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.

Individual Giving

There are so many ways friends, groups, businesses and organizations can help Folkmoot in its mission to celebrate culture and embrace diversity. There are several areas of giving to ensure the future of Folkmoot and its critical role in leading cultural education: Learn more about Friends of Folkmoot, Folkmoot Border Foundation, and the Campaign for Historic Hazelwood School.

Year-round Program Development

With your help, Folkmoot has accomplished alot over the last two years. Here’s a short summary of what’s been accomplished through Friends of Folkmoot contributions.

With help from Friends, grantors and funds from increasing ticket sales, Folkmoot has produced ten Friendship Dinners, including Eritrean, Serbian, Indian, Lunar New Year (5 countries), Scottish, German, African (6 countries), Russian and Cherokee events. 

Through a partnership with Western Carolina University faculty, Folkmoot’s educational programs have featured international language experts, professors of global politics, race and ethnicity, arts and culture. 

Cultural Conversations initiatives launched in 2017 with twelve participating regional leaders; Folkmoot is in the process of initiating Youth Leadership in Diversity: Cultural Conversations in the Schools.

Folkmoot has grown our audience with new programs to include year-round and seasonal residents, youth and families, international families, community associations, businesses and educational entities.

Through a partnership with the Haywood County Library, Blue Ridge Books and Western Carolina University, Folkmoot has launched the Southern Storytellers Supper Series exploring untold stories of regional culture and Cultural Crash Courses, a deep dive into global politics that we all see and are sometimes confounded by in the news.

Year-round programs have attracted approximately 4,000 participants to the Friendship Center in 2018.

Folkmoot Festival Expansion

Folkmoot has diversified festival performances to include musical ensembles, storytellers, contemporary folk culture featuring out-of-the-ordinary intangible cultural heritage groups and activities for all ages. 

The festival includes several new events including Many Cultures Day, Cultural Conversations, Community Friendship Dinners, Camp Folkmoot, Cherokee Ambassador’s Day and the BearWaters Brewery After Party.

Folkmoot also maintains all operations of International Festival Day. In 2019, Folkmoot will present Cherokee World Games, the Folkmoot International Beer & Food Fair, the Hazelwood Mootenanny Folkways event, Folkmoot After Dark and a Hazelwood Lantern Parade. 

Folkmoot hosts an annual training before the festival for high- school and college students to prepare them to serve as guides for international groups. Topics include: global politics, cultural communications, teamwork, leadership, festival operations, stage management, emergency response, conflict resolution and inclusivity.

Folkmoot receives more than 300 international group applications to participate in the festival. This number grows each year and we attribute this to global participation on social media. Year


Recent Accomplishments with Historic Hazelwood School Renovations

With the help of the Haywood County Sheriff’s office, Folkmoot works with inmates who wish to do public service and who want on-the-job experience. These crews have accomplished painting, patching and repair work at the Center.

Folkmoot donors have supported the costs of repairs including re-roofing building A, replacing broken windows and inoperable toilets, fixing damaged pipes and replacing water damaged ceiling tiles, and painting and re-plastering classrooms.

The Cafeteria and commercial kitchen spaces have undergone several upgrades, including the purchase of a new dishwasher, refrigerators, pots and pans, and tableware. These upgrades have made the kitchen compliant with commercial standards that allow Folkmoot to rent the kitchen to food trucks and caterers.

Through a generous donation from Rolf Kaufman, Folkmoot added a deck on the back of the center for group and community hospitality.

Gas lines were installed to provide heating and cooling options for the Queen Auditorium and Multipurpose Room. This improvement lowered Folkmoot’s heating and cooling bills by thousands of dollars each year.

 Floors have been refurbished throughout much of the building. With the help of Eagle Scout, Stephen Wenzel, Folkmoot added ADA ramps in the front and back doors of Building B. This improvement makes Folkmoot more accessible to the community.

 With help of Haywood Community College landscaping students, Folkmoot has improved the grounds around the building. With the assistance of NC State students, Folkmoot added a large globe pendent at the front entrance of the building.

 The Mountain Heritage Center has partnered to develop educational niches in the Queen Auditorium. With assistance from donors, Folkmoot added a mezzanine and improved electrical in this public space.

