Volunteers guide the Folkmoot Festival through its 10 days of beauty, pageantry and delightful sights and sounds.
Every non-profit organization depends on volunteers, of course, but the Folkmoot Festival could not have lasted for 35 years without the significant contribution of time, talent and treasure by its volunteers.
Folkmoot Festival 2018 will rely heavily on key volunteers to be the smooth operation festival goers have come to expect.
Folkmoot 2018 opens Thursday and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians.
Many Folkmoot volunteers have come and gone over the years, each one valuable and each one treasured. The key volunteers – and volunteer leaders – for the 2018 festival will include:
Mayo Ferguson is one of Folkmoot’s longest standing volunteers. He first began working with us in 1986, took a small break somewhere along the way to get a family going, came back and picked up where he left off. Of all the things he enjoys about working with Folkmoot he most enjoys the interactions and conversations he can have with people from around the world. The music, dance, art, and performances are enjoyable but it is what he can learn from someone with a different perspective that he values the most.
Vivian Poppas is another one of Folkmoot’s longest standing volunteers. She has been actively working with us for over 29 years and her duties and positions have included a little bit of everything but her favorite position so far has been working as a Guide during the festival. She also thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to make friends with people from all corners of the globe and to learn about their different cultures.
Natalie Ballard is studying Business Administration and Law at Western Carolina University with a minor in Political Science. She was captain of the color guard in high school and assistant choir director for the children’s choir at the church she attends. Natalie loves learning about different cultures and getting to experience new ideas. She hopes to one day live in another country.
Michelle Romberger is a another veteran volunteer for Folkmoot. She has volunteered countless hours cooking for friendship dinners, creating the menu for the upcoming festival and providing upkeep to the kitchen. Since her first connection with Folkmoot, Michelle fell in love with the mission of the organization. She calls it an opportunity of a lifetime.
Folkmoot means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To David Bortle, Folkmoot is a non-profit that establishes a platform for community building. He appreciates how the Folkmoot festival encourages diverse groups to put their differences aside for the universal love of dance and music. “(Folkmoot is) different people coming together to transcend the American existence,” he said. In the two years of working at Folkmoot, David undoubtedly enjoyed most working with last year’s Israeli performance group. He describes the Israeli group as incredible, hard-working, and cultured.