Images of Folkmoot 2018 – Patrick Parton

Images of Folkmoot 2018 - Patrick Parton

Oh, yes, all those stunning images of Folkmoot 2018!

Folkmoot is a veritable feast for photographers, videographers, artists of all kinds who love to capture colorful, compelling, engaging images and share them with the world.

And each Folkmoot Festival produces so many beautiful images it’s actually very difficult to try to corral them all into a central place where everyone can enjoy them. But we’re going to try.

We have been steadily adding images from Folkmoot 2018 to our  Videos & Images Page, here on our website. Folkmoot 2018 ended July 29 and nearly a week later we continue the task of collecting thousands of photos and videos taken during the 10-day festival.

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.

We’ll also feature some of those images here in a series of pieces we will publish, featuring the work of individual contributors.

Images of Folkmoot 2018 - Patrick PartonThis – the first piece in the series – features the work of long-time Folkmoot photographer, volunteer and all-around-good-guy Patrick Parton.

Future installments of this series will feature the work of the young but artistically mature photographer Stephen Wenzel and new Folkmoot friend Ezekial Coppersmith, images from the Intrepid Media Group as well and some of the nearly 600 photos and video captures by our own Folkmoot staff.

Patrick Parton has long been considered one of our region’s top amateur photographers. Truth be told (and seen), he’s professional quality.

Patrick is continuing to compile all this Folkmoot 2018 photos but you can see a wonderful selection here in an album on Facebook.

See Patrick’s photos from Folkmoot Festival of the past at his photography website.

A Waynesville native and graduate of Tuscola High School, Patrick has worked at his “real job” for over 31 years while continuing to pursue photographer for the love the the art.

After volunteering with Folkmoot in the early 1990’s with his family and attending various Folkmoot shows and events, Patrick decided to get serious about work as a Folkmoot photographer.

Images of Folkmoot 2018 - Patrick PartonBack then, digital cameras were beginning to hit the market and Patrick found it exciting to apply digital settings and filtering to his hobby.

Not only did he regularly photograph his family, but he began bringing his digital camera to Folkmoot events.

He was so pleased with how many of the photos turned out that he showed them to former Folkmoot Board President, Linda Manes. She enjoyed them so much that she asked Patrick to come to all of the events and take pictures. Not only did he say, “yes,” but he took all of the pictures as a volunteer. Even today, Patrick continues to take pictures for Folkmoot at absolutely no cost as a contribution to the community.

Patrick’s favorite part of the festival is the Gala because it’s the first time all of the groups meet and perform together. He enjoys this, he says, because he really appreciates all of the different cultures and dancers showing up right here at home in Western North Carolina.

Volunteering with Folkmoot has enabled Patrick to make friends across the globe, enjoy cultural diversity, see firsthand that we are all much more alike than different, and share with the Folkmoot community his beautiful photos!

Folkmoot Vision

Our vision is to repurpose the historic Hazelwood School, the “Folkmoot Friendship Center” into a multi-stakeholder, year-round resource for arts and cultural engagement, educational enrichment, creative entrepreneurship and community development. We envision a community that welcomes diversity, celebrates multiculturalism, embraces creativity and participates wholeheartedly in the activities that connect us.

Birth of Folkmoot: an Old English word meaning “meeting of the people”

In 1973, Dr. Clinton Border, a Waynesville surgeon, accompanied a local square dance team to a folk festival in Sidmouth, England. There began the dream that would, 11 years later, become Folkmoot USA.

Border was convinced that Western North Carolina, which was already steeped in tradition and dedicated to the preservation of its own heritage, was the perfect location for an international folk festival in the United States. During the next few years, Border traveled to other festivals in Poland and France and began gathering information and developing contacts. He also started contacting local government and community leaders back home.

By 1983, Border was ready to present his vision to Haywood County’s community leaders. Despite language barriers and the inherent scheduling difficulties involved in getting foreign performers from their homes to Haywood County, Border believed something invaluable occurs when cultures so rich in tradition come together to share their lives.

One month after Border’s presentation to community leaders, a board of directors met to launch Folkmoot USA, the North Carolina International Folk Festival.

Folkmoot Facts

  • Folkmoot USA is a non-profit 501(c)[3] organization that relies upon donations, sponsorships, memberships and grants to provide year-round programming at the Folkmoot Friendship Center and to produce Folkmoot USA, an annual 2-week celebration of global culture.
  • In 2003, with Senate Bill 840, the North Carolina General Assembly declared the Folkmoot Festival, the International Festival of North Carolina.
  • Folkmoot USA is held annually during the last two weeks of July and brings international folk dancers and musicians from around the world to perform throughout Western North Carolina.
  • Approximately 100,000 people attend Folkmoot performances each year.
  • Based on a study by Syneva Economics, the Folkmoot Festival attendees create a 9.2 million dollar economic impact in Western North Carolina.  This economic activity support 110.7 jobs of Western North Carolina residents and generates 1.27 million dollar in tax revenue related to consumer-driven commerce.
  • Folkmoot USA is a member of CIOFF – International Council of Organization of Folklore Festivals and Folk Art, in partnership with UNESCO. There are approximately 9-member countries who meet each year at the World Congress.
  • In 2014, Folkmoot was named a Top Ten Festival by USA Today. For 22 years, the Southeast Tourism Society named the Festival, “One of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast” and the Southeast Tourism Society names Folkmoot as a “Top 100 Event in America”.
  • Each year, hundreds of groups apply to perform, but only 8 to 10 are chosen. Each year, Folkmoot invites new and different performers.

Thank you for a magnificent Folkmoot 2018!

It's a concert hall, a commercial kitchen and cafeteria, a dormitory, an event space - it's the Folkmoot Center.

Thank you for a magnificent Folkmoot 2018!

