Folkmoot 2017: Ayalot Hanegev of Israel!


The Israel Representative Dance Ensemble “Ayalot Hanegev “comes to Folkmoot from the city of Be’er-Sheva. The group was founded in 1980 under the artistic direction of choreographer Moti Alkiss. Ayalot Hanegev performed at Folkmoot in 1996 and Folkmoot is excited to have the talented troupe returning to Haywood County once again.


The Israel Dance Ensemble has represented Israel in 77 countries all over the world during their 38 years of existence. They have appeared on national TV channels in Israel and international networks. The group comes highly recommended from the various events they have performed at and when the group came to Folkmoot in 1996, Mayor Henry B. Poy said, “These group members are artists in every sense. A lot of people have now put Israel at the top priority of their travel list after experiencing the wonder of these talented performers. We would love to have this group visit us again.”


Unlike many other forms of folk dance, Israeli folk dance is only about 60 years old. Israeli folk dancing is typically performed to songs in Hebrew and includes circle, partner, line, and individuals dances. Along with the talented dancers, Ayalot Hanegev is bringing two singers and several musicians who play the keyboard, accordion, drums, and trumpet.

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Folkmoot 2017: Utkarsh Dance Academy from India!

Utkarsh Dance Academy wowed guests at Folkmoot in 2001 and 2004 and Folkmoot is proud to have the team returning again this year. The dance company was founded in 1994 in the famous city of Surat located in Gujarat, India, and has been entertaining for 22 years. They are an Indian Government registered company that specializes in Indian classical dance, Indian Folk Dances, and Bollywood dances.


Mrs. Behnaz S Todiwala is both Director and Founder of the dance company. She has been recognized for her extraordinary contribution to society in the field of dance. She desires for the Academy to be more than practical and theoretical knowledge of the dance forms, but most importantly, she wants to help students understand cultures of countries across the world.


Performing at the festival this year are 22 dancers and two talented musicians. The group is also bringing a hair and makeup artist to incorporate traditional styles. One of the most popular classical dances that Utkarsh will be performing is Bharatnatyam. This dance was initially performed in temples as part of religious ceremonies. Costumes are typically colorful with gold borders and flare to make every twirl more striking.

Click here to see the 2017 festival schedule! 

Click here for tickets! 

Folkmoot 2017: The Red River Welsh Folk Dancers

Dawnswyr Gwerin Yr Afon Goch (The Red River Welsh Folk Dancers) is recognized world-wide for their unique performances of Irish and Welsh style dances. The school was established in Winnipeg in the fall of 1947 with no more than a dozen pupils, due to the small population of Irish in the community. Samuel and Sarah McConnell, immigrants from Northern Ireland, are the founders of the dance school.


Sam McConnell choreographed numerous CBC TV shows and local theatre productions. Many of the students from McConnell School of Dance have experienced successful careers in dance. The group has been part of CIOFF for over 40 years and perform over 60 shows each year both locally, nationally, and internationally. The dancers have performed at festivals in Peru, Costa Rica, Bulgaria, Ireland, and Walt Disney World in Florida.


Dawnswyr Gwerin Yr Afon Goch (The Red River Welsh Folk Dancers)have a unique, high caliber, performance-style dancing of both traditional and modern forms of Irish dance. Costumes for females include a full skirted dress often featuring lace and detailed patterns from the medieval period.

Click here to see the 2017 festival schedule! 

Click here for tickets! 

How to Volunteer for the Festival

With the Folkmoot Festival just around the corner, there are still a lot of donations and requests to be coordinated before our groups arrive in July.

We had a successful volunteer meeting on May 15th, including a discussion about our basic volunteer needs for the festival and a new donation’s list for the coming months.

There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers to help us prepare our facility for the upcoming festival. One important one is our Saturday Volunteer Days.  Each month before the festival we have one Saturday dedicated to sprucing up the building.   Our next two Saturday Volunteer Days are Saturday, May 20th, and Saturday, June 24th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Lunch will be provided on both days. These mornings are usually filled with painting, preparing the beds, cleaning rooms, changing light fixtures or lawn care. It’s always a great way to meet different people in our community and to get involved with the festival.

