|Spirit of Folk Awards|
These awards are presented to honor and celebrate people and organizations actively involved in the promotion and preservation of folk music through their creative work, their community building, and their demonstrated leadership. The 2017 awards were announced at the conference on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.
2017 Spirit of Folk Award Winners
Joined by Pete Seeger in Detroit for her first concert in 1946, Barbara Dane has consistently used her voice and her platform wherever people are fighting for peace and justice. Throughout her long and extraordinary life, her work includes decades of collaborations with folk, jazz, blues and world music artists, from Louis Armstrong and Mikis Theodorakis to Lightnin’ Hopkins and Silvio Rodriguez.
A long-term senior staff member of the Woodford Folk Festival, one of Australia’s largest events whose mission is to stimulate, facilitate and foster the preservation and promotion of folk culture for the common good. Chloe was the executive producer of the Museum of New and Old Art’s Festival of Music and Art and more recently set up the Australian edition of The Festival Of Small Halls which tours domestic and international artists through rural Australia.
Michelle is a fan and advocate who is moved by songs and inspired to help the artists who write them. She started managing artists in 2001 and launched Market Monkeys in 2004, providing management and marketing services to a wide range of artists including Rose Cousins, Kris Delmhorst, Winterbloom, Lucy Kaplansky and many more. Michelle has served on the FAI board of directors since 2010, serving as an exemplary President and leader the past two years.
In 2010, Ramy Essam became the musical voice of the Arab Spring when his song “Irhal” (recognized by Time Out magazine, as one of the top three Songs That Changed History) became the anthem of the Egyptian revolution. Imprisoned and tortured for singing activist songs, he has been living in exile in Sweden since 2014. With millions of online views he is a symbol of social activism and a beacon of uncommon bravery in the Middle East.
With a career spanning 52 years, Si Kahn has produced an impressive catalog including 17 CDs of original songs, a CD of labor and civil rights songs with Pete Seeger and Jane Sapp, songs and scripts for seven musicals, three books, and one co-authored book with public philosopher Elizabeth Minnich. His work has always been an extension of his committed work for civil rights, unions, the environment, and community organizing.
SONiA disappear fear
A vocal and steady advocate for LGBT rights and progressive political issues. SONiA disappear fear is the recipient of many awards, including the Coin of Honor from the US Army for her humanitarian efforts, and the GLAAD award for Best Album. She is one voice and one guitar, bending sound and light into songs with music and has been described as “a vivid celebration of the human spirit in all its infinite manifestations.”
Past Spirit of Folk Recipients