The music and dancing have faded (for now, briefly), lasting friendships and bonds have been rendered to sweet memories, the banners are down, the flags fly in our collective consciousness and, maybe, our world feels a bit more peaceful.

At least, that’s what we hope each year we draw the world to Main Street Waynesville and spread our joy across Western North Carolina: that through dance and music and cultural sharing we might nudge us all toward our better angels and come to understand we are, as people, more alike than we are different.

Yes, Folkmoot 2018 was spectacular and we’re grateful for everyone who help make it so beautiful.

Angeline Schwab, Folkmoot Executive Director, sums it up in her personal thanks:

“You may not know that Folkmoot grows from a 5 person, mostly part-time, staff to over 74 workers over the month of July. We have cafeteria workers, maintenance people, guides and assistant guides, social media people and bus drivers. We also have 400 volunteers, emcees, board members, ushers, office workers…you name it. We are a volunteer-based organization.

“Managing communication between themselves, their groups and the rest of us is the primary challenge. It’s also being conscious of cultural sensitivities, having an understanding of world politics, self-control, knowledge of Folkmoot sign language; also learning when to be a leader and when to follow. How to manage an emergency situation, being on time, sweeping a stage, phone etiquette, ticketing software…I could keep going.

“This group of workers are primarily local kids – students from Haywood County schools led by a group of caring adults who wanted to have an international experience right here at home. Our students from Tuscola and Pisgah High Schools along with students from Western Carolina University, Lenoir Rhyne, NC State University, Indiana, Tennessee and South Carolina colleges.

“We are having a great festival together. As Director, I’ve felt happier and more relieved and relaxed than I ever have while working with this powerful team. We were like murmurating starlings, a world-class marching band, a Haywood County power-team and a Folkmoot family.

“In the heartfelt words of assistant guide, Gracie Feichter, “These are happy and grateful tears I’m crying because I can’t picture my life without Folkmoot.

“These lovely groups, these guides and this awesome festival team, along with you…the friends of Folkmoot are the ones who’ve made this beautiful experience possible…us.

“Please take a bow, ya’ll!”

Be sure to visit our  Videos & Images Page, here on our website. Folkmoot 2018 ended July 29 and nearly a week later we continue the task of collecting thousands of photos and videos taken during the 10-day festival.

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!

Here are some of our beautiful highlights from Folkmoot 2018 (among many, many highlights)!!

Big weekend finale for Folkmoot 2018!

Big weekend finale for Folkmoot 2018!

We’re building toward a big weekend finale for Folkmoot 2018!

We’ve had a marvelous festival – stretching from Franklin to Hickory and many points in between. Thousands have attended Folkmoot performances and have been dazzled by our international folk dance troupes and have taken regional pride in our Angl0-Appalachian and Cherokee dance troupes.

Folkmoot 2o18’s Finale Weekend launches from Asheville and lands for the always emotional and powerful closing ceremonies at Lake Junaluska’s Stuart Auditorium.

Friday: Asheville, North Carolina. A 2 p.m. matinee in the Diana Wortham Theatre. A 7 p.m. performance in the Diana Wortham Theatre.

Saturday: International Festival Day – Downtown Waynesville, North Carolina. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Another free and public event, a wonderful day of celebrating international friendships and cultural exchange!

Saturday: Performance of all groups at Haywood Community College, 7 p.m.

Sunday: Candlelight Closing, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. A rich, colorful & emotional last festival performance filled with tradition, joys and even a few tears!

Share on the social media!

We look forward to seeing and re-sharing all your Folkmoot experiences. Help us find what you post by using hashtags, #Folkmoot or #Folkmoot2018.  

Our Folkmoot Facebook Page has long had an active and growing community – now over 5,000 friends! Many of you visit and engage with it often – and we’re grateful for that.

The Folkmoot Instagram is always very active, too! (Plenty of visiting performers post photos.)

The Folkmoot Twitter presence has increased exponentially in recent months and we’ve added the Folkmoot face to other popular social channels: GooglePlus and Tumblr. 

The Folkmoot YouTube channel is evolving, getting up-to-speed and timely.

We’re just continuing the grand Folkmoot party online and we invite you to join us on any or all of the social channels with which you engage most!

Again, we invite you share your Folkmoot experience online – on the social channels you use most (or, maybe even, discover new ones). Please use the hashtags, #Folkmoot and #Folkmoot2018, when sharing. We will try our best to keep up and repost, share whatever you post online.

Cultural Activities, Live Music, Dance Instruction & Performances

Since the 2015 festival, Folkmoot has worked to diversify festival activities and shift from an entertainment “audience” model to an educational, “engagement” framework for the festival. What does this mean for our ticket buyers? We will continue to host festival favorites at concert halls and auditoriums across western North Carolina, but we will also offer more activities that allow for your participation.  From community members playing in the international band, dance lessons on Main Street, Camp Folkmoot for kiddos, Cultural Conversations panel discussions, community dinners at local churches, educational partnerships with Rotary International, Western Carolina University faculty and Haywood County Schools music programs, Folkmoot is building new opportunities for our communities and international guests to experience and celebrate culture.

Folkmoot’s Rich History and Exciting Future

When Waynesville surgeon, Dr. Clinton Border, returned home after seeing a dance team at an English folk festival, he thought such a festival would be perfect for Western North Carolina, which had its own rich history of preserving its traditional culture.  It took from 1973, when Border made his trip, to 1984 before the first Folkmoot USA event took place.  That year, symbolic as it was also the year that North Carolina celebrated its 400th birthday, welcomed performers from England, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Turkey, Mexico, Puerto Rico and India.  