I encourage all who are interested to get involved.  There is a lot of love to be shared through Folkmoot both with our 10-day festival as well as our year-round programming. While helping Folkmoot run smoothly and cost effectively on a year-round basis, you are being an important part of an organization that helps our community engage in cultural conversations and work to eliminate cultural bias while embracing our differences. Your involvement will be more rewarding than you might imagine, and our hope is to unite our community in a way never thought possible.

Our monthly meetings are year-round and occur every 3rd Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at the Folkmoot Friendship Center. If you aren’t able to attend each meeting, there will also be a monthly email sent out to our volunteers that shares what they missed and how to get involved.

For more information about how to volunteer, be a part of our monthly volunteer meetings, and get on our email list, contact Catherine MacCallum at 828.452.2997 ext 105 or

Currently, we are seeking the following donations:

  • new bath towels
  • new wash clothes
  • thick plastic hangers
  • new boxed fans
  • new ironing board pads & covers
  • ironing boards
  • light blankets

Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!

2017 Venues for Festival




Folkmoot Friendship Center: The Folkmoot Friendship Center is located at 112 Virginia Ave in Waynesville, NC. In 2002, Folkmoot Friendship Center opened in what was previously the Hazelwood Elementary School. Festival events at the center include the Gala on July 20th and Many Cultures Carnival on July 22nd.

HART Theatre: The HART Theatre sits on an eight acre National Historic site owned by the Shelton House Museum and is located at 250 Pigeon Street in Waynesville, NC. The theatre was founded in 1985 as a semi-professional community theatre to showcase local talents. Folkmoot will hold its Opening Matinee at the theatre on July 21st and July 28th at 2:00 p.m.

First United Methodist Church: First United Methodist Church is located 566 S Haywood St. in Waynesville, NC. The festival event will take place in the Christian Growth Center/Gym on July 23 at 12p.m. This is a chance to meet the performers during a luncheon along with getting to see an intimate performance.

Drendel Auditorium: Drendel Auditorium is a part of the SALT Block Foundation in Hickory, NC. This is a 400 seat auditorium located at 243 Third Avenue. Folkmoot will host two performances at this venue on July 23 with a performance at 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Cherokee High School: Folkmoot will host a performance at Cherokee High School on July 25th at 5:00 p.m. This venue is located at 200 Ravensford Drive in Cherokee, NC.

Colonial Theater: The Colonial Theater is a 2 ½ story colonial style, historic movie theater built in 1932. The theater has 650 seats and has been renovated and is used for concerts, movies, plays, and more. The Folkmoot performers will be at this historic theater on July 25th 7p.m. The Colonial Theater is located at 53 Park Street in Canton, NC.

Blue Ridge Community College: Blue Ridge Community College is located at 180 West Campus Drive in Flat Rock, NC. The college has a 450 seat auditorium where Folkmoot will host a performance on July 26th at 2:00 p.m.

Centre Stage: Centre Stage was founded in 1983 by Douglas P. McCoy and is located at 501 River Street downtown Greenville, SC. It is a 285 seat regional theater offering a wide range of entertainment. This lovely theater is surrounded by the historic Falls Park and many shops and restaurants in downtown Greenville. Folkmoot will be hosting a performance here on July 26th at 7:00 p.m.

Smoky Mountain Performing Arts Center: This is a high-tech performing arts theater with a 1500 seat auditorium. The venue is located at 1028 Georgia Rd in Franklin, NC. Folkmoot performers will be showcased at this venue on July 27th at 7:00 p.m.

Diana Wortham Theatre: The Diana Wortham Theatre is located at 18 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville, NC. This is a multi-level performance venue that hosts music, theatre, and dance acts year round. Folkmoot will be returning to this venue on July 28th at 7:00 p.m.