All of these improvements helped to make the Center available to community groups more than 30 times in the last two years.

The Folkmoot 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 $600,000 per year. We are seeking at least $100,000 annually 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. Interested in contributing appreciated stocks? The Foundation is able to accept security transfers, c/o Edward Jones, DTC #0057, Account #4491881613, 385 N Haywood Street, Ste 2, Waynesville, NC 28786. Please contact Folkmoot Executive Director, Angeline Schwab with your questions or ideas for your donations, 828-452-2997, x100.

Letter from the President

Dear Friends of Folkmoot,

Last fall, and again early this spring, when I stood at the back of Folkmoot’s auditorium to watch Balsam Range’s opening of the Art of Music Festival, and later the new Nashville Songwriters in the Round Series, I had to smile that an idea and a plan was coming together.

The Folkmoot Board of Directors planted the seed of this idea by deciding to add year-round programming to help support the festival and the organization. We’ve been experimenting, we’re now in our third full year of such programming, and momentum is taking hold.

At both concerts, the atmosphere was warm, with large crowds of new and familiar faces, and as I listened I imagined the auditorium stage with its new light rigging and curtains, already partially funded by a grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

Then, just last night, author Bob Plott, an immediate descendant of the storied Plott family, stood within sight of the valley his family settled. He spun stories of the new south and the old south as part of our Southern Storytellers series for an audience of more than one hundred. It was another opportunity to show what Folkmoot stands for “the meeting of people.”

Of course, as a Waynesville native I can’t help but be nostalgic about the Historic Hazelwood School and its classic spaces (both of my children went to school here) and I’m excited to help repurpose it in a way that it offer something back to the community. I believe we owe it to those who donated the building, as well as those who have helped rehab it to make the most of this space.

But I’m also a longtime fan of Folkmoot, I’m proud to be the President of it’s Board, and I want to ensure that Folkmoot’s long-term legacy goes beyond sustainability and into a place of permanence and prosperity. We on the board know that the only alternatives to change are stagnancy or lost ground, and we’re determined that thoughtful change drive this organization forward and strengthen its legacy.


In July, when guests join us along the Pigeon River in Canton for our much anticipated “Folkmalt” Craft Beer, Food Truck and Music Fair, and in Hazelwood for “Mootenanny”, our new music and mountain folkways festival, they’ll be a part of Folkmoot culture.

When our legacy festival, as grand as ever, resumes this summer, it will feature teams from Colombia, Egypt, Romania, Georgia, Hungary, Nepal, Bahamas, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United States. That is and will always be Folkmoot culture!

These new programs and events, along with the longtime festival, reflect, enhance and enable our mission of cultural sharing and philosophy of “many cultures, one community” – the long-held values around international folk dance that were embraced by Folkmoot’s founders.

36 years after it was founded Folkmoot has brought over 130 countries and 8,000 performers to Western North Carolina. Our mission-driven volunteers, donors and staff have helped us become one of the longest running festivals in the southeast.

And now we’ve reached a tipping point of sorts: we’re poised for a phase of exciting growth!

Even with all the changes happening at the Folkmoot Center and additions to the festival, we just can’t do it without you. You make Folkmoot possible.  We’re counting on our friends to help. Your support is essential for maintaining the idea of Folkmoot now and for future generations, and any help you can give us is greatly appreciated.


David Francis, Board President

Corporate Giving

Folkmoot sponsors are the financial backbone of all festival and year-round events. With benefits packages starting at $150 and up to $20,000 for financial and in-kind support, there are opportunities for all levels of businesses to receive community recognition. Please call Executive Director, Angeline Schwab to make an appointment to discuss your desired level of support. Please find Folkmoot sponsorship information below. 

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Folkmoot produces an annual magazine we call the “commemorative guidebook” highlighting the Folkmoot festival, our international dancers and musicians, year-round programs and our organizations’s rich history as NC’s International Folk Festival. In 2019, Folkmoot will print 7,500 copies of the magazine and give them away at festival events and at locations throughout Western North Carolina. Commemorative guidebook advertising is a great investment that will attract Folkmoot audiences to your business. Please download the form below to learn more and select your ad size or call Executive Director, Angeline Schwab, 828.452.2997, 100 to reserve your space.

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