Northwest Folkife

Volunteers are an essential part of Northwest Folklife!

Volunteers are the heart (and hands!) of Northwest Folklife. From the beginning, so many people have generously brought their life experiences, skills and time to sustain a truly community-powered experience to the Northwest Folklife Family and the array of programming offered throughout the year.

We are more than just one festival, we here at Folklife provide programming and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Whether it be in office help, pre and post production handlers, day of production activities, community outreach or community coordinating a show or festival, we have many opportunities to participate and learn.

We do offer opportunities for individuals, large groups, families or local businesses to participate.


  • Each individual must register in advance to volunteer, pass a background check, agree to the code of conduct, and sign a media release.

  • Please note that all volunteers are required to submit a background check. Those under 18 will need a parent to complete a background check.

  • Volunteers under the age of 18 will need a parent or guardian to sign a consent form; anyone under the age of 16 requires a parent or guardian to work with them. No one under the age of 14 may volunteer unless permission has been granted.

  • All Northwest Folklife staff, contractors, and volunteers are subject to Executive Order 2021-08. We have received guidance from Seattle Center and the City that festival performers, vendors, and volunteers fall under “contractors and volunteers. Therefore, although the Washington State and King County vaccine mandates have been lifted, all volunteers must comply with this order. Additionally, for the safety of our staff, patrons, and peers we will require volunteers at indoor venues and other select locations, as well as working in "back of house" roles to wear masks.

  • Your work may be physical, and some include extended periods of standing. Depending on the job, you might be asked to lift at least 30lbs.

  • Volunteers are required to sign in when arriving and sign out when leaving.

  • Prior authorization is required if leaving early

  • Do not volunteer if you are showing signs of illness or if your ability or alertness is impaired.

  • No foul language, bad behavior, destruction, or theft of property allowed

  • Possession or use of drugs and alcohol or weapons are prohibited

  • Northwest Folklife is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please ensure you bring only what is needed for your shift.

Please check in at the volunteer center at least 15 minutes early with your ID/proof of vaccination and plan to participate during the entire scheduled session!

If you have questions regarding volunteering, please email

51 Years of Northwest Folklife

As we embark upon the next 50 years of Northwest Folklife, we are grateful for the passion and community power that our incredible volunteers bring year after year! 

Please check out the 2022 Cultural Focus, Metamorphosis: In With the Old, In With the New, amplifying the power of creativity, collaboration, tradition and transformation that is the arts and cultural legacy of the Pacific Northwest region.

For more information, email us or call 206-684-7303. Thank you for your support!