I am thrilled to join the Folkmoot staff!
We have so much to catch up on….
Nearly everyone who knows Folkmoot thinks of it as something that only happens two weeks out of the year.
This is no longer the case. How do I know you ask? I was just hired here! Let’s start with who is this mysterious “I”….I’m Elizabeth Burson, born and raised in Haywood County, avid local life enthusiast who wants to be world traveler.
I have been to every Folkmoot Festival since I can remember. Sitting in front of Headlights, now Tipping Point, for the parade gleefully anticipating each country, the costumes, the excitement, the question of will they pick me to come dance with them?
After that my grandparents would take me, my brother and cousin to the Haywood Community College performance to see the full shebang. This was always such a soothing time for me; seeing each full dance while listening to the music flowing through the speakers. It was like I was in a dream world of Thailand or France or whatever country was being represented.
As soon as I became old enough I signed up to work at Folkmoot as a guide, one of the most challenging positions to explain at
Folkmoot but I’ll do my best: a guide is more or less a personal assistant to a specific group. We live with them, eat with them, fill out forms for them, do any possible thing they could ask of us and occasional play dress up doll for them. I was instantly hooked and for the past six summers Folkmoot has been my life.
Until now…..I have now graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, living at my parents (for now), and working at Folkmoot.
Now that you know way too much about my life let me tell you what I’m actually doing here.
I am a programmer, thanks to the generous support of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. I work on new projects for Folkmoot to help make it a year-round mission and the Folkmoot Friendship Center a year-round facility, to bring fresh new ideas to the organization. Currently I’m working on a lot of new projects, one of them being this blog. I am organizing an Appalachian Dance class for children that will be taught at the center, planning a local craft market for December and a potential local pub crawl.
Oh, and did mention getting ready for Spookmoot @ Folkmoot? It’s going to be a fantastic Halloween party and series of events: Halloween Kids Carnival for families, the Spookmoot Halloween Fling & Costume Party for adults & great fun with punkin’ chunkin at the Spookmoot Pumpkin Catapult with the Catamounts! It will be an outrageous Halloween weekend and you won’t want to miss a minute of it!
However, I do not just plan events. I am also giving a facelift of sorts to some of the systems of Folkmoot. In order to find the best international folk dance groups for our lovely audience I am creating standardized communication between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ By doing this it will be much easier to make sure the groups will be able to fully participate and make each year the best it can be. I am also taking all of our amazing volunteer information and putting all of it into an easy searchable database.
I am very happy to be working here full-time at Folkmoot and we’re looking forward to sharing all the many gifts and contributions of Folkmoot with you, our wonderful Haywood County community, Western Carolina, the whole state of North Carolina and all the world!