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Our Mission

Our Mission and Values

FAI exists to nurture, engage and empower the international folk music community — traditional and contemporary, amateur and professional — through education, advocacy and performance.

Goals

FAI has six areas of concentration to achieve the above mission. It seeks to strengthen and advance organizational and individual initiatives in folk music and dance through education, networking, advocacy, professional and field development, and consumer development.

1.   Education - To increase understanding of the rich variety, artistic value, cultural and historical significance, and continuing relevance of folk music and dance among educators, media, and the general public.

2.   Networking - To provide a bridge to and from folk music and dance organizations and needed resources, and to help those organizations link with their constituencies.

3.   Advocacy - To influence decision makers and resource providers on the national, state, provincial, and local levels, insuring the growth of folk music and dance.

4.   Field Development - To support and encourage the development of new and existing grassroots folk music and dance organizations.

5.   Professional Development - To strengthen the effectiveness of folk music and dance organizations by providing professional development opportunities.

6.   Consumer Development - To build a stronger consumer base by identifying and involving current and potential folk music consumers and players through programs, marketing, and outreach.

 

A Values Statement

Our board would like to state that everyone is welcome at Folk Alliance International. We are committed to fostering an inclusive community that is safe and inviting for all who love, make, and support Folk music.

During our annual strategic planning meeting last spring, the board discussed diversity, both in Folk music and our organization. Those discussions led us to form this series of belief statements to guide us as Folk Alliance International grows.

We believe that greater diversity throughout the organization allows Folk Alliance International to:


Build a more creative and compassionate community. Folk music has historically been inclusionary at all levels and by nature brings community together. It has often been a part of movements for social and political change.

Spur awareness of other cultures and perspectives. We value sharing knowledge and conducting ourselves in a respectful manner. Interaction with a broader membership base introduces us to traditions from different countries and regions, along with perspectives of sub-communities within Folk Alliance International. Openness to and acceptance of these varied interests and perspectives will lead to greater inclusion and participation.

Provide enhanced opportunities for the organization and members. These additional viewpoints and communities will support our intrinsic value by fostering international and multi-cultural understanding, allowing FAI to make a greater impact in the music community and the world at large.

Bringing greater diversity to the organization will challenge our assumptions while revealing our similarities. It will have indefinable, intangible, and unpredictable effects. The costs of international expansion are worthwhile and of value.

 

Harassment and Discrimination

As emphatically as we welcome people of all national, geographic, cultural, ethnic, social, economic, gender, sexuality, orientation, mobility, and other forms of diversity to our events and organization, we also wish to express our rejection of discrimination and harassment.

As defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): “Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA).” In accordance with US law, our board recently adopted refined language regarding harassment in our employee handbook. For reference, please see the way FAI defines and informs our staff of this important issue. We encourage our membership to adopt similar policies in their places of work and to adhere to this standard at their events.

Accordingly, we want to make members aware of what to do in the unfortunate event that harassment does occur. If you experience discrimination and/or harassment at our conference or any FAI event, take action:

  • Cite the FAI value statement and linked definition, tell the offending party to stop
  • Talk immediately with a trusted colleague
  • Contact your union
  • Contact an FAI staff member in person or email operations@folk.org
  • Contact Hotel Security by dialing 0 to reach an operator
  • Call the 24 hour National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673
  • Call the local police at 911


We are constantly seeking new ways to welcome and support creators, helpers, and lovers of Folk music worldwide. If you have any questions or comments about these belief statements or anything related to Folk Alliance International, please contact director@folk.org.

Folk Alliance International, 509 Delaware St #101, Kansas City MO 64105 • 816-221-FOLK (3655) • fai@folk.org

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