Images of Folkmoot 2018 - Stephen Wenzel

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 - Stephen WenzelThis – the second piece in the series – features the work of a young, bright and talented home-grown photographic talent, Stephen Wenzel.

We have space here to publish only three of Stephen’s outstanding photos. Please visit his special Folkmoot web page, at his photography site, to see all his Folkmoot 2018 images.

Our first installment in this series featured long-time Folkmoot photographer, volunteer and all-around-good-guy Patrick Parton.

Future installments of this series will feature the work of others, including 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.

Stephen Wenzel displays a talent for photographer well above his teen years. A 2018 graduate of Tuscola High School who is headed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Stephen literally grew up in Folkmoot.

His parents met at Folkmoot over two decades ago when his mother, Georgiana, was a visiting dancer with her troupe from Romania and his father, Chris, was a Folkmoot Guide. Georgiana and Chris found love in Folkmoot, married and have been volunteers ever since, combining their passion for family with their passion for Folkmoot.

Stephen intends to study biology at UNC but, seriously, with his talent for photography the arts can’t be far behind!

Images of Folkmoot 2018 - Stephen WenzelFolkmoot 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.