In 2002, the Folkmoot Friendship Center leased the former Hazelwood Elementary School, thus giving it a home to expand its programming and activities.  In 2014, the Haywood County school system donated the school to the organization.  Now, this multi-faceted space has created an expanded opportunity for Folkmoot to move from a two week festival to a year-round cultural center, focusing on programs and events that celebrate diversity and differences, encourage cultural conversation and inclusion, and preserve and honor worldwide cultural heritages, especially using dance as a tool to achieve world peace.

Since these humble yet visionary beginnings in 1984, more than 8,000 international performers from 200 countries have entertained and thrilled residents and guests of Western North Carolina.

Folkmoot neighborhood party on Thursday!

Folkmoot neighborhood party on Thursday!

We’re going to have a Folkmoot neighborhood party of Thursday!

We’re all going to gather on Hazelwood Avenue in West Waynesville with our visiting dancers, with our neighbors and with our Hazelwood neighborhood businesses to celebrate each other and the historic part of Waynesville we all call home.

An afternoon party – noon to 3 p.m. – will offer a chance for Hazelwood neighbors and businesses to mix and mingle with our visiting Folkmoot 2018 dancers and for the general public to get to know both the dancers and our Hazelwood neighboring businesses.

Hazelwood was for much of the mid- to late-20th Century it’s own town, a factory town of working class folks, it’s own central business district and quite apart and separate from the larger Waynesville. But in the 21st Century, long after the factories closed, Hazelwood dissolved its city charter, became part of Waynesville and is now experiencing a re-birth as a commercial center  and trending neighborhood with great restaurants, cute shops and valuable businesses.

Folkmoot Center is housed in the historic Hazelwood School on Virginia Avenue.

The event is just part of Folkmoot’s celebration of our own regional tradition and heritage along with the cultures, dance and art we bring to our community from around the world.

Folkmoot 2018 formally opened Thursday and runs through Sunday and will feature performing dance troupes from Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailand 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.

Once here for the festival we invited you to stay awhile and enjoy all our beautiful region has to offer.

Here is the rest of our schedule for the week

Thursday: Franklin, North Carolina. A 7 p.m. performance at the Smoky Mountain Performing Arts Center (All groups). 

Friday: Asheville, North Carolina. A 2 p.m. matinee in the Diana Wortham Theatre. A 7 p.m. performance in the Diana Wortham Theatre.

Saturday: International Festival Day – Downtown Waynesville, North Carolina. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Another free and public event, a wonderful day of celebrating international friendships and cultural exchange!

Saturday: Performance of all groups at Haywood Community College, 7 p.m.

Sunday: Candlelight Closing, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. A rich, colorful & emotional last festival performance filled with tradition, joys and even a few tears!

Please call 828-452-2997 for more information about Folkmoot 2018!

Share on the social media!

We look forward to seeing and re-sharing all your Folkmoot experiences. Help us find what you post by using hashtags, #Folkmoot or #Folkmoot2018.  

Our Folkmoot Facebook Page has long had an active and growing community – now over 5,000 friends! Many of you visit and engage with it often – and we’re grateful for that.

The Folkmoot Instagram is always very active, too! (Plenty of visiting performers post photos.)

The Folkmoot Twitter presence has increased exponentially in recent months and we’ve added the Folkmoot face to other popular social channels: GooglePlus and Tumblr. 

The Folkmoot YouTube channel is evolving, getting up-to-speed and timely.

We’re just continuing the grand Folkmoot party online and we invite you to join us on any or all of the social channels with which you engage most!

Again, we invite you share your Folkmoot experience online – on the social channels you use most (or, maybe even, discover new ones). Please use the hashtags, #Folkmoot and #Folkmoot2018, when sharing. We will try our best to keep up and repost, share whatever you post online.

A very special guest graces Folkmoot 2018!

A very special guest graces Folkmoot 2018!

A very special guest graces Folkmoot 2018!

One of the world’s leading experts on folk dance festivals, folk art festivals and citizen of the world, Dr. Udomsak Sakmunwong, can be found among working his way through nearly all Folkmoot 2018 events, often encouraging his hometown dance troupe, the Lampang Kalayanee School, one of our visiting dance troupes.

But Dr. Sakmunwong is not just a world authority on folk festivals he is past-president – for eight years – of CIOFF, the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts. CIOFF is the world-wide governing body of folk festivals, a world partner of UNESCO, and each year certifies Folkmoot Festival as worthy of the world’s attention.

“Folkmoot is one of our best and biggest festivals,” he explained in a quiet moment just as our hectic 10-day festivals was getting underway. “It is your volunteers who give it what it takes to land it among our best and the way the entire community embraces the festival each year.”

Folkmoot 2018 runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailand, 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.

Once here for the festival we invited you to stay awhile and enjoy all our beautiful region has to offer.

Dr. Sakmunwong’s visit to the 2018 festival in not his first. He has been to Waynesville and Folkmoot a few times before, not only as president of CIOFF but also as the good and dear friend of Rolf Kaufman, Folkmoot’s most important and senior volunteer and director.

“Rolf and I have been dear friends for many years,” he explained. “From the time Rolf came to CIOFF as the American representative, representative of Folkmoot and to help us with our committee on finances.”

Although Dr. Sakmunwong retired as CIOFF president in 2005 he has remained active in the organization as senior advisor, East Asian representative and representative of the Thailand’s National Cultural Council, which he currently chairs and through it helps support cultural arts and cultural exchange in Thailand’s 77 provinces.

“It’s a labor of love,” he says with a smile.

He also beams with pride at the Lampang Kalayanee School, based in his home town of Amphoe Muang, in the Lampang Province.

“It is one of our biggest and best secondary schools,” he boasts.

It’s dance troupe has certainly been a hit in Folkmoot 2018.

Dr. Sakmunwong was a university professor, teaching political science in Thailand and at Northeastern Illinois University in the U.S.. He was schooled in Japan, London and the University of Chicago.

