WARM UP BY THE FIRE!
NORTHWEST FOLKLIFE’S ASTOUNDING CULTURAL REACH SHOWCASED AT IMPORTANT ‘WINTER FIRESIDE PARTY’ BENEFIT – JANUARY 25
Performances from 14 Multi-Cultural Musical Groups including
Vikesh Kapoor, Ravenna Woods, Juliana + PAVA, a Northwest Fiddle Showcase featuring Local Greats, and More Aim to Raise $10,000 for the Country’s Largest Community Powered Arts and Culture Festival
Seattle, WASH. – January 14, 2014 – With great excitement, Northwest Folklife is preparing for its first annual “Winter Fireside Party,” a full day benefit music event featuring string bands, indie-roots, blues, and gospel music, as well as the opportunity to hear from artists in a cozy and intimate setting. The “Winter Fireside Party” will be held January 25 from 2pm-11pm at VERA Project on Seattle Center grounds.
Northwest Folklife is an independent, year-round arts and culture organization known for producing its signature event, the much-loved, annual Northwest Folklife Festival. A Mecca for ethnic and traditional artists of our region, the Festival has been known to draw roughly a quarter million people to the Seattle Center grounds over Memorial Day Weekend to enjoy music, storytelling, dance, arts and more every year since 1972. Northwest Folklife creates opportunities for more than 6,000 performers and over 100 community cultural groups to celebrate, share, and sustain their traditions and art forms with thousands of festival participants, and it does all of this in just the four short days of the annual Festival event.
So, what is Folklife?
“We think of folklife as what people do for their own entertainment and make for their own use,” Robert Townsend, Northwest Folklife’s Executive Director explains. “Everyone is a bearer of folk arts, and the Folklife Festival has been shaped and has evolved over generations by the changes we see in the many diverse communities in our greater community.” Folklife partners with a wide variety of diverse communities that make up the Pacific Northwest population to program the Festival. These cultural groups range from the Hungarian community to all-ages organizations such as Reel Grrls and the VERA Project. The recent addition of Indie Roots programming, bands like The Maldives or Ravenna Woods, is an example of the evolving cultures in the region and showcases some of the best Northwest independent artists who are actively growing a new indie sound from traditional folk elements.
Annual Festival operating costs top out at $1.1Million.
While the Northwest Folklife Festival has and always will be free to attendees, it is important to note that the event is the largest community powered arts and culture festival in the nation and is dependent on donations. Northwest Folklife relies on the support of individual donors to make up nearly 50% of the Festival’s operating costs. “Most people do not realize that the Festival is paid for primarily through individual donation,” board member Sue Songer, Northwest Folklife’s Development Chair commented. “In 2012, we conducted a survey on the Festival grounds that told us that a startling 67% of respondents were not aware that Folklife was an independent organization, and that we solicit for individual giving to ensure the future of the annual Festival.” The primary opportunities to give to Folklife exist at entrances and venues of the May Festival, at various smaller benefit events throughout the year, and through the sales of Folklife’s “Roots & Branches” music compilation series, now in its fifth volume. Northwest Folklife also accepts individual contributions throughout the year through direct mail, online, over the phone, or in-person.
The “Winter Fireside Party” is the largest fundraising event that Northwest Folklife will produce this year, and its fundraising goal is $10,000. “We decided to produce a Folklife Festival-style event as a fundraiser in order to raise the money that is necessary for us to carry out the vision of continuing the annual Northwest Folklife Festival in 2014 and for many years to come,” Townsend commented. “The greater Northwest community is and always has been the lifeblood of this organization for good reason. Ours is a grassroots organization – many individuals create the base of our support and are those whose lives are touched and changed due to their experience at the Festival.”
On January 25, the “Winter Fireside Party” will showcase just what Northwest Folklife has provided our greater community over the past 42 years. Guests will be invited to square dance to the music of The Onlies with calling by Gabe Strand; performances in the main venue featuring The Sojourners, Jason Dodson & Kevin Barrans of The Maldives, Ravenna Woods, and The Shivas.
The Northwest Fiddle Showcase at 4pm highlights a varied line-up of some of the best fiddlers in the Northwest such as Phil & Vivian Williams, Ben Hunter (of Renegade Stringband), Karen England & Jim Newberry, The Onlies, and Paul Anastasio.
Folklife will also have an outdoor Fireside Tent: a heated and fire lit space, complete with comfy couches, for music and conversation with the artists that is presented in partnership with KEXP.
FOR CALENDAR EDITORS
“Winter Fireside Party” – a Northwest Folklife benefit event
Enjoy a full day and evening of string bands, indie-roots, blues, and gospel music as well as the opportunity to hear from artists in a cozy and intimate setting. Guests are invited to join in for square dancing, featuring The Onlies and caller Gabe Strand; performances in the main venue feature The Sojourners, Jason Dodson & Kevin Barrans of The Maldives, Ravenna Woods, and The Shivas.
The Northwest Fiddle Showcase will highlight a varied line-up of some of the best fiddlers in the Northwest including Northwest Folklife founders Phil & Vivian Williams, as well as Ben Hunter (of Renegade Stringband), Karen England & Jim Newberry, The Onlies, and Paul Anastasio.
Special acoustic performances in the Vera Gallery include Baby Gramps, VIKESH KAPOOR, Juliana & PAVA, Les Pamplemousses, and Orville Johnson.
Folklife will also have an outdoor Fireside Tent: a heated and fire lit space, complete with comfy couches, for music and conversation with the artists.
Food and drink will be available for suggested donation.
The VERA Project
305 Harrison Street, Seattle
Saturday, January 25, 2014