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!
Kenju Waweru: One Vibe
Kim S: Across the Bridge
Kyle Shierbeck: Circle of Indigenous People
La Tanya Horace: Sistas Rock of the Arts
Larry: Storytellers Guild
Latha Sambamurti: Indian, Asian, Asia-Pacific
Latha Sambamurti is the producer and Artistic, Outreach and Development Director of several large-scale arts and culture festivals in the State of Washington. She is a Board Member of Northwest Folklife, a Director of Northwest Share, a Redmond Arts and Culture Commissioner, an educator, trained musician, and band leader. She won the Kirkland Performance Center’s You Rock award for community service. She has been a Washington State Arts Commissioner. She serves as a board director for several state and regional cultural organizations. She holds a master’s degree in English Literature.
Learn more on her website here.
Leigh B: Underwood Stables/Tractor
Levi Fuller: Jack Straw Cultural Center
Levi has been the Administrative Coordinator at Jack Straw Cultural Center since 2008, overseeing many aspects of their day-to-day operations, including managing their artist residency programs and coordinating showcases and programs with Folklife. He also acts as a teaching artist, writing songs inspired by elementary students’ poetry. Levi has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art, he writes and performs original music, and is the founder and editor of the music compilation series Ball of Wax Audio Quarterly.
Lila Kitaeff Lakehart (they/them pronouns)
Lila Kitaeff Lakehart (they/them pronouns): KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media
Born and raised in Seattle, Lila Lakehart has been a youth media educator since 2003. Formerly a lead staff member at Reel Grrls, they are now Program Manager for KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media. They have led youth media programs for organizations including Adobe Youth Voices, Native Lens, Reel Queer Youth, and a program for young women in Nairobi. Lila is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a founding member of the Seattle Independent Media Center’s video collective, and an advisory board member for the Rainier Valley’s KVRU. Lila is also co-host of a funk show that has aired on KBCS since 2004.