He is also quite certain his 2018 visit to Waynesville and the Smoky Mountains will not be his last.

“Your’s is a very special region,” he said. “In all the world it’s a very special place.”

Tuesday is Cherokee & Canton for Folkmoot 2018!

Tuesday is Cherokee & Canton for Folkmoot 2018!

Tuesday is Cherokee & Canton for Folkmoot 2018!

After a day of rest and play on Monday for our visiting Folkmoot dancers – much needed after a raucous and wonderful opening weekend – festival performances resume Tuesday in Cherokee and Canton.

Cherokee is always a fascinating place for visiting Folkmoot performers!

The town of Cherokee and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians always draw the particular interest of our international dance troupes.

And for good reason, of course.

The story of the Cherokee people is both tragic and triumphant. Tsalagi history, heritage, legends and traditions are Smoky Mountain treasures more valuable than the gems once plentiful in these ancient peaks. It is rare, indeed, for international dancers to arrive without a thirst for more knowledge and understanding about First Nation people of America.

As an added element in this 2018 festival, at least 10 members of our visiting Le Ragazze Italiane dance troupe of Canada are also members of the Canadian Métis (pronounced, “maytee”) First Nation people. 

They will perform a special dance for Cherokee tribal leaders when the dancers visit the tribe on Cherokee Day, Tuesday.

Folkmoot 2018 runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from 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.

Once here for the festival we invited you to stay awhile and enjoy all our beautiful region has to offer.

Along with culture and musical and dance traditions from around the world, Folkmoot takes pride in and likes to also celebrate the unique culture of our own Smoky Mountains, part of the greater Blue Ridge, the land known to  Tsalagi as Shaconage, the land of the blue smoke.

Historic Colonial Theater in Canton

As is a tradition with every Folkmoot Festival, Haywood County’s historic mill town is a must-stop on the festival tour and 2018 will be no exception.

The Canton performance – all groups – is set for Tuesday!

The 7 p.m. performance in the historic Colonial Theater will be followed by an after-party at Bearwaters Brewery.

The rest of the week!

July 25: Hendersonville, North Carolina. A 2 p.m. matinee performance at Blue Ridge Community College will feature all performing troupes.

July 25: Waynesville, North Carolina – Tranquility Farm Fundraiser, 6 p.m. (call 828.452.2997 for details, tickets.)

July 25: Maggie Valley Welcome Wagon, Maggie Valley, North CarolinaElevated Mountain Distilling Company. 7 p.m. A very special and intimate performance by three to four of our visiting dance troupes.

July 26: Folkmoot Center. 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Hazelwood Neighborhood Hospitality. Meet & Greet with Performers. 

July 26: Franklin, North Carolina. A 7 p.m. performance at the Smoky Mountain Performing Arts Center (All groups). 

July 27: Asheville, North Carolina. A 2 p.m. matinee in the Diana Wortham Theatre. A 7 p.m. performance in the Diana Wortham Theatre.

July 28: International Festival Day – Downtown Waynesville, North Carolina. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Another free and public event, a wonderful day of celebrating international friendships and cultural exchange!

July 28: Performance of all groups at Haywood Community College, 7 p.m.

July 29: Candlelight Closing, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. A rich, colorful & emotional last festival performance filled with tradition, joys and even a few tears!

Please call 828-452-2997 for more information about Folkmoot 2018!

Share on the social media!

We look forward to seeing and re-sharing all your Folkmoot experiences. Help us find what you post by using hashtags, #Folkmoot or #Folkmoot2018.  

Our Folkmoot Facebook Page has long had an active and growing community – now over 5,000 friends! Many of you visit and engage with it often – and we’re grateful for that.

The Folkmoot Instagram is always very active, too! (Plenty of visiting performers post photos.)

The Folkmoot Twitter presence has increased exponentially in recent months and we’ve added the Folkmoot face to other popular social channels: GooglePlus and Tumblr. 

The Folkmoot YouTube channel is evolving, getting up-to-speed and timely.

We’re just continuing the grand Folkmoot party online and we invite you to join us on any or all of the social channels with which you engage most!

Again, we invite you share your Folkmoot experience online – on the social channels you use most (or, maybe even, discover new ones). Please use the hashtags, #Folkmoot and #Folkmoot2018, when sharing. We will try our best to keep up and repost, share whatever you post online.

We’re just getting started with Folkmoot 2018!

We're just getting started with Folkmoot 2018!

We’re just getting started with Folkmoot 2018!

Oh yes! It’s been a huge opening weekend – Parade of Nations, Many Cultures Day, plenty of folk dance peformance – but, oh, we have a full week ahead of us, ranging all over Western North Carolina!

Folkmoot 2018 formally opened Thursday and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailand 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.

Once here for the festival we invited you to stay awhile and enjoy all our beautiful region has to offer.

Folkmoot will range from Hickory (today) to Franklin with Cherokee, Canton and Asheville in between.

We're just getting started with Folkmoot 2018!And a special treat in Waynesville today: our Folkmoot Sunday Soirée will feature an evening of locally grown internationally themed delicacies, locally grown young musicians and our Festival Friendship Dinner!

The festive, informative, entertaining and delicious evening will begin at 5 p.m. on the Greenspace at Folkmoot Friendship Center, 112 Virginia Avenue in Waynesville.

Reservations and tickets are available here.

Ticket sales and contributions support Folkmoot programs which sustain cultural arts for youth & families in Haywood County. Parking is available in the back of the Folkmoot building for year-round events.

Celebrating our second year of the Sunday Soirée, all are invited to experience the foods of eight world cultures, presented by the chefs of the Blind Pig Supper Club with entertainment provided by regional youth celebrating cultural arts.