Haywood Community College: The talented Folkmoot performers will be at this venue on July 29th at 7:00 p.m.  HCC started with only one curriculum program and 39 students; today the college offers over 50 curricular programs to over 3,300 students. Haywood Community College is located at 185 Freedlander Dr in Clyde, NC.

Stuart Auditorium: Stuart Auditorium is the largest and most historic venue at Lake Junaluska. The auditorium seats 1887 and offers wheelchair spaces. This venue has been host to many noted public speakers including Eleanor Roosevelt and hosted countless performances. Folkmoot will be at this venue, which is located at 20 Chapel Dr., on Friday, July 21st at 7p.m. for the first evening performance and July 30th at 7:00 p.m. for the Candlelight Closing event.



Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!

Meet Catherine MacCallum, new Operations & Volunteer Coordinator

There is some exciting news to share at Folkmoot!

You will see a new face at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, ME!  My name is Catherine MacCallum, and I am the new Operations and Volunteer Coordinator (some may remember me by the last name of Crowe).

I am no stranger to Folkmoot, as I interned for the festival in the summer of 2010 and 2011 and volunteered during last year’s festival.  Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you how much Folkmoot has meant to me since my internship.  As a travel enthusiast, Folkmoot was the best internship I could have ever had.  I was honored to be chosen in 2010 for the internship and it has changed my life and the way I now view cultural understanding.

I was born and raised in the Triad near Winston-Salem, NC. I attended Western Carolina University where I met my husband junior year.  After moving to Kentucky for my husband’s pursuit of his master’s degree, we came back to western North Carolina. To say we were over the moon to be back and then for me to connect with Folkmoot is an understatement.  The stars could not have aligned any straighter when this opportunity opened up to work for the festival!

As the new Operations & Volunteer Coordinator, I will be managing our wonderful volunteers for all aspects of our year-round programming and during our 10 day festival in July.  I will also be handling all operations of events in the Friendship Center, fundraising events, and performances.  You will also find me working on improvements at the Friendship Center and organizing “lawn care days” for example.

Something new I will be working on is a monthly volunteer meeting and newsletter to keep everyone in our community up to date on happenings and opportunities to volunteer! There is so much fun to be had at our center and I want to have lots of opportunities for community members to get involved.  If you haven’t volunteered with us in the past and want more information please feel free to contact me at

I can’t wait to embrace this year’s festival and everything Folkmoot has to offer to our community! I look forward to this new beginning in my life and meeting all of the Friends of Folkmoot!


Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!

Images & videos from Folkmoot Summer 2015

Create a Folkmoot legacy all your own!

We continue to compile more images & videos from Folkmoot Summer 2015! As anyone could guess, Folkmoot is a veritable paradise of bright images and videos, dance and movement, energetic people with broad smiles and engaging personalities. Here, below, are some samples from that trio for the 2015 Summer Festival. Further on down, we’ll post … Read more

Folkmoot Sponsors make it all possible!

Folkmoot Sponsors make it all possible!

Without a doubt, Folkmoot Sponsors make it all possible! And, yes, we are without question so very grateful for the thousands of private donations and volunteer efforts of the entire community. But without our generous Sponsors – who give not only treasure but also time and talent – there would be no Folkmoot and our … Read more

Now Hiring: Official Guides for Folkmoot 2015!

Folkmoot USA dancers

It may be the ultimate way to fully experience all that is Folkmoot – to serve as an official guide for the visiting dance troupes! Folkmoot is now hiring: official guides for the Folkmoot USA 2015! It’s a paid position for the two weeks of the festival – July 16-26. Guides act as liaisons and … Read more

Folkmoot – from two weeks to year-round!

Folkmoot USA Friendship Center

“A strategic plan unveiled (April 9th) will revamp Folkmoot USA from a two-week summer festival to a year-around incubator for cultural engagement, community development and economic enrichment.” That’s how The Mountaineer pretty accurately summed up the renewed vision for Folkmoot in the lead story of its April 13 edition. “With a building of its own, … Read more