that serves up post-modern renditions of dance-hall classics for dancers and other romantics. He works at Seattle's Century Ballroom, Left Foot Boogie, Northwest Dance Network, and he teaches all-ages classes at the Senior Center of West Seattle. Dean dances as both a Lead and a Follow, and has been a Community Coordinator for 20 years? Or thereabouts.
Deepali Jamwal: Indian
Bollywood Dance studio owner, choreographer, instructor and a mom
DENNIS CALDIROLA: Native Italians and Italian-Americans
Dennis Caldirola has been the director of the Italian Festival at Seattle Center for the past 29 years although his "night job" is as Benefit Auctioneer raising money for nonprofits up and down the West Coast. Dennis was born in Miles City, Montana, a few short months after his parents immigrated from Italy, so he still retains Italian citizenship. He became a professional musician at the age of sixteen and continued to play in bands in both the US and Italy for nearly twenty years. He is a graduate of Seattle Prep and has a BFA from Seattle University. Some of the occupations he has had since college include radio announcer and deejay, disco deejay, songwriter, music publishing executive, Assistant Cruise Director for Princess Cruises, and Deputy Cruise Director for Sundance Cruises.