Performers will represent Appalachian, African, American Jazz and Cherokee cultures. Patrons will have the opportunity to meet and greet Folkmoot’s international performers over dessert!

Our regional performers will include: Appalachian fiddle princess Lillian Chase;  the renown Tuscola High School Jazz Band & Percussion Ensemble; the Urban Arts Institute dance troupe, featuring African-American dance and award-winning Cherokee Vocalist, Dvdaya Swimmer

Opening weekend video:

Here is the rest of our schedule for the week

TODAY: Hickory, North Carolina. Two performances, 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. Hosted by the Hickory International Council in the Drendel Auditorium (4 groups) *includes post-performance Cultural Conversations. Tickets will be available through the International Council & Drendel Auditorium when they are made available. 

TODAY: Sunday Soirée, Waynesville, Folkmoot Greenspace, Folkmoot Center. An international friendship dinner, beginning at 5 p.m., featuring food from the Blind Pig Supper Club and conversations, entertainment by Western North Carolina youth cultural groups. 

July 23: a free day for our performers. You might run into them anywhere exploring our beautiful Smoky Mountains!

July 24: Cherokee Ambassador’s Day, 3 p.m., Cherokee Central High School, Cherokee, North Carolina. The cost is $20 for adults, $5 for kids and it’s an extraordinary opportunity for our visiting performers to engage with and learn more about our region’s treasured Native American culture & history

July 24: Canton, North Carolina. A 7 p.m. performance in the historic Colonial Theater followed by an after-party at Bearwaters Brewery.

July 25: Hendersonville, North Carolina. A 2 p.m. matinee performance at Blue Ridge Community College will feature all performing troupes.

July 25: Waynesville, North Carolina – Tranquility Farm Fundraiser, 6 p.m. (call 828.452.2997 for details, tickets.)

July 25: Maggie Valley Welcome Wagon, Maggie Valley, North CarolinaElevated Mountain Distilling Company. 7 p.m. A very special and intimate performance by three to four of our visiting dance troupes.

July 26: Folkmoot Center. 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Hazelwood Neighborhood Hospitality. Meet & Greet with Performers. 

July 26: Franklin, North Carolina. A 7 p.m. performance at the Smoky Mountain Performing Arts Center (All groups). 

July 27: Asheville, North Carolina. A 2 p.m. matinee in the Diana Wortham Theatre. A 7 p.m. performance in the Diana Wortham Theatre.

July 28: International Festival Day – Downtown Waynesville, North Carolina. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Another free and public event, a wonderful day of celebrating international friendships and cultural exchange!

July 28: Performance of all groups at Haywood Community College, 7 p.m.

July 29: Candlelight Closing, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. A rich, colorful & emotional last festival performance filled with tradition, joys and even a few tears!

Please call 828-452-2997 for more information about Folkmoot 2018!

Share on the social media!

We look forward to seeing and re-sharing all your Folkmoot experiences. Help us find what you post by using hashtags, #Folkmoot or #Folkmoot2018.  

Our Folkmoot Facebook Page has long had an active and growing community – now over 5,000 friends! Many of you visit and engage with it often – and we’re grateful for that.

The Folkmoot Instagram is always very active, too! (Plenty of visiting performers post photos.)

The Folkmoot Twitter presence has increased exponentially in recent months and we’ve added the Folkmoot face to other popular social channels: GooglePlus and Tumblr. 

The Folkmoot YouTube channel is evolving, getting up-to-speed and timely.

We’re just continuing the grand Folkmoot party online and we invite you to join us on any or all of the social channels with which you engage most!

Again, we invite you share your Folkmoot experience online – on the social channels you use most (or, maybe even, discover new ones). Please use the hashtags, #Folkmoot and #Folkmoot2018, when sharing. We will try our best to keep up and repost, share whatever you post online.

It’s a big weekend for Folkmoot 2018!

It's a big weekend for Folkmoot 2018!

It’s a big weekend for Folkmoot 2018!

Yes! Folkmoot Festival 2018 – Folkmoot’s 35th edition – has arrived and will bring folk dance, color, music & pageantry all over Western North Carolina for 10 days!

It began last night with our annual Gala Under the Stars and will explode over this coming opening weekend with many events and peformances!

Folkmoot 2018 formally opened Thursday and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailand 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.

 

Opening Weekend!

Opening weekend kicks off with the groups’ arrival July 18th in Waynesville and charges immediately into events and performances.

Kids just naturally want to dance and at Folkmoot 2018 they will be able to do exactly that TODAY – with the performers – at Camp Folkmoot! The one-day, all-immersive dance camp will be part of the Folkmoot 2018 Festival and is set for July 20!

The Grand Opening Matinee is set for this afternoon in Queen Auditorium, Folkmoot Center. All groups will perform followed by cultural conversations with the audience and dance troupe members.

The Grand Opening Extravaganza at Lake Junaluska’s Stuart Auditorium, always one of the festival’s highlights!

The First Saturday, has it’s come to be known is jam-packed with huge events, free-and-open-to-the-public events and more fun than – maybe, not really – anyone should expect to have in a single day!

First Saturday kicks off with one of the most popular events each year of the entire festival: the Parade of Nations down Main Street, Waynesville. Always colorful and exciting, the whole of Western Carolina (it seems) turns out to see our visiting international dance troupes, local and international musicians, favorite Appalachian and mountain dance troupes all perform and frolic down the main drag of our picturesque mountain town.

Kids, parents, grandparents, adults of all varieties revel in the pageantry and exhilaration of the festive vibe.

First Saturday of Folkmoot 2018 is jam-packedCome to our Folkmoot International Center immediately after the Parade of Nations for Many Cultures Day. The event lasts until 4 p.m. and features 30-vendors, youth activities hosted by community groups, ethnic food trucks, international performers, community dance lessons, and a youth performance stage with local youth fiddlers and dancers. There also will be two Cherokee stickball game demonstrations. The cost of this outdoor festival is $5 for individuals over 5 years old. Visit the Many Cultures Day event post on Facebook, tag “going” and share it on your profile or with friends!

