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February 2019 Newsletter

Friday, February 8, 2019  
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A visit to UNESCO, 2020 art unveiled, a historic bed-in and more!
A visit to UNESCO, 2020 art unveiled, a historic bed-in and more!
FAI Newsletter | February 2019
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Jaaji (Twin Flames), Mr Boyan Radoykov (Director, UNESCO), Chelsey June (Twin Flames), Ms. Irmgarda Kasinskaite (Programme Specialist, UNESCO), Aengus Finnan (Executive Director, FAI), at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

UNESCO Presentation
On January 28, 2019, the United Nations hosted an event at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, to formally launch the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Leaders, artists, and partners from around the world were invited to the event to "raise global attention on the critical risks confronting Indigenous languages, and their significance for sustainable development, reconciliation, good governance, and peacebuilding."
FAI Executive Director Aengus Finnan was invited to present at the event, where he stated, "Folk Alliance International believes that greater diversity in organizations engenders a more creative and compassionate community, spurs awareness and understanding, provides enhanced opportunities, and challenges assumptions while revealing similarities."
He spoke of the dark impacts that colonization and assimilation had in contributing to the erasure of culture, language, and identity of Indigenous groups. "Loss of [language] is the loss of verbal citizenship, loss of original voice."
While there he also announced that this year FAI’s Artist in Residence project is a collaboration between UNESCO and Indigenous duo Twin Flames. The commissioned work will serve as a theme song for the International Year of Indigenous Languages, and speaks to the importance of language, especially as it relates to identity, culture, and history. The song will be premiered during FAI's Montréal conference and shared by UNESCO as part of their year-long program and campaign.
2019 Official Showcase Artists, Twin Flames is an award-winning husband and wife duo (Jaaji, an Inuk Mohawk from Nunavik, and Chelsey June, Algonquin Cree métis from Ottawa). Together, they echo the voices of their ancestors and depict life on the land as they sing songs in English, Inuttitut, and French.
Read the UNESCO presentation here.

Where Ever You Are You Can "Give Folk a Chance"

Saturday, February 16th, 9:30 am EST
Whether you are in Peru, Russia, or the US, you can still be part of the conference. Join us online from your very own bed-in the largest sing-a-long of "Give Peace a Chance".
Go here to learn more and to RSVP for the 50th-anniversary event.

2020 Location Announced

At an event on January 22nd, FAI announced that its 32nd conference heads to the vibrant port city of New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, beignets, Mardi Gras, and much more. A historical center of trade, the city has provided the setting for people to overcome language and cultural barriers by connecting through music and sharing cuisine.

The 2020 conference theme is The Story of People and Place and we will celebrate collaboration and the shaping of new shared identities, art, and forms of expression. Conscious programming will explore the themes of diversity, inclusion, immigration, intersection, and influence. Ultimately each person has a story (especially as folk artists) of who they are, where they are from, and how the places they live in shape them.

Early Bird registrations are now on sale.
View the promo video here.

Austin Reception

Over the past two years, FAI board members have hosted community gatherings in Raleigh, NC, Baltimore, MD, Minneapolis, MN, Los Angeles, CA, Ottawa, ON, and London, England.
Most recently, on January 29, current board members Laura Thomas and Matt Sever, joined by FAI's Director of Operations, Jennifer Roe, held a reception and information session at the Cactus Café in Austin, TX.
The 65 people in attendance learned more about the organization's recent growth and activities, saw FAI's 30th Anniversary video and the recently launched Promo Reel for the 2020 New Orleans conference, and participated in a Q&A session.
Members attending the conference in Montréal are invited to engage with the board and staff at the Annual General Meeting (9 am Thursday, February 14th), which is open to the public.

Thank you, Erika. Welcome, Kelly!

Folk Alliance International wishes to extend deep thanks and a fond farewell to Erika Noguera who has served as its Communications Manager since June 6th, 2016. Under Erika’s leadership a communications team was established, the organization’s website was revamped, social media accounts saw substantial growth (including a 272% increase in Instagram followers), and FAI garnered five Philly Non-Profit marketing awards. Values-based language, community engagement, and brand consistency are hallmarks of her contributions.

The entire FAI family also wishes to congratulate Erika on her forthcoming wedding and birth of her son, and her plans to open a coffee shop in the Westside neighborhood of Kansas City.

FAI welcomes Kelly Dougherty as incoming Communications Manager. Kelly has worked in advertising for the last eight years, is a former board member and current entertainment chair for the Kansas City Irish Center, and is a founding member of the Kansas City Irish Fest. She holds a Master’s degree of Liberal Arts from Baker University with an emphasis in leadership and management. Her true passion is working behind the scenes to help artists succeed at their craft and do what they do best.

GRAMMY Week Event

FAI is proud to present it's second GRAMMY Week event, this year in partnership with the International Bluegrass Music Association and The Blues Foundation to celebrate the 2019 Folk, Blues, and Bluegrass GRAMMY nominees. This year's performers include Dom Flemons, Mary Gauthier, Wood & Wire with Mike Barnett, Fantastic Negrito, Elvin Bishop Trio, and special guests.
Actor Ed Helms, co-founder of the Bluegrass Situation, will be hosting the exclusive sold-out event on Saturday, February 9th in Los Angeles, CA, at No Name Bar.
For more information on GRAMMY nominees in folk categories, check here.
For the full list of all nominees, look here.
To purchase ad space in a future FAI e-newsletter, please email

NACC Chart Member Discount

FAI has negotiated a member discount of $50 a month for industry and $25 for artists to access the North American College and Community (NACC) Folk Chart. Find more details and sign up here.
Harry Belafonte Folk Alliance International 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Lifetime Achievement Award Videos

Each year, FAI presents its Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards to honor the cultural impact of legendary Living, Legacy, and Organizational/Academic folk music figures.

Visit our Awards page to access the full video archive of past honorees.
Social Media Shoutout

FAI Members Kaia Kater and AHI were recently nominated for a Juno award in the Contemporary Roots Album of the Year category. We would also like to congratulate Jeremy Dutcher, Leonard Sumner, The Deep Dark Woods, David Francey, Pharis and Jason Romero, The Slocan Ramblers, The Wailin' Jennys, Vishtèn, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Boogát, Wesli, Aerialists, and The Fretless for their nominations in other categories.

Attention Members! Do you have great news to share with us? Follow @FolkAlliance and 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 #FAIMontreal

Thanks to our Premium Funders and Sponsors!

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