Fall, 2019 Folkmoot Newsletter

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Letter from the Director and the President

As a member of the Friends of Folkmoot, and as a ticket buyer to Folkmoot events, you know how arts and culture makes our community more vibrant. We have an extraordinary quality of life in these mountains, and you have contributed to this richness with your ticket purchases and donations. Thank you!

With the help of Folkmoot supporters, we have grown from a two-week international folk festival to a year-round arts and cultural center, hosting close to fifty events each year. We now feature a variety of cultural arts – music, crafts, storytelling, literary arts, food and beverage – and none of it would have happened if you hadn’t helped to make it so.

This fall we have a meaningful opportunity to move the organization to yet another level, and we hope you will consider it an opportunity to contribute. We’re installing heat and air throughout the entire 40,000 square-foot Folkmoot Center, and have begun to host artists’ studios in several classrooms, adding another dimension to what we do, and to what you support. Another important step in this direction in 2019 was a long-term lease agreement with Project SOAR, a boarding school, for ten-month-a-year use of Building B.

Consistent, year-around, multi-faceted use of all areas of the Folkmoot Campus will continue our push toward financial sustainability.

The cost of the HVAC project is $305,000, and we’re approaching that goal, with only about $125,000 needed to complete the project this fall. Every little bit helps! If you’re inclined to contribute, you’ll be part of the transformation that makes Folkmoot financially sustainable.

In addition, we’re seeking sponsors for the artists fees and staffing of programs we’re presenting, including the new Mountain Memories Variety Show, Great Balsam Songwriters in the Round, Southern Storytellers Series, Cultural Crash Courses and Friendship Dinners. We’re seeking $5,000 in sponsorship for each of these programs.

Now that you know our aim, we’d like to frame the value of your investment in Folkmoot: our programs help communicate that cultural differences form our identities, and that sharing and embracing the diversity of many cultures in one community makes life more vibrant, interesting and beautiful. In a time of unfortunate division, Folkmoot does its small part to make the world a warmer and more creative place. We hope you’ll continue to find value in our mission and support us!

Thanks in advance for remembering Folkmoot in your holiday giving. We will make good use of your investment and our community will have even more to enjoy.


Angeline Schwab, Executive Director | angie@folkmoot.org

David B. Francis, Board President | david@folkmoot.org

A Note about our 2019 Festival

Each Folkmoot Festival is the culmination of two years of careful planning, with travel arrangements in place well in advance. It’s something we’re used to.

Still, international travel is complicated, especially for large groups from many countries, and in today’s travel climate. We expect the loss of a performance group here and there. It’s impossible, however, to anticipate the loss of three performance groups, at the last minute, in a single year. That’s what happened in 2019, and we’re still recovering! We lost groups from Colombia, Nepal and a much larger group from the Bahamas at well past the time we could’ve replaced them.

It was a disappointment for all of us, for our audiences, and even for the other performers. Some of our friends let us know by email and phone how disappointed they were, while others didn’t make their customary ticket purchases after the parade. It’s been a tough year, festival-wise.

As a result, we’ve made some changes to the way we approach things, and will add further measures to prevent a recurrence. We understand fully that our audiences want variety, and we’re on track for eight international groups this year.

Our apologies for disappointing some of you, and hope you’ll get excited about the 2020 lineup, which we’ll begin announcing in the spring!