A full performance by all visiting dance troupes at Haywood Community College caps off the day at 7 p.m.! One of the most popular performances of the festival each year, the first HCC performance is always a fun-filled event and moderately priced so the whole family can enjoy the show! Visit the Haywood Community College performance event post on Facebook, tag “going” and share it on your profile or with friends!

Sunday Soirée is set for July 22 – The community is invited to experience the foods of our eight visiting world cultures, presented by the chefs of the Blind Pig Supper Club with entertainment provided by regional youth celebrating cultural arts. Performers will represent Appalachian, African, American Jazz and Cherokee cultures and then meet and greet Folkmoot’s international performers over dessert!

Folkmoot also travels to Hickory, NC, on July 22 for two performances, 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. Hosted by the Hickory International Council in the Drendel Auditorium (4 groups) *includes post-performance Cultural Conversations. Tickets will be available through the International Council & Drendel Auditorium when they are made available. 

Folkmoot celebrates Smoky Mountain culture, too!

Folkmoot celebrates Smoky Mountain culture, too!

Folkmoot celebrates Smoky Mountain culture, too!

Along with culture and musical and dance traditions from around the world, Folkmoot takes pride in and likes to also celebrate the unique culture of our own Smoky Mountains, part of the greater Blue Ridge, the land once known to our native people as Shaconage, the land of the blue smoke.

Along with dance troupes representing the Angl0-Appalachian traditions of dance and music, handed down from the 17th and 18th Century immigrants from the British Isles, our own mountain native people, Tsalagi or Cherokee – our region’s First Nation, play a prominent role in each Folkmoot Festival.

Folkmoot 2018 opens Thursday 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.

Folkmoot celebrates Smoky Mountain culture, too!Once here for the festival we invited you to stay awhile and enjoy all our beautiful region has to offer.

The entire Folkmoot Festival with travel July 24 to the town of Cherokee to celebrate for a major celebration, which will include the gift of a special dance from one of our visiting dance troupes, which also includes First Nations people, to the leadership of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

And one of the more subtle ways in which Folkmoot honors and celebrates our Cherokee friends is something you’ll find hanging around the necks of Folkmoot staff & volunteer festival credentials: specifically designed and hand-beaded lanyards crafted especially for Folkmoot by the festivals’ Cherokee Coordinator Lisa Wilnoty.

Lisa began making the lanyards for the 2016 festival and something of a “new tradition” appears to have been born. She has continued to make more lanyards each year since.

Her journey into lanyard making began just over four years ago when she decided to pursue her passion for traditional Cherokee crafts. Her husband, Freddy Wilnoty II, showed her the basics and from there she began creating her own designs.

When designing these beautifully beaded lanyards, she incorporates an array of colors, especially watercolors to be used as a representation for how water gives and sustains life. 

Many of the guides and staff look at these hand-beaded lanyards as a symbol of Folkmoot, a unique keepsake of all the wonderful memories from the festival. They all recognize the hard work that Lisa puts into making these special gifts. It is humbling to receive one and an honor. 

 “The lanyard represents a sense of unity,” said Festival Guide Gracie Feichter. “All of the colors blend beautifully together, much like we do in our own world. Even though the pattern of beading on each lanyard is different, it symbolizes how we are able to create something beautiful if we work together.”

Volunteers guide the Folkmoot Festival

Volunteers guide the Folkmoot Festival

Volunteers guide the Folkmoot Festival through its 10 days of beauty, pageantry and delightful sights and sounds.

Every non-profit organization depends on volunteers, of course, but the Folkmoot Festival could not have lasted for 35 years without the significant contribution of time, talent and treasure by its volunteers.

Folkmoot Festival 2018 will rely heavily on key volunteers to be the smooth operation festival goers have come to expect.

Folkmoot 2018 opens Thursday 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.

Once here for the festival we invited you to stay awhile and enjoy all our beautiful region has to offer.

Many Folkmoot volunteers have come and gone over the years, each one valuable and each one treasured. The key volunteers – and volunteer leaders – for the 2018 festival will include:

Mayo Ferguson is one of Folkmoot’s longest standing volunteers.  He first began working with us in 1986, took a small break somewhere along the way to get a family going, came back and picked up where he left off.  Of all the things he enjoys about working with Folkmoot he most enjoys the interactions and conversations he can have with people from around the world.  The music, dance, art, and performances are enjoyable but it is what he can learn from someone with a different perspective that he values the most.

 

 

Vivian Poppas is another one of Folkmoot’s longest standing volunteers.  She has been actively working with us for over 29 years and her duties and positions have included a little bit of everything but her favorite position so far has been working as a Guide during the festival.  She also thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to make friends with people from all corners of the globe and to learn about their different cultures.

 

 

Natalie Ballard is studying Business Administration and Law at Western Carolina University with a minor in Political Science. She was captain of the color guard in high school and assistant choir director for the children’s choir at the church she attends. Natalie loves learning about different cultures and getting to experience new ideas. She hopes to one day live in another country.

 

 

 

Michelle Romberger is a another veteran volunteer for Folkmoot. She has volunteered countless hours cooking for friendship dinners, creating the menu for the upcoming festival and providing upkeep to the kitchen. Since her first connection with Folkmoot, Michelle fell in love with the mission of the organization. She calls it an opportunity of a lifetime.

