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!


Joe Seamons: Rhapsody Project/Unbroken Circle

Joe Seamons: Rhapsody Project/Unbroken Circle

John Hayden: Seattle World Percussion Society and friends

John Hayden: Seattle World Percussion Society and friends

As a long-time volunteer for the non-profit Seattle World Rhythm Society, John programs the NW Folklife Rhythm Tent and the First Thursday Drum in Lake City (virtual since Covid.) John is a Village Music Circles certified trainer of facilitated drum circles, teaches a weekly hand drum class (virtual since Covid) and plays original songs for family music classes for ages 2-5. His company Jamtown imports rhythm instruments working directly with low income artisans on 3 continents. Learn more at www.JamtownLive.com

Learn more on his website here.

John Romero: Circle of Indigenous People

John Romero: Circle of Indigenous People

Joyce Paul Siamak: Socially Conscious Artists Foundation

Joyce Paul Siamak: Socially Conscious Artists Foundation

SCARF was found by Dr. Joyce K Paul to imbue social change through the performing arts. Last year our focus was mental health and this year it is assimilation. Our mission is to create and foster art that brings awareness around social issues to galvanize change.

Learn more on their website here.

Juan Pablo Paredes: City of Seattle

Juan Pablo Paredes: City of Seattle

For the celebration of the art and culture, as well as preservation of the heritage of the Philippines, Juan Pablo (JP) Paredes has been very involved with the planning and coordinating the annual Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival, one of the 24 ethnic festivals of the Festal Program of Seattle Center, and with his more than 20 years of participation in producing Pagdiriwang, he has improved the event's quality of programming by adding more events. With more than 29 years of service at the University of Washington, JP has served as the Executive Assistant to the late Dr. Stephen M Schwartz of the Department of Pathology, and currently as an Assistant to Dr. Davis G. Patterson of Family Medicine. JP is the President of the Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington, the organization that produces the annual Pagidiriwang Philippine Festival, as well as the President of the Greater Washington Alpha Phi Omega.

Learn more on his website here.

Kabao Xiong: Hmong Community

Kabao Xiong: Hmong Community

Karen Shaw: English and Irish Country Dance

Karen Shaw: English and Irish Country Dance

Kathy Bruni: International Folk Dance

Kathy Bruni: International Folk Dance

Kathy is the community coordinator for the international folk dance at Northwest Folklife Festival and a supporting member of the Festival.

She has participated in many forms of folk and social dance, as well as square dance, belly dance, ballroom, vintage dance, Charleston, tap, and flamenco.

In addition to dancing socially, she has performed with the Savoy Swing Club dance troupe, the Seaside Pavilion Historic dance troupe, and Enzian Schuhplattler Bavarian dancers.

Kathy edits the newsletters of Skandia, Northwest Folk Dancers, Inc., the National Folk Organization, and the Seattle Folklore Society, and manages publicity and costuming for Enzian Schuhplattler.

Learn more on her website here.

Katrina Ji

Katrina Ji

Katrina Ji: India

Katrina Ji, Artistic Director of Culture Shakti Dance Company & Rajasthani Caravan

She has appeared on several TV programs in India & the USA in addition to podcasts and magazines. She has performed with some of the worlds most famous dancers!

Katrina Ji tours internationally with Rajasthani Caravan and teaches dance online.

She specializes in Bollywood Fusion, Rajasthani Folk Dance & Bhangra.

Call 206-322-9500 or email to contact her for performances, workshops or group lessons.

WEBSITE