Support your local Folkmoot!

Support your local Folkmoot!

Support your local Folkmoot!

It’s really that simple: support your local Folkmoot with your generous contributions – of money of course, but also of time, talent & energy!

Folkmoot Festival 2018 ended July 29 but activities and programs continue year-round. Be sure to visit our  Videos & Images Page, here on our website for images of Folkmoot Festival 2018. Our Facebook page is a pretty handy way to keeping up with the latest events.

In addition to those appearing on our Video & Images page, we also have links to larger collections by some of the areas best photographers and videographers. Our Instagram is a pretty active place, too!

Financial contributions are welcome here. Sign up to be a volunteer here. Or stop by the Folkmoot Friendship Center, 112 Virginia Avenue in Waynesville, and chat with our friendly staff to see where you might best fit in!

And here’s an idea you may not have considered before: Facebook users (and so many of us are, these days) can raise money on our own, among our friends, and have the money come directly to Folkmook by creating a special Facebook Fundraiser especially for Folkmoot! Click on the Facebook Fundraiser link to discover how easy that can be. Read more here about fundraising through Facebook.

Support your local Folkmoot!

We’re grateful that over our 35 year history, Folkmoot has become Haywood County’s premier summer festival, North Carolina’s official international folk festival and one of the Southeastern United State’s biggest events, drawing thousands of visitors and attention to our beloved Smoky Mountains.

None of this could have happened – nor continue to happen – without the generous support of our friends, family and Haywood County neighbors.

A Danish visitor stopped by the Folkmoot Friendship Center recently. He was wondering why a small North Carolina mountain town would have a “folkmoot,” a gathering of the people. He said folkmoots in Denmark were established to put a community’s needs above ideological beliefs, so that the people in the community were connected and cared for. He was impressed that we practice this tradition: one where friends, neighbors and families assemble in fellowship to share folk dance and cultural heritage. His visit was a refreshing reminder of why we do this work.

Support your local Folkmoot!Folkmoot brings our community together. Both young and old look forward to the last two weeks in July – the opportunities to enjoy the diversity of many cultures and the coming together of one peaceful world in Western North Carolina. The Festival is a source of pride as we marvel at the unique experience we have helped create as Friends of Folkmoot.

What do we need to continue this proud tradition? Your support.

Housing, feeding and transporting 250 dancers and musicians is an expensive proposition. Grants and government funding are scarce. Ticket sales are just not enough. Folkmoot needs your generous donation to bridge the gap. To adequately fund the Festival this year, we need the help of every Friend. While all contributions are much appreciated, we ask you to join us in becoming a Century Club member by making an annual contribution of $1,000.00, which is just $85.00 per month. Also notice that you receive tickets to year-round programs at this level.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to Friends of Folkmoot today. Folkmoot appreciates your past support and thanks you for your continued investment in the Folkmoot community.

Folkmoot’s work all year long

With help from grantors and funds from increasing ticket sales, Folkmoot has produced 10 Friendship Dinners, including Eritrean, Serbian, Indian, Lunar New Year (5 countries), Scottish, German, African (6 countries), Russian and Cherokee events.

Through a partnership with Western Carolina University faculty, Folkmoot’s educational programs have featured international language experts, professors of global politics, race and ethnicity,arts and culture.

Cultural Conversations initiatives launched in 2017 with twelve participating regional leaders; Folkmoot is in the process of initiating Youth Leadership in Diversity: Cultural Conversations in the Schools.

Folkmoot has grown our audience with new programs to include year-round and seasonal residents, youth and families, international families, community associations, businesses and
educational entities.

Through partnership with the Haywood County Library, Blue Ridge Books and Western Carolina University, Folkmoot has launched the Southern Storytellers Supper Series exploring
untold stories of regional culture and Cultural Crash Courses, a deep dive into global politics that we all see and are sometimes confounded by in the news.

Year-round programs have attracted approximately 4,000 particpants to the Friendship Center.

Festival Expansion

Support your local Folkmoot!Folkmoot has diversified festival performances to include musical ensembles, storytellers, contemporary folk culturefeaturing out-of-the-ordinary intangible cultural heritage groups
and activities for all ages.

The festival includes several new events including Many Cultures Day, Cultural Conversations, Community Friendship Dinners, Camp Folkmoot, Cherokee Ambassador’s Day and the BearWaters Brewery After Party. Folkmoot also maintains all operations of International
Festival Day.

Folkmoot hosts an annual training before the festival for high-school and college students to prepare them to serve as guides for international groups. Topics include: global politics, cultural communications, teamwork, leadership, festival operations, stage management, emergency response, conflict resolution and inclusivity.

Folkmoot receives more than 300 international group applications to participate in the festival. This number grows each year and we attribute this to global participation on social media.