 

 

 

Our Volunteer Spotlight shines on David BortleFolkmoot means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To David Bortle, Folkmoot is a non-profit that establishes a platform for community building. He appreciates how the Folkmoot festival encourages diverse groups to put their differences aside for the universal love of dance and music. “(Folkmoot is) different people coming together to transcend the American existence,” he said. In the two years of working at Folkmoot, David undoubtedly enjoyed most working with last year’s Israeli performance group. He describes the Israeli group as incredible, hard-working, and cultured.

Folkmoot starts Thursday! R U Ready??

Folkmoot starts Thursday! R U Ready??

Folkmoot starts Thursday! R U Ready??

Folkmoot 2018 – the 35th edition of North Carolina’s official international folk festival – opens Thursday with its annual Gala Under The Stars, moves rapidly to Camp Folkmoot for kids, two grand opening performances – a matinee at Folkmoot Center and the traditional grand opening performance at Lake Junaluska’s Stuart Auditorium – and into the first huge weekend of activities including the always popular Parade of Nations down Main Street in Waynesville, Many Cultures Day at Folkmoot Center, a full performance at Haywood Community College, a trip to Hickory NC, and a very special Sunday Soirée in Waynesville!

Whew! Yeah, we know!!

Folkmoot 2018 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.

Once here for the festival we invited you to stay awhile and enjoy all our beautiful region has to offer.

Named by USA Today as one of the Top Twenty Festivals in North Carolina, Folkmoot 2018 will bring dance and music to colorful life  in Waynesville, Clyde, Lake Junaluska, Maggie Valley, Canton, Cherokee, Franklin, Hickory, Asheville, and Hendersonville. 

What’s New for the 2018 Festival

Folkmoot 2018 will be spectacular! Gala under the Stars, July 19 – 7:00 p.m., Annual Fundraiser for Friends of Folkmoot, $175 per couple. The Gala is the kickoff event for the festival and a fundraiser for Friends of Folkmoot, sponsors and their guests. Held in Waynesville in the field adjacent to the Friendship Center, Friends of Folkmoot members will enjoy specialty foods and beverages while cultural performers take the stage under the stars for their first appearance of the festival. 

Camp Folkmoot – Hands around the Globe, July 20 – 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., $30. Dancers of all abilities ages 10 – 17 years who are inspired by dance and live music can learn international folk dance moves with cultural ambassadors in Waynesville to perform at the Folkmoot Festival. Learn basic concepts and movements, gain an appreciation of the similarities and differences between cultures and hear the timeless, captivating stories behind the dances of each international group. The day includes “make-and-take” cultural crafts and culminates in a short performance with the groups and community participants. Families and youth groups are encouraged to register. Snacks, lunch, and drinks will be provided. Tickets for this event are $30 per camper and will include lunch, snacks and supplies. Discounts are available to groups of four or more if pre-registered together. For more information, contact Elizabeth Burson, 828-452-2997.

Many Cultures Day, July 21, 2017 – 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., $5 admission. This outdoor event is in its third year, scheduled for immediately after the Parade of Nations in downtown Waynesville. The event features live art demonstrations, 30-vendors, youth activities hosted by community groups, ethnic food trucks, international performers, community dance lessons, a youth performance stage with local youth fiddlers and dancers; additionally, there will be two Cherokee stickball game demonstrations. The cost of this outdoor festival is $5 for individuals over 5 years old.

Sunday Soirée , July 22 – 7:00 p.m. Celebrating our second year of the Sunday Soiree, the community is invited to experience the foods of eight world cultures, presented by the chefs of the Blind Pig Supper Club with entertainment provided by regional youth celebrating cultural arts. Performers will represent Appalachian, African, American Jazz and Cherokee cultures and then meet and greet Folkmoot’s international performers over dessert!

2018 Festival Event Schedule

Our schedule is subject to change. Please check the festival schedule page here on our site 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.

Folkmoot 2018 will be spectacular! 

July 19: Gala on the Green – An opening party & performance for Friends of Folkmoot.

July 20: Camp Folkmoot – For kids! Learn international folk dances from our visiting performers!

July 20: Grand Opening MatineeQueen Auditorium, Folkmoot Center. All groups will perform followed by cultural conversations with the audience and dance troupe members.

July 20: Grand Opening Extravaganza! In Lake Junaluska’s Stuart Auditorium, always one of the festival’s highlights!

July 21: Parade of Nations! A public event, beginning at 10 a.m., in which all visiting dance troupes (and many others) parade down Main Street, Waynesville, in one of the festival’s most colorful and joyous events. It’s free and open to the public. Y’all come!

July 21: Many Cultures Day! Come to our Folkmoot International Center immediately after the Parade of Nations. The event lasts until 4 p.m. and features 30-vendors, youth activities hosted by community groups, ethnic food trucks, international performers, community dance lessons, and a youth performance stage with local youth fiddlers and dancers. There also will be two Cherokee stickball game demonstrations. The cost of this outdoor festival is $5 for individuals over 5 years old.

July 21: Haywood Community College. A full performance by all visiting dance troupes. One of the most popular performances of the festival each year.

July 22: Hickory, North Carolina. Two performances, 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. Hosted by the Hickory International Council in the Drendel Auditorium (4 groups) *includes post-performance Cultural Conversations. Tickets will be available through the International Council & Drendel Auditorium when they are made available. 

July 22: Sunday Soirée, Waynesville, Folkmoot Greenspace, Folkmoot Center. An international friendship dinner, beginning at 5 p.m., featuring food from the Blind Pig Supper Club and conversations, entertainment by Western North Carolina youth cultural groups. 

Folkmoot 2018 will be spectacular! July 23: a free day for our performers. You might run into them anywhere exploring our beautiful Smoky Mountains!

July 24: Cherokee Ambassador’s Day, 3 p.m., Cherokee Central High School, Cherokee, North Carolina. The cost is $20 for adults, $5 for kids and it’s an extraordinary opportunity for our visiting performers to engage with and learn more about our region’s treasured Native American culture & history. 

