Folkmoot USA Friendship Center

Building a World of Year-Round Possibilities

Folkmoot’s mission is to bridge cultural differences through arts and education. We build organizational partnerships that fortify social, economic and cultural prosperity. 

Folkmoot is also embracing change like never before—seizing the opportunity to convert the historic Hazelwood School into a vibrant community center to serve Folkmoot, its neighbors, and other partners throughout the year.

With any gift to Folkmoot you can be assured each dollar spent goes toward broadening cultural understanding and acceptance through the arts, creating a global community of friends.

The newest opportunities for creating a legacy or giving a gift to benefit Folkmoot include:

  • $500 each – Auditorium seats with commemorative message
  • $350 each – International flags for town displays and a commemorative brick at FFC
  • $250 each – Commemorative brick in Friendship Center entryway and courtyard
  • $150  – Two Tickets, Friends Gala Event or Two Tickets, show of your choice, July 20 – 30, 2017

We’ll be happy to help you select which contribution is right for you. Call the Folkmoot office, 828-452-2997.

To make a contribution electronically, click here

The founders of Folkmoot USA crafted their mission 30 years ago, when the United States and the Soviet Union stood toe-to-toe in a nuclear arms race, and the Olympic boycotts of the 1980s twice diminished one of the great gatherings of people from across the world. Meanwhile, local leaders in Western North Carolina looked for ways to bring people together to celebrate their cultural differences, rather than emphasize their disagreements. Together, they created Folkmoot USA, best known throughout our region for our summer festival—a flurry of dance, music, culture, laughter and understanding held each July.

Through the summer festival and many other events during the past 33 years, Folkmoot USA has brought to our region 200 performance groups from over 100 countries, attracted annual audiences of more than 40,000 local residents and tourists, educated local school children, and catalyzed over $9+million in positive, annual impacts on our regional economy.

Much has changed since the 1980s—from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the rise of the Internet and the chaos of international terrorism. And while Folkmoot USA continues to play a unique role in helping us understand, preserve, and appreciate the diverse cultures of the world, Folkmoot is changing, too. We have expanded our mission to include more expressions of culture, such as handicrafts and culinary arts, and we have developed a strategic plan to realize this mission year-round. And now our biggest change and many of our greatest opportunities center on the historic Hazelwood School, Folkmoot’s home for the last 10 years.

Haywood County has generously donated the historic Hazelwood School property to Folkmoot USA. As a renter for the last decade, we have utilized this facility to host our summer festival participants and other events. Ownership opens the door to both new responsibilities and amazing opportunities, giving Folkmoot USA the potential to achieve its goals of offering year-round programming for local people and visitors and operating a center that brings the local and international communities together in a wide variety of ways, from hosting guests to creating venues for children and adults to enjoy international and community events, performances, and more. Given the historic school’s many positive features, including a full kitchen/cafeteria, an auditorium, a gym, and numerous classrooms, we see countless possibilities ahead.

To make the most of this time of change, Folkmoot USA has launched a capital campaign that will raise crucial funds to revitalize the historic Hazelwood School; convene our community and regional partners to plan robust community use of these facilities; and grow Folkmoot USA’s
programming and endowment funds. These efforts include six key areas of activity:

montageTaking Ownership of the Historic Hazelwood School

Haywood County is generously donating these facilities to Folkmoot USA. According to Haywood County tax records, these facilities are worth $1.336 million! Folkmoot USA will receive title in June 2014.

Revitalizing the Historic Hazelwood School

Folkmoot USA must renovate these historic facilities, so they can better serve Folkmoot USA and
the local community. These changes include repairing/replacing the roof, renovating the auditorium and gymnasium, and making the building more energy- and water-efficient. These renovations will enable Folkmoot USA to host events throughout the year, while also reducing the buildings’ maintenance and operations costs and their environmental footprint.

Boosting Year-Round Programs

In order to continue to provide free events for local children and families and to develop and offer new programs, Folkmoot USA must secure more program support. In time, increases in event revenue, endowment income, rental/leasing revenue, and other income sources will help sustain these programs.

Growing Our Endowment

The Border Foundation, named for Folkmoot’s founder, Dr. Clinton Border, provides long-term support for Folkmoot USA. Only the annual income is spent from this fund, providing Folkmoot USA with about $20,000 per year of its current budget of $500,000 per year. We are seeking at least $114,000 to grow this endowment fund, which will, in turn, help maintain a more robust schedule of community activities and Folkmoot USA programming at the historic Hazelwood School.