Friendship Center expansion

With the help of the Haywood County Sheriff’s office, Folkmoot works with inmates who wish to do public service and who want on-the-job experience. These crews have accomplished painting, patching and repair work at the Center.

Folkmoot donors have supported the costs of repairs including re-roofing building A, replacing broken windows and inoperable toilets, fixing damaged pipes and replacing water damaged ceiling tiles, and painting and replastering classrooms.

Support your local Folkmoot!The Cafeteria and commercial kitchen spaces have undergone several upgrades, including the purchase of a new dishwasher, refrigerators, pots and pans, and tableware. These upgrades have made the kitchen compliant with commercial standards that allow Folkmoot to rent the kitchen to food trucks and caterers.

Through a generous donation from Rolf Kaufman, Folkmoot added a deck on the back of the center for group and communityhospitality.

Gas lines were installed to provide heating and cooling options for the Queen Auditorium and Multipurpose Room. This improvement lowered Folkmoot’s heating and cooling bills by thousands of dollars each year.

Floors have been refurbished throughout much of the building. With the help of Eagle Scout, Stephen Wenzel, Folkmoot added ADA ramps in the front and back doors of Building B. This improvement makes Folkmoot more accessible to the community.

With help of Haywood Community College landscaping students, Folkmoot has improved the grounds around the building.

With the assistance of North Carolina State University students, Folkmoot added a large globe pendent at the front entrance of the building.

The Mountain Heritage Center has partnered to develop educational niches in the Queen Auditorium. With assistance from donors, Folkmoot added a mezzanine and improved electrical inthis public space.

All of these improvements helped to make the Center available to community groups more than 30 times in the last two years.

FAQmoot about Folkmoot

FAQmoot about Folkmoot

FAQmoot about Folkmoot, those “frequently asked questions” we seem to get quite a bit, are all part of being a unique festival, North Carolina’s official international folk festival.

Folkmoot Festival 2018 ended July 29 but activities and programs continue year-round. Be sure to visit our  Videos & Images Page, here on our website for images of Folkmoot Festival 2018. Our Facebook page is a pretty handy way to keeping up with the latest events.

In addition to those appearing on our Video & Images page, we also have links to larger collections by some of the areas best photographers and videographers. Our Instagram is a pretty active place, too!

So, you probably know Folkmoot as a colorful and exciting extravaganza of international folk dance, cultural exchange and peace-building. But Folkmoot is actually much more.

We sat down with Folkmoot Executive Director Angeline Schwab and asked her – directly – for answers to some of those questions. (And feel free to reach out to us with other questions here. We’ll answer them!)

Q: How did Folkmoot acquire the historic Hazelwood School, now the Folkmoot Friendship Center? When?

A: It was a gift to Folkmoot from the Haywood County Commissioners in June 2014.


Q: What are the monthly costs for maintaining the building?

A: Basic operations and staffing costs about $10,000 – $12,000/month. 


FAQmoot about FolkmootQ: How much more does it cost Folkmoot for general building upkeep?

A: Through our relationships with volunteers and the Sheriff’s crew, we manage most of our “upkeep” or repairs with cost of materials; however, we do hire contractors from time to time and that costs about $20k in a year. Over the last four years, we’ve made more than $600,000 of upgrades to the building.


Q: How does Folkmoot get the money to pay for the building costs, staffing and your events?

A: Folkmoot has a few sources of income: ticket sales to the festival and year-round events, contributions from individuals related to the Friends of Folkmoot and the Campaign for Folkmoot; foundation grants for year-round programs, building rentals from others for specific events and sponsorship from regional businesses.


Q: What’s the ratio of private to public funding sources?

A: 60% of all Folkmoot funds are contributed by individuals, sponsors and foundations;  30% of our funding is from earned income; and 10% of our budget has been government, but that number has gone down drastically over the last decade.


Q: How many workers, staff and volunteers does Folkmoot have or need?

A: Folkmoot has four regular part-time staff, one full time director and up to 47 seasonal employees during the July festival – primarily student guides, teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria workers. We have about 300 individuals that donate their skills to the organization throughout the year.


Q: How much does Folkmoot spend on seasonal employees for the festival?

A: We spend $40,000 in seasonal staff.


FAQmoot about FolkmootQ: Who uses the Folkmoot Friendship Center outside of July?

A: Folkmoot holds several community events each month: Friendship Dinners, Southern Suppers and/or Cultural Crash Courses. We rent a few rooms in the building to organizations and small businesses.  We rent the entire building to Carolina Readiness once a year and our auditorium, cafeteria and multipurpose room to individuals holding weddings and other events. We are currently planning ballroom dance classes and are working towards becoming a youth hostel for special interest groups in the spring and fall. Our goal is to make the building vibrant and self-sustaining.


