Having served as Executive Director of Folkmoot USA for six years, Karen Babcock is leaving on February 27 to become General Manager of Biltmore Industries.
The Folkmoot Board of Directors has secured Angeline Schwab as the interim Executive Director and will consider formally appointing Schwab as the Executive Director at its March meeting.
Schwab has extensive non-profit community and economic development experience in the creative arts, having served as the Executive Director of Humboldt Made and most recently as the part-time Marketing and Annual Fund Manager for Folkmoot USA and consultant for HandMade in America.
Rose Johnson, President of the Folkmoot Board of Directors, stated that Schwab is
ensuring a successful 2015 Folkmoot USA summer festival, known as the Official NC International Folklore Festival. At the same time, Schwab is revving up Folkmoot’s momentum to become a year-round alliance with educational, cultural and economic impact far exceeding that of the festival. In the near future, the Board will announce Folkmoot’s expanded direction, and the new executive director will play a key role, stated Johnson.
During her Folkmoot tenure, Babcock elevated Folkmoot’s international reputation through the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts. Recently labeled as one of the top 10 folk festivals in the Southeast by USA Today and the only festival in NC to receive this distinction, Folkmoot USA has a local economic impact of about $9 million annually.
Folkmoot is housed at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, a renovated school in the Hazelwood section of Waynesville.The summer festival is scheduled for July.