$30,000 grant to propel year-round Folkmoot

Folkmoot is very grateful to The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and its affiliate, The Fund for Haywood County, for its gift: a $30,000 grant to propel year-round Folkmoot.

The grant will provide resources to continue planning and  the development of the Center for Multi-Cultural Exchange, an effort to transition from a two-week summer festival into a year-round community and cultural resource.

Folkmoot has a solid reputation for bringing high-quality programming to rural Western North Carolina, including more than 8,500 international performers from 200 countries over the past three decades.

The Community Foundation of Western North CarolinaWith a new and permanent 43,000 square-foot home, a new board of directors, executive director and marketing professional, Folkmoot has launched a $1.2 million-dollar campaign to restore its building, increase endowment funding and build programming.

“Folkmoot was built on decades of international festival experience,” said Rose Johnson, Folkmoot Board President. “As we move into a new phase for year-round programs, Folkmoot will create more opportunities that foster cultural understanding and build a deeper sense of connection, mutual respect and shared purpose in the community. We appreciate The Community Foundation investing in our mission.”

Joe Sam Queen, Folkmoot Campaign Chair, said the grant will go a long way toward moving the organization toward itsThe Fund for Haywood County goals.

“As we are refurbishing the Historic Hazelwood School as the home base for the Folkmoot organization, it is important that The Community Foundation made this investment in year-round programming,” he said. “Staff has listened to lots of good suggestions for programming and the results will be thoughtful.

“Personally, I am looking forward to seeing a Youth United Nations, A Peace Jam and lots of music and dancing at the Friendship Center. Thanks to The Community Foundation and The Fund for Haywood County for making this possible.”


“We cannot say enough about how encouraging it is for our community to come together in support of the Folkmoot organization,” said Angie Schwab, executive director of Folkmoot. “The Community Foundation of WNC has given us capacity to hire a staff person focused on year-around activities that foster community vibrancy and cultural exchange.

“With this opportunity, we will build in-school, multi-cultural programming and a variety of community enriching activities, like international dances and dinners, musical performances, art shows and more.

“We have hired Elizabeth Burson to join our team; Elizabeth was a Tuscola High School student and a 2015 UNCG graduate. She worked for six years as a summer Guide for the Folkmoot Festival and she has passion for making our inspirational summer experiences a year-round opportunity.

“Thanks to The Community Foundation of WNC and The Fund for Haywood County, Folkmoot will move into a new growth phase and have greater opportunity to work with the community,” Schwab said.

The Fund for Haywood County
The Fund for Haywood County. Pictured left to right, front row: Lurissia Hendrix, Senior Vice President, Old Town Bank; Ann Melton, Retired Educator; Angeline Schwab, Folkmoot Executive Director; Dr. Barbara Parker, President, Haywood Community College; George Ivey, The Fund for Haywood County Board Chair; Christine Mallette, Realty World Heritage; Sara Wenzel, Wenzel Law Firm; Elizabeth Burson, Folkmoot Programmer; Honorable Joe Sam Queen, Folkmoot Campaign Chair; back row: Nyda Bittmann-Neville, TNB Consulting Group, Inc.; Scott McLeod, Publisher, Smoky Mountain News; Bill Cole, Retired Air Force; Neal Ensley, Retired Banking Industry Executive; Steve McNeil, Northwestern Mutual; Don Stanton, Retired College President; and Richard Hurley, Retired Human Resource Executive.

The Fund for Haywood County, an affiliate of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, is a permanently endowed fund to meet local needs. Tax-deductible gifts are added to the principal, which is preserved and invested. The returns are used to make grants to support nonprofits in Haywood County. Since 1994, The Fund for Haywood County, in partnership with CFWNC, has awarded 93 grants totaling $771,120. For more information about The Fund for Haywood County, contact Advisory Board Grant Committee Chair Sarah Wenzel at 828-452-9099. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit FundforHaywoodCounty.org or mail a contribution to The Fund for Haywood County, P.O. Box 627, Waynesville, NC 28786.

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