July 24: Canton, North Carolina. A 7 p.m. performance in the historic Colonial Theater followed by an after-party at Bearwaters Brewery.

July 25: Hendersonville, North Carolina. A 2 p.m. matinee performance at Blue Ridge Community College will feature all performing troupes.

July 25: Waynesville, North Carolina – Tranquility Farm Fundraiser, 6 p.m. (call 828.452.2997 for details, tickets.)

July 25: Maggie Valley Welcome Wagon, Maggie Valley, North CarolinaElevated Mountain Distilling Company. 7 p.m. A very special and intimate performance by three to four of our visiting dance troupes.

July 26: Folkmoot Center. 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Hazelwood Neighborhood Hospitality. Meet & Greet with Performers. 

July 26: Franklin, North Carolina. A 7 p.m. performance at the Smoky Mountain Performing Arts Center (All groups). 

July 27: Asheville, North Carolina. A 2 p.m. matinee in the Diana Wortham Theatre. A 7 p.m. performance in the Diana Wortham Theatre.

July 28: International Festival Day – Downtown Waynesville, North Carolina. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Another free and public event, a wonderful day of celebrating international friendships and cultural exchange!

July 28: Performance of all groups at Haywood Community College, 7 p.m.

July 29: Candlelight Closing, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. A rich, colorful & emotional last festival performance filled with tradition, joys and even a few tears!

The Folkmoot staff is preparing for Thursday’s festival opening! 

The Folkmoot staff is preparing for Thursday's festival opening! 

The Folkmoot staff is preparing for Thursday’s festival opening!

Oh, to be sure, the Folkmoot staff works hard all year long to produce North Carolina’s official international folk festival. But with the festival’s 2018 grand opening the staff often sees all 24 hours in each day – and will through the festivals 10 days.

Folkmoot 2018 opens – THURSDAY – 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.

Once here for the festival we invited you to stay awhile and enjoy all our beautiful region has to offer.

You will no doubt see the Folkmoot staff scurrying about during each event and performance, making sure the magic all comes off to perfection. If you get a chance, tell the, “thanks,” for all all the hard work they do and all the long hours they give:

Folkmoot’s director is Angeline Schwab. Angie has a background in arts, culture & community and economic development.  Since 2015, Angie has grown Folkmoot to a year-round cultural organization and believes that diversifying the festival, maximizing the use of the building, building strong partnerships and new cultural programming are the way to the future.  Angie grew up in Buncombe County and went to college at UNC-Wilmington.  Since that time, Angie went to graduate school at the University of Oregon where she earned a Masters in Public Affairs and then moved to Humboldt County, California, one of the most beautiful places on the planet to start her career.  Angie, her husband Brandon, their two sons, Avery & Harper and three dogs moved to Waynesville in 2014 to be closer to family. Angie says, “Never before Folkmoot did I understand that folkdance was an opportunity for experiencing diversity and cultural understanding. What a gift to experience the world right here at home and to make so many people happy with a community festival.”

 

This is Laura Shepherd’s fourth year planning for and executing Folkmoot’s special events. As Folkmoot’s Event and Ticket Coordinator, Laura’s favorite part of her job is the interaction with ticket buyers and eventually meeting them at performances. Laura’s background is in catering, hotel and attraction sales which prepared her for the ever-changing needs of working for a non-profit. Laura has traveled the world and lived all over the United States. She has been volunteering and working in Haywood County for over 18 years and lives in Waynesville with her husband, Scott. Being the mother of two, Tessa and Shaw, and stepmom to three daughters, Shantel, Tina, and Monique has been her greatest joy. Laura is enthusiastic about food, gardening, and organizing, all of which makes her perfect for Folkmoot.

 

Folkmoot’s Programming and Group Relations Coordinator Elizabeth Burson is a lifelong Folkmoot enthusiast. As a Waynesville native, Folkmoot has inspired Elizabeth to foster friendships from all over the world and to travel to global destinations in the name of cultural adventure. With six years experience as a Folkmoot guide and now three years as Folkmoot’s programs coordinator, Elizabeth’s primary responsibilities are her favorite, managing the details of group selection, assisting with marketing and working with guides during the festival. Elizabeth is a UNC Greensboro graduate with a bachelors in Communication Studies and is currently working on acquiring a Nonprofit Management Certificate from Duke University. Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching movies and cooking new recipes.

 

Catherine McCallum has served as the Operations & Volunteer Coordinator for Folkmoot for the past year and a half. Residing in Sylva with her college sweetheart, Brandon, the couple will celebrate five years of marriage this fall. Catherine is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism and minor in Leadership.  Catherine is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Project Management at WCU and will graduate this December. In her spare time, Catherine loves to kayak down the Tuckasegee River and travel with her husband. Folkmoot has played a big role in Catherine’s experience of diversity in our community which has, in turn, encouraged her to travel the world.

 

Lisa Wilnoty is the Cherokee Community Coordinator for Folkmoot, representing all cultural activities related to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Lisa is in her third year working with the Folkmoot organization, starting as a cultural performer in 2015. Lisa resides in the Wolfetown community with her husband Frederick Wilnoty II. After working with Cherokee cultural organizations for several years, Lisa is learning the Cherokee language and sharing Cherokee history and culture with the Folkmoot family. Lisa says, “We are working to build bridges between people of different cultures and it’s my honor to encourage understanding of Cherokee.” Lisa also serves as a board member of Maverick’s Tsalagi Sunshine.

 

Aaron Owenby has been working with Folkmoot since 2003 and continues to devote his time to us as he loves taking the opportunity to meet a wide range of different peoples from around the globe.  Currently, he serves as the year-round maintenance guy and drives a bus for groups during the festival.