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

Folkmoot USA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are generally deductible minus the face value of tickets and cost of advertising. Please consult your attorney or accountant on how to best use or apply the deduction to which you are entitled by your gift.

Ways to help Folkmoot

There are so many ways friends, groups and organizations can help Folkmoot in its mission to celebrate culture and embrace diversity.  “Time, talent and treasure” are always welcomed ways to support Folkmoot.


Sponsorships range from festival events to our Friendship Dinners held throughout the year.  We can work with your budget and your goals to make your engagement with Folkmoot meaningful.

Whatever your calling, passion or time commitment, we have a place for you at Folkmoot.  Gardening or painting, marketing or communications, fund-raising or friend-raising, we welcome you.  You can be an occasional participant or be more involved; it’s up to you.  But whatever you do for Folkmoot, just know it is important and appreciated.

When the world comes to western North Carolina each July, we seemingly do the impossible:  In 2016, for example, we hosted nine international groups, three parades, two outdoor festivals, drove 5,000 miles in ten days, and served 1,200 meals each day of the festival.  So, drivers, cooks, guides, greeters (and on and on and on) are all welcomed and needed. Additionally, paid support helps underwrite the huge costs of operating the festival.  Corporate and media sponsorships and Friends of Folkmoot memberships are critical to our success.

There’s never a time when we’re not in festival mode and with Folkmoot’s commitment to more year-round programming and activities, our needs remain steady.  Whether it’s a sound-proof curtain for the Sam Love Queen Auditorium or blankets and sheets for our performing troupes who stay at the Friendship Center, we are always looking for goods, services, and donations.

Three focused areas of giving ensure the future of Folkmoot and its critical role in leading cultural education, engagement, and celebration.  They are the rehabilitation and maintenance of the Friendship Center, the enhancement of the Folkmoot Foundation, and the sustainability of year-round programming.

A letter from our Executive Director, Angeline Schwab, and Board President, David Francis

Dear Friends of Folkmoot:

A little over a year ago, Folkmoot’s founding Music Director Flora Gammon was working in one of the Friendship Center’s unheated classrooms when she made an offhand remark that would spark a potentially transformative project.

“I hope,” she said, “that I can help keep Folkmoot warm over the winter.”

Flora, 71, passed away in March after a long battle with cancer, but her memory will live on in the form of a substantial cash gift made to Folkmoot intended specifically for much-needed HVAC work.

Folkmoot is at a critical juncture – any organization must, after 35 years, continue to grow with the times and as you know, we’ve become more than just a festival over the last four years. Folkmoot has evolved into a robust, year-round endeavor that fosters cultural exchange and is also rapidly emerging as the arts and culture hub of Haywood County.

Central to this transition is our 40,000 square-foot facility, which gives us the flexibility to host all who align with our mission, to the great benefit of the region. From the Southern Storytellers series to the International Dinners, hosting artist studios and even Cultural Conversations workshops, Folkmoot’s financial sustainability is largely dependent on efficient utilization of the Friendship Center.

Flora’s gift goes a long way in allowing us to keep the building useful longer, but it’s only about one-third of what’s needed to complete the $250,000 HVAC project.

Please consider making a contribution to Folkmoot this holiday season and help to make Folkmoot a year-round, educational, creative, social and cultural resource center for Western North Carolina.

Angeline Schwab, Executive Director (angie (at)

David Francis, Board President

The Campaign for Folkmoot


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 a commemorative message
  • $250 each – Commemorative brick in Friendship Center entryway
  • $175  – Two Tickets, Friends Gala Event or Two Tickets, show of your choice, July 19 – 29, 2018

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

An overview ...

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:

Taking 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 received the 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 Foundation

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.