Q: What does the building offer that other facilities don’t offer?

A: We are usually less expensive than many other places. We also have space for kids to play, a full commercial kitchen, 22 classrooms, a deck, laundry facility, and showers.


Q: How much does it cost to host the international groups each year for the festival?

A: The groups cost Folkmoot about $6,000 each for food, transportation and lodging. I should mention that the groups’ travel costs are supported by their governments. Each group represents their country or university in a mission to create peace through sharing culture.


Q: How much does the festival cost each year to produce?

A: About $270,000.


FAQmoot about FolkmootQ: What is Folkmoot’s annual budget?

A: It varies each year, but about $530,000 annually.


Q: How much of the costs are for the building?

A: The building costs about $89,000 a year.


Q: How much do you earn from ticket sales?

A: Ticket sales average around $100,000 a year.


Q: Why does Folkmoot travel to other counties and towns? Why doesn’t Folkmoot keep your shows in Haywood County?

A: Folkmoot needs to maximize ticket sales to pay for the festival and the building. Haywood County tickets represents over half of our total ticket sales for the festival and our free events, like the Parade of Nations and International Day are held in Waynesville to ensure we are focusing on economic impact – increasing heads in beds in our home county. However, we have to depend on the ticket sales in Asheville, Franklin, Hendersonville, Hickory and Cherokee to make ends meet. Visiting these towns almost doubles our ticket revenue but it also costs us $15,000 in bus rentals!  We watch the cost of travel and ticket sales very closely. As we develop our capacity for more outdoor events, we will be able to expand our offerings in Waynesville. We hope to do that.


Q: What’s the economic impact of the Folkmoot Festival?

A: According to a 2013 study by Syneva Economics, Folkmoot generates 9.2 million dollars for our regional economy. People can google that and read more about that report if they wish.


Q:Anything else you want people to know about the Folkmoot organization?

A: We hope that the community recognizes the meaning behind holding a Folkmoot. The word Folkmoot is a little odd, but the definition is powerful – it means “a meeting of the people.” A Danish visitor once explained to me – that older communities in Denmark hold folkmoots to put a community’s needs first, over politics. People get together and figure out how to help the people in their own neighborhood, no matter what their political ideologies; when they are done talking, they dance to bring joy the community and solidify their agreements. This seems super-important in the United States right now.

Lastly, we are celebrating cultural differences – all world cultures. The United States is a cultural mosaic; we are celebrating that most of us came from somewhere else and we brought cultural expectations, assumptions and ideas with us. Sometimes, these differences strain communications between people with differences, but Folkmoot is here to bridge that, to support cultural understanding. We think the differences are what makes this country beautiful.

A Folkmoot sponsorship is among the most prized

A Folkmoot sponsorship is among the most prized

A Folkmoot sponsorship is among the most prized and coveted in North Carolina because of its community and marketing value, its uniqueness and its prestige.

What corporation, media company, community group, business or organization wouldn’t want to be part of North Carolina’s official international folk festival?

Visit our current sponsors here. We think you’d love to have your company or organization name listed among them, some of the most important companies and organizations in North Carolina.

For 35 years, Folkmoot has been bringing the world to Western North Carolina through folk dance and music, folk tradition and building peace and understanding worldwide through cultural exchange.

And while the Folkmoot Festival takes place in our beloved Smoky Mountains each July, the work of Folkmoot, the activities of Folkmoot continue all year long and corporate sponsorship benefits from a 12-month exposure to an audience eager to grow and learn about world cultures while building peace among our human family.

Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performances are available here.

Let’s face it, Folkmoot sponsorship comes with some pretty sweet perks, as well, not the least of which is exposure to the thousands of people from all over the nation – and world – who attend the Folkmoot Festival each year.

Of course, there are tickets to performances for in all levels of sponsorship, including and especially the Grand Opening Gala. Invitations to private performances and events are included at some sponsorship levels. Getting “inside” Folkmoot, behind the scenes and experiencing Folkmoot at an elevated altitude in part of sponsorship.

And, of course, sponsors get company or organization logos on a wide variety of Folkmoot printed programs, banners, merchandise, exposure at performances and even more notoriety.

Plus – and this is important – sponsors become part of the Folkmoot Family and join our mission to help bring peace and understanding through cultural exchange, education and lifting up the human family.

Look over our sponsorship levels and benefits, below. Give us a call, 828-452-2997, and speak with Folkmoot Executive Director Angeline Schwab about how your company or organization can best join our Folkmoot Family!

A Folkmoot sponsorship is among the most prizedA Folkmoot sponsorship is among the most prized