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.