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News & Press: E-News

September 2017 E-News

Tuesday, September 12, 2017  
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A new FAI sizzler and webinar program, showcase and scholarship deadlines!
A new FAI sizzler and webinar program, showcase and scholarship deadlines!
E-News: September 2017
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ALERT - Official Showcase Deadline Extended

Due to numerous world events and natural disasters, we are extending the Official Showcase application deadline by one week.
The NEW DEADLINE for Official Showcase applications is Wednesday, September 20, 2018.
Announcing First Guest Speaker
FAI’s anniversary conference will “celebrate 30 years of community and song,” and will take time to look back at the stories that built the present as well as look forward to the future of folk music as a community and industry. We’re thrilled to announce legendary artist, Richard Thompson as FAI's first 2018 guest speaker.
Thompson, co-founder of the seminal English folk-rock group Fairport Convention, has recorded 40 albums, been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from BBC Radio. Thompson once toured with Bob Dylan, produced an album with Jeff Tweedy, had his music featured in two tribute albums, and has been covered by R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, David Gilmour, Elvis Costello, Los Lobos, Greg Brown, and many more. Speaking from a global and historical perspective, Thompson will take us through a look-back at 30-years of folk music as only he can.
Past keynote speakers include Vice President Al Gore, Graham Nash, Bob Lefsetz, Rita Coolidge, Commander Chris Hadfield, Judy Collins, Ani DiFranco, and Billy Bragg.
2018 Wisdom of the Elders
Holly Near by Irene Young
Holly Near - United States
(photo by Irene Young)
Tommy Sands
Tommy Sands - Ireland
Hans Theessink - Denmark
Since 2010, legends and luminaries of the folk community have been featured at the conference through the Wisdom of the Elders live-interview event. Conceived by Sonny Ochs, the sessions are recorded and conducted as interviews in small group settings where the elders interact and share stories and insight from their experiences over a lifetime in folk music.
The 2018 Wisdom of the Elders panelists are acclaimed artists Holly Near, Tommy Sands, and Hans Theessink. The session will be co-hosted by Sonny Ochs and Don Bird.
Holly Near has traveled the world as an advocate for peace. Near is known for her vocal feminism and critical thinking and provocative music as a singer-songwriter.
Tommy Sands has blended activism and art as an avid songwriter, performer, and mediator for the Irish peace process. His songs have been translated into many languages, appear in school books around the world, and have been recorded by Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and many more.
Hans Thessink is a prodigious international blues treasure and one of the world's pre-eminent pickers. One of the fiercest acoustic players in Europe and one of the top acoustic blues stars worldwide, he has played with the best and is one of the best across the globe.
For more information on the eighth annual Wisdom of the Elders program visit
New Promo Reel for FAI's Conference
Commissioned by Folk Alliance International to tell the story of the annual conference, Elk's Pride Pictures produced a behind-the-scenes video that captured the many amazing moments at FAI 2017. The soundtrack is provided by Baile An Salsa, a breakout showcase act who headlined the closing party. Watching it ignites our excitement for February 2018 and we hope you feel the same. Please share it!
Announcing the Global Summit Series
FAI’s new Global Summit Series is intended to re-introduce a deeper connection to the processes, people, and policies behind the scenes that help establish and maintain the rich ecology of folk music. The summits are focused "peer sessions" that shake-up the standard panel format as well as provide an opportunity for a global network of industry-specific cohorts to convene in one place to share knowledge, ideas, and goals. Each summit is an in-depth three-hour session hosted by a thought leader in the field, and will include a keynote, directed discussion, and time for networking.
2018 Global Summits:
Archivists: Hosted by Nicole Saylor, Head of Archives, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
Arts Service Organizations: Hosted by Erin Benjamin, Executive Director, Music Canada Live.
Cultural Policy Funders: Co-hosted by Todd Stein, CEO, MidAmerica Arts Alliance and Megan Crigger, Director of Creative Services, City of Kansas City, MO.
Ethnomusicologists: Hosted by Gregory Melchor-Barz, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Musicology/Ethnomusicology, Vanderbilt University / President-Elect, Society for Ethnomusicology.

Folk Ed. Webinar | Know Your Numbers

Part of Folk Alliance International’s ongoing advocacy and outreach efforts, Folk Ed. is a new platform providing professional and career development opportunities to FAI members.

Join us for our inaugural Folk Ed. webinar, created with the entrepreneurial artist in mind. The webinar is open to anyone with an interest in growing a business in the cultural sector.

Topics include:

  • Why do I need to keep track of my numbers, and how do I do it?
  • What is a budget, and how do I make one?
  • How do I use my numbers to make better decisions, stabilize my cash flow, and move me toward my goals?


Know Your Numbers | Let’s talk about the money! Presented by Erin McGrane

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 from 6:00pm-7:00pm CST

FREE for FAI members. $30 for non-members.

Folk Ed. Webinar Registration
To purchase ad space in a future FAI e-newsletter, please email

Join Us 'Round the Campfire

“Folk music is alive and well with more artists, presenters, and audience than ever. Our 30th conference is a monumental milestone where we will honor the past, celebrate the present, and chart our course for the future as we begin our fourth decade as an organization and event.” - Aengus Finnan, FAI Executive Director
Register for FAI
Register early at the Fall Rate before prices increase on November 30th. Curious to know who is already attending? See the list of FAI 2018 attendees HERE.
Referral Program
Save Money, Refer a Friend
Refer a first-timer and save money. You earn $50 towards your paid registration for each first-timer who names you as their referral source. Refer five first-timers and earn $250. That's a free conference registration! Check out the details here and SAVE on registration for FAI 2018.
Hotel Information
The Westin and Sheraton Crown Center hotels are our headquarters for the conference week. Book now to reserve a room and avoid higher prices when the discounted room block is sold out.
New Deposit and Cancellation Policy: One night’s deposit equal to room and tax is due at time of booking and will be charged to the credit card provided. Reimbursement of the deposit will only be provided for cancellations made 21-days prior to arrival. Cancellations made within 21-days of arrival will forfeit one night’s room deposit plus tax.

Deadline to Apply EXTENDED

Applications are open to perform for hundreds of festivals, venue bookers, agents, managers, media, and music industry representatives who attend the annual FAI conference. Official Showcase artists announced: Oct 30.
Official Showcases are jury-selected nightly concerts featuring emerging artists and touring legends from around the world. Each showcase is a 30-minute set on a full production stage with lighting and sound.
FAI Official Showcase Application
Deadline to submit is September 20, 5 pm CST.

Scholarships to FAI for First-Timers
Artist and industry First-Timers can apply for partial and full scholarships to FAI. Deadline to apply for First-Timer Artist Scholarships is September 30th! (First-Timer Industry Scholarships have a rolling deadline).
FAI gave out 100 scholarships to first-time artist attendees and 26 to first-time industry attendees for a total of $35,905 this year. Named after our visionary founder, the Elaine Weissman Scholarship for First Conference Attendees Fund supports many artists and industry professionals coming for the first time and helps our organization offset the cost of scholarships granted.
Apply for an FAI Scholarship
Deadline to apply is September 30!

Free Ride for Folk DJ
Applications are now open for the inaugural Gene Shay Folk DJ Scholarship to FAI's conference. This FULL RIDE scholarship includes conference registration to FAI 2018, hotel for four nights at The Westin Crown Center, travel compensation up to $500, and more. Please share!
This scholarship is being created, funded, and managed by a committee of Folk DJs from around the world who are invested in the future of folk music. Gene Shay, the scholarship's namesake, is frequently referred to as the "Dean of Folk DJs." His career spanned more than five decades.
Folk DJs Apply Here
Deadline to apply is September 30!

Present a Private Showcase

Each evening following the Official Showcases, the “Music Floors” come alive with thousands of Private Showcases in hotel rooms turned into listening rooms - a perfect space for presenting and discovering the best talent in folk music.
Applications are open to host or present a show. Past room hosts have included artists, record labels, publicists, state and provincial music offices, national export offices, collectives, and some great fans. Take your conference experience to the next level, and apply to be a Private Showcase host!
Present a Private Showcase

Become a Crew Member

We couldn't do it without our incredible team of volunteers. In 2017, 233 volunteers worked 4,190 hours to ensure a smooth and enjoyable conference for all. Join this incredible team and attend FAI 2018 for free.
Volunteer teams include information desk, Exhibit Hall, registration, silent auction, hospitality, Kansas City Folk Festival, Louis Jay Meyers Music Camp, and more. Apply early; spots fill up quickly!
Volunteer at FAI
Member and Partner Events Calendar
For a comprehensive list of member and partner events, visit our website. If you are an FAI member and have an upcoming conference, festival, camp, or relevant application deadline that you would like to be included in our monthly calendar email series, contact
American Folklife LAA
1998 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree
American Folklife Center
Lifetime Achievement Award Videos
Each year, FAI presents three Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards to honor the cultural impact of legendary folk music figures: one Living, one Legacy, and one Organizational/Academic.

Visit our Awards page to access the full archive of short documentary films featuring past honorees.

Social Media Shoutout

Artist of incomparable depth and insight, and three-time FAI Official Showcase artist, Anaïs Mitchell recently announced a live recording from Warner Music Group of her folk opera Hadestown, which premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in May 2016 to critical acclaim and sold-houses.
Do you have memorable news to share with us? Tag us on social media and let us know about the notable moments in your career!
Don't forget to follow Folk Alliance International on social media and tag us in your photos! #FolkAlliance #FAI30
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Special Thanks to Our Premium Sponsors
Interested in sponsorship? Contact Alex Mallet at

Folk Alliance International, 512 Delaware Street, Kansas City MO 64105 • 816-221-FOLK (3655) •

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