Southern Storytellers Series: David Joy

Folkmoot, Blue Ridge Books and the Haywood County Public Library present the Southern Storytellers Supper Series, bringing southern culture and regional authors and musicians together for educational evenings of discussion, food and fun.

David Joy is the author of the Edgar nominated novel Where All Light Tends To Go (Putnam, 2015), as well as the novels The Weight Of This World (Putnam, 2017) and The Line That Held Us (Putnam, 2018). He is also the author of the memoir Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman’s Journey (Bright Mountain Books, 2011), which was a finalist for the Reed Environmental Writing Award and the Ragan Old North State Award.

He is the recipient of an artist fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council. His latest short stories and essays have appeared in Time, The New York Times Magazine, Garden & Gun, and The Bitter Southerner.

In addition to his writing, David enjoys hunting, fishing, his dog and nature. If you’ve read his fiction, non-fiction and articles this would not surprise you. Come hear more about how these traditional aspects of mountain life have influenced and found their way into his writing.

Thursday, September 26, 6pm  •  Tickets: $10-$20 ($23 at the door)

Balsam Range Art of Music Festival Kickoff at Folkmoot

Balsam Range Art of Music Festival Kickoff at Folkmoot

For the second year, Balsam Range opens its December Art of Music Festival with a Waynesville kickoff at the Queen Auditorium/Folkmoot Center, located at the Historic Hazelwood School.

Members of Balsam Range – and perhaps a special guest or two – will launch the weekend festival with a performance in the school’s renovated auditorium on Thursday, December 5.

“We want to help build community around this space, and contribute to the vibrancy of Folkmoot with our music,” said Balsam Range’s Buddy Melton, currently the International Bluegrass Music Association’s reigning top male vocalist. “Y’all come!”

The event beings with a social gathering at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 5, with barbeque and fresh beer available for purchase.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $28 at the door, and can be purchased in advance at Folkmoot.org or by calling 828.452.2997. Weekend ticket packages and other Balsam Range Art of Music Festival information can be found at  www.balsamrangeartofmusicfestival.com. Tickets sales and contributions support Folkmoot programs that sustain cultural arts for youth and families in Western North Carolina.

The Folkmoot Friendship Center is located in the Historic Hazelwood School, 112 Virginia Ave., Waynesville. Parking is available in the back of the Folkmoot building for all special events.

Folkmoot is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating many cultures in one community. The Folkmoot Friendship Center is located in the Historic Hazelwood School at 112 Virginia Avenue in Waynesville. Staff can be reached by phone at (828) 452-2997 or by email at info@folkmoot.org.

Queen Auditorium, Folkmoot Center

Folkmoot 2019: Gala Under the Stars Gallery

2019 Folkmoot Gala Under the Stars
Meet and greet at Queen Auditorium

Each year’s Folkmoot Legacy Festival begins with a meet and greet and Gala Under the Stars for Folkmoot donors. The weather was perfect in 2019, and guests were treated to food, drink and performances from participating groups and the Blue Ridge Big Band.

Below is a gallery of selected photos from the night!

Curtain Call!

Around the Folkmoot Center: Curtain Call!

Folkmalt Music Lineup Promises to Move Rear-Ends

On July 26, the Folkmoot crew, the town of Canton, the BearWaters Brewing staff and many other brewers from around the region will gather in Canton’s Sorrells Park for the inaugural Folkmalt Fair. They’ll be joined by musicians and dancers from Colombia, Romania, Egypt and more! None more important than the two acts on the Main Stage, though: Asheville’s The Get Right Band and Woody Pines.

Woody Pines
The music of Nashville troubadour Woody Pines comes from the streets. It was on the streets as a professional busker that Woody first cut his teeth, drawing liberally from the lost back alley anthems and scratchy old 78s of American roots music, whether country blues, jugband, hokum, or hillbilly. Heavy rollicking street performances are the key to Woody’s intensely catchy rhythms, jumpy lyrics, and wildly delirious sense of fun. 

The Get Right Band

“Hip-shaking, earthquaking pure funk fun” (The Alternate Root). They are one of Relix Magazine’s “On The Verge” picks, Home Grown Music Network’s 2015 “Best New Band of the Year,” and were voted “Best Progressive Band” in Western North Carolina by Mountain Xpress readers. Combining catchy, clever, honest  songwriting with musical expertise and fearless improvisation, the live show promises to move your head, heart, and hips.

Folkmalt welcomes the Get Right Band
The Get Right Band

Folkmoot announces 2019 Visiting Group Lineup

Kecskemét Folk Dance Ensemble - Hungary

Folkmoot’s eleven-day summer festival is only weeks away. Welcoming five international groups, alongside Appalachian, Cherokee and other American ethnic cultural groups, the festival opens in Waynesville with the Gala Under the Stars on Thursday, July 18 and ends with the Candlelight Closing on Sunday, July 28 at Lake Junaluska’s Stuart Auditorium. Folkmoot performances are held in eight communities throughout western North Carolina. More information about participating cultural groups can be found below and the full schedule is available at Folkmoot.org. 

Appalachian Cloggers

The 2019 festival features six clogging groups from western North Carolina, each with a unique style and a shared passion for authentic clogging traditions. Clogging is a traditional dance that displays individual footwork, as the team keeps a rhythmic cadence. All teams do a combination of traditional freestyle clogging accompanied by original bluegrass music provided by the Doghouse Band from Candler, NC. Audiences will enjoy group performances by the Dixie Darlins, Appalachian Mountaineer Cloggers, Blue Ride Heritage Cloggers, Fines Creek Cloggers, Cole Mountain Cloggers and Green Valley Cloggers. 

The Bahamas Platinum Knights Junkanoo – Bahamas

The Platinum Knights will share Junkanoo, a street parade with music, dance, and costumes reflecting their cultural origins with the Akan people of Ghana. These parades are held on many islands across the English speaking Caribbean every Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, a similar tradition as “Kakamotobi” or the Fancy Dress Festival of Ghana. The original Junkanoo is the strongest remaining African tradition in the Bahamas. “Our organization is engineered by a group of veterans known to the Junkanoo world. We are family-oriented and our goal is to not only express our culture but to also teach it to future generations. Platinum Knights group envisions the art of junkanoo evolving without straying away from its foundation.”

Corporacion Cultural Danza Arte y Tradicion DANZAT – Colombia

DANZAT is a group from Columbia that will share many dances of the Llanero culture. A Llanero is a South American sheepherder found in the Llanos grasslands of west-central Venezuela and eastern Colombia. Part of both Spanish and Indian culture, the Llanero have a strong culture with distinctive music. The Llanero music is distinctive for its use of the harp, the maracas and a small guitar called a cuarto. One of DANZAT’s featured dances is called the Joropo. Cultural Corporation Dance Art and Tradition DANZAT has contributed 25 years to the spreading of the Llanera Culture in Colombia and around the world. 

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Cherokee culture is represented by a drum group, powwow dancers, traditional Cherokee dancers, a storyteller, a hoop dancer, the Hummingbirds stickball team, the Big Cove “Kolanvyi” (co-lah-nuh-yee) stickball team and Cherokee artisans. The Cherokee people include the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Cherokee Nation and United Kituwah Band both in Oklahoma. The Eastern Band of Cherokee, or Tsalagi (Zah-la-gee) do not live on a reservation, which is land given to a native American tribe by the federal government. Instead, in the 1800’s, the tribal members purchased 57,000 acres of property, all in Western North Carolina, spread throughout several counties, called the Qualla Boundary.

National Folkloric Dance Troupe of Egypt – Egypt

Established in 1960, National Folkloric Dance Troupe of Egypt is considered a leading Egyptian folk group. They specialize in a series of traditional dances that show different aspects of daily Egyptian lives and traditional life. Folkloric dance in Egypt is divided regionally into the dance from the Delta (fellahi), the Upper Delta (Saidi), the coastal area (Sawahili), Sinai (Bedouin), and the Nubian area. These regions are defined based on the views of the people themselves. Egypt also has a longstanding tradition of belly dancing. Believed to have originated as a fertility dance performed by priestesses in Pharaonic times, it exists today in two main forms, as a folk dance (raqs baladi), performed by women at parties and weddings, and as a form of entertainment by professional dancers (raqs sharqi).

Kecskemét Folk Dance Ensemble – Hungary

Established in 1976, the Kecskemét Folk Dance Ensemble is maintained by the Hiros Agora Culture and Youth Center in Budapest. With around 280 dancers split up into ten groups, Kecskemét welcomes participants of all ages. The group presents dances of the nations living in the Carpathian Basin. Some of them are Ugrós (Jumping dances), Csárdás, Verbunkos and The Legényes. 

Martisorul- Romania

The Student Folkloric Ensemble “Mărţişorul” was founded in February 1957 by the first director of the Student Culture House of the University Center Cluj-Napoca, Mr. Laurenţiu Hodorog, and is considered one of the nation’s best. Composed of amateurs, it is highly appreciated both for its originality and its great talent that promotes the traditional and creative spirit of the Romanian people. Mărţişorul’s performances include authentic Romanian folk songs and dances from most ethnographic areas of the country, such as dance and song suites from Banat, Moldavia, Oltenia, Maramureş and especially various regions of Transylvania. 

Folkmoot will also include American ethnic groups for interactive pavilion activities, including greek Chinese, Scottish and Mexican vendors, dancers and storytellers.

Folkmoot Presents: Camp Folkmoot 2019 “Hands around the Globe”

Folkmoot: Camp Folkmoot 2019

As many people now know, “Folkmoot” means “meeting of the people.” The Folkmoot Festival provides communities throughout western North Carolina the opportunity to build a deeper sense of connection and respect with people from around the world while celebrating cultural arts.  

An important aspect of the Festival is its engagement of youth and families in the Folkmoot experience. One such opportunity, Camp Folkmoot, is designed to bring regional students, groups, and families together with local and international performance troupes. Camp Folkmoot is a one-day dance camp for kids and teens between 3rd and 12th grades. At Camp Folkmoot, participants have opportunities to share their own cultural heritage, learn the history of the traditional dance and what makes each participating culture unique. Further, Camp Folkmoot offers “make and take” for students to have the chance to create cultural crafts and keep as mementos of their experience as well as make lantern for Folkmoot After Dark. 

The camp is open to dancers of all abilities who are inspired by dance and cultural arts. Participants will learn basic concepts and movements, gain an appreciation for the similarities and differences between cultures and hear captivating stories behind the dances of each international cultural group. 

The 2019 Camp Folkmoot takes place on Friday, July 19 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Folkmoot Friendship Center. The cost is $30.00 for students and $10 for any accompanying adult. Camp participants are invited to attend the Queen Auditorium Matinee performance of all festival groups, starting at 2 pm. Families and youth groups are encouraged to register soon to save a space for your child. Snacks, lunch, and drinks will be provided. Discounts are available to groups of four or more if registered together. 

For more information, contact Caroline Brown Williamson at caroline@folkmoot.org. Register at Folkmoot.org or by calling 828-452-2997.

A Special Night with the Darren Nicholson Band

A perennial favorite of Western North Carolina music lovers, Balsam Range member Darren Nicholson (Darren Nicholson Music) – and his band – hosted a concert and an open jam last night at Folkmoot Center | Queen Auditorium.

We had a great turnout, a greater time, and we look forward to hosting Darren and the boys again later this year!

Our Mootenanny pencils are out!

Folkmoot Mootenanny 2019

The pencils are out! Planning is coming right along for Mootenanny! 2019, our afternoon of barbeque, bear dogs and Americana music on Sunday, July 21 in greater Hazelwood, NC. Bob Plott (Bob Plott – Author, Writer & Historian) has organized a fine heritage lineup including: William Ritter & Sarah Ogletree (heritage music, heirloom seeds and more), Renea Winchester (medicinal herbs, mountain medicine), Brian Noland (blacksmithing), Gary Bowen (Plott Hounds), Charles Brown and Micah Swimmer (hunting camps) and more. Our fantastic music lineup includes Joey Fortner and The Universal SoundOl’ Dirty BathtubJim Avett and Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters. We hope you’re making your plans, too!

Calling All Singers!

2019 Festival Choir to Perform at Festival’s Grand Opening

Registration is now open to all singers, age 12 and up, to participate in the Folkmoot Festival Choir.

This group of community singers will be an integral part of the opening ceremonies at Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska on July 19.

“The mission of this project is to bring the local community together to create a welcome for all people attending and performing in the festival; to generate goodwill and encourage cultural exchange between all peoples; and to build a strong since of pride in Western North Carolina around the Folkmoot Festival,” said Angie Schwab, Folkmoot director.

Allison Thorp of Western Carolina University will be joining Scott Taylor and Kathy McNeil of First United Methodist Church Waynesville in leading this inaugural festival choir.

Selections will include music from around the world, including Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Poland.

Rehearsals will take place at First United Methodist Church of Waynesville on Monday and Thursday evenings, beginning June 24 (no rehearsal on July 4th) and continue until the July 19 performance.

Singers are asked to attend at least four regular rehearsals and the dress rehearsal on July 18. There will be a $20 registration fee to cover the cost of music and other expenses.

This fee includes admission to the opening ceremony. All singers, ages 12 and up, are encouraged to register by calling FUMC’s main office at 456-9475.

Folkmoot Announces its 36th Annual Festival Schedule

24 events in 11 days - July 18-28, 2019: international folk dance performances, live music, parades, craft beer, food trucks and artisan vendors

The 2019 Folkmoot International Festival is an eleven-day event, July 18 – 28, based in Haywood County and held in mountain towns throughout Western North Carolina. The festival features folk dance troupes with live music from the Bahamas, China, Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, Nepal, Romania, and local Appalachian and Cherokee dancers and musicians.

Known as North Carolina’s International Folk Festival for almost 40 years, Folkmoot has evolved into a year-round cultural organization with an annual summer festival that celebrates world culture through international folk dance performances, live music, parades, craft beer, food trucks and artisan vendors.

In 2019, Folkmoot expanded its festival programming with several new events, including an Appalachian folkways gathering and community picnic, an international beer and food truck fair, a cultural sports event, a lantern parade and a late night variety show.

The 2019 Festival includes activities and performances in the towns of Waynesville, Clyde, Lake Junaluska, Canton, Cherokee, Hickory, Asheville, and Hendersonville.

Folkmoot is literally defined as a “meeting of the people” and delivers exuberant, educational and entertaining programs for all ages based on cultural arts exchange through dance, music, food and more. The festival is designed to build global relationships, foster cultural understanding and develop community prosperity. The Folkmoot organization is best known for its summer festival in July but holds programs on a year-round basis at its home base in Waynesville, North Carolina. Folkmoot programs are engaging, educational and entertaining; they celebrate diversity and foster cultural understanding among people of different backgrounds and beliefs.

2019 International Cultural Groups

In Folkmoot’s 36-year history, upwards of 8,000 performers from approximately 150 countries have participated in the festival. Folkmoot performers are primarily college students who serve as cultural ambassadors from their home countries. In 2019 Folkmoot anticipates hosting musicians and dancers from the Bahamas, China, Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, Nepal, Romania, and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, plus several regional bluegrass and clogging groups representing Appalachian culture.

What’s New for the 2019 Festival:


Hazelwood Mootenanny: Sunday, July 21

Folkmoot’s inaugural outdoor “folkways” gathering is a community-style barbeque picnic held on Sunday, July 21 featuring nationally touring Americana musicians, Plott hound and timber sports demonstrations, southern storytellers and crafts vendors sharing Appalachian cultural practices. Tickets for adults are $10 in advance and $12 at the door, students under 12 years are $5 and kids under 5 years are free. Family prices are also available. Vegetarian and gluten-free meals are available upon request.

Mootenanny Musical Performance Lineup

Joey Fortner & the Universal Sound

Ol’Dirty Bathtub

Jim Avett & Friends

Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters

Cherokee World Games: Monday, July 22

Welcoming eight international countries to the Qualla Boundary, the Cherokee World Games are a multi-sport cultural event hosted by Cherokee cultural performers and stickball teams. This event includes cultural demonstrations and precision and strength sports that encourage Folkmoot’s groups to engage with the community and each other. Held at the Cherokee Fairgrounds, games begin at 2 pm and conclude at 7 pm.  Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for maximum enjoyment. Food trucks and Cherokee vendors will be selling on site. Cherokee World Games culminate with a stickball game between the Hummingbirds from Paint Town and the Ravens from Big Cove communities.

Folkmoot After Dark: Thursday, July 25

Join Folkmoot in the Hazelwood neighborhood of Waynesville for Folkmoot After Dark on Thursday, July 25. The night begins at 7 pm with the festival friendship dinner held at the Folkmoot Center. There are few better ways to get to know folks than over a meal, especially if that meal is rich in its flavors, its history, its family traditions (and recipes), passed along generation after generation. Folkmoot’s international guests are supporting a community friendship dinner featuring popular recipes from their home countries. Following dinner at 8:30 pm, friends and volunteers from the community will gather on Hazelwood Avenue at the Plott hound statue for a lantern procession leading to the Folkmoot Center. The procession will begin at 9 pm. This lantern parade is sponsored by the Daydreamz Project. Finally, at 10 pm Folkmoot welcomes the community for a late-night Variety Show, featuring international guests alongside community members interpreting southern-American culture. Be prepared to laugh, sing-along and experience Folkmoot like you never have before. Tickets for the friendship dinner are $40 per person, $75 for couples, and includes admission to the 10 pm variety show. Tickets for just the variety show are $10.

Folkmalt: Friday, July 26

Join the Folkmoot crew, the fine folks at BearWaters Brewing and microbreweries from across the state for an afternoon of craft beers and ciders, international food trucks and great music in downtown Canton on July 26th. Held at Sorrells Park, the event will feature live music, international pavilions hosted by visiting groups and many vendors. Ticket prices are as follows:

Designated Drivers, $10 in advance

VIP Tickets, $35

General Admission in Advance, $25

Tickets at the door, $30

Doors open at 3:00 p.m.
All tickets include a Folkmalt pint glass

2018 Festival Event Schedule*

*This schedule is subject to change. Please visit Folkmoot.org for additions or cancellations or call the ticket office, 828-452-2997.  All tickets are subject to NC sales tax and an online service fee. The number of performance groups is included for each venue.

Thursday, July 18

6:00 p.m. – Friends of Folkmoot Meet & Greet, Queen Auditorium

7:00 p.m. – Gala under the Stars, Friends of Folkmoot Gala, Folkmoot Friendship Center (All Groups). $175 per couple

Friday, July 19

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Camp Folkmoot, Folkmoot Greenspace, (4 groups). $30

2:00 p.m. Queen Auditorium Matinee, Folkmoot Friendship Center, Waynesville. (All groups) Adult Seating: $24: Children $5.

7:00 p.m. Folkmoot Grand Opening Extravaganza, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska. (All groups). Adult Seating: $21-$31.

Saturday, July 20

10:00 a.m. Folkmoot Parade of Nations, Downtown Waynesville. Beginning on Main St. and finishing at Historic Waynesville Courthouse. (All groups).  Free Event.

11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Many Cultures Day, Folkmoot Friendship Center, Waynesville. (All groups): $5, free for ages 5 and under.

7:00 p.m. – Haywood Community College, Clyde. (All Groups). Adult Seating: $21-$31; Students & Children $5.

Sunday, July 21

12:30 p.m. Salt Block Friendship Luncheon, Hickory

2:00 p.m. Drendel Auditorium, Hickory. (4 groups). Hosted by Hickory International Council, 828-326-0256. Adult Seating: $10; Students (13-18): half price; Children (12 & under): Free

2:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Hazelwood Mootenanny, Folkmoot Greenspace.

Monday, July 22

2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Cherokee World Games, Tribal Fairgrounds, Cherokee. Adults: $10, Students: $5

Tuesday, July 23

7:00 p.m. Colonial Theatre, Canton. (5 groups).  Adult Seating: $20; Children $5.

Wednesday, July 24

2:00 p.m. Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock – Hendersonville. (All groups). General Admission: $31; Children 12 & under: half price.

7:00 p.m. Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville (All Groups). Adults Seating: $31; Student: half price; Children 12 & under free.

Thursday, July 25

7:00 p.m. Festival Friendship Dinner, Folkmoot Greenspace. (All groups)

9:00 p.m. Hazelwood Lantern Parade, Hazelwood. (All groups)

10:00 p.m. Folkmoot After Dark Variety Show, Folkmoot Center. (Some groups)

Friday, July 26

2:00 p.m. Queen Auditorium Matinee, Folkmoot Friendship Center, Waynesville. (All groups) Adult Seating: $24: Children: $5.

3:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. Folkmalt, Sorrells Park, Canton. (All groups) Adult admission $25-$35.

6:30 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. Folkmoot Guest Appearance at Mountain Street Dance, Main Street, Waynesville. Free Event (1 group)

Saturday, July 27

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. International Festival Day, Meet the World on Main Street, Downtown Waynesville. (All groups). Free event

7:00 p.m. Haywood Community College, Clyde. (All Groups).  Adult Seating: $21-$31; Students & Children $5.

Sunday, July 28

7:00 p.m. Candlelight Closing, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska. (All Groups). Adult Seating: $21-$31.

Be a Folkmoot supporter

Folkmoot is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that relies on donations, sponsorships, grants, ticket sales, and Friends of Folkmoot members to produce the Folkmoot Festival each year. Everyone can celebrate and support Folkmoot programs by becoming a member through the Friends of Folkmoot on our website, https://folkmoot.org/friends/. Donations support community-building events for kids and families and support our international guests during their stay in Waynesville at the Historic Hazelwood School.

Be a Folkmoot festival volunteer

Volunteers are still needed to prepare for our visitors and for support during the festival. If you, your company, church or civic group would like to help, please contact Amy West at 828-452-2997.

Join Folkmoot at one of these Festival events

Tickets are on sale for all performances and can be purchased at Folkmoot.org, in person at the Folkmoot Center, or by calling 828-452-2997.  Like us on Facebook: “Folkmoot USA” and see us on Instagram “Folkmoot,” to take advantage of